Figures from one of world’s largest fashion retailers reveal how catwalk trends impact shopping search results


As London Fashion Week (LFW) returns to the capital this weekend, new data from one of the world’s largest fashion retailers and search specialists EmpathyBroker reveals the extent to which the fashion event influences real consumers’ shopping patterns.

The analysis, which examined the top trends from LFW Autumn/Winter 2018 and compared them to what the British public actually searched for during that same period, clearly shows that consumers are on the hunt for the latest catwalk fashions and look to our high street retailers for the everyday version of high-end trends.

While some of the 2018 LFW trends such as capes and silk had little impact, others had a much more pronounced, and perhaps even surprising, sway:

·       The LFW trend with the most influence was animal print with searches, including leopard and snake, increasing by an incredible 1,300% during Autumn/Winter 2018

·       Logo was another top search trend with consumers looking for items with logos or brand names increasing by 1,200%

·       Leather dresses, the third biggest trend, saw a significant rise with searches increasing four-fold on the previous year

·       Brown and rust proved its popularity on the high street seeing a 350% rise

·       While searches for pleated skirts more than doubled

Angel Maldonado, founder of e-commerce search and discovery experts EmpathyBroker, said: “Retailers and consumers often wonder whether events like London Fashion Week have any real effect on what ordinary people search for and purchase. As we’ve seen through this analysis, while not all trends make it onto the high street, we can see a clear LFW “impact”. Search data is a really powerful, and often undervalued tool as a means of feeling the pulse of demand and understanding genuine customer intent. It not only highlights key seasonal trends but can improve the online shopping experience.”

“Leopard”, “snake and “animal” print were so popular they were all within in the top 20 overall searched terms during the Autumn/Winter 2018 period, proving that the high street went as wild for animal print as designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford and Roberto Cavalli did within their seasonal collections. Tweed (24), leather (43) and pleated skirt (114) also made it into the overall top 200 searched terms showing once more the influence of the world’s top designers.

Maldonado continued: “As fashionistas look ahead to this exciting weekend, high street brands must also capitalise on the opportunity. By understanding customers through their online behaviour and search trends, retailers can engage with consumers while creating rich and memorable interactions that make people feel unique, special and like a catwalk king or queen!”

Fashion events like the Oscars in a few weeks and even celebrities in the news can, and regularly do, inspire and create overnight trends that awake through each time zone, as we saw with the 2017 Oscars and the huge increase in searches for black dresses following the #MeToo campaign. Early detection of these trends, together with predictive analytics, can provide unique differentiators and opportunities for retailers that, when applied smartly, can help brands to anticipate demand, prepare stock levels and create a smoother and more joyful customer experience.