The fashion industry is big and constantly growing. On a global level, the apparel industry is worth over $3 billion and experiences an annual growth of about 4%.
Obviously, people are quite obsessed with what they are wearing. As Edith Head once said, “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” So, if you’re running or just starting a fashion business, you’ll need to take steps in order to see your startup grow.
However, with such fierce competition, this is not an easy task. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 5 essential fashion startup strategies that will help you stand apart from the competition and boost your profit.
1. Make sure you have a great website
When it comes to boosting the profit of your fashion business, having a functional, responsive site is of the utmost importance. Big retail chains are closing their physical stores at a rapid rate, and users shift to online shopping, having a clean, user-friendly site can make a huge difference.
However, in order to determine what your site should look like, you’ll need to conduct thorough market research. Some of the best practices for fashion eCommerce include:
- Creating an easy browsing experience
- Building a great user experience (adding a ‘save item’ option, making sure the checkout process is simple, etc.)
- Providing detailed product descriptions
- Using high-quality, honest images
- Clearly stating delivery information
2. Come up with a great marketing campaign
In the crowded fashion market, distinguishing your brand can be tough. However, it can be done. One of the best ways to make your mark is with online marketing. When done right, online marketing can improve your brand presence, increase brand awareness, and boost sales. In addition, it’s easily trackable so that you can get immediate feedback and determine whether your campaign is working.
What does this mean for your fashion company? Today, it’s all about finding a message that resonates with your customers. Let’s take Rihanna’s ‘Savage X Fenty’ lingerie brand.
The brand’s marketing strategy is focused on the notion of inclusion and her lingerie items encompass this with extended sizing so that women of all shapes and sizes can shop the same or similar product on one website. This strategy turned out to be so successful that it helped kill Victoria’s Secret’s culturally irrelevant fashion show business!
3. Use apparel ERP
As we mentioned earlier, running a fashion business isn’t easy. There is a number of complexities to deal with, from managing processes like sourcing of materials, quality control, and manufacturing to controlling distribution, warehouses, sales, and accounting.
Implementing an apparel ERP software can help businesses handle these operations efficiently by organizing different data onto a single, centralized platform.
The list of benefits of using an apparel ERP includes:
- Streamlined manufacturing process
- Better networking and communication between different departments
- Inventory management
- Security and easy access
- Personalized data
- Management of queries
- Management of payments and receipts
4. Leverage the power of social media
Fashion and social networks go hand in hand: The aesthetic appeal of clothing and the visual nature of social media combine perfectly to create a unique consumer experience.
Many fashion brands are already leveraging social media to raise brand awareness, attract traffic, and boost sales. Social platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube work especially well for fashion brands due to having a captive audience and high visual appeal.
Let’s take a look at one successful example.
The UK-based retailer Missguided is killing the social media game. Instagram, where the fast-fashion retailer has 6.6 million followers, is a particularly successful channel. The highlighted stories show how varied the brand’s content is, including ‘back in stock’, ‘tutorials’, ‘new in’, ‘babes’, and ‘fun shit’. The combo of user-generated content, product promotions, offers, and lifestyle posts keeps the followers constantly engaged.
Instagram showed its true value in 2018, during the brand’s partnership with Love Island. The multichannel marketing strategy involved show highlights, product placement on the show, promotions on the web and in-store, ‘shop the look’ editorial in the app, and plenty of interaction with the show’s fans. As a result, sales increased by up to 40%!
5. Build customer loyalty
What do brands Tommy Hilfiger, Dior, and Adidas have in common? They all have loyal brand fans. In fact, a recent UK study found that three in five people feel loyalty towards a particular fashion brand.
There are several approaches to building customer loyalty in the fashion industry. For instance, H&M has a staple points program, Victoria’s Secret offers the Angel’s Card, whereas TOMS has a socially motivated reward program.
No matter which approach you will choose, in order to promote customer loyalty for your fashion startup brand, you need to ensure that your products are accessible by utilizing social media, eCommerce platforms, and apps. In addition, you need to understand what type of fashion you are promoting (are you a designer brand, a fast-fashion brand, etc.) and how people react to different types of fashion. You should also consider environmental factors and how your brand can create a sustainable and ethical impact.
Running a fashion startup puts you in an advantageous position compared to other businesses – people need clothes and they’re buying clothes all the time, which means they need stores that sell clothes. Your job is to make them feel that your brand has the best clothes, the best offers, and the best customer service. These 5 essential tips will help you run the operation even better, grow your business, and boost sales in 2020.