Buying Kidswear Fashion in 2020
Childrenswear has come a long way. If you’ve ever wondered why kids these days seem to be so much more fashion conscious than you remember being when you were younger, it’s fascinating to take a look at this booming market and understand some of the cultural shifts behind the latest market trends.
Of course, the never ending impact of social media lies behind much of the culture affecting both parents and their children. And with celebrity child influencers constantly in the public eye affecting popular opinion, it’s no wonder that parents everywhere are bombarded with fashion statements that influence their buying choices for their own offspring.
Instagram is a particularly popular platform for budding influencers, both young and old. Take 6-year old veteran fashionista @fashion_laerta or 4 year-old twins Emma and Mila Stauffer pictured below – they’re just some of a growing number of the latest fashion ‘kidfluencers’ who literally make millions from social media.
What drives the purchase of kidswear fashion?
In terms of their buying behaviour, today’s millennial parents tend to differentiate much less between fashion shopping for themselves and clothes shopping for their children. What’s more, the tendency to start a family later in life often means that both parents have better purchasing power and greater disposable income, making it both possible and enjoyable to buy into the latest market and fashion trends.
That said, children’s wear is different in that parents buying clothes have more than just style criteria to consider. Alongside fashion trends, there’s the issue of size and longevity for growing youngsters, comfort and quality of the garment, as well as practicality considerations, all of which will shift and change with the age of the child:
Babies and toddlers – comfort and flexibility
Pre-schoolers – functionality and safety
School age kids – appropriate wardrobe for school, playdates, social events
Online retailers who understand these concerns and provide accurate advice and guidance on their eCommerce websites to answer these types of questions are sure to find an appreciative audience of online parent customers. Of course, easy exchange and returns policies help too.
Of course, as the children get older, they will start to develop their own sense of style and become increasingly aware of how their peers are dressing. And in age old fashion, asserting their own fashion ideas and style statements may well clash with those of their parents…
Shopping as a retail experience
Online fashion shopping is here to stay but can eCommerce provide all the answers? After all, buying clothes is experiential and parents today expect the same kind of experience, whether they are buying for themselves or for their kids. Omnichannel retailers and physical stores who really take the trouble to cater for the exact needs of their designated age group (and their parents) have an undeniable advantage. Whether it’s clean play areas, comfortable changing rooms or cool media integration, the retail experience is still key.
Not enough retailers appear to have made the connection at the luxury end. CAMP’s flagship store in New York is one great example of an immersive ‘Family Experience Store’ that blurs the boundaries between merchandise, play and media. Childsplay Clothing in London transport you to “a lavish world of exclusive privilege” with “rails decorated with the most desirable brands and the gold and silver furniture would be at home in a five-star boutique hotel.”
The rise of mini-me dressing
Unprecedented media exposure and virtually unlimited access to information means that today’s parents are much more purposeful in their choice of clothing for their offspring. The UK kidswear market was worth £5.4 billion in 2017 and is predicted to grow by 12.4% in 2022, presenting a massive opportunity for sellers of children’s fashion that would be foolish to ignore.