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E-Commerce: Fashion Retailers Curation Strategies

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A part of the e-commerce appeal for shoppers is the stress-free shopping experience: hyper convenience, speed and variety with minimum effort.
However, the subject of variety is a double-edged sword: while it reduces stress on the one hand, it also induces stress due to the inability to choose, and can even cause shoppers to abandon the site without completing a purchase.
This is one of the reasons why we consider curation is a key strategy for e-commerce retailers. Curation eases the path to purchase, making smaller selections of hand-picked and/or personalized items, and can drive unplanned sales as shoppers discover surprisingly relevant items.
Just as importantly, curation is the basis for differentiation in a highly competitive market.
This report examines 10 of the leading fashion e-commerce websites, as part of the Schieber Research e-commerce best practice benchmark. The websites are leading in terms of visitors, per Alexa Ranking.

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E-Commerce: Fashion Retailers Curation Strategies

  1. 1. Curation: the Fashion E-Commerce Edition // Nov. 2019
  2. 2. Introduction • A part of the e-commerce appeal for shoppers is the stress-free shopping experience: hyper convenience, speed and variety with minimum effort. • However, the subject of variety is a double-edged sword: while it reduces stress on the one hand, it also induces stress due to the inability to choose, and can even cause shoppers to abandon the site without completing a purchase. • This is one of the reasons why we consider curation is a key strategy for e- commerce retailers. Curation eases the path to purchase, making smaller selections of hand-picked and/or personalized items, and can drive unplanned sales as shoppers discover surprisingly relevant items. • Just as importantly, curation is the basis for differentiation in a highly competitive market. • This report examines 10 of the leading fashion e-commerce websites, as part of the Schieber Research e-commerce best practice benchmark. The websites are leading in terms of visitors, per Alexa Ranking. (The research was done in November, 2019: right before the big Holiday Shopping season. Therefore, you will see holiday gifting, autumn collections and related themes.)
  3. 3. The Websites Alexa U.S rank: #592 United States Alexa U.S rank: #944 United States Alexa U.S rank: #744 United States Alexa U.S rank: #3732 United States Alexa U.S rank: #618 United States Alexa U.S rank: #1093 United States Alexa U.S rank: #325 United States Alexa U.S rank: #823 United States Alexa U.S rank: #825 United States Alexa U.S rank: #242 United states
  4. 4. Curation Strategies in Fashion E-commerce Basic Better Best • Gender (including non- binary) • Product Categories • Dressing events (e.g. Work, Party, Black Tie) • Body shape (e.g., curvy, petite) • Best sellers • Collaborations • Trends • Concepts • Personalization (people like you) • Calendar events • Personalization (dynamic – AI) • Influencers as curators • curated items to your doorstep by expert stylists or personalized
  5. 5. H&M: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender/home items, then by product category, offers and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By product category • By Gender • Offers (e.g., loyalty plan; BOGO on tights) • Calendar events (e.g., Holiday Shops, Winter Essentials) • Trends (elevated elegance, layers, glamor, glitter, texture, etc.) • Inspiration (embrace your shape) • Collaborations (Pringle of Scotland, Giambattista Valli) • Concepts (Trend, modern classic, casual, “divided”, party, conscious, premium quality)
  6. 6. H&M: Curation Examples Kids Fashion offers a special campaign called “party kids” curated especially for the fall holidays season “a new take on utility” - inspiration Special offers for students H&M Insiders: Focusing on 14 of the company’s employees “See how they incorporate H&M into their everyday lives, from edgy outfit styling to chic home decorating. Learn more about each one of them and follow along on their journeys.”
