New data from the brand advocacy platform Mention Me reveals that luxury fashion brands with a higher price point experienced a 6% larger growth in orders year on year compared to fast fashion. Despite the ongoing economic downturn, luxury fashion has seen a sales boost compared to the same time last year. In Q1 2023, while sales from across the fashion industry fell by 2% compared to the same period in 2022, the average order volume (AOV) increased by 8%, driven by a preference for luxury brands over fast fashion.

The analysis of sales orders from over 500 brands conducted by Mention Me aimed to understand consumer buying habits. The results show that shoppers are choosing quality over quantity, reflecting a real shift in consumer sentiment. The cost-of-living crisis combined with sustainability concerns around fast fashion is driving consumers to buy fewer, higher-quality clothes that will last longer.

Simon Dring, chief operating officer of Mention Me, commented on the findings: “Our data shows consumers are opting for quality over quantity, reflecting a real shift in consumer sentiment. The cost-of-living crisis, combined with sustainability concerns around fast fashion, is driving consumers to buy fewer, higher quality clothes that will last longer.”

Despite the 2% drop in orders, fashion was the third-best-performing sector in Q1 2023, with financial services and travel and hospitality seeing the largest growth. Commenting on the data, Ben Henshall, data analyst at Mention Me, added: “We often see a peak in booking holidays in January and February, while the April tax deadline drives a peak in orders for financial services. It’s interesting to see fashion right up there in terms of order numbers at the start of the year.”

The data also revealed that fashion referrals have increased 16% year on year, highlighting the uplift in customers actively introducing their friends and family to the brands they love. Mention Me’s data shows that fashion advocates bring in customers who spend more than non-advocates.

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Simon continued: “The fashion sector is rife with potential brand advocates. Friends are often complimenting one another on their outfits, naturally leading to sharing where items are from and referring to the brand in question. Better yet, referred customers tend to spend more and return more often than those acquired through other channels. That presents a major opportunity for brands to grow a highly valuable customer base.”

Fashion also has the highest repeat rate than any other sector, with 11% of consumers going on to make a second purchase within 30 days. These findings are an indicator of the opportunities that luxury fashion brands can exploit, particularly with the rising demand for quality products and the increasing trend of sustainable fashion.