The top 3 channels a fashion brand must launch on.
If you want to become a global fashion brand, you must launch your product on more than one channel. The greater the reach, the greater the exposure; the strength of your product will sell your stock, and therefore you will gain new customers with a global following.
There are 3 main channels a new fashion brand should use to launch, ideally in the first year. This is because they are the best way to launch your product globally plus you will learn very quickly where your product sells; who your global customer is. Most importantly, this will mean that the next range can be adapted and created for your target customer.
Year 1- 2 of running a fashion brand is about diversifying, learning who your consumers are, listening to them and adapting your offer. This will ensure the on-going success for your fashion brand.
I will now run through how to launch your fashion brand on the top 3 channels.
Channel 1. Your own shoppable website.
Launching your fashion brand on your own website keeps you 100% in control. You control the design, the function, and exactly when you launch it. The keyword I want to highlight is shoppable. I would strongly encourage you to launch your fashion brand onto a transactional site, not just a showroom. Why? Because if a customer has navigated to your website they are clearly interested in your product, therefore you need to retain them and be able to make a purchase directly with you, not a third party. This is one of the best ways to build customer loyalty.
The functionality of your website is critical. You must invest in a good platform; I would recommend Shopify. Within the design of your website you should make it easy for your customers to make a direct purchase so streamline the number of pages and keep the layout of your page to the minimum.
Launch a shoppable website covering these requirements:
- New In.
- Product categories: e.g. dresses, tops, pants.
- About us.
- Sustainability – your stance, promise.
- Fit guide.
- Contact and returns policy.
- Bot chat.
Most importantly, you need to ensure that every part of the design of your shoppable website is branded. This covers everything from the colour palette to the copy and tone of voice.
Channel 2. Shoppable Instagram.
Launching your fashion brand on your own Instagram account also keeps things 100% within your control. I would recommend that you use Instagram as your lookbook to release new products and create excitement and hype around a social campaign. Besides, to take this to the next step, you should make your account shoppable. This way when consumers are browsing their feed and see an amazing image of your collection, they can hover over it to see some detail e.g.RRP, and then click to make a one- time purchase.
Here are a few encouraging statistics highlighting the importance of using shoppable Instagram.
⮚ 67% of Instagram users are aged between 18-29.
⮚ In 2020 an Instagram user will spend an average of 28 minutes a day on the site.
3 reasons why you should consider using shoppable Instagram are:
It is a seamless process for the Insta shopper. When scrolling through their feed or in their stories a consumer can instantly click through, and gain all the relevant information before the one-time clock purchase.
2. Tell a story.
Brands can tell a more immersive story using a range of shopping posts via videos in feed or stories. The more creative the content the better! Grab the attention of the consumer!
By using shoppable Instagram, brands reach not only their current customers, but also get to access new customers through the explore feature. There are already more than 130 million accounts interacting with shopping posts every month! You could be one of these.
"If you want to become a global fashion brand, you must launch your product on more than one channel. The greater the reach, the greater the exposure; the strength of your product will sell your stock, and you will gain new customers with a global following."
Channel 3. Third party e-commerce platforms.
As with the previous two channels, launching your fashion brand on third party platforms (wholesale) allows you 100% control but with different considerations. If you want to become a global brand, then launching your product onto third party platforms around the world is a potential option. Because it is a cheap way for you to expose your brand, product to a new market, without having to invest in your own infrastructure e.g. a shoppable website.
To be clear there are a few different operating models available to brands. I will explain the difference between the main 2, wholesale and marketplace.
Most wholesale operating models mean sale with no return. You will show a buyer from a platform your collection, and they will select and place their own order for delivery. You will place their own units with your factory, and these units are the platform’s responsibility e.g. checking of inventory. You are responsible for delivering these goods exactly as per their order. Once delivered, they are sold; you are not responsible for the sell through and you receive 100% payment.
Major wholesale platforms are:
- The Iconic
Marketplace models can operate logistically in different ways, but the major point you need to know is you still own 100% of the stock. You decide what is listed on that platform and you deliver to the platform or the customer directly. What has not sold at the end of the season still belongs to you. You only receive payment for the goods sold.
Major marketplace platforms are:
Choosing the right model for you brand will depend on many factors. How capable are you logistically? Geographically where are you located vs the platform? Do you have production restrictions?
You first need to decide your growth strategy. Where in the world do you want to expand and sell your product? Now look at the right platform for your brand and product. Not until you engage with these platforms will you learn the options available to your brand.