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Apparel Marketplaces – Thematic Research

An apparel marketplace is defined as a platform that sells products, such as clothing, footwear and accessories and does not include services provided by retailers or individual consumers. The platform is only used to perform the transaction against the products purchased, however, the goods are not owned legally by the marketplace at any point but may be stored and fulfilled. Online apparel marketplaces have gained popularity in recent years for their wide range of products offered at low prices as perceived by shoppers. Independent retailers are opting for marketplaces to sell their products to leverage a wider customer base at a low fixed cost. Over the years, eBay, Tmall, Alibaba, JD.com, and Amazon have driven the growth and popularity of marketplaces across the globe along with a shift toward online shopping amongst customers that has encouraged smaller players to launch their own marketplaces and leverage on the benefits associated with the marketplace model. The report goes on to provide an overview of the apparel marketplace model, the players in the apparel marketplaces' space, the trends (including technology trends, macroeconomic trends, consumer trends, and regulatory trends), industry analysis (through the use of key use cases) and outlines companies engaging with retail marketplaces and mergers and acquisitions associated with the apparel marketplaces theme.


GlobalData provides insight into the business framework of marketplaces within the apparel sector. The report provides an overview of the business model of apparel marketplaces, calls out the players who are leading in the apparel marketplaces' space, while also highlighting technology, macroeconomic, consumer, and regulatory trends set to impact the apparel industry over the next 12 to 24 months The report goes on to highlight how the marketplaces' concept is being utilized by brands and provides specific brand examples while also reviewing mergers and acquisitions and strategic partnerships associated with the retail marketplaces theme.

Key Highlights

COVID-19 has significantly impacted the apparel industry, specifically for retailers trading in product categories deemed non-essential such as clothing, footwear and accessories. The unprecedented store closures due to nationwide lockdowns have contributed significantly to retailers’ woes and placed significant pressure on retailers to re-strategize and restructure their businesses to adhere to the trading climate brought about by the pandemic.

Apparel marketplaces managed to avoid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic due to its popularity amongst shoppers as it offers a plethora of alternatives for a product from various retailers to choose from, along with the growing smartphone usage in recent times and shopper's preference for online channel especially during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to the marketplaces finding ways to engage more with customers.

With an abundance of information about various products available instantly to consumers, apparel marketplaces are under great pressure to provide an experience that is unique to each customer as a tactic to appeal to consumers and ensure loyalty and engagement with retailer.

Personalisation and frictionless shopping are becoming increasingly important to consumers. The goal of personalisation within apparel is to make certain that both physical stores and online channels cater to the distinct and differing needs of retailers’ shopper base in terms of various parameters. While frictionless shopping relates to the creation of a seamless shopping process by decreasing the time and hassle associated with buying products. With an abundance of competition within the retail space and consumers appreciating convenience and ease, its pivotal for retailers to enhance both personalisation and ease of shopping.

Reasons to Buy

Provides an overview of the business model of marketplaces, including its origins, advantages, and timeline within the apparel market.

Provides an overview outlining the issues faced by the retail sector as a consequence of COVID-19.

Gain insight into the players engaging with the retail marketplaces and identify the leading retailers/brands within this space.

Better understand the key trends ­ – including technology, macroeconomic, regulatory and industry trends – impacting the retail market over the next 12 to 24 months.

Learn about specific examples of retailers/brands adopting the business model of marketplaces and various marketplace related mergers and acquisitions within the apparel space.

Companies Mentioned






















TK Maxx








Table of Contents

Executive summary


Technology briefing


Technology trends

Macroeconomic trends

Consumer trends

Regulatory trends

Industry analysis

Key use cases

Mergers and acquisitions


Value chain



Further Reading

Sector Scorecards

Thematic research methodology

About GlobalData


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