The Modern Man – The growth of menswear through digital brands

Since 2015, the UK’s online menswear market has been growing significantly, as investors and designers alike realise the untapped potential of this market. In this period, there has been a significant shift in the attitudes to men’s fashion, as brands use similar marketing techniques to those long used in womenswear.

To drill down into why and how much demand for menswear is increasing, onefourzero used its suite of web searches and social listening tools to analyse online volume conversations relating to the sector and overall customer sentiment.

The trend on all searches including menswear-related terms shows an increase of over a third, excepting seasonal peaks – though these are notably rising too. Even New Year’s natural demand dips keep in line with a general growth trajectory. In contrast, search demand for womenswear terms has remained stable over the same period, with no notable trend for growth. The results are in line with previous researches in the market, confirming that, by 2022, menswear will be the fastest growing clothing subsector, outperforming womenswear by 5.8%.

onefourzero also looked at online demand and sentiment related to high-street, online-only and luxury designer brands to identify differences in customer behaviour, as well as the reasons driving growth in each segment, the challenges companies are facing and opportunities for improvement.

The results of this analysis reveal the direction that British menswear is taking, both online and in-store, demonstrating the breadth of opportunities the sector holds, from budget fashion to high-end. The new report can be downloaded for free here.

Key findings:

• Online searches for menswear-related terms have increased by over a third since the beginning of 2015.

• Celebrities and online influencers have great impact on this sector. For example: searches for waistcoats increasing by over 100x after Gareth Southgate appeared wearing the piece during the World Cup.

• Online brands are well perceived by consumers, attracting higher positive sentiment than popular high street stores that still struggle to secure a space on the online world.

• The luxury menswear segment is growing steadily – a reflection of increased interest for quality clothing and style.

Commenting, Fleur Hicks, Managing Director at onefourzero, said:

“Men’s fashion is the new black. Certainly, if you’re an investor in the consumer sector, it’s something to look out for. But is this trend set to continue? Yes is the answer”.

“Brands that are succeeding have responded to changing audience demands across range, price, shopping channel and size availability. They are investing in online and offline, never alienating their audiences and embracing new technology to pull more people into the purchase funnel – be it marketing or direct sales”.

“Following the example of other sectors, menswear brands must also take advantage of this moment and further explore the capabilities offered by these new technologies. Therefore, it is imperative that traditional high street brands embrace a full digital transformation, allowing them to compete with digital-born fashion retailers”.

Click here to download the full report.