Fashion category strategies and trends to drive a successful Holiday 2020 sales season

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In the middle of the digital escalation caused by the world pandemic, the online shopping landscape is changing, and as a result we anticipate a very different holiday season this year. What does this mean for Marketplace sellers in the Fashion category? What strategies can be applied to pivot and maximize your sales on Walmart.com? And, most importantly, what are the trends for fashion that we expect to do well for Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns and throughout the holiday sales period?

Read on in this blog to learn more about planning on how to set yourself up for holiday success and stocking up on inventory in popular product types. We’ll also go over how you can submit an inquiry to connect with our fashion category team to promote your competitively priced items that have best-seller potential on Walmart.com.

Sourcing the right Holiday apparel trends

A significant change that apparel sellers need to adjust to is a shifting customer demand for athleisure, sleepwear and cozy outfitting. As you prep your holiday inventory plans, consider sourcing these popular products and gifting items to meet this anticipated boost in customer demand. If you carry or plan on carrying some of these trending items we’ll discuss below, please fill out this inquiry form to connect with our Fashion category team*. Let us know what assortment you are bringing to Walmart.com for this holiday season and be sure to include popular items in holiday campaigns for potential added exposure.

*submissions will be monitored through August 31, 2020

Supporting the rise of the “homewear” wardrobe

With 25-30% (according to Global Workplace Analytics) of the US workforce estimated to work from home several days a week by the end of 2021, it is only natural to expect that consumers will be spending more time at home. This trend shifted customer demand to buy more sleepwear and cozy clothes geared towards home use. Comfortable onesies, sets, and robes – our customers love to relax in sleepwear, and expanding into matching sets makes for great family photos! Popular prints include plaid, buffalo, fair isles and holiday patterns. Fall and winter season will see increased sales of flannels and sweaters, Sherpa jackets, puffer vests and sweatpants.

Embracing the outdoors with stylish and giftable activewear

This McKinsey fashion report forecasted athleisure and activewear 2020 sales to have the highest growth among other fashion categories, increasing by 7%. This growth has been accelerated by the “new normal” – customers embracing the outdoors lifestyle, spending more time hiking and camping, and consequently shopping for more activewear.

This trend makes for a great giftable idea and provides more opportunities for Marketplace sellers to sell track suits and sets, fleece sweaters and jackets, and après-ski apparel. Nike and Adidas are popular activewear brands our shoppers search for on Walmart.com.

Concentrating on popular brands while moving holiday gift shopping online

While the pandemic is making its own corrections to the 2020 apparel trends, one thing remains the same: customers still shop for gifts, and now start holiday shopping earlier than ever from the convenience of their home. Bringing in more items from popular brands and fulfilling the demand is a good strategy to drive holiday success. The most desired apparel brands Walmart customers search for are Ugg, Koolaburra, Michael Kors, Gucci, Coach, Rayban and Oakley.

Pro Tip: Ensure the brand attribute is specified for these products so they show up when customers conduct a search.

Novelty Christmas items are still in demand, such as the Fun Advent Sock Calendar sets in stripes and fair isles holiday patterns—they’re a trending holiday gift. Ugly X-mas theme parties at home and via video conferencing are still in the cards, so Ugly Christmas sweaters, shirts, hoodies, and tees will continue to be popular holiday novelty items.

Keeping it merry and bright with classic characters

Trending characters and popular licensed products on Walmart.com include apparel items featuring The Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf on the Shelf, the Nutcracker, and Charlie Brown. Additionally, you can expand your catalog to include licensed products featuring Frozen, Baby Shark, Star Wars, Baby Yoda, Trollz, and LOL Surprise.

Pro Tip: When setting up character products, ensure that the “character” attribute is provided for each product to ensure best search and browse results.

Preparing for holiday season in the era of digital escalation

Social distancing has highlighted the importance of digital shopping, and if some customers were slow to adopt online shopping for apparel in the past, they may not have much of a choice today. This shift comes with a set of opportunities and challenges for Marketplace sellers, especially leading into the traditional Black Friday/Cyber Monday period. The upside is that a lot more eyes are now looking at your products and sales can accelerate. The challenge is that you may have to deal with a lot more product returns if your listings are not accurate, or your inventory isn’t accurate.

In addition to sourcing popular products, you may want to optimize your listings to maximize on the holiday opportunity and to ensure you’re giving the best customer experience. Spruce up your item page content with better descriptions and additional images, price your listings competitively and offer expedited shipping options for improved conversions. Consider creating product bundles as part of your strategy and stock up on popular items to meet increased customer demand.

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“We have been working hard to make this year the biggest ever for Walmart Marketplace,” said Sheetal Patel, Head of Marketplace Growth, Home and Fashion, Walmart Marketplace. “We’ve rolled out quite a few new enhancements to leverage the power of your amazing Fashion assortments and provide greater customer reach. We’ve excited for how we’ll partner together during these unique times to deliver a fantastic holiday season.”

Holiday checklist for fashion category sellers:

  • The power of bundling
    customers lean towards packs with multiples of three, featuring related items or color variations.
  • Promise fast delivery
    the better the expedited options you offer (such as Walmart TwoDay), the better the chance of winning the Buy Box. Plus, it’s easy to turn on and off, or offer by region.
  • Content quality
    make sure your content is accurate and is SEO complaint. Reference this handy guide for more tips!
  • Attribute everything
    as you add Attributes to your item, it becomes more discoverable on Walmart.com.
  • Keep your shelves stocked
    having a solid, stocked inventory creates a better customer experience and makes sure you can adjust to rapid changes in demand.
  • Be aware
    Speaking of demand, be aware of those quickly trending items and take advantage whenever possible.
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