Running a successful online clothing store is really not that different from running a brick-and-mortar retail of clothes. You need to do your marketing, make sure the clothes are presentable, figure out the logistics and come up with the most beneficial pricing strategy. The problem lies in the fact that there are one or two extra steps, which you could skip in the traditional clothing retail. Furthermore, even those steps that sound similar have some subtle differences. Here are 10 killer tips to help you get the edge.
Organize categories and recommendations
The first thing you should do is organize everything into categories and set up a proper recommendation system. This way, you’re ensuring two crucial things – that your audience can find what they need and that what they need can find your audience. Other than this, you should also introduce the filter system. This way, your audience can find what they were looking for in the most effortless manner. It’s a method that allows them to set their own price range, item type and more. It’s really something that you just can’t really set a focus on.
Invest in SEO
A lot of searches won’t start with your website. Instead, your audience will enter what they’re looking for in Google search. Make sure to improve your SEO rating because this is more than just a vanity metric. The majority of people find what they’re looking for on the first position in Google search. Moreover, even though they don’t know much about the technical aspect of SEO, people’s perception tells them that this has something to do with trustworthiness. So, if they are going to leave their personal information and spend money somewhere, it better be someone trustworthy.
Invest in quality photography
The biggest drawback of online clothes retail lies in the fact that your audience can never try on the clothing or feel the material in their hands. The best they can do is investigate the photography. This is why you need the photos to be both quality and aesthetic. You also need them to be taken using the right technique. For instance, the ghost mannequin technique might be the simplest and the most effective method to enhance the immersion of your audience. Remember, while they can’t try all these clothes, with the right photography, they can easily imagine themselves wearing them.
Speed is of the essence
Regardless of what you’re doing online, you have approximately 2-9 seconds to win over the visitors to your website. The responsiveness of your audience is incredibly important across all devices. Sure, tablets and desktops still have higher conversion rates but m-commerce is not a force to be reckoned with. All the numbers indicate that mobile consumers are one of the fastest-growing populations in the digital world. You need to adjust your strategy accordingly if you are to keep up with this.
Work on your logistics
The starting point needs to be the inventory. You see, in order to stay profitable and keep your website reputable, you need to make sure that every online order can be followed through. How do you do this? Well, the simplest way would be to try and learn from some of the most successful clothing distributors in your area. Studying their logistical system and even keeping an eye out on their marketing might do you a world of good and help you come up with some of the most original ideas. Manage your warehouses and focus on running your fleet. Better yet, outsource both of these things.
The very concept of competition in the clothing industry is vastly different from what you’re used to. Why is that the case? Well, for starters, you need to understand that customer loyalty is not exclusive like in some industries. An example, a lot of iPhone users would never buy an Android, while a lot of people who drink Coke can’t just switch to Pepsi. In the clothing industry, on the other hand, there are virtually no people who dress in only one brand. Sure, everyone has their favorites but there’s more room for someone new.
Start a blog
Blogging about the fashion world and trends can help you in three separate ways. First, it can help you establish yourself as someone of authority in the clothing industry. Second, it can help you shape the trend of your readership. For instance, if there’s a particular item whose sales you believe could be improved, you can write a piece about it. You can give them a couple of ideas on how they can combine them with the rest of their wardrobe and more. Most importantly, you should use your blog to drive sales.
What’s your angle?
Are you a luxury brand, a brand that places special emphasis on the durability of exercise clothes or a frugal brand? What does this change? Well… everything, to be completely honest. For instance, your entire pricing structure will be affected by this question. Louis Vuitton, for instance, as a luxury brand, never has sales or limited-time offers. They believe that offering their high-end clothing at a lower price would devalue their entire brand. In other words, they put the branding ahead of short-term sales or minimizing their losses on a specific, left-over, item. Ironically, this exclusivity usually ensures that they don’t have the left-over inventory, to begin with.
Focus on return customers
Return customers are incredibly profitable because it takes five times less money to make a buyer return than to actually convert a new customer. Moreover, a return customer has about a 27% chance of returning on their own if the first purchase was a successful one. After a second such purchase, they will return in 45% of cases, even without a reengagement on your part. If the third purchase is successful and satisfactory, as well, they will come back for the fourth in 53% of cases. In other words, this is an effect that can snowball in your favor.
Security is the most important
The very last thing you need to focus on is the importance of security in the business world. You’re working with people’s money and personal information. If any of that is stolen or leaked, you would be in serious trouble. First, you will suffer from a loss of credibility that you would never really recover from. Second, you might even be liable and a lawsuit may be filed. So, as soon as you start, you need to do all that you can in order to raise the level of cybersecurity to the highest possible level.
There are a lot of situational tips and strategies but the above-listed 10 should probably be the core of your business plan. They help you establish a meaningful connection with your audience and ensure that the right person sees the right item at the right time. What more could you ask for in this business?