European Fashion Startups See High Growth Potential In The Global Online Sales Market

Europe is known for its high-end fashion culture, and technology seems to be making it easier for the world to discover and access those much sought-after items from this region of the world. But there are differences in discovery and online shopping trends from culture to culture throughout the globe.

Fashion startup founders from Farfetch, Chic by Choice and Snap Fashion came onto the Disrupt London stage Monday to discuss the different markets and how they are grabbing onto these new discovery models in the fashion industry.

“We’re all new to this,” Farfetch founder Jose Neves, whose startup aims to help consumers locate items from small, high-end clothing boutiques, said onstage. He also mentioned that only 6 percent of all his sales are from online and that 94 percent are still in physical sales.

“One of the biggest changes will be how does the digital store merge with the physical store,” he said.

Snap Fashion’s Jenny Griffiths agreed, predicting the future will be about the intersection between discovery and curation. “I think there’s going to be a lot of people coming up with that fashion experience that you sort of get from High Street to online,” she said, referring to London’s physical shopping district.

There are so many new ideas and business models. I think you’re going to see a lot of new online sales,” Neves said.

One of the places Neves mentioned seeing a lot of success is in the U.S., which is his No. 1 market. Interestingly, China sits at No. 3 for his boutique shopping platform.

“It’s good to find who has purchasing power and who is this person,” Chic by Choice’s Felipa Neto mentioned onstage. “It’s actually been quite a journey.”

All three seemed to agree it’s still early days in the online fashion meets technology industry. Neves does not see department stores going away, but does see a way for online and offline to work together. Neto, whose startup has been compared to Rent the Runway for Europe, reiterated the 94 percent physical purchase stat Neves mentioned earlier. She sees a lot more room for online shopping to grow throughout the world.

[gallery ids="1248017,1248021,1248025,1248024,1248023,1248022,1248020,1248019,1248018"]