The long lines in popular fashion stores and the queues in fitting areas are something you have likely noticed in many of the popular fashion stores. When a famous brand launches a new line of clothes or specific footwear, crowds of people make their way to get a piece of the magic. If you do some simple mathematics, the more people visit these stores, the more they translate this traffic to revenue.
A step further would reveal that most physical stores that do excellently in sales have an affiliate website that drives added traffic. In recent years, the growth of offline fashion stores, called fashion eCommerce stores, has increased drastically. The annual revenue from these stores is impeccable and shows a promise of increased growth.
Fashion eCommerce is merely setting up a transactional website that allows you to advertise, post and sell your fashion apparel to your client base. Online sale is a hit in the fashion industry and many stores are utilizing the power of the internet. Even with the soaring success that some top fashion stores receive from their eCommerce sites, this business trend comes with its challenges. Generally, success is a goal that you need to chase every day. There is no straight line to success; instead, the industry keeps changing and sales strategies redefined.
Suppose you want to run or are already operating the fashion store. There are strategies you should know that will help catapult your business to success. It is also essential to identify challenges that you can encounter in the fashion industry, including competition, an ever-changing and expanding market. The good news is that statistics show great numbers over the few years in the industry. In 2018, for instance, the industry generated a revenue of $481 billion and $545 billion in 2019 globally.
So, what is fashion eCommerce and what makes it different from physical stores? To answer this question, you can go through the following characteristics that showcase the industry. Most eCommerce sites are built and structured around them.
FACTS: 61% of online consumers in the United States have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog. In fact, 59% of Millennials will go to Amazon first when online shopping, making the giant online retailer one of your biggest competitors. (WPforms)
Characteristics of the industry
- Presentation: Ecom fashion sites stand out for how well the sites are structured, visually and in the form of content. An excellent presentation makes the site navigation easy to read and use. For instance:
- Loyalty schemes: Ecom fashion online stores work on rewarding and creating a bond with customers. Running loyalty schemes is a way to reward your customers in the form of points, discounts and extended payment periods, prompting them to come again and again.
- Several Marketplaces: A Fashion eCommerce store does not just stick to a single online marketplace. You will find most of these sites utilizing eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and other online marketplaces for maximum reach. The expansion naturally comes with growth.
- Chat support: A live chat gives customers a quick way to get instant help with their queries. For example:
(Image Credit: Livesalesman)
- Automatic transactions: A fashion eCommerce store works excellently when the whole process is automated, without any human conversation or intermediaries. With a simple click, buyers can purchase what they like from the store.
- Customer service: Just like offline stores, service is critical in attracting and keeping customers. Promotions and customer service are a super-combination for online fashion stores to keep their customers.
With your online site ready to go, your next step is to drive traffic to your fashion apparel eCommerce and turn this into revenue. It is the hardest part of running an online fashion store because it can be highly volatile, but it is also manageable as you keep up with the trends. There are several key strategies that you can use to generate sales from your eCommerce fashion store. Here are some key examples:
Identify and optimize your target market
The fashion industry is so specific to who it serves, what they do to this group and where they serve them. Therefore, whether your eCommerce store is about skirts, dresses, shoes, bags or jewelry, it is vital that you first identify your target market to take the store to them. If your products are specific for an age group, you should locate sites they frequent and market your eCommerce store on these platforms.
Also, ask yourself questions that will drive you to know what your target market is looking for. For example, if you are looking to appeal to a younger generation, put yourself in their shoes. Look for ideas that capture their minds, put that in your site and take it to them. If you work with your target market in mind, you can optimize your content according to what they want and even get brand new ideas from what is popular among their circles.
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Build a robust organic presence
A robust organic presence is a critical strategy in building an audience, maintaining the audience and tuning this audience into sales. Take every opportunity to create an online presence that can stand the volatile eCommerce industry. One way to do this is to show your audience that you care for their attention and time by making sure they have content consistently. Think of how you place eye-catchy apparel on display and how you ensure visitors who walk in can always find something interesting to look at; this is no different from online stores.
