Many fashion brand owners and entrepreneurs I speak to often complain about lack of sales and ask “how do you increase sales for your fashion brand”? They blame the economy, social media and everything under the sun. Their brands and businesses suffer, struggle and often close because of no sales. The reality is somewhat different. Never before have we had so many opportunities to sell our products. If you believe this and still not selling, the harsh truth is that you are simply not doing enough to bring the sales home.
Now there are many reasons why you may not sell a product. It could be that the product price is wrong or the product/market fit is not good.
It could be that your brand marketing communication is lacklustre and not clear enough who you are communicating to.
While we see this daily and help many entrepreneurs get back on track, the act of selling products is really a numbers game.
There is no magic formula.
How much you sell and how you sell really depends on you – the fashion CEO and brand owner.
It requires you to get out there and be in as many places as possible where your ideal customer may be.
So let’s take a look and see what are some new, additional ways (to your own website) in which you can increase sales for your fashion brand.
More ideas how to grow your brand awareness, reach and make more sales online and offline can be found in our “Skyrocket Your Sales” masterclass here.
Sell at Online Marketplaces
It goes without saying that most brands that launch in today’s day and age launch with an online store of their own – aka their own transactional website.
But where many go wrong and are shocked to discover is that just because you built it, they (the customers and website traffic) will not come.
You need to invest a lot of time and resources in continuous marketing and additional tasks to make your website work, generate sales and then increase sales for your fashion brand.
So in addition t your website it is advisable to look into and consider joining online marketplaces and platforms that represent and sell multiple brands under one umbrella.
Depending on your target market, product and brand, you can set up your own online store and sell on Etsy, NotOnTheHighStrteet or WolfandBadger. These are just a few – there are many, many more that focus on single product category or not – look online and look at your competitor and where they sell online to get a more tailored and comprehensive lost of viable options for your brand.
Sell at Home Parties
This is one of the easiest to organise and my personal favourite way to increase sales for your fashion brand.
Many years ago, way before the existence of the internet, AVON – the cosmetics brand, made it big simply by going directly to its customers’ homes and organising home parties.
Some designer brands in the 90s and early 2000s also applied this model to getting rid off samples and old stock.
The concept still works today. It can be applied any which way you want and increase sales for your fashion brand almost effortlessly.
All it takes is to find willing friends or brand ambassadors willing to host a home party for your brand and invite their friends to a “shopping party”.
The way it usually works is that the brand will sell their products at special prices at the event. They could offer special discount on the day/night, perhaps cover the costs for the entertainment expenses (drinks, nibbles…etc) and gift the host something or give them small percentage commission of the sales made on the night.
Sell to Independent Boutiques
As the world of retail is fragmenting more and more, the big chains and department stores are struggling. Their loss is someone else’s gain. There are plenty of small independent boutiques scattered across every country, in big and small cities doing business the old fashioned way – by knowing their customers really well and looking after them online and offline.
Often they are small shops with a single owner that is not hand-tied by a long chain of command. That means that you – the fashion designer or brand CEO can really build a relationship with the owner who is often also the buyer.
Developing a relationship with boutique owners often allows for certain flexibility for both parties; if you deliver late one season, for instance, they’ll still trust you. There is also the ability to get valuable feedback from the buyer about your line.
The downside is that you may have to work on consignment with them (or Sale or Return basis) to begin with but as long as you are clear from the start and agree on terms it can be a favourable arrangement.
Sell via Trunk Shows
As customers are free to shop globally online and loyalty seems to be something of the past, small and larger boutiques are open to innovation in order to retain clients and attract new ones. One great way of doing this is to introduce them to new brands without committing to buying stock via a trunk show. It’s a sort of a test before commitment and retailers love that as it can increase sales for your fashion brand as well as for the boutique host.
A trunk show is a selling event at a boutique for 1 day or even a few hours.
The advantage of a trunk show to clothing and jewellery designers is that the brand or designer gets access to the boutique’s customers without having to do much marketing. Even better – you get to meet the customers and get valuable feedback from them about your product’s fit, style, colours, etc.
If all goes well and sales are good you may even get taken on by the boutique. Don’t forget that once clients know about you, they can become part of your “ecosystem” and potentially can become direct clients and shop via your online shop.
To organise one such event, connect to buyers and if there is a good fit but resistance and hesitation on their part to buy your brand, propose to them a trunk show. You can also do a trunk show with existing stockists. Customers always love to meet and rub shoulders with the designer of the brand they buy.
Sell at Art and Craft Fairs
Throughout the year most big and small cities have art and craft fairs. Selling your clothing or accessories line at such fair will give you instant gratification, as they are retail events – aka you sell your product just like any shop will to the end customer. The customers pay retail prices and you get the money right away. An easy way to increase sales for your fashion brand. These can be indoors or outdoors. They can be small or big events.
Unlike selling online, you get the interaction with your customer which is hugely important. It is a chance to upsell them to one or more products, get feedback and above all establish a connection that may lead to repeat custom.
An example of one such fair is the annual Goldsmiths Fair for jewellery artists in London. But there are many more themed by occasion (Christmas fairs) or product category. Check out locally for events near you.
Sell Through Street Markets
Depending on the type of brand and business you have, you may take part in local street fairs and markets and again sell directly to the consumer.
Unlike craft fairs, these can be regular events and great for selling end of the line products, samples or special lines you may develop just for the demand you have noticed on the street.
Sell Through Corporate Sales
One way to get extra sales especially around big occasions and special gifting times of the year is to approach big companies like banks, financial institutions, advertising and marketing companies and offer them your products for corporate gifting purposes.
It is a great way to get small orders. Sometimes they may ask for small customisations (which is even better as they become bespoke products) and personalisation. This should all be music to the designer ears as really it allows for an extra cost to be added to the product and secures the sale.
Many fashion brands are using Instagram as a new way to generate more sales for their business. Be it via the power of collaborating with influencers pr directly – selling via Instagram (and social media as a whole) is a whole new sales channel you have for free at your fingertips.
Cultivating a community of engaged followers is key. Having a website is optional, though preferable. But it is not impossible to sell directly via Instagram by posting products, engaging with your customers and sending them a purchase link via DMs for the one or many products you promote on your page.
Selling Through a Pushcart
In fashion, we often turn our noses up to ideas that are not what everyone does. But if you approach things from the point of view that to exist, your brand needs to make money and think outside the box – no idea should be a bad idea – right?
So in the spirit of this thinking – consider selling your products via a pushcart in a shopping mall. It would have a low cost associated with it and can generate many immediate cash sales which again – you can turn into repeat customers online.
So these few ideas above range from easy to medium difficulty in execution. On thing is for certain – to survive you must sell more of your product. By selling more and experimenting with these and more ideas you will grow your brand awareness and your reach without even trying. Being seen in more places will also allow you to acquire new customers, have more to talk on your social media. The best part is that it will lead to more sales without you even trying.
So start when you are ready, but just so you know, the right time to do it is NOW.
More ideas on how to grow your brand awareness, reach and make more sales online and offline can be found in our masterclasses available here.