7 Tips for Selling Fashion Online
Time to read: 12 minutes
You’re busting your rear as it is. Making samples, sketching, sourcing materials, the list goes on. But when you’ve finally got your product made, the next hurdle arrives - selling it.
Making the product is half the fun job. Next, comes actually selling it.
When you’re starting off, you’re probably thinking that you can get away with selling on Facebook or Instagram. That may be the case. But unless you’re Kanye (that’s not the first time I’ll reference him), selling on one channel is just not sustainable.
We’ve put together this handy little list for you. In the lead up to taking brand online, these are some things that cannot be overlooked.
First things first - a website. This is the central hub for everything. Everything you do online should link back to your web store.
You need a website that is also an ecommerce platform. An ecommerce platform is a website that lets you show off your products. It also provides a shopping cart and checkout feature for people to buy.
This website should be the central online hub for your brand’s entire online presence.
For you (the user) it needs to be easy to update stock and fulfil orders with on a daily basis.
Of course, here at Shoplo, we specialize in websites that compliment fashion brands. We focus on brands that sell quality, not just quantity. Your web store should be a reflection of everything your brand is about - and that’s what we help build.
Your eCommerce platform should give you complete control over the design and layout of your web store. For your customer, it’s all about design.
Design & Branding
When it comes to creating this website, design and layout are of utmost importance.
It goes without saying that your label should have it’s branding down pat. Logo, colour palette and a basic design, for sure. These are things that should be echoed throughout the design of your web store.
Yeah Bunny nail branding over multiple platforms.
Also consider your brand statement, slogan and core values. How can you incorporate these things into the design and layout of your web site?
One way to do this is to let your photos be the hero. High quality and well designed photos should take centre stage on your website. Imagery should complement your core values.
If you are empowering individuals, show empowered individuals using your clothing. If you are trying to appeal to a certain demographic, show that demographic using your clothing.
If you’re stuck and not sure when to begin with design, take a minimalistic approach. A simple layout makes it easy for your customer to navigate your page. In a lot of cases, it also compliments most clothing designs.
When it comes to calming the mind of on-the-fence buyers, social proof is the way to go.
Social proof is evidence of engagement and interaction. This is why we automatically value brands with a higher as following as more important.
More followers = more important.
A great way to build social proof, (especially if you're starting from scratch) is user generated content. A customer takes a photo of your new product and shares it on social media.
That is user generated content and you should share it.
Sneez.io is a powerful tool that turns social proof on it’s head. When a purchase is made, the buyer is encouraged to take a photo with their new purchase and share it.
That picture, taken by the buyer, is automatically added to your web site. The buyer is rewarded in some way for sharing a picture of their new purchase.
This is social proof in the form of your customers enjoying their product - it’s also a great way to create return buyers.
Know your niche
You’re passionate about leggings, your sleepwear range is going ok, but your accessories aren’t too popular at all.
Starting out, your brand will get the most traction by sticking to one niche and doing it well. Define your target audience, discover where your best customers spend their time and advertise there.
Your brand will find more longevity out of becoming a master of one niche and growing from there, compared to doing little bits of everything on an ok level.
National post services are usually the default provider that one will go to. However, most are notorious for being unreliable and lazy.
When setting up your web store, shop around to find a postage provider than can save you, and ultimately your customer money. DHL, UPS, FedEx, just to name a few.
Australian men’s grooming company The Groomed Man Co. are able to ship every sale for free. Their contract with their shipping company means that the brand can absorb the cost.
If your products are small, lightweight and relatively cheap to ship, consider absorbing the cost yourself or reflecting it in the final sale price, to encourage people to buy with you.
Bonus tip: First impressions last. Don’t send your product wrapped in just a crappy plastic bag. Put some time and effort into sending your products in a branded, well designed box. Little things like this are what really makes a buying experience memorable.
Social Media Marketing
What’s your current social media plan like? Share pictures of your products and tell people to buy? That may have worked in 2009, but not today.
No one will follow your brand on any platform is all you do is promote yourself. Use social media to show behind the scenes, drum up hype about a new release or get word out about a flash sale.
But plan it, don’t do it impulsively.
Simply put, everything you do on social media, likes, tweets, replies and posts, should be part of a bigger plan.
6 simple steps to remember are:
Plan - What are your goals on social media? Use it as a sales channel or just increase awareness about your brand? Define your goals so they’re easier to work toward.
Audit - What has worked well for you in the past? What do current following like to see? What would you like to do differently?
Improve - Perfect what you have now. Make a perfect Instagram bio and create a killer Facebook Banner photo.
Learn - Are you a pro at Facebook but know nothing about Twitter? Create an account and get stuck in, learn what you don’t know. Try everything and over time, step away from what doesn’t work.
Create - Create your plan. In an Excel document, create a social media calendar for the next week or month. Leverage weird holidays. Show what content is shared when and in what channels.
Revise - At the end of the week or month, step back and see what has worked. Repeat what is good, improve what’s not.
Bonus tip: Be consistent with the tone of voice in your posts. Be spontaneous and witty when you interact and engage with followers.
Extra bonus tip: Devise a plan around engaging with trending stories. Eg, if Kim and Kanye (there he is) file for divorce, social media will erupt. How can you use this to your advantage?
For more on making a social media plan, check out what Buffer have to say.
Lookbooks are how brands and retailers help customers to ‘picture it’. It is a series of photographs showing off your products on a model in what may be a real life situation.
Apparel on models and a plain white background have their place - a lookbook takes your brand and outfit into a real life situation.
Lookbooks can be a load of fun to make. They need to be done right, and to do so, they need quite a bit of financial investment. First of all, you need a professional photographer.
You’re not going to take good photos on your cell phone. Period. So spend money on a decent photographer who can show your products off for that they’re worth. Then start thinking stylists, models, makeup and so on.
Lookbooks can be made on a budget - but do not skimp on a photographer. You can get your friends together and make a day of it, but a professional photographer is what will make the occasion worthwhile. By the way, don’t cut costs on the the photographer.
Over to you
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your brand’s online presence. Influencer marketing, pop up stores and flash sales are just a few more things that can level up your brand’s notoriety, but we’ll save those topics for another day!
As with most things in business, it’s all about trial and error. The hardest part isn’t implementing these new ideas, but figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t.
This this in mind, go forth and get your online store ready to take your product to the world!