14 December 2023Back to Blog
From Catwalk to Click: How eCommerce is Tailoring Fashion’s Future
The rise of ecommerce has been instrumental in the growth of the fashion industry. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic that caused online shopping to be a necessity for most of us, consumers continue to rely on digital shopping more than ever. According to data gathered by Statista, by November of 2022, fashion had accounted for $197.3 billion of all U.S. ecommerce revenue for the year. Also, according to 2021 estimates, the apparel market is worth a whopping 124 billion dollars in the US industry alone. So why has ecommerce had such an impact on the fashion industry?
The Importance of a Personalised Shopping Experience
As well as the increase in traffic that ecommerce fashion sites have seen in recent years, this also means an increase in competition for retailers. Luckily, fashion brands can take advantage of many of the technological advancements that ecommerce offers in order to combat the growing market they find themselves in. For example, a huge player in the world of online fashion retail at the moment is personalisation. We believe a personalised shopping experience is important in all areas of retail, but especially in fashion. For many fashion-lovers, clothes, shoes and accessories are a way of expressing individual personality and creativity. Fashion is personal, so why shouldn’t the shopping experience reflect this? Our partner, Advanced Commerce, are experts in this area. CEO of Advanced Commerce, Andre Brown, had this to say on the topic of personalisation in fashion:
By leveraging their GrapheneHC platform, Advanced Commerce is able to implement a number of personalisation tools that make the buyer experience unique for every customer. Whether it’s targeted marketing strategies or search terms that trigger personalised merchandising, personalisation is key to standing out and providing a memorable experience for your customers. Take a look at our partner page for more on how your ecommerce site can benefit from our partnership with Advanced Commerce.
The Omnichannel Approach
Another element of ecommerce that has allowed the fashion industry to grow is its efficiency. Being able to browse from the comfort of your own home, or on the go on your mobile device, makes the purchasing process a lot easier and often encourages consumers to shop more than they usually would. One of the approaches that many fashion retailers are taking to boost efficiency is by streamlining their omnichannel services. As opposed to a multichannel approach that is split into many different platforms that the customer has to navigate separately, many fashion retailers are shifting their focus to a connected, customer-focused platform that flows