Success in the Fashion Industry using eCommerce
Staying ahead of your competition is the ultimate goal in any industry. With revenues estimated at $1.7 trillion dollars worldwide in 2012, companies in the fashion industry will always be faced with stiff competition trying to get a piece of the pie. Don't be alarmed, though - there are several specific tactics we will discuss that will help you not only succeed but actually make the process of retaining loyal customers and acquiring new ones easier and more enjoyable.
In order to break down the process, let me fill you in on a study by BI Intelligence, an eCommerce data company. It found that in 2013, as many as 74% of online shopping carts were abandoned by shoppers, and that abandonment rate is up from 72% in 2012, and 69% in 2011. Before figuring out how to attract new customers, it's critical we understand how to keep existing ones.
Another factor that no retailer can afford to ignore is the exponentially fast growing rate of the mobile commerce sales. In 2015 U.S. mobile commerce sales will total $104.05 billion, up 38.7% from $75.03 billion in 2014, reveals data from the 2016 Mobile 500. Internet Retailer estimates that this mobile opportunity will grow 2.58 times faster than total eCommerce sales and will translate into billions of dollars.
With these facts in mind, it will be necessary to compose an effective marketing strategy that not only addresses these points but that also allows you to grab more market share than your competitors. The following 11 tips will help you outshine your competitors and bring in more sales than ever:
1. Regularly Nurture your Customers
The Harvard Business Review states that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than maintaining an existing one. That said, your customer retention strategy should find ways to leverage your existing customers to stay with you, through loyalty programs or discounts. When customers have the opportunity to get the products they are familiar with at a more favourable price, the likelihood of them lurking on your competitors' websites will decrease significantly.
2. Customer Support
Poor customer service is one of the biggest weaknesses a business can have. If returning items is difficult, customers won't be as likely to come around next time they consider making a purchase. According to TrueShip's findings, about 30% of all products ordered are returned, so making this process as easy as possible will help you have your existing customers coming back for more. Having someone around the clock to help with any customer inquiries will be very beneficial to customer loyalty and support.
3. Why Come Back?
You should be giving your customers a reason to come back for more, and maintaining a relationship with them so they don't forget about you. You don't want the expression, "out of sight, out of mind" to apply to your brand. As a result, creating an email marketing campaign that informs your clients of weekly new promotions will enable you to stay top-of-mind, and by segmenting your promotions to the right customers, you will increase sales and create a higher ROI.
4. High Quality Images
Successful fashion eCommerce websites require excellent photography in order to even be a part of the competition. People want the item they're delivered to match what they saw online, so stock images will do you no good – hiring a professional fashion photographer will be your best bet. A high quality selection of your inventory will help your brand embody a lifestyle and will create a better appeal for its story.
5. Avoid Plain Product Descriptions
Instead of following the mainstream product descriptions, be creative and artistic to create a story that will help your customers imagine the benefits of owning your product. An example would be to change, "The perfect pair of heels for prom," to "Be the Cinderella of your prom, by wearing these unforgettable and exquisite heels."
6. Don't play Hide and Seek
Being easy to find by using search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial component of your fashion eCommerce strategy. If you're hard to locate, how will you make any sales? Consult with an SEO specialist to make sure the copy on the page is optimized for every product, and so search engines can properly index your product pages.
7. Seek the Right Business Partnerships
The key to developing a successful fashion website is to create smart partnerships. Creating relationships with influencers or bloggers in your industry will be very valuable for your eCommerce site. You should reach out to well-known reviewers who will provide a quote speaking to the quality of your product or try posting a guest article on a fashion industry influencer's blog.
8. Keep it Simple
Keeping your fashion eCommerce site clean and simple will help browsing customers navigate easily and encourage them to continue shopping. Your user interface should be faultless and the overall user experience should be as simple and enjoyable as possible. With the endless options on the web, an online customer can easily make the decision to switch to a competitor's site because of difficulty in navigating, viewing products, reviewing complicated checkout information, or lagging.
9. Mobile Integration
As mentioned earlier, there has been a rapid increase in mobile consumers, so responsive web design should be integrated into your marketing strategy. However, you should first identify what percentage of your sales comes from mobile devices. There is an increasing trend in customers who shop on-the-go, so you should make sure your fashion eCommerce site is easy to read and is able to interact on any device.
10. Represent a Lifestyle
Individuals are no longer interested in low quality products, and if you haven't noticed that successful brands, whether cheap or not, still project the image of a sophisticated lifestyle. You should be able to differentiate yourself from the crowd, and focus on a specific niche to demonstrate your expertise in it.
You should always strive to retain your existing and potential customers. You don't want to lose them to a competitor because they have a slightly lower price, so ensure your pricing is right. You can do this by performing thorough research on pricing and offering coupons or future promotion opportunities to motivate customers to engage in purchasing your products and come back for more.
Following these principles will be your best bet to outshine your competition, and attain the sales and results you are capable of. You should not hesitate to seek expertise from a fashion eCommerce expert.