A fashion consultant’s view on what the new world of retail will look like.
COVID-19 has accelerated the inevitable. Ecommerce is now the chosen method for most shoppers to purchase goods globally and the demand is set to increase.
‘Consumers are 30.6 percent more likely to make their purchases online in 2020 than they were in 2019.’ https://www.pymnts.com/news/ecommerce/2020/remote-payments-retail-covid-19-social-distancing/
In this article, I will focus on giving you my fashion consultant’s tips to improve your digital store. I will focus on future sales methods of your product, and the evolution of your brand into the new world of digital retail.
This is a fast-moving process and you don’t want to be left behind. Digital acceleration means more competitors will be moving online; as a result, you will face greater competition. In a flooded market, consumers will have increasingly higher expectations from brands. You need to be a digital leader, not a follower so act now.
Brands at the forefront of this movement have already tried and tested the methods below and achieved positive results. Here are 4 ways to improve your digital presence:
1. Product content is the fuel of eCommerce. How and what you tell the customer will produce online sales.
- Answer every consumer question within your product content. Think like a consumer. Leave no question unanswered.
- Create trust. Show your contact details on your website & publish product reviews.
- You must personalise the sale experience. Offer a chat method, bot or human.
- When was the last time you reviewed your customer persona? This will ensure you are using the right language to engage with your customers.
- Using the right keywords.
- Use a clear CTA.
2. Make it easy for the consumer to buy and improve your delivery terms. By offering free delivery and free returns, you are giving the customer no reason for not completing their final transaction. In a saturated market, consumers will see the value in this offer.
3. Video is the power of sale; it is the most engaging content of 2020. Use video across all channels to engage your consumers and to make a sale.
- Use video in your product content, alongside product images.
- Create a YouTube channel for your brand; YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine to Google.
- Livestream your product collections on Instagram, and create a shoppable account.
4. Consumers are more motivated than ever to stay home and shop online [ “72% of consumers are using mobile devices to shop in stores”] according to the latest PYMNTS’ 2020 Remote Payments Study. I would, therefore, challenge your brand to look into developing an app for your brand.
These are only a few methods for you to improve your brand’s digital acceleration in 2020. I challenge you to find more ways to improve and lead this trend.
During the next 6 – 10 months, DTC should be the focus of all fashion brands. Now as the fashion industry undergoes its dramatic transformation, stabilise your core business before seeking out new markets and future pockets of growth. Focus on the growth and recognition of your own brand and channels.
Here are my fashion consultant’s tips to achieve this. These approaches should be taken on all DTC channels.
- Messaging – Talk about the quality of your product. Tell the customer if it is sustainable or if it is handmade, or locally produced. Give them a reason to buy.
- Bring new value – promote your best sellers. Promote quality not discount.
- Engage with your audience in new ways. Create a shoppable Instagram account. Start Livestreaming your product on Instagram.
It goes without saying that to improve your DTC channels you need to invest in digital acceleration now. Now is the time to really focus on growing your brand and be ready to achieve growth through B2B in 2021.
"Product content is the fuel of eCommerce. How and what you tell the customer will produce online sales."
We have all read the news and know that wholesale is suffering right now. We also know the vendors to avoid until the market stabilises. I would encourage fashion brands to start to look at wholesale opportunities again in 6 months’ time; for help in building this strategy visit our service page.
Multiproduct marketplaces are thriving and I would suggest to any fashion brand that they should be your additional channel of choice in these changing times. Traditionally most fashion brands have avoided channels like Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, due to their look and functionality not suiting a traditional fashion website. However, if there is a demand from consumers to shop on one channel for all goods this is now the time you should consider engaging with these vendors. Listen to the demand of consumers and take action.
To succeed in the marketplace you must:
- List a minimum of 4 product images.
- Offer free delivery.
- Join the platforms incentive scheme, for example, Amazon Prime or Ebay Plus.
Looking at lessons learnt from 2008 GFC, my advice is that fashion brands need to focus on the consumer mindset and how they view your product. Now is not the time to alienate consumers; you need to be attentive to their needs more than ever before.
Here are my consultant’s tips on how to think about your customer:
- Create a community for your customers to join. Offer free activities/ideas for them to do at home. This shouldn’t just be an initiative during COVID-19, this needs to remain a core focus for your brand.
- Make it easier and safer for the customer to buy your product. Offer a door to door courier service for both delivery and returns. Ideally, make this free.
- Talk about the hygiene standard you have implemented for your brand.
- Give them incentives to buy your product. Tell them about your product quality and your sustainability stance.
A tool to help you tap into consumer insights is www.tiyo.app. Get in-tune with your consumers today!
Once social distancing is relaxed I would consider as a brand what events you can host. Why? Consumers today are investing more in experiences than physical items. Through tapping into this mindset, you will raise your brand’s awareness, portray what you stand for and gain new brand followers.
Think outside of the box. I challenge you to discover what your consumers really want and how you can deliver an enjoyable experience they will want to repeat.