The global fashion industry is fast changing and battling with constant threats at the best of times. The Covid-19 pandemic has been life-changing for businesses of all sizes as consumers changed their buying habits in response to social and economic factors.
With the shift away from traditional retail shopping, the past two years have forced fashion companies to rethink the way they do business. Globally, the fashion industry is in a state of flux—unexpected costs and supply chain issues, along with the global recession and competition, have led to several challenges for the industry.
To survive through to the end of this pandemic, fashion companies need to adapt by updating their processes and improving their product offerings. With that in mind, here are the key things your fashion business can do to make sure you survive and thrive in 2022.
Up Your E-commerce Game
During these uncertain times, fashion brands that switched their focus to e-commerce early on thrived. As a result, their online sales and revenue are growing at an unprecedented rate.
Ideally, your company should have a strong online presence that easily allows for online shopping. To improve the e-commerce experience for your customers, your business should:
- Invest in simple and interactive website design that works properly on every platform and mobile device.
- Offer customers a seamless way of connecting with your brick-and-mortar stores—for example, giving customers the flexibility to purchase and collect in-store, or the ability to check stock levels in different stores.
- Use virtual showroom technology and excellent professional photography to bring your products to life and give your customers a variety of ways to interact with your stock.
- Work with experienced copywriters and SEO consultants to make sure your website copy and product descriptions tell your brand story and allow you to be found by your ideal customers in search engines.
- Personalize your marketing tactics using CRM software and targeted email campaigns to keep track of your loyal customers and contact them with promotions and product recommendations, so they keep coming back to your store.
- Make your customer support team accessible, whether via a web chat feature or email.
Focus on Your Brand Story
Consumers want to get to know the brands they purchase from, so it’s important for companies to build a brand story for themselves. Fashion companies often reflect this in their brand mission—for example, Raven + Lily focuses on the narrative of international female empowerment, whereas Patagonia focuses on sustainability.
Customers respond more positively to brands that have a clear image and compelling story to tell. Therefore, you need to create your own distinct business identity to ensure you stand out from the crowd.
To get started with crafting your company’s brand story:
- Map out a clear picture of who you are, what your company cares about, and why your products matter to your customers.
- Decide on your unique angle: why should your customers choose your brand over your competitors?
- Think of your mission as an authentic story with a beginning, middle, and end by describing the problems you set out to solve with your products and how you solved them.
A good brand story is memorable, and will engage your customers on a deeper level. Strong branding also encourages consumer trust, which is increasingly important as new fashion brands emerge on the scene.
Consider a Logo Redesign
Does your logo reflect your brand story and values? If not, consider redesigning your logo to make sure it presents the right image of your company. A logo isn’t just a visual representation of your brand story, you should also consider it an essential part of your branding—you need a logo that people can recognize and connect with.
There are many ways a logo redesign can help you grow your business. For starters, updating its design can keep you up to date with current trends so your brand doesn’t look outdated compared to your competitors.
Tweaking your logo can also help your fashion business with attracting a different target audience. For example, changing your brand colours or shapes to cater to a gender-neutral demographic or to show your new company mission when changing the direction of your brand.
When redesigning your brand logo, here are some key points to think about:
- Seek inspiration and get some ideas for your fashion logo from other fashion logos
- Choose colors, fonts and images that represent your brand story.
- Make sure it’s easily recognizable by customers at first glance.
- Keep your fashion logo design simple so you can replicate it across different platforms and different screen sizes.
Invest in Improving the Customer Experience
The customer experience is the sum of all the interactions your customers have with your company. From first impressions to resolving issues, excellent customer service creates satisfied customers—and makes it easier to turn visitors into loyal customers and advocates for your fashion brand.
Given that most consumers have moved to shopping online, the customer experience is something that can make or break your fashion company. Poor customer support is frustrating for customers and makes them less likely to shop with you in the future.
To improve your overall customer experience:
- Measure your customer experience through examining surveys, reviews, and customer support tickets to get a clear picture of customer needs and wants.
- Invest in training for a responsive and knowledgeable customer service team.
- Provide quality products and well-designed marketing avenues that customers will enjoy using.
- Communicate with your customers regularly via email, social media, and any other chosen means, providing interesting and relevant content.
Use Tools To Your Advantage
There are lots of great e-commerce tools that can help fashion sellers make more sales by improving your customer’s online experience. Here are a few examples:
- Use a no-code platform like ShopPad or your website design platform to create an app-like mobile-responsive website based on your desktop website. This will make it easier for your customers to shop at their convenience.
- Incorporate user-generated content, like testimonials and photos, on your website with apps that link your social media feeds directly to your product descriptions or collection pages. This will help you showcase your products in real-world situations and encourage more brand loyalty.
- Add banners and countdown timers to your website to highlight time-sensitive promotions and create a sense of urgency to increase sales.
- Include interactive virtual fitting tools for clothes. These can help improve the buying experience for your customers at home and reduce the amount of stock returns.
Scale Up Your Instagram Presence
Instagram is a must for any fashion company trying to market its products online. With almost 1.4 billion active users worldwide, it’s a great way for your company to get in touch with target customers directly and get your products seen by your ideal customers.
With the rise of social communities like Instagram, consumers can share their experiences with brands in a very public way. Therefore, it’s important for companies to have a strong online presence and positive online feedback.
A successful Instagram account should promote your products in a way that markets a lifestyle or sense of belonging for your target audience. This is how you create loyal followers and ambassadors for your brand.
To use Instagram effectively, your fashion brand should:
- Promote your brand story by sharing “behind the scenes” photos or video.
- Post different types of relevant product content, including Instagram Stories, carousels, videos, eye-catching GIFs, and multi-media posts to catch your target customer’s eye.
- Make your posts and Stories shareable through branded hashtags.
- Partner with key influencers and bloggers in your niche target audience to be invaluable brand ambassadors.
- Use Instagram’s interactive shop features to drive sales: Shop-specific clickable posts, Shop stickers within Stories, Instagram Checkout, and the app’s Shopping channel feed on the app.
To survive and thrive in 2022, fashion entrepreneurs should focus their efforts on creating a positive online experience for their target customers, make the most of their marketing channels, and promote themselves in the best way possible.
Like any other retail business, developing a strong brand story can help you develop your target customer base by connecting with consumers through relevant and inspiring content. With the right tools, a well-designed logo, great customer service, and a positive online image, you can create an effective marketing strategy to set your brand apart from your competitors.
Also Read: Facts About Fashion Psychology