2020 has been the year that has truly revolutionized the eCommerce industry. Online retailers have seen extraordinary surges in online traffic and sales since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the globe. In fact, it is widely thought that online shopping will never be the same again.
Online stores claimed to experience traffic and sales comparable to Black Friday for the weeks during lockdowns, and this unprecedented surge in business has forced most companies to pivot their operations. Statistics have shown that global website visits rose from 16 billion visits in January to a whopping 22 billion in June.
The world of retail and fashion is most certainly online, with more and more customers turning to digital shopping to fulfill their needs. While 80% of traditional stores have seen a dip in sales, only 20% of all online shops have experienced any kind of negative impact from the pandemic. Customers are still not only feeling uncertain about visiting physical stores but have grown more accustomed to shopping online and having goods delivered directly to them.
So, if you are looking to launch your fashion retailer, online is most certainly your most viable option. We took a look at some of the ways that you can get your fashion store started and how you can drive traffic to your site to scale your business.
Invest in an Apparel Management Tool
One thing that you will learn as you grow your business is to automate as much as you can of the daily processes and operations. Managing every element of the business can be time-consuming and resource-heavy and you will need as much digital assistance as possible.
One of our highly recommended solutions are tools and software to effectively manage your manufacturing, supply chain, and warehousing processes. The more you expand, the more inventory you will be adding and the bigger your operations will be. Things like inventory management, order processing, production, reporting, sales, shipping, and supply chain management should be effectively managed in one place with ease. Make sure you do some research to learn more about how an apparel management software can help your business.
In fact, if you can automate more than just your apparel side of the business, you will be able to free up more time to effectively grow your business and stay up to date with global trends. Automating things like your mailers, social media posting, and customer engagement is all currently possible. Keep an eye out for handy online tools that will help streamline your business.
A Customer-Centric Website
The next thing to look at is your website. Remember that your site is your digital selling tool for your online customer. Because you cannot create a physical experience like a brick and mortar store, you will need to create a customer journey online with your website.
Your landing pages are key in converting leads to sales. Great landing pages have the following elements:
- They are fast;
- They are simple, yet hold the right amount of information;
- There are beautiful, eye-catching images;
- High-converting CTA buttons;
- The right balance of contact forms and pop-ups;
- SEO-focussed content.
Spend time on your product pages in particular. Not only does the content need to hold the relevant keywords to help your ranking on search engines, but it needs to thoroughly describe the garment to your customer.
On the product page, make sure you also include reviews from other customers. Reviews allow the customer to get a clearer idea of the product and allow them to get insight into other customer’s experiences. This only heightens your conversion rates for sales.
Informative and Educational Content
Content plays a dual role in eCommerce. It firstly heightens your SEO rankings based on the keywords that you are including, but it also drives traffic to your site. We recommend that every single website on earth should have a blog section that is updated regularly.
Whether you are a luxury, straight-off the catwalk retailer, or budget-buster store, having the right content going out is vital. Create content that will actually educate and empower your customers. In this way, they will see you as a trustworthy and reliable source of information, which will lead to organic sales.
Look at topics that are relevant to your brand. “5 Ways to Wear a Scarf”, “The Ultimate Guide in Downdressing Your Favourite Dresses”. This is content your customer can actually use, and you can plan the posts to coincide with new releases or products going on sale.
Be savvy about the structure of the articles, you can easily sneak in a CTA leading the customer to the product that just happens to be on sale that week.
This content can then be shared to your mailer database, on social media, and to your affiliate sites to extend your reach.
A Mobile App
Lastly, look at investing in an app for your business. For a start-up, it may seem like a large investment of time and resources, but your ROI on the app is incredibly high. Research has shown that of the seven something billion people in the world, over 5.2 billion have access to mobile devices. The app industry is currently worth around $462 billion with around 209 billion downloads annually.
Apps greatly heighten the conversion rates in sales for several reasons.
- The apps are usually a lot faster than the normal web and mobile web browsers, making purchasing easier;
- The app acts as a one-time profile and form creator for customers. Excessive and complicated checkout processes are the biggest cause of abandoned carts. Apps circumnavigate this by having all of the customer’s details stored after the first purchase;
- Communication and engagement are easier with the app. Should the customer have a question, need troubleshooting, or even need a push to complete the purchase, communication is instant and free through an app;
- Lastly, apps allow you to make use of technology features on the device to communicate and engage with your customer more effectively. Your customer can make use of features like the camera, GPS, and other apps to convert sales. Consider augmented reality in the online fashion world. The customer can “try on” a garment using the app and their camera to get a better idea of what it might look like.
The world of digital evolution has allowed new businesses and entrepreneurs the opportunity to create, manage, and market a business and product online. Kickstarting a business is easier than ever before with the tools available on the web as well as technological breakthroughs. Your role in your fashion startup is to effectively use these tools to market your business and reach large audiences that you might not have been able to reach before.
By creating a customer journey on your platforms and site, you can increase your conversion rates and build up a loyal customer base over time. Keep testing the success of your campaigns as well as the elements of your site and don’t be afraid to test new strategies and tools to increase leads and sales.
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