Every industry has been hit hard due to the coronavirus outbreak. But, fashion retailers specifically are bearing the brunt of it. In Europe and the US, more than 65% of consumers expect to decrease their spending on apparel. With fewer people shopping, you need to optimize your tactics to reel in shoppers to engage with you and purchase from your store.
Now, if your brand doesn’t have an online store, you have no opportunity to sell and engage with shoppers. With an online storefront, you can interact with shoppers and reel them in as subscribers and followers of your brand, who you can turn into customers later.
In this blog, we want to help your fashion retail store sustain through this coronavirus slowdown by providing tips to set up your online store as well as marketing strategies to boost engagement and build interest which you can later leverage and turn into purchases.
5 Tips To Set Up Your Online Storefront
If you’re looking to set up your online store yourself, Shopify has an excellent guide on how to set up your fashion and apparel store online. This guide is all you need to get your store up and running if you haven’t set it up already. However, while setting up your online store on Shopify, it’s crucial to keep these 5 tips in mind:
1. Ensure design reflects the brand
Your store’s design should reflect who you are as a brand— your colors, copy, and personality. Once you’ve set up your theme, ensure that you customize it to make it your own. Your storefront shouldn’t look generic. This is also why many fashion retailers work with a design agency to set up their online store.
Agencies like XgenTech are specialized in building custom storefronts for merchants, based on your specific needs. With XgenTech, you can handover the hard task of putting your storefront together to Shopify experts who know how to set up a well-designed Shopify store.
2. Optimize transactional emails
Your transactional emails are messages that your shoppers get updating them about their order status— from its confirmation to shipping to delivery. These emails are important for shoppers so keep a track of their order and assure them they will receive their purchase. Optimize your transactional emails within your Shopify dashboard to reflect your brand voice and add any tracking links from your delivery partners that shoppers can use.
Pro-tip: During this time, ensure that your transactional emails also talk about the hygiene of your manufacturing, packaging, and delivery, and update your shipping time within the emails to set realistic expectations for your shoppers.
3. Set up multiple payment methods
As an online store, you’ll see a lot of cart abandonment on your store. One of the many reasons for this comes down to the payment method. 17% of shoppers who abandon their cart do so because they don’t trust the site with their credit card information. Another 6% said they abandon their cart because there weren’t enough payment methods.
By providing multiple payment methods, you can ensure shoppers can choose the payment method of their preference. Set up the most common payment methods like debit cards, UPI, PayPal, net banking, credit cards, as well as wallets that are common among your shoppers. You can also survey your shoppers and keep an eye on their feedback to understand their needs.
4. Flaunt your products with high-quality images
As a fashion retailer selling online, your product images are a crucial factor in reeling in shoppers. Since shoppers can’t feel the product and try it on, your images should be sharp, lit up, and styled well enough for shoppers to get an idea of what the product is, what it looks like, and how it fits on a person.
Many fashion retailers show their products on a real model so that shoppers have context as to how the product looks, its length, etc. Providing this context is very helpful for shoppers to decide whether the product they are interested in fills all their criteria. You can grab inspiration from brands like H&M that have product pages with images of the product from different perspectives.
5. Provide accurate size charts
Your shoppers need enough information to make informed decisions about their purchase. As a fashion and apparel store, you need to provide shoppers with extensive and accurate size charts on your products so that they can pick the right size to buy.
Many stores list a vague size chart on their online store and due to this, they end up losing interested shoppers who can’t figure out their sizing.
6 Online Marketing Strategies for Fashion Retailers
Despite the coronavirus causing people to shop less, that does not mean people aren’t shopping at all. As an online store, you will need to lower your sales targets for this quarter but, you don’t need to expect zero sales. With smart marketing strategies, you can grab the interest of shoppers who are all staying indoors looking for a way to spend their time.
Note: We also suggest you set up some engagement tactics to grab followers and subscribers who you can later convert. One way to do this is with content marketing. Read our guide on content marketing for Shopify stores during this outbreak.