Ensuring your site is consistent on stocking the images, videos and content that visitors can consume is a way to ensure your presence is felt online. If you already have a substantial online presence, then you have an excellent opportunity to build on that by investing more time in creating rich visual content like eye-catch photographs and videos. Also, utilize your social platforms by connecting them to your online eCommerce fashion store; whenever you post a new product, social media users can access your online store directly from their social media platforms. For example:
Advertise on Social Platforms
Social media is an excellent platform for you to build your search engine optimization. One of the things that make it so great is the millions of users and followers who have accounts with these platforms and consume content from them every day. A significant number of these users are adults between the ages of 18-35 and who own at least one account from the major social media platforms. By all means, this is a significant number of potential customers who can help you generate sales from your online fashion store.
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Building an online presence on your eCommerce site trickles down to being active on social media too. Suppose you already have a social media account associated with your fashion business; all you have to do is optimize how users can interact with your posts and keep them consistent. When studying your target audience, one of the things you probably considered is where they are likely to hang out on social media platforms. This knowledge helps you choose where to focus your marketing and advertising energy; you do not have to be active on all social media platforms.
There are several social media accounts you can use to advertise your eCommerce fashion store. Below are the most common pages that other online stores:
Facebook is the most popular social media site since its inception, with over a billion users with active accounts. It is a connection-oriented site where users can add posts, talk about what is in their minds, comment on other posts, tag others on posts and even connect to linked websites. Since it is a site built on connecting to friends and family, you can use this platform to build loyalty with your customers and reach out to them at a personal level. Facebook has a way of placing posts on people’s timelines as suggestions depending on what they like or frequently follow.
With Facebook, you can analyze your reach and customer engagement on every post you create. Make it possible for your audience to share your posts on their timelines. Another addition that will help is a call to action button that can either lead them to your online store or enable them to shop right there on Facebook. Facebook’s advantage is that you will get people of all ages, all walks of life, and interests in one place. Here is an example of the Facebook call to action button:
On the other hand, Instagram is a more visual site popular among the youth and offers a visually appealing playground for users. Instagram posts are pictures and videos that follow a standard of perfection. Instagram is the perfect place for you to showcase your products in your stories, Instagram reels and videos one or twice a day. Besides, a close look at most Instagram posts has something about fashion.
Pinterest is also great for photographs that capture the interest of people at first glance. Pinterest’s greatness is that you can gather a collection of your posts in boards and users who like your post can pin them on their walls and form a group of boards too. Pinterest is a great social network for you to follow other industry players and see their work. This is what Pinterest looks like:
Social media marketing should generally leverage on getting current clients and potential customers to click on products to buy and add them to your cart. Tell inspirational stories in words and visuals that would get a new visitor to click on your website’s link. Of course, remember to link your online stores and addresses to your physical stores if available.
FACTS: The average eCommerce site publishes 4.55 posts a week on their Facebook page. What’s more, 74% of consumers rely on their social networks to make purchasing decisions. (WPforms)
Attract Customers with a sales campaign
Ever wonder why people flock to newly launched physical stores on the first day or week of opening? Well, the secret is discounts and sales campaigns. When you create the right sales campaign, visitors will come running to your site to find the best deals in clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, or whatever apparel you offer. You can plan our campaign in line with an upcoming holiday, a new product release or for no reason at all; the bottom-line is people will come. Here are some great tips on implementing a sales campaign:
- Plan giveaways: Everybody likes to be rewarded, and you get to achieve loyal customers when you have giveaways. It can be free shipping or discounts on their first purchase and when they sign up for your mailing list. Let your giveaways be a way of genuinely appreciating your customers.
- Buy one get one deal: Most of us are inclined to buy something when we know we will get something else free. The free deal should be a significant item, not something that can easily be ignored. These deals will get visitors to your site, and even if they don’t buy the sale, they will be looking for other discounts or other items that they like among your products. The image below shows an example of a buy one get one 50% off sale:
(Image Credit: Keap)
- Create coupons on your eCommerce website: Coupons will attract new and current customers to your site. Whether it is a 15% or 50% off coupon, make it accessible only on your website. You can talk about the coupons on your social media sites but ensure the link redirects users back to your website. The trick is to get them to add more items to their carts when they land on your website.
