The global fashion and accessories industry was one of the winners in the shift to e-commerce due to the pandemic, new figures show.

Following a massive 66% spike in daily online sales in May when most physical stores were shut and consumers in many locations were still under strict pandemic lockdowns, new data suggests e-commerce performance globally has levelled off, now averaging 7% higher online sales daily and 3% greater traffic than at the same time last year.

The findings from commerce experience platform Nosto show fashion and accessories remains buoyant and is seeing a lasting upside from the crisis, with sales 18% higher in August than at the onset of the crisis and 10% higher year-over-year. Daily visits are also up 15%, while conversion rates are up 12% in August compared with the start of the study on 1 March.

Year-over-year, daily sales in the sector were 10% higher in early August 2020 than they were at the same time last year.

Meanwhile, the average order value (AOV) within the fashion and accessories category is down 6% from the start of the pandemic. Even though shoppers are browsing and buying clothes online more than before, they are not splurging or opting for the more expensive options.

Nosto's study, 'The State of Ecommerce Q3 2020', analysed the performance of 500 online retail brands in US, UK, France, DACH, Nordics, and Asia Pacific (APAC) across six key vertical sectors between March and August this year and in 2019.

Its data suggests that overall sales and traffic remained 7% and 3% higher year-over-year in August, which is unlikely to be enough to make up for the drastic drop in brick and mortar sales throughout the continuing pandemic affected period.

Currently the overall e-commerce conversion rate across all sectors is sticking at around 6% higher year-over-year, which suggests that either shoppers are much more committed to making purchases when they visit online stores or that retailers are doing a better job at convincing them to buy.

At the same time, however, average order value (AOV) across e-commerce is trending at just below last year's numbers (between 0 and -3% below 2019), most likely because people are being cautious and counting their pennies due to ongoing economic uncertainty.

"The increases in traffic, sales, and conversion rate are good news—but they are far from enough to counteract the negative effects of brick and mortar stores being shut down for months," says Jake Chatt Nosto's head of brand marketing. "With consumers hungry for online and onsite experiences, fashion and accessories e-commerce brands have to grasp the opportunities to optimise these experiences, drive results and truly become digital-first."