A look at the top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands and Their Online Stores

Eradium Blog Top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands Mall Feature

A look at the top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands and Their Online Stores

Can you name the top Canadian fashion brands? We are reviewing the top fashion brand’s online stores.

Fashion And Apparel Are Among The Top Growing E-Commerce Categories In Canada

Can you name the top Canadian fashion brands? We are reviewing the top fashion brand’s online stores.

It might find you by surprise how big the apparel industry is in Canada. We spend $5.8 billion dollars annually. (1) It is often underlooked, but it has an enormous potential for growth in the future especially the Omnichannel experience. (2)

Eradium Blog Top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands ecommerce growth segmens

Which are the most used eCommerce platforms by the top 5 Canadian Fashion brands?

The most surprising factor is that 4 out of the 5 use the Demandware eCommerce platform. It is interesting to see how the same platform is implemented across multiple stores but functions very differently. Demandware is a very powerful platform with the main advantage being its omnichannel capabilities.

It is a weird coincidence since only 1.2% (3) of the top stores worldwide use Demandware but 80% of the top Canadian apparel stores use regardless of its very high cost. (4)

eCommerce Platforms Market Share in March 2016 (3)

Eradium Blog Top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands Platform Stats

Demandware Cost Overview

Demandware customer that has annual sales between $20 million and $500 million (Demandware’s target client) can expect licensing fees starting from around $200,000 and in some cases closer to $700,000 a year and an additional $250,000 to $600,000 a year for other services. (5)

eCommerce Platform Pricing by Target Market Segment

eCommerce Platform Breakdown Shopify Bigcommerce Magento Demandware
Target Persona Micro and small business Midmarket Business Midmarket to Large Business Large Enterprises
Value Metric None/Flat Rate Number of Orders Support or Revenue Tier* Percentage of Sales
Price about Competitors Average Low High Extremely High
Key Differentiator Ease of implementation.
Great for small business
Best for emerging and established business Customization Capabilities. Used by the most retailers Shared Success Business Model**

 

Annual License Fee Comparison By Platform and Retail Persona

Annual License
Subscription Fees
Comparison
Per Persona
Shopify Bigcommerce Magento Demandware
Persona 1
250K Annual Revenue
$11,940
$2,148
$2,388 $18,000 N/A
Persona 2
5M Annual Revenue
$11,940 $6,000 $24,000* $50,000**
Persona 1
20M Annual Revenue
$48,000 $24,000 $70,000* $200,000**

* There are no fees for the Magento Community Edition license. Merchants have to pay for the support,  maintenance, and the server hosting.   Magento introduced tier pricing based on revenue for the Enterprise Edition subscription. The minimum price is US$24k per annum and does not include hosting. The price increases with each online sales value tier. Customers also have to pay separately  for the Magento hosting. The Magento customization flexibility makes the hosting more expensive. Magento needs extra computing power to support fast search, dynamic page building, and extensions.

** Demandware applies the concept of “shared success”  in their pricing model and they tied their performance (revenue) to the retailer performance (gross merchant value).

Top 5 Online Canadian Fashion Brands Review

Hershel

Hershel is a lifestyles brand of finest quality backpacks, bags, travel goods, accessories and limited types of clothing. It is more of a niche brand that is starting to gain momentum in the marketplace.

It is the smallest brand we are reviewing. They are planning a big expansion but its success is till be seen. (6)

Eradium Blog Top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands Herschel

Year established

2009

Public/Private

Private

Head Quarters

Vancouver

Online Platform

Shopify

Omnichannel

There are no brand specific physical stores for this brand. Their merchandise is available at the selected stores.

Customer Service

No easy way to find  the customer service phone number, requests are directed to a form

Return Policy

Customers are responsible for the return shipping cost

Stand Out Features

Top Navigation – really original and cool to navigate

Disappointing Features

Search – impossible to narrow down your search with filters

Canada Goose

Since being acquired by a U.S. private equity firm the brand is poised for a massive expansion including opening own retail stores.

