Fashion is the hottest slice of the e-commerce pie. That's no shock. The surprise is that men's fashion is growing decidedly faster than women's.
Turns out, men love fashion. They just don't love the women's shopping experience, which is why they're less enamoured with malls and retail outlets.
And that's also exactly why men have flocked to online shopping.
“Men don’t hate fashion, they just hate shopping the way it’s designed for women,” Ben Lerer, founder of Thrillist, told Bloomberg. According to him, “the young generation of guys love to shop, they love to talk about the brands they like and they really care about how they look.”
Females still boast double the share of the online clothing market than males. But the boys are gaining fast. Men's online fashion is growing at a steady clip of 13% per year, according to NPD Group, well ahead of women's at 10%. That's more than 25% faster and the gap is expected to widen.
“It’s an area of e-commerce that companies are only just now starting to really figure out,” noted Joshua Goldman of Norwest Venture Partners to Bloomberg.
According to EMarketer, this online market for clothing and accessories is expected to grow 78% to $73 billion by 2016. That's faster than many other popular categories, including music and electronics.
One factor driving this men's fashion phenomenon is the fact that men are staying single longer, boosting the money they have to spend on themselves early in their careers. A typical shopper at Gilt Groupe, which added a men's section in 2008, is 35 years old, single, living in an urban coastal city, and making about $100,000, according to Keith George.
Canadian startups hitting it off in this space include Indochino (who is hiring) and Frank & Oak.