1. Inform people about your virtual storefront
Once you set up your online store, you need to let people know about it and drive more traffic to it. Here are a few ways to bring in traffic easily:
- Inform your past customers via email, letting them know about your exciting functionalities and how easy it would be for them to buy their favorite products. You can also use this email to launch a loyalty program to incite more engagements from them.
- Create a social media campaign to take your followers to your store. You can even set up exciting games and prizes to bring more eyeballs to your online store launch.
- Set up an ad on Facebook and Instagram to build awareness about your online store.
2. Set up product recommendations
Engaging your shoppers is about smartly keeping them on your store for longer. One way many fashion stores have successfully done this is with product recommendations. In fact, 43% of purchases are influenced by personalized recommendations or promotions.
Set up personalized recommendations with Wiser. You can strategically place recommendations for the shopper’s recently viewed products, related products, and more so that you can get shoppers to buy more and ensure you don’t lose them at the end of your product pages.
3. Plug-in powerful analytics to understand customer behavior
Your shoppers are not shopping the way they used to. As a fashion retailer, understanding this change in consumer behavior and adapting your strategies accordingly is crucial to ensure your store’s success.
Set up RevTap to power your store data and turn it into actionable strategies. You may find that shoppers are buying certain products more or they are searching with specific keywords. With data at your fingertips, you can constantly evolve your store’s strategy and maximize your growth, despite this current situation.
4. Provide instant help with live chat
Unlike a physical store, your shoppers have more trouble understanding the product, its feel, look, and size. Even with the accurate details available on your store, shoppers would want to talk to a customer executive to clear doubts they have and be assured of the product they are picking.
Providing live chat functionality on your fashion store is the best way to assist your online shoppers and help them make purchasing decisions. Live chats have a customer satisfaction rate of 92% since they provide an instant response. Shopify apps like Tidio Live Chat plug into your store, providing automated greetings and allowing you to connect with your shoppers.
Once the app is set up, ensure that you have a customer support executive available at all times to assist store visitors in making their purchases.
5. Allow shoppers to be notified during stockouts
Many stores lose out on shoppers due to product unavailability. Shoppers visit the store, find a product they like, only to see that it is out of stock. While avoiding stockouts may be tough, stores can still find ways to bring these interested shoppers back.
This is where Back in Stock – Restock Alerts can help. By setting up this app, you can let shoppers subscribe to be notified about the product’s availability. This way, when the shopper receives the in-stock message, they can promptly come back to your store and buy the item. With this app specifically, you can set up different channels— emails, web push, SMS, and Facebook Messenger— so that your shoppers can choose the channel they want to receive updates through.
As a fashion store, especially at this time, you can’t afford to lose shoppers to stockouts. Such an app should do the trick in re-engaging interested shoppers.
6. Set up a welcome email series
As you engage shoppers in other ways— from social events to online campaigns to content marketing— you will be attracting subscribers. You need to ensure that you have a well-written welcome email series that engages these subscribers with your store. Here’s an example of a sequence of welcome emails you can set up:
- In the first email, welcome the subscriber, inform them about your current delivery policies, timing, etc.
- Use the second email to let them know about your loyalty program and the different ways they can earn points.
- Provide freebies in your third email (which is especially helpful during this time)
With welcome emails, you can build a relationship with your subscriber effortlessly. If you’re not sure how to set up your email marketing during this time, our guide is written for you.
Ready to take your fashion retail store online?
Whether you’re setting up your online store or adapting your fashion store to fit the needs of your online shoppers, the most crucial part of this process is optimizing your strategies based on shopper feedback and analytics.
But we’ll be honest— effective marketing is hard especially during this time. That’s why our eCommerce experts are providing a FREE consultation for Shopify stores. With this consultation, our experts will help you design custom marketing strategies that are sure to be a success for you.