Eradium Blog Top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands Canada Goose

Year established

1957

Public/Private

In December 2013, Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital bought a majority stake in Canada Goose for an estimated $250 million. (7)

Head Quarters

Toronto

Online Platform

Demandware

Omnichannel

They are starting to open physical stores but there is no click and collect options.

Customer Service

Many options of contact are available including address, phone, and email. There are also different types of contact options for warranty and online orders.

Return Policy

Free shipping and returns

Stand Out Features

Size finder is extremely well done.

Disappointing Features

Find it in store features does not actually show any inventory available it just shows the closest stores that sell Canada Goose products.

Sorrel

Has gained back popularity in the last few year. Unfortunately, the brand has not been owned by a Canadian company for the last 16 years.

Eradium Blog Top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands Sorel

Year established

1962

Public/Private

In 2000 bought by Columbia Sportswear.

Head Quarters

Kitchener

Online Platform

Demandware

Omnichannel

There are no brand specific physical stores for this brand. Their merchandise is available at selected stores.

Customer Service

Very prominent and contact is encouraged through the site

Return Policy

Paid Shipping and Returns

Stand Out Features

Social Integration into product page from Instagram that showcases everyday people wearing the product

Disappointing Features

Find a store – it could not locate a store near the postal code I have typed. I know that there is a store nearby that sells Sorel products.

Aritzia

It is the most interesting company. They are not only a retailer but also a company that created many own fashion brands that they sell only in their stores.

Eradium Blog Top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands Aritzia

Year established

1984

Public/Private

Public in October 2016

Head Quarters

Vancouver

Online Platform

Demandware

Omnichannel

It is shocking to see that there is no online pick up options from this retailer. They have a lot of stores and could easily arrange the popular “click and collect” option for the majority of its products.

Customer Service

Contact number can only be found at the bottom of the page in tiny print, but there is a sticky menu that allows viewing FAQs and additional contact information.

Return Policy

Paid Shipping and Returns

Stand Out Features

“What are you wearing” which allows seeing all the products that are featured in the same picture so that the shopper can always buy the additional items.

Disappointing Features

Size information – there should be a much more comprehensive size guide especially since they carry their custom brands

Roots

It is one of the few Canadian retailers that offers a True Omnichannel Experience. It is definitely among the most innovative retail brands in Canada.

Eradium Blog Top 5 Canadian Fashion Brands Roots

Year established

1973

Public/Private

Private, majority of the stake is now held by Searchlight Capital based in the UK.

Head Quarters

Toronto

Online Platform

Demandware

Omnichannel

It provides omnichannel experience. You can buy something online and pick it up in the store. You can even see the quantity available which is so convenient when you are looking for a particular item and size.

Customer Service

Very prominent and found through the site, including the checkout process which is very convenient to solve any last minute issue.

Return Policy

Customer responsible for shipping cost or the merchandise can be returned to the store.

Stand Out Features

Click & Collect. It is certainly good to give the shopper options for purchasing items online and pick up in-store. A lot of time you want to try something on, but they might not have your size. This feature guarantees the product availability.

Disappointing Features

Available product description information  is  limited and the sizing chart is very basic.

Top 5 surprising things majority of brands have in common

  1. Use Demandware eCommerce platform
  2. Do not have or provide limited omnichannel experience
  3. Originated more than 30 years ago
  4. Received outside funding to grow the business
  5. Ship outside of Canada

 

Fashion is ever changing but always relevant. There are plenty of amazing Canadian brands that could become a Global leader by having great online stores. To adapt to the tastes of the new generations for more than one season innovation in design is not enough. The brands should invest in a real Omnichannel experience to able to reach the mass market and stay relevant.

Anna Battrick
anna@eradium.com

Anna Battrick is Eradium’s Director of Ecommerce Services, has an extensive background in retail marketing and project management. With over 10 years of managing complex projects from inception to completion while always maintaining “it can be done” spirit. The world of retail is not only a professional interest but also a personal hobby which lets Anna see the other side of retail, from a shopper perspective. This helps create engaging marketing programs that speak personally to the shoppers interests and engage them in a conversation.



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