For Fossil, digital sales through its e-commerce site and third-party sellers like Amazon and Tmall shifted from 13% of the company's sales mix in the second quarter of last year to almost half this year, the company noted in a recent quarterly earnings call.
Since March, the brand has seen consistent triple-digit e-commerce growth. The company expects its entire digital business, including its site and third-party platforms, to become about a third of its total sales by the end of 2020, per the company's earnings call.
The brand also noted that its return rates were between 8% and 12%, stemming from the fact that there are no sizes for accessories and watches unlike clothing and shoe merchants.
Fossil noted in its earnings call that it expects its mobile-optimized site and updated checkout process to help maintain its growth. The brand also mentioned that sales among its e-commerce channels, including Amazon, Tmall, JD.com and other third-party sellers, grew about 21% during this quarter, but that growth was weighed down by Amazon in the U.S. and Europe due to the platform prioritizing essential goods and moving its Prime Day to later in the year.
The company stated that it has an eye on widening its footprint in China and India, although India remains impacted by pandemic stay-at-home measures while mainland China has begun to recover and reopen. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, Tmall, a subsidiary e-commerce platform of Alibaba, had been courting Western brands to sell products through the site.
"We've accelerated our investments in e-commerce over the last 18 months, and we just implemented our new state-of-the-art platform that is very scalable," Kosta Kartsotis, chairman and CEO of Fossil, said during the earnings call. "The system is very robust and highly automated and significantly increases our ability to build larger and more engaged communities through personalization, automation and the use of data."
Like Fossil, other brands and retailers, including GameStop, have seen a jump in e-commerce sales. But its apparel competitors appear to have had a tough time shifting to online sales early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the coronavirus pandemic has brought both the benefits and the challenges of e-commerce to the forefront.