Econsultancy's Robert Durkin wrote a blog post today about fashion brands taking innovative approaches to "capture and convert customers online."
Online fashion retail is a growing marketplace, he writes, noting that sales grew 185% between 2007 and 2012, and are predicted to grow another 41% by 2017.
Even in my own personal experience, I buy more clothes and shoes online than I did even a few years ago. Not only do the brands I follow sell more product online, they make it more convenient and affordable (with discounts and free shipping) for me to buy online too.
Online fashion sales grew 185% between 2007 and 2012, and are predicted to grow another 41% by 2017.
But don't take my word for it. Durkin offers the following categories whereby fashion sets digital retail trends:
- Personalization: Beyond your sizing, fashion brands can determine your taste and style over time, based on what you click on, what you purchase, even what you put in your shopping cart and don't actually buy.
- Multichannel marketing: According to Google, the average shopper visits 2.9 sites before buying clothes (11.4 site visits total); 76% of shoppers use search at some point. "(Fashion brands) quick to understand the importance of third-party channels, such as Google Shopping, affiliate marketing and price comparison sites, as a way to reach more potential consumers within an efficient pricing model," Durkin writes.
- 'Shoppable' content: Durkin offers MR PORTER (screenshot above) as an example of integrating its product inventory with its blog "in a seamless (and actually gorgeous) way."
- Social: Neither Durkin nor I need to tell you how present fashion brands are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, using via organic or sponsored content.
- Mobile: 16% more people are using mobiles for fashion purchases than other online retail transactions, says the IMRG. Simply put, people just like to browse clothes on their phones, sometimes to kill time.
- Luxury brands: While luxury brands typically struggle to replicate the store experience online, there are exceptions (see: Burberry).
- On-site merchandising: Several fashion brands use product data to make personalized recommendations, cross-sell, up-sell, or offer quizzes and other interactive content to convert online sales.
- Men's fashion: "Interestingly, men’s fashion brands seem to be at the forefront of many of the digital trends we’ve seen," Durkin writes. "Perhaps because it’s harder to get men engaged with fashion content, innovations are rife, from MR PORTER’s shoppable blog to Grabble’s easy-to-use app."
- New markets, channels, platforms: "As well as new digital marketing platforms that emerge (see, for example, the buzz around Polyvore, a site that combines community, collages and commerce), fashion brands are capitalising on the global appetite for apparel, ensuring they are represented on local search engines (like Yandex in Russia) and comparison sites."