As the fashion e-commerce ecosystem continues to evolve, European brands must be prepared to adapt their localization strategies within the region. While global marketing campaigns can be leveraged locally with little adaptation, payment is one area that must be tailored to local markets.

In France and the UK, fashion brands limit payment options to credit card and PayPal, with just one exception. Germany, however, offers a broad variety of payment options. According to L2’s European fashion report, 43% of brands there allow customers to pay through locally favored methods such as bank transfer and open invoice, as well as local digital methods like sofortüberweisung.de and Giropay.

Although few European brands match standard US customer service offerings, the region offers some online perks that the US could benefit from as well. For example, 18% of European brands allow cash payment upon delivery for an additional fee (€6.50 in France and Germany and £5.70 in the UK, on average)—a method not offered in the US. Additionally, the UK offers the most flexible delivery times, and 18% of brands even deliver on Saturdays.

European luxury e-commerce has a long way to go before brands can fully replicate the top-notch customer service found in their stores and on US websites. With luxury sales making a comeback in the region, a differentiated and localized online experience is now more critical than ever to maximize conversion rates.

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