As our global population becomes increasingly entrenched in the digital world, it’s no surprise that just about every product imaginable is now available with the swipe of a fingertip or touch of a button. E-commerce is thriving — and luxury fashion brands are in the fast lane.
But when it comes to standing out in this highly competitive marketplace, fashion brands have some additional, unique challenges when selling products online. Branded Online can help steer you towards trending strategies, technologies, and solutions that will help your brand excel as the sales begin to roll in.
It’s not just shopping. It’s a full-on, emotional experience. Luxury fashion brand shoppers are seeking more than just new clothes or accessories — they expect a complete physical and emotional transformation. Luxury shoppers want to look good, feel good, and, ultimately, be noticed. Because they are shopping with their hearts and wallets, the most successful brands engage their customers’ emotions to successfully sell products.
Fashion shoppers expect to be entertained. High fashion and entertainment have always been intertwined as consumers look to fashion brands for excitement, exclusivity, pleasure, and even comfort. Fashion brands — now almost co-operating as media organizations — answer the call for entertainment with everything from extravagant runway shows and fashion blogs, to frequent social media posts and next season’s video look-books. To remain competitive, brands need to continually engage customers through constant communication, using a wide variety of marketing channels.
Customers take a leap of faith when they click “buy”. If you’ve ever abandoned an online shopping cart because you’re not sure whether an item will fit right or look good, then you’ve experienced firsthand one of the inherent weaknesses of fashion e-commerce. Customers often don’t know if the clothing items they admire online will fit well or flatter them “irl.” Fortunately, newer technologies and strategies are developing that provide additional information to any customer who might be giving pause. Some of these include: high-quality professional images that offer multiple angles and 360-degree views, in-context product videos, improved sizing charts, more details on materials, and cutting-edge solutions like digital dressing rooms. Such strategies are increasing online conversion rates — and even reducing returns.
There’s a virtual war on returns. Return rates — as high as 50% — continue to be a problem in the fashion industry. One of the most frequent reasons cited for product returns is poor fit. However, with improved online sizing information and other virtual fitting solutions, retailers can expect a future reduction in this area. For now, in order to convince customers to take the risk, offering free returns and exchanges is essential.
Hey, that’s personal! It’s all about personalization tools these days: augmented reality, smart fitting technologies, or AI-driven recommendations for products based on consumer searches or purchasing histories. In the end, the more a brand can tailor product suggestions to the individual customer, the more likely it is she will not only complete check out, but that she will also purchase additional products — both right now and in future transactions. Today’s busy consumers don’t want to spend time searching, so make it easy for them to locate their personal preferences.
It’s an omni-channel world out there. Consumers expect seamless transitions between brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce sites, and mobile devices. They will often use more than one channel to complete a purchase. For example, if they see something they like in a store, they might look up additional colors or care instructions on their mobile phones. If they browse your brand on a smartphone, they might complete the sale on a laptop. (Make sure that cart contents transfer between platforms!) If they send an inquiry via your website, they might want the response via text message. Always explore your full brand experience through the eyes of your customers to make online and experiences as fully integrated as possible.
Presentation matters. A lot. Let’s face it, fashion consumers care about appearance. Be sure your online brand appears luxurious by maintaining a well-designed site, using consistently high-quality images, ensuring a smooth check-out process, giving as much information as possible up front about your products, providing superior customer service, and communicating frequently with your customers about how your products can improve their lives.
Don’t twist yourself into a knot. The importance of being flexible in this rapidly changing world of fashion e-commerce cannot be emphasized enough. As technologies develop, trends change, and digital natives continue to impact the overall digital landscape — today’s effective strategies will need to be adjusted to meet tomorrow’s demands.
Branded Online is here with the flexible, scalable solutions and services you need to help your fashion e-commerce operation thrive, from technology to digital marketing to creative services. Contact us today to learn more.