- Make the sales campaigns urgent: Let your visitors see the urgency in getting the coupon or getting the cut on shipping fees. If, for example, you input a countdown clock for a coupon, visitors will re-enter your site again and again in anticipation of the sale. Urgency is a tactic that drives traffic to your website and gets more people filling their carts.
A critical point to note when running a sales campaign is to have a robust promotion plan to back up your campaign. Without a solid plan, you risk running into losses. It would help if you combine your other marketing plans with your sales campaign to have success in generating sales.
We hope that you found this article useful.
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Engage with Influencers
What happens when an A-list celebrity wears Nike sports shoes or struts Victoria’s Secret lingerie and talks about it? The online sites for these designers and fashion houses are a buzz with visitors. Your fashion apparel eCommerce may not be at the level of working with big names in the celebrity industry. Still, you sure can find social media influencers to promote your products.
Influencers have established credibility in their industry, and other social media users trust their brand. They usually have a large following of fans on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites who take their advice seriously when it comes to shopping for fashion pieces.
You can start by researching social sites to find influencers who are affiliated with your industry. Once you have a list, you can start a conversation with them and talk about the fashion pieces you offer. Have discussions on whether they can wear some of your pieces and talk about them on their social networks. Most social media influencers are paid to talk about your work, but some may choose to wear and talk about your products out of goodness.
When an influencer tags you or posts your product on social media platforms, there will be many followers who make their way into your online store to purchase the same product. You can always offer discounts to customers who buy from linking through an influencer, and both of you get traffic to your platforms.
Make your site user friendly
The design of your online fashion eCommerce website should factor in great user accessibility and navigation. Your online store should accommodate all types of users, including people from different cultures, people with disabilities, and people from other regions. If your store can relay information fast and complete transactions amicably, it evokes your customers’ trustworthiness.
Did you know??? 73% of consumers will switch from a poorly designed mobile site to one that makes purchasing easier. (WPforms)
One of the biggest causes of abandonment is complicated websites that make the navigation process take longer; users find the experience tedious and do not complete transactions. Another reason is slow sites that time out before the user completes their purchases. If you deal with user experience beforehand, you can reduce the number of abandoned carts and increase revenue by attracting more customers. Here are some tips to optimizing the user experience for your online fashion eCommerce website:
- Optimize site loading speeds so to enable moving from one product page to another a swift process. Also, optimize image and video sizes for fast download.
- Make your site intuitive and navigation straightforward, even for a first-time user. Let users find what they are looking for at a balance and with a few clicks. Do not forget to make the shop icon very visible.
- Implement easy payment methods like the use of debit and credit cards.
- Make your site mobile friendly. The importance of this is that millions of people use mobile devices to shop more than desktops, and you want to have a site that functions excellently on mobile devices and desktops. Test your website using tools such as Google’s Mobile Friendly Test, for instance:
(Image Credit: Search Engine Roundtable)
Launching an online fashion store may be daunting, and the worry of whether customers will come cannot be ignored. But with the tips above and an understanding of what is fashion eCommerce, you can begin building a strong client base for your products. You can implement all these tips or use some of them depending on your interest and products, but we recommend trying a combination of some.
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SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of generating more organic traffic from search engines like: Google, Bing and Yahoo.
SEO is vital for any online website as you want your products seen by more potential customers.
One of the best Ecommerce platforms is BigCommerce. This platform is one of the leading ecommerce platforms for companies that want to build an online store.
While Shopify stores do come with some SEO features built-in, those very features can cause other SEO issues. Creating unique content, optimized with industry relevant keywords, can help your store rank higher on the SERPs.
Keyword research doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are the steps to finding the ideal keywords for your Ecommerce website:
- Study your niche.
- Define your goals.
- Make a list of relevant topics.
- Create a list of seed keywords.
- Use good keyword research tools.
- Study the search intent.
- Identify long tail keywords.
- Learn about your competitors.