The fashion industry is one of the most competitive branches of eCommerce. Thousands of stores, millions of products. Does this mean that by deciding to step into the fashion world of e-business, are you doomed to failure?
This article, prepared by experts from our partner agency WAYNET, will help you to avoid failures and get closer to success.
The guide is divided into 2 parts - "must have" and "nice to have". We believe that the implementation of WAYNET's proposed solutions can significantly increase the sales of your fashion e-store and improve experiences of your customers.
Before we move on to the specifics, one more important fact have to be noted - ecommerce does not have universal, effective ways to succeed. You have to observe the behavior of your customers, follow trends, watch the competition and continually develop your e-business. It is the only known way to the top. Fortunately, there are "paths" that will help you see if you are going in the right direction.
Forgive sincerity - without these solutions, your eCommerce will disappear or (at best) will be doomed to mediocrity. Most (if not all) of the tips in this section are good practices for other online stores - not just those operating in the fashion industry. However, fashion E-shops should pay special attention to them. What aspects are we talking about?
UX, design, information architecture
UX (user experience) is a concept that plays a significant role in eCommerce. This fact should be enjoyed not only by the managers and owners of online shops, who have the opportunity to earn even more, but also users for whom shopping is becoming easier and more enjoyable. Briefly, UX is a e-shop design method that takes into account the user experience that accompanies him when interacting with eCommerce.
In the case of online fashion stores, the most important are 3 elements of eCommerce interface - home page, sort / filter and product card.
The home page and information contained therein should be transparent to the user and easy to receive. Your e-store needs to build trust at first sight. Promote product return time, delivery terms, and customer feedback (you can use, for example, a social media store review or special modules).
Make sure to have all the important products exposed on your home page- news, bestsellery, trends or stylist proposals. This way, some people will be interested in your products as soon as they reach your site.
Navigation in your e-shop must be the answer to the needs and expectations of customers - measure, investigate, and analyze their behavior. This allows you to categorize the products appropriately. It is a good idea to use not only the division by type of product, but also by the intended purpose (evening dresses, business casual, etc.), age of the client or features of the figure (big bust, leg exposures, slim hips, etc.).
Use lookbooks and stylist recommendations. Remember - due to that you will achieve the image of a specialist in your industry and encourage customers to purchase not only a single piece of clothing but also all stylisation.
Filtration and sorting are essential elements. We all know how crucial they are.
Filters should be intuitive and meet the needs of users. Not only into account size, color and price (in this case we recommend using the "from-to" range), but also other attributes such as collection, destination, or - in multibrand stores - brand.
Product sorting should include primarily: popularity and price (from the lowest or highest), but your customers may also look for the date of adding the product or the opinions of current customers. In this case, the most important role is played by UX research on current and potential customers of your e-shop.
Product card is a place where customers expressing an initial interest in your products. We believe that a well-designed product card can be a decisive element in the final conversion. What is crucial when you are designing this part of your e-shop (bypassing the obvious, such as name, price and "add to cart" button)?
- Choose size (add product availability information or add "ask for availability" option)
- Shipping and Return Policy (Do not hide any costs!)
- Information about the material and how to use / care
- Size table (we recommend placing it on each product card)
- Model specifications on which the product is presented
In addition to the above, please also take care of:
- High quality product photos. Remember - the customer on the web is not able to try on clothes, check the material. Use 360 photo, present products on several models with different figures, use close-ups on material and original elements of clothes (by moving the cursor on a photo).
- Detailed, original product descriptions. Think about who your audience is and tailor your message to it. The product description should respond to the doubts that your customer may have and raise their interest in buying it. Use personal expressions, stimulate the imagination, emphasize values and benefits. Product description is an element that can effectively distinguish your store from the competition and lead your potential customer directly into the basket.
RWD (responsive web design)
The "year of mobile" is announced continuously for at least 5 years. How does it really look like using mobile devices for e-shopping?
In 2016, 76% of customers made at least one transaction via mobile, and mobile ecommerce orders accounted for 21% of total online shopping revenue. Remember about multichannel sales. Even if your potential customer does not make a purchase on phone, it is quite possible that he/she will add the product to your cart or to wish list and finalize purchase on the desktop.
Your fashion e-store needs to be adapted to mobile devices. It may even be a shame to write about it, but nowadays it is still possible to find shops whose mobile version does not exist.
Loyalty programs and customer service
Bringing a potential customer to your e-store, or even making a purchase by him, is just the beginning of the road to success. The real accomplishment is that he visits your store frequently and frequently makes purchase in the store. How to achieve that? The answer is in two treatments.
- Loyalty programs.
Engage your clients. Create personalized messages, sort the audience. Offer discounts, promotions, free shipping, invitations to closed events for your customers. Appreciate that, in the jungle of choice, they chose your brand. Reward customer purchases and interactions (eg. Through a system of collecting points). If you take an adequate strategy, the long term effects will be surprising.
- High quality customer service.
Let your customer feel that his needs are not indifferent to you. Try to react to his doubts and needs as quickly as possible. Visitors should be able to contact you (or your customer service) by email and phone. The chat is also a great way to watch your customers' behavior and respond to their answers in real time - to help and advise.
Remember, these are just paths of development that will bring you closer to success. Online commerce does not like stagnation. You have to follow the trends that come up every month. Watch your customers' behavior and develop marketing. Only with a complementary approach you can stand out from the competition.
“NICE TO HAVE”
You already know what your store needs to stay competitive. It is time for those elements that will help you stand out against other eCommerce.
Solutions, that are made only for your e-business and meet the needs and expectations of customers, are determined to hit the jackpot. In the case of fashion eCommerce, the solutions that will bring your e-shop closer to the experience that accompany your customers when visiting a stationary store are best. Dedicated modules, such as wizards and visualisers, are the functionality of the fashion industry, which will make shopping much more attractive.
Let your customers see one set of clothes in one place, create their own creations (a tailor-made wizard) or create a platform that connects B2C and B2B solutions that both retailers and business partners can benefit from. With dedicated modules, you will not only increase your sales, but you will also streamline your purchase process, which will affect your conversion rate in your e-shop.
The integration of multi-channel sales, is a treatment that definitely have a positive impact on the perception of your fashion brand, as modern and caring about customer convenience. Omnichannel is also an opportunity to drive sales in stationary stores and online stores, and to increase customer loyalty, which is currently a value not to be overestimated.
Proper implementation of the omnichannel strategy assumes:
- Integration of warehouse and accounting systems, loyalty programs and other ERP solutions
- A consistent message about the company, products, and services at every point of sale
- Unified prices in stationary stores and online stores
- Implementation of the system of receipts, returns and complaints in the stationary stores, products that were ordered through the Internet
- Introducing marketing solutions that utilize the synergies of off-line and on-line activities (such as discount coupons received after shopping at a shopping mall, to use only in the e-shop)
More about omnichannel solutions, their advantages and characteristics, you can read here.
Effective eCommerce in the fashion industry needs solutions, which meet the needs and expectations of your customers. In my opinion, e-business, which is based on repetitive templates or operating on SaaS platforms, will not have the same opportunities of development as the one based on dedicated implementation on the PrestaShop platform.
Due to the flexibility and scalability of the platform, PrestaShop is designed to fight the competition in the fashion market. Not only fight to take, but also to overtake it. The results of online stores created by our eCommerce agency are the best proof.
Remember - success in online commerce is uninterrupted development, research, analysis and meeting the expectations of demanding customers. This article can bring you closer to creating a perfect e-shop, but it is up to you whether you will follow the path of continuous progress. It is the only known way to an effective e-business. Good luck!