NPD: More apparel consumers going online for one of apparel’s hottest categories

When it comes to buying outerwear, more shoppers are going online.

According to The NPD Group’s Checkout, a receipt mining service, 29% of total online apparel buyers purchased outerwear online in the 12 months ending November 2017, up two percentage points over the previous year. The average consumer is spending $178 when buying outerwear online, a 3% increase in spending over the prior year.

The North Face, Patagonia, and Columbia are among the top performers in this e-commerce space. The North Face captured 8% of total online outerwear buyers, followed by Columbia with 6% share of buyers and Patagonia at 3%. Patagonia attained the highest brand loyalty among these brands, with 66% of Patagonia outerwear buyers’ spend on the category going towards the brand.

“Outerwear is one of the hottest categories in outdoor and sports apparel today,” said Matt Powell, senior industry advisor, sports, The NPD Group. “While there is a lot of noise in today’s apparel market, outerwear is faring positively with its assortment of looks and brands that are helping consumers to stand out from the crowd. With the internet remaining the best way to find these unique styles, an omnipresent retail strategy with a customer-centric approach is critical for continued growth.”

Brands with a foundation in the catalog retail model have also performed favorably in the outerwear e-commerce space. Consumers increased their average annual spending on outerwear from Lands’ End and L.L. Bean by 10% and 2%, respectively, and also spent more per purchase.

In addition, a pricing dichotomy among well-performing brands suggests that there is not one price-point strategy for success. For example, with considerably fewer online customers and a higher price point than Columbia, Canada Goose outerwear consumers spent 14% more per purchase versus last year, compared to Columbia outerwear consumers who spent 2% more.