Net-a-Porter’s Spring 2023 trend presentation reveals the power of data for merchants
For those who can’t afford (or refuse to afford) luxury, a common refrain is heard, “Who would spend that much money on a pair of shoes?” Substitute any other garment or item, and you get the picture. Considering luxury sales survived the pandemic and continue to perform well, the answer is a lot of shoppers, especially those who favor online luxury pioneer Net-a-Porter.
According to Libby Page, Net-a-Porter’s market director, its retail team relies heavily on sales-driven stats, fashion trends, and its buyer’s expertise. FashionNetwork.com spoke to the London-based brand following their Spring Summer trend report recently presented in New York.
“At Net-a-Porter, we have always used data-driven insights and consumer trends alongside our expert fashion intuition to produce a clear and unique strategy. This data helps us inform upcoming buys, ensuring that our curation is tailored to exactly what our customers want. It also helps us better understand their shopping habits – whether that be customer searches or performance on certain styles, it all counts towards understanding our customers better,” said Page in an interview post-presentation.
For example, Page spoke of the love of pink its customers have that explained an exorbitant amount of hot pink shoes sold recently, a trend spurred by the brand Valentino and the upcoming Barbie movie in July 2023 that sparked a movement called Barbiecore.
“Pink has always been one of our top performing colors at Net-a-Porter, but the movement really skyrocketed for FW22, led by Valentino’s PP Pink. The iconic pink collection spearheaded a huge trend, leading to over 8,200 pink units sold on-site the week our FW22 campaign launched on September 12."
"In July of 2023, the highly anticipated Barbie movie is set to be released, and we’re expecting the trend to continue until then and beyond.” Page added.
According to Page, the Roman couture house and everyone’s favorite fashion doll are among the many movements that inspire the NAP shopper. She is predicting the next hue to take off are cool icy blue tones seen at the Spring 2023 collections of Alaïa and Proenza Schouler for SS23. “We expect this will be a color we’ll see everywhere this summer and are firmly backing it across ready-to-wear and accessories.”
“Our customer is very in tune with our wider initiatives and global cultural movements. This often correlates to what we see performing. The biggest we see is celebrity placement,” she continued. Audience engagement is also crucial, as Page refers to the Spring Summer 2023 collections as being “dominated by competition between designers to achieve the biggest viral moment.” By far, this was the wildly popular stunt that Coperni pulled at the end of its runway show by spray painting a liquid paper dress on Bella Hadid. “They demonstrated the power of celebrity and innovation in their season finale, which increased searches for the brand by 200% on Net-a-Porter following the show.”
The fashion director cites another example as Victoria Beckham’s liquid metallic silk slip dress she wore to her son, Brooklyn Beckham's wedding. “Following the wedding, searches for 'metallic slip dress’ increased by 200%, showing that our customer responds to these moments,” she noted, adding, “We also saw an instant spike in sales for Norma Kamali’s blue ‘Diana one-shoulder dress’ after Sarah Jessica Parker was seen wearing it filming an episode of the Sex and the City re-boot, “And Just Like That.”
While the Spring 2023 collections were unfolding across the four major cities, several items scored big on the search factor meter, including the search for 'black’ across all categories, which increased by +30%, a significant increase as black is consistently a top-performing color on the Net-a-Porter site. Additionally, searches for ‘sheer tops’ increased by +600% compared to the previous month, and there was a +400% increase in searches for transparent heels.
Page also noted that their customers were excited about the holiday season earlier this year. “Since the beginning of October, we’ve seen an increase of 195% in searches for ‘party’ and an increase of over 800% in searches for ‘gift guide’ compared to the same period last year,” she pointed out.
Knowing this information has helped the online retailer stock the goods most in demand. “We always work with our brands directly and communicate when stock is performing particularly well to maximize opportunity and ensure our customers can purchase the product they want when they want it.”
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