To launch and grow a fashion brand online seems like a glamorous way to make a living. Fashionistas and those with an eye for style would be perfect for this job. Unfortunately, there’s more to selling stylish clothes, shoes, and accessories in today’s overcrowded online space.
Most businesses usually start small. To launch and grow a fashion brand online at the beginning, it is usually crucial to keep it small because this is where many fail. The reasons for failure, such as the inability to adapt to market changes, not listening to customers, and not marketing online.
In this day and age, people are reliant on the internet for various reasons: it is an indispensable tool for information and communication. Because of that, small businesses should take advantage of this channel for their cost-effective way of being available to customers at any time and any day.
Where do you start to launch and grow a fashion brand online?
A business needs considerable capital, effort, and research to reach the bare minimum. It’s not something that you can dive right in willy-nilly without any idea because the consequences are expensive. So where do you start? Here are some things you should consider first.
1. Know the Big Picture
What are the short-term and long-term goals of the fashion brand? Are they sustainable, and are the resources enough to achieve them? These are only some important questions for aspiring fashion-brand moguls.
When you know the big picture, it’s easier to focus on it. Setting daily objectives can help.
2. Have a Plan in Hand
With a clear vision of the future, there should be a plan to make your goals come true. There should be a lot of research and consultation involved before launching any business online or otherwise.
Decisions about sales, financing, and marketing should all be clear.
3. Develop a Consistent Brand Identity
Every business should have a brand identity because it sets them apart from everyone else. Your business can specialize in select types of fashion, be a wholesaler, or be whatever you want. You have several choices for selling products online. There are integrated platforms that are easier to set up than others are.
More often than not, long-term goals can change over time. Rebranding is an effective way to tailor-fit any coming opportunities for your business. A strong online presence often helps validate the brand, and that is why its success is critical for new companies. Here are some tips to remember:
4. Identify Target Audience and Competition
Back in the days when there was no internet, businesses identified their customers and competition via word of mouth and sales. These days, the universality of the online world means there are a lot more competitors than you think. It is best to study the most notable business competition on top of the target audience.
The number of online platforms is plenty and overwhelming. Cut the work you need to do by studying the most successful businesses you feel like rivalling and look at where they place the most emphasis on attracting potential customers. Once you’ve established the outlets to use, be consistent, and take ownership of them.
5. Authenticity Matters
Superficiality is rampant online, but there is an audience that craves authenticity. Having a brand personality that is consistent and genuine often translates to having a lot of customers trust them. The voice used in online posts matter, and it should help echo what the company stands for.
Being authentic and sharing not just the end result of your hard labour, but also the journey to get there, the values that you believe in and guide your designs and actions are all contributing factors to success. Customers buy from people, not businesses. People buy products, not brands. Remember that though online, the people clicking the button are real and they need to know you are too.
6. Powerful Content and Engagement Are Kings
Text is all well and good, but it doesn’t draw as much engagement as a photo or a video can. People on the internet don’t care for reading when they’re on social media platforms unless they’re looking for specific information. Keep engagement up by making content fun, interesting, and easy to digest.
It’s not enough to just post and go. Customers appreciate direct engagement from the brand itself. Ask brand-related questions or opinions, and reply by asking for more information, thanking suggestions, and offering to do better for criticisms.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
The online landscape is dynamic and ever-changing. What worked a few years ago, most likely will not be relevant today, so always search for the latest trends and reports on what works best at the time when you are reading this.
7. Quality over Quantity
Inexperienced people will say that you’ll get more with more. That is not always the case especially when you are in the early stages of growing your business. More options, bigger variety and more product won’t necessarily translate to attracting more sales.
Curating quality products to sell, targeted at your ideal client and target market will keep you focused and make your effort pay off sooner.
This also applies to creating a buzz online for your business. It is not encouraged to sign up for every social media platform just because you can. Stick with a few networks, and spend quality time there.
8. Product Photos and Videos Should Be High-Quality
No one is ever enticed to purchase products because of a pixelated photo. The number one driving force of your business is sales, so to make a lot, invest in high-quality images and videos of the products.
And since a fashion brand is reliant on images, it would be a fatal mistake to gloss over this detail.
Pick one or 2 online large brands you like and look and study how they present their products online. Look at the visuals they use, the way they talk about the product and the language they use. Look at many products over and over again – study the small details as it is the small details that make all the difference.
9. Do Giveaways Wisely
A giveaway is an effective way to get followers, likes, and awareness for your brand.
It is easy to ask people to share in exchange for….more chances to win, special bonus points… it’s up to you how you run your giveaway. The more people you engage and attract and encourage to share the better exposure you will get for your brand.
The more fun you make the giveaway, the more you “game-fy” it – the more people you will attract.
Be sure to check out the guidelines for what is and what is not allowed when doing giveaways.
Whatever you decide to do – remember these 2 things: there is no right and wrong and there is no such thing as “overnight” success. Success is subjective. There is always a tremendous amount of effort or work involved in established businesses that have got to where they are today. Challenges are inevitable for any new ventures, but with enough preparation and some assistance, any challenge is surmountable.
A great strategy, a sound marketing plan, and the wise use of resources can help strengthen your business’ online presence. Changes always come and go, so it is an excellent idea to adapt to trends that may quickly come, go, and die out.
For more expert advice and how to grow your online eCommerce shop, get this resource.
This is a guest post written for fashion Insiders & Co by Melissa Page