  7. 7. ZARA: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender/ accessories, best sellers and stories, then by product categories, scenes, and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By gender • By product category • Best sellers • Stories • Scenes- Complete looks • Concepts- “Corner Shops” (e.g., Essential, Ballet, Mom, Street, Timeless)
  8. 8. ZARA: Curation Examples “Corner Shops” - Edited special collections for men/women/kids (e.g., Timeless, Denim, Mom, Join Life) “Edited self-expression”: offers personalization of some of Zara’s items “Stories”: clothing items according to varied narratives, accompanying the online display with fashion photoshoots and videos. “Scenes” (in “Stories”): short videos presenting capsule collections, using videos with a cinematic character, offering to shop items as presented and complete looks
  9. 9. Asos: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender, then by product category, range marketplace, offers and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By gender • By product category • Range (body type) • Marketplace • Offers (e.g., sale) • Edits (Christmas knits, Going out-out, Responsible edit, Wedding guest) • Trends (Cozy textures, Punk vibe) • Inspiration- Asos Insiders: Curated items by selected Insiders
  10. 10. Asos: Curation Examples Asos Marketplace creates a platform from small brands and boutique stores from around the world Trending and concept clothes, like: “cold weather textures”, “punk vibes” or “Thanksgiving” Shop by range Asos Insiders: Curated items by selected Insiders
  11. 11. Mango: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender/ kids and edits, then by product category, Calendar events, best sellers, occasions and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By gender • By product category • Edits • Calendar events (e.g., preparing for the holidays season) • Best sellers Occasion (e.g., Weddings& Parties, Office looks, Total look, Leather, Maternity wear, Plus sizes) • #MangoGirls: Fashion influencers style offerings • “Selected” Special pieces for a timeless wardrobe • Kids Inspiration (e.g., We like to party, Brothers & Sisters, Mum & Me, Basics)
  12. 12. Mango: Curation Examples Gifting, preparing for the holidays season #MangoGirls: Fashion influencers style offerings and an option to “shop the look” Mango Edits – presents campaigns and lookbooks “Selected”: Special pieces for a timeless wardrobe. Carefully chosen for their excellent quality
  13. 13. SHEIN: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender/ kids, then by product category, calendar events, offers and trending items, then by style, occasion or color and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By product category • By gender • Calendar events (e.g., Holiday Shops, black Friday) • Offers (students discount, flash sale, last chance, sale on sale) • Trending now • By style (e.g., edgy, chic, trendy, relaxed) • By occasion (e.g., holiday, going out, workwear, comfy) • Tends (e.g., sporty, basics, earth tones, puffer) • By color • Curated by social media influencers • Influencers collections and favorite picks • Edit lookbooks (Office Lady, Back To School, The Fashion Edit, Seek The Sun) • Style gallery by products, styles, occasions or elements • Recommendations based on previous searches
  14. 14. SHEIN: Curation Examples Offers- deals and sales Trending Now: “We've curated the most popular items for you based on real-time data” Occasions and trends Styles and picks by influencers, with “dress like” feature
  15. 15. SHEIN: Curation Examples Influencer collections and favorite picks #SHEINgals: fashionistas showing off their favorite looks across social media Users generated style gallery by product, style, occasion or element Holiday outfit of the day ideas Recommendations based on previous searches
  16. 16. Urban Outfitters: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender/home/ lifestyle items, then by product category, and most popular items, offers, trends, and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By product category • By Gender • Most Popular • Offers (e.g., sale) • Trends (e.g., Winter Cozy Essentials, Velvet + Shine, Plaids + Checks) • “Often Viewed With” • Top gifts • Artist Editions • Renewal: hand-picked vintage items • “Brands we love”
  17. 17. Urban Outfitters: Curation Examples Renewal: Curated and hand-picked vintage items based on quality and uniqueness. From one of a kind items to reimagined vintage. “each piece comes with its own history”. Top 50 gifts Artist Editions: limited edition, original designs from Urban Outfitters favorite new artists “Brands we love”
  18. 18. Nordstrom: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender/ kids/ designer/ home items, then by product category, trending items, offers, calendar events, occasions, inspiration and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By product category • By Gender • Trending near you • Offers (e.g., deals, savings, cyber sale) • Calendar events (e.g., Holiday gifts) • Bestsellers • Occasion (e.g., Holiday Dressing, Night Out, Wedding Guest, Winter Getaway) • Inspiration: Looks by user, trending, location (near you) or activity (concert, desk to dinner, night out, interview, vacation, etc.) • Top gifts curated by our VP of men's fashion. • Trunk club service: expert stylists send curated outfits to your door • Curated inspirational looks by stylists
