Thoughts, stories and ideas.

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Digital media has invaded practically every business sector, and hence, digital marketing is a trend that has entwined itself deeply in every industry that exists. The fashion industry is no exception to this ongoing phenomenon.

However, the fashion industry is unique because fashion trends often change even faster than advancements in digital media. But, it isn’t the speed of change that is capturing everyone’s interest right now. Rather, it’s the sheer complexity with which the fashion industry has embraced itself with digital media and technology in current times.

From fashion trends regarding wearable technology to e-commerce sites booming the whole set of vintage, contemporary, and ethnic fashion trends indiscriminately, it is frankly an exciting time in the fashion industry.

It’s time to challenge a common misconception; that social media is better for engagement with existing fans and building brand reputation than it is for generating leads and sales. If you’re not currently using social media for lead generation, then you’re missing out on a hugely lucrative and cost-effective business development channel.

‘45% of companies using social media saw reduced marketing costs’ while delivering a ‘100% higher lead-to-close rate’ compared to outbound marketing (QuickSprout).

These statistics demonstrate the social media’s potential for delivering lower cost, higher quality leads for any business.

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Source: https://venngage.com/blog/lead-generation/

Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) involves ongoing, incremental site improvements to get visitors to take actions that your company defines as a “conversion.” This includes everything from signing up for your email newsletter, sharing a product on social, opting into your loyalty program, writing a review, and completing a purchase.

Fashion CRO is both an art and a science, which requires online businesses to continuously test and optimize design, usability, product descriptions, price points, offers, and more — all while adapting to consumer behaviours – and preferences over time.

Let’s look at the strategies to improve conversion rates for your e-commerce fashion brand:

1. Optimize for Mobile-First Experiences

While e-commerce sales are growing faster than retail store sales, it’s important to note that mobile commerce is projected to grow at a significantly faster rate in the coming years.

Even though smartphone conversions are currently half of those of desktop sales, that number is going to change rapidly as your competitors improve their mobile commerce experiences.

2. Improve Site Performance and Speed

When your site crashes during high volume shopping days like the Diwali season, or your mobile site takes more than a few seconds to load, you run the risk of losing your customer’s attention and loyalty.

According to Shopify, 79% of customers who report dissatisfaction with website performance, are less likely to buy from that site again.

Slow speed kills your conversion rates. It all depends on how fast your customers can load your pages on their browsers. Slow pages are the biggest issue that irate mobile users complain about — ranking even higher than site crashes.

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Source: Shopify

There are many ways to reduce the page load time on your fashion e-commerce site, including:

• Compressing and reducing image file sizes
• Leveraging a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
• Improving HTML, JavaScript, and CSS on your site

3. Create High-Quality Photos and Copy

While it is important to compress and reduce image file sizes for faster page load speeds, that doesn’t mean that they should be of low quality.
Considering that people can’t touch or try on the fashion products online, you need to work twice as hard to make your products come alive via excellent photography and graphics.

4. Use a Platform That Tells Your Story in Pictures

The meteoric rise of social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, enable brands to successfully tell their story via curated photos.

E-commerce platforms must make it easy for businesses to both integrate their stores with these platforms, as well as use similar storytelling tactics on their website.
Tell your brand story online across platforms with inspiring imagery and unique sales opportunities — like ‘Shop the Look’ which enables customers to buy an entire outfit with just one click.

5. Generate Honest Ratings and Reviews

Ratings and reviews are other elements of your fashion e-commerce product pages that can help you close the deal with a customer. Customers can perceive your site to be more credible if you include negative feedback or ratings.

The conversion rate of customers on-site who engage with reviews is 11.4% which is over 400% higher than customers who don't engage with reviews. (Shopify)

6. Refine Your Site Search Functionality

Cumulative data from E-consultancy found that visitors who use onsite search are 1.8x more likely to convert and can generate as much as 13.8%-40% of a store’s overall revenue.

For fashion sites, those results compound: search shoppers are 2.5X as likely to convert on desktop and tablet, and 3X on mobile. This is mainly because most of the online shoppers prefer using their mobiles.

Why do site searchers convert so well? It’s simply because shoppers who use site search exhibit an intent to buy.

