Autumn search trends for the Fashion retailer

Alas, the summer is coming to an end. No more sweaty days at the beach, or sweaty days in the park, or sweaty days with an ice cream in hand.

But because of the horrendously warm weather we enjoyed this summer, there seems to be an air of excitement for the beginning of cooler days. You may be wondering when you can finally get out that heavy knit jumper you’ve tucked away all summer, or even hankering for that dreamy scarf you got last year. Or you may be thinking – when can I buy me some new threads?

September seems to be the month when consumers get antsy for those winter essentials. Are retailers prepared for this early interest? Who’s best positioned this September for all those eager shoppers? And what terms are seeing uplift each September?

September searches

Using Pi Market Intelligence Platform search trends overtime chart, we can see that in previous years consumers have taken to the web to search for the two most essential warm weather items in September: coats and boots.

If we look at all ‘Womens Footwear & Accessories’ terms over the last three years, we can see ‘Boots’ (in blue) emerges as the most searched in September, especially in 2017:September trends blog

Again, looking at the whole ‘Non-gender Specific’ category of terms, ‘Coats & Jackets’ ( in lime green) terms rise above the rest in September each year:

September trends blog-2

Share of voice for Autumn

The online landscape is always shifting, depending on performance and competition. This chart shows the share of voice over time for fashion retail in the UK:

UK fashion over time

Its clear that Debenhams (in blue) has gained a huge share of the online market since the beginning of July (see our Q2 leaderboard here).  So what does the month of September look like for the Autumn specific categories ‘Coats & Jackets’ and ‘Boots’?

Let’s break it down and see who has the most share of the market for these terms this September:

Autumn fashion trends: Women’s Footwear and Accessories

Autumn search trends: Boots

This chart shows all online retailers performing for ‘Women’s footwear & accessories’; although Debenhams is top overall and has a fair amount of share for ‘Boots’ (in red), Office perhaps understandably outperforms them in this area.

Autumn fashion trends: Non-Gender Specific fashion

Autumn search trends: Coats

Debenhams and New Look have the most share of voice for ‘Coats & jackets’ (purple), and fourth for that category is Asos and Next, respectively.

To further hit home how ready Brits are to give up their summer looks, here’s a Google Trends chart showing searched for ‘Fake tan’.

Google Trends

Interest in that sun kissed look has been waning since the beginning of August. We’re definitely ready to wrap up.

A warmer Autumn

However, weather predictions from the Met Office state that the 3 months leading up to Christmas are likely to have temperatures well above the average for Autumn.

So while we may be ready for a change, it may not come as soon as we think, meaning consumers will be holding off buying winter wear. Retailers should be aware how even a small increase in temperature in these months will affect their forecasted revenue on winter essentials.

Being prepared

Although online searchers may be using September as a research month before actually purchasing winter items, it’s imperative that retailers are present during this research phase so shoppers will return to them once they are ready to commit. It therefore makes sense for retailers to start advertising their Autumn/Winter products before Autumn is in full swing.

If you want to see further retail insights driven by weather data, see our weather retail report here.