Fashion Subscription Boxes and Stock Control

Mobile accounts for 65% of traffic to online fashion retailers and generates 57% of sales, much higher than the retail average according to SalesCycle. Yet all this mobile traffic is accompanied by far greater online competition, begging the question ‘How can fashion brands stand out?’ Step forward – fashion subscription boxes.

Think these were limited to beauty products and vegan ready meals? Think again. Royal Mail says the overall subscription box market is set to double in size by 2022 to be worth £1 billion.

Fashion connoisseurs, Endource, are a good example. The brand collates the crème de la crème of the high street and sends them direct to your doorstep in a subscription box. ‘Members’ can try before they buy, receive free delivery and returns, and more importantly get to be part of an exclusive club. It’s clever, sharp and represents a new channel for fashion brands.

Brands doing it well are those that deliver a beautifully packaged box with a whole host of extra samples and ‘goodies’ inside. Lookiero even offers a personal shopper to conduct personality tests on customers, so boxes are tailored to looks that suit them. Not only does this keep the customer engaged, feeling special, the ongoing membership also provides a key level of financial assurance to the brands.

But there is a problem with this subscription box trend: High levels of returns. Fashion has by far the highest level of returns of any sector – consultancy firm KPMG reports that it costs £3-£10 to pick and deliver an item but that cost trebles if the item is then returned.

Whilst subscription boxes are bringing a new identity and even sales channel to a flourishing fashion industry, brands need to ensure that their stock control is carefully managed. That’s why we built a dedicated customer returns section as part of i.LEVEL. It lets fashion brands identify individual customers alongside the reason for each item’s return.

This is important in order to detect whether the problem rests with the consumer (in terms of garment size and personal preferences) rather than a fault with the item itself at the source of production. If found faulty, i.LEVEL’s customer returns section allocates it directly back to the factory concerned.

Another feature is a reporting structure which lets a fashion brand analyse hundreds of returns in one data sweep. This helps identify key patterns in returns and empowers a fashion brand to quickly implement solutions especially if one single supplier is at fault.

If you are interested in learning more about how i.LEVEL can help you manage your fashion stock across ecommerce, wholesale, concessions and much more besides, please get in touch on 01234 761 757 or email



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