Few important site search features to offer on your site include:
• Error tolerance for misspellings
• Enhanced mobile search capabilities
• Autocomplete for faster results and better suggestions
• Merchandising capabilities, like including images and pricing
• Natural language processing (e.g., synonyms that follow the way people speak – like using both “sofa” and “couch” to describe the same product)

7. Get Creative with Free Shipping Offers

While many merchants struggle with the cost of offering free shipping, it's still a huge advantage to offer it as a way to increase sales.

In fact, almost 80% of consumers say it’s why they are more likely to shop online. Almost 60% say they would cancel their order if the price of shipping was too high, and 39% will abandon their carts if free shipping is not offered.
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Data compiled within the E-commerce Fulfilment and Free-Shipping Guide

8. Automate Sales, Discounts, and Pricing

Automating promotions on your e-commerce site can save your fashion retail brand time and money. It can also increase conversions and retention rates.

Your company improves customer experiences by creating Scripts to automatically calculate and apply discounts in real-time at checkout, rather than using discount codes which can be hard for mobile customers to enter manually.

9. Upsell to Increase Average Order Values

Another way to get customers to spend more so you can justify offering free shipping is to use upselling tactics like Buy One, Get One (BOGO) at attractive discounts. This tactic convinces online shoppers who are still on the fence, to make a purchase.
Offering tiered pricing based on spend thresholds is also an excellent way to entice customers to spend just a little bit more for their perceived savings. For example, you might offer:

• 10% for Rs 500

• 20% for Rs 1200

• 30% for Rs 2000

You can also add features like a countdown clock to add a sense of urgency to your sale.

10. Personalize Recommendations with AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to upsell by personalizing customer recommendations. You can use machine learning and take advantage of this feature to generate more sales.

11. Customize Checkout Experiences

Considering that customers will leave your site if it takes more than a few seconds to load, it’s not shocking that the majority of customers want a faster checkout experience these days.

Offering a guest checkout option if they don’t want to go through the laborious process of creating an account, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Your customers want and expect the process to take just a few clicks. Especially when they are using a mobile device to check out. Use tools to enable customers to opt-in to save their personal and shipping information with just one tap or click.

12. Enable Customers to Buy on Any Platform

Whether your business chooses to invest in a multi-channel or omni-channel retail strategy, you must enable customers to buy on the platforms where they engage with your brand the most.

Facebook sales channels streamline the checkout process. Hence, enable appropriate payment gateways so shoppers could check out on Facebook, rather than being redirected to the fashion brand’s website.

Product tagging on Instagram increases sales. Instead of buying ads on the platform, the goal of Shopping on Instagram is to enable the fashion brand to add tags to posts so users can “tap” to see product details, and easily click through if they’re ready to buy.

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13. Let Them Try Before Buying

“Try Before You Buy” enable buyers to order and try their apparel. If they decided to keep their purchase, only then would they be charged for it.
Try Before You Buy is all about guidance and information, and not pushy sales tactics.

Your favourite clothes and accessories in your closet likely required many hours to shop around. Deciding on the right pieces, finding your ideal colours and sizes, and updating or throwing out items as new styles became popular all are a part of the shopping process.

Likewise, as new e-commerce technologies emerge, and user-behaviours and preferences evolve in the future, so too, must your site.

Conclusion

The current fashion industry marketing trends that one must consider when building a digital marketing strategy for lead generation are:

“Self-Expression” is at the core:

The driving force behind fashion sales right now is the self-expression element that potential customers can gain from an online fashion store. Therefore, this is what the marketing trends should focus on as well.

It lets online buyers see the sheer variety of designs a store sells, and the potential the business has to satisfy all kinds of style choices. Current video ads regarding fashion stores are especially and prominently driving this trend.

Consumer-centric is the way to go:

As far as fashion marketing goes in this digital era, contacting and communicating with existing and potential customers is actually much more informal and a “human” process.

The present digital marketing trends in the fashion industry more or less revolve around the e-commerce sector of the World Wide Web. 1702 Digital has worked with numerous industries and brands and we have seen the tremendous impact that digital marketing can have on sales.

When a digital agency partners with an e-commerce site, it connects every activity to leads and sales. We optimize a brand’s current efforts online to make sure they are getting the most bang for their marketing rupee.