Fashion retailers can no longer be skeptical about adding online shopping for their customers after this report obviously displays ecommerce sales are definitely not damaging business.
It’s widely known the habit of consumers search the internet for discounts and price comparisons before purchasing. Even more so with the use of smart phones over the last few years. But it’s also been a question of doubt for retailers whether providing online convenience shopping would damage offline sales. This doubt had many company’s – particularly within the fashion industry – delay offering the option to purchase their brands online. But not now.
The delay gave smaller designer brands the opportunity to get themselves known and found by consumers who were online convenience shoppers and a lot of those designers today are relishing the growth that the online exposure has given them. So now we have seen larger brands cave into the consumer demand to provide the convenience of buying online because they have seen the decline in sales in stores drop anyway. So what did they have to lose?
In Australia particularly, we have embraced shopping online to take advantage of our strong dollar and buying big known brands direct from the US – cutting out the traditional Australian distributors we were forced once to purchase from. So the consumer activity has forced Australian fashion companies to provide the same solution in order to compete on price and still make a profit.
Although the table below from Emarketer displays U.S online spending activity it’s always a good reflection of what the Australian consumer is doing also. As you can see, not only has the fashion industry spending increased in the last 2 years, but it’s share of online consumer spending is double what used to be seen as the most popular internet purchases after technology – books, music and video.
In the last 2 years we know how the online spending effected the large traditional book and music chain stores… so, is this why we are now seeing the big fashion brands like Bonds & David Jones jumping online – getting in before it’s too late maybe? We don’t blame them.
In fact it is only going to deliver more competitive prices for the consumer, because unlike books or technology, fashion is more short lived – seasonal in fact. So it is wise to consider joining a few of your favourite fashion labels email lists or Facebook pages to be the first to be notified of those seasonal sales!
So, where does this now leave the smaller fashion retailer boutique stores? Should they too be considering e commerce options? Our answer is MOST DEFINITELY!!! It’s only the beginning – look at the predicted growth over the next 4 years in the chart.
For many small businesses there will be needed extra effort in marketing their online store – just building one isn’t going to instantly get you sales. But like any industry, this is a matter of assessing the needs of the customer within the business and how they search for the products you plan to sell online. What keywords are people searching, and are they listed in your pages, products, images etc in your online store. This tends to be a forgotten strategy which long term can help rank your store to be found in organic searches rather than paying for adwords.
Having an online store is obviously less costly than the overheads of expanding with extra staff and commercial leasing so investing a little money into the marketing of the website, on a regular basis, is going to be a more cost effective strategy long term.
If you have a line of products and want an e commerce system then contact us to receive a few of our client’s samples and the strategies we are using to help them market their products online. If you would like us to review your current online store to see how we can improve your online presence then send us some details using our contact form and we will freely spend 30 minutes on the phone consulting with you.