  19. 19. Nordstrom: Curation Examples Trending near you Top gifts curated by VP of men's fashion. Trunk club: “Our expert stylists send curated outfits to your door” Inspiration: curated looks by Nordstrom Stylists
  20. 20. Forever 21: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender/ kids/ beauty, then by product category, trends offers, best sellers and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By product category • By Gender • Trend (e.g., winter neutrals) • Offers (e.g., deals and sales) • Best sellers • Occasion (e.g., Wear to Work, Friendsgiving, Holiday Party) • Concepts: (e.g., Boho Girl, Edgy Girl, Femme Girl, Contemporary) • Top pick by influencers • “It girl picks” by a Fashion influencer
  21. 21. Forever 21: Curation Examples Social media influencers favorite gifts picks “It girl picks”- Fashion influences’ picks Special offers Best sellers
  22. 22. American Eagle: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender and product category, then by offers, most wanted and best sellers and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By product category • By Gender • Offers (e.g., sales) • Most wanted gifts • Best sellers • Trends (e.g., Cosy, Flannels, Stretched jeans, Ripped jeans. etc.) • AE STUDIO limited collection (e.g., Ski essentials)
  23. 23. American Eagle: Curation Examples Most wanted gifts Best sellers AE STUDIO limited collection of ski essential offering 15 complete looks
  24. 24. Nike: Selection Type • The website’s primary hierarchy is by gender/Kids, then by product category, offers, collections, calendar events and curated selections. Primary Selection Secondary Selection Curated Collections • By product category • By Gender • Offers (e.g.,sale) • Calendar events (e.g., Winter’s Most Wanted, Winter Essentials, Cold-Weather Must-Haves ) • Trending • Nike Adventure Club- Choose from a curated selection of Nike and Converse shoes for kids delivered to your door
  25. 25. Nike: Curation Examples Nike Adventure Club- Choose from a curated selection of Nike and Converse shoes for kids delivered to your door Winter’s most wanted Trending
  26. 26. Honorable mentions: (Interesting curation tactics by retailers not amongst the top 10 fashion e-commerce websites)
  27. 27. Jet: Curation Examples Shop curated brands and city essentials, all in one place
  28. 28. Zappos: Curation Examples “Your new favorite place to shop for your classic sneakers, The_ONES you’ve always loved. We’re also sharing the stories of the people that keep us seriously inspired, The_ONES giving us life right now. Stay a while, we’ve got some fun stuff in store...” The_ones Festival looks curated by the_one
  29. 29. Sephora: Curation Examples Best products for your skin type Handpicked skincare products through the ages “Play” by sephora subscription box: “Try out the most sought-after products around with a monthly beauty box full of trial-size samples picked by us with you in mind - and learn how to use each and every one.”
  30. 30. Sephora: Curation Examples “Your next obsession awaits – meet our edit of picks for cult status” Clean at Sephora: “When you spot our Clean seal, you can be sure this brand's products exclude the ingredients you'd most like to do without. It's a curation of beauty bursting with innovation, big results, and powerful ingredients.”
  31. 31. Anthropologie: Curation Examples Top-Rated Holiday Gifts Curated Gift Shops
  32. 32. Shop Latinx: Curation Examples “Shop Latinx is a curated marketplace featuring one-of-a-kind, quality products that reflect your culture and lifestyle.” “Shop Latinx is the go-to online destination for customers searching for culturally-inspired and socially conscious products — items that feel like a piece of home.”
  33. 33. E-Commerce Best Practices – Learn More • Among other products and services, Schieber Research curates a database of leading e-commerce platforms and analyzes them according to a wide selection of parameters spanning from the shopping process to shipping options, through customer service, loyalty and curation strategy, in industries such as fashion, beauty, food and beverage. Contact us for available reports and analysis. • Schieber Research is a high-end tailor-made marketing research and competitive intelligence boutique company founded in 2009. • Schieber Research supports leading and growing businesses in their strategic as well as tactical innovation and marketing decision making, through local and global market research and competitive intelligence. Through concise tailor-made and ad-hoc analysis Schieber Research provides insights, recommendations, benchmarks and information regarding competition, innovation, trends and disruption whether in the respective industry or through a cross-industry analysis. • Schieber Research's founder and CEO, Hamutal Schieber, has almost 20 years of high- end experience in market research, and is a leading expert and speaker on innovation, consumer trends, digital innovation, and marketing.
  34. 34. Thank you. Please contact us with any questions.

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