Online fashion always has, and always will be, a rapidly changing industry. With new trends consistently emerging and having a broad and substantial audience to target, it can be challenging to keep on top of the game.
Although it can be challenging to meet the needs of fashion customers, there are many opportunities available due to the wide range of audiences to target.
There is also plenty of space to test new strategies and potentially increase the number of sales and customers. As always in fashion, the brand is one of the most critical aspects of building on your audience. You must ensure you are trustworthy and help yourself stand out by being unique in the industry.
Define your brand and your audience
In the grand scheme of things, fashion brands rarely serve a large audience (unless they already target a very broad demographic). They know that everybody has a personal sense of clothes and that each group and subculture of people have a particular style they like to go for.
To start with, let us establish the brand we are trying to build. Are you selling high-end boutique fashion? Or instead plain-coloured jumpers and simple trousers? Or nerdy merchandised t-shirts? Are you looking trendy? Are you serving high-quality products?
How do your brand and products tie in with your website? Does it look minimalist and trendy? Is it easily accessible? Your image and brand must make sense with the website, so establish an image that your target audience can identify and engage with. Making sure we are not pushing the target audience (or practically, all customers) away is the essential first step to any conversion/marketing strategy – so successfully answering these questions is important.
The more data we have on our audience, for example; age, sex, lifestyle, and interests, the more we can drill down on how these users shop and what they are looking for. This will help us discover how to improve our website so we can cater to these preferences.
Going back to the introduction, we must also ensure to differentiate ourselves against the competition; if we look like everybody else, then why should customers choose us?
This way, customers can identify with the brand. The more customers that can relate with a brand, the more conversions you get, and the more your brand spreads within an audience.
Understanding your products and how customers buy from you
eCommerce is hard to drill through, as customers must trust a website to buy from you. This is where well-known and well-established brands thrive, and those brands which are less famous, will not.
eCommerce websites do not have the ability to let customers try on and investigate products that they are interested in, which means the well- known brands have the upper hand over the independent businesses.
This is where testimonials and reviews come in handy. If a user reads an existing customer’s experience, this can benefit the buying process for potential customers, as they know (depending on if the reviews are positive) that the business is reliable and genuine.
This can also vary with which demographic you are targeting. Younger audiences are more susceptible to buying online and tend not to hesitate with more independent eCommerce stores as they prefer a modern website to buy the item they are looking for. Contrasting to the older market, who are more apprehensive about buying online and prefer the traditional retail experience. Reviews are a big help to CRO for this demographic.
Understanding products will help identify the audience, which goes on to help discover how to layout the website, as well as help to lay the foundation of future strategies.
Keeping on top of competitors
As with everything in fashion, you want to stand out from the crowd. With brands, you want to make sure you are always doing something different from your competitors so to give potential visitors a reason to visit your store over others.
Make sure to follow the trends and keep up to date with the fashion world. Also, look to see what is new in the industry and at how you can apply that to your business.
For the customers, you want to have better-quality and more visually appealing products compared to your competitors.
If you notice that your competitors’ websites are not modern or are not easy to follow, then ensure that your website is. Or, if they are doing a lot of (potentially paid) social media campaigns – see what you can do to compensate, or even replicate them if it is believed to be effective.
Serving the product
Whatever product a user is looking for, the presentation of the product is critical. Clothes can be an image of a lifestyle, and the look of the website should reflect what the clothes offer to the customer.
If they find an online shop that has the sort of item they are looking for, but are still greeted by a plain website with over-compressed stock images, followed by generic copy, this will make the customer reconsider their purchase.
Brands must portray enthusiasm for their products to convince customers to buy the product. Customers enjoy more individualistic messages when buying products, making them feel that the product is personalised for them and in line with the lifestyle and themes they are trying to achieve.
This means writing a better quality copy of the items, describing whom they are for (targeting the customer), providing non-stock and high-quality images of the items, and potentially even including videos or gifs of the item to show off the lifestyle and environment they are targeting.
Holding the customer’s hand to the pay button
Many eCommerce websites suffer from having too many options for a product to choose from. Showing off different variants and bombarding the customer with offers can negatively impact the conversion rate for your website.
Sometimes a wide range of products puts more stress on the user to evaluate all the items and then decide what to buy, which can potentially force them to find a new website. This means that it is crucial not to make things too complicated. Keep things simple and easy to understand.
eCommerce fashion websites must streamline their products with useful categorisation, meaning customers can easily find the type of products they want. Additionally, having a search feature on the website is very effective, and people who use this feature are proven to be more likely to convert.
The website design must, like the structuring of products, be streamlined and easy to understand. Visual hierarchy is an essential aspect of website design, and our eyes are always attracted to bigger, brighter things at the top of the page, which plays inline with Google’s surfer model.
Items and conversion buttons, for example, ‘add to basket’, must be at the top of the page and visible enough for users to scan through quickly so they can make a decision faster.
To finish off
With fashion, traditional marketing strategies, alongside modern digital aspects, can help maximise sales for your business. Conversion rate optimisation is essential but is not something to drill down on. Occasionally, people can get caught up with the minuscule technicalities and stray away from what starting eCommerce fashion websites need.
Branding is key. The more your brand is known, the more customers will trust you and are more motivated to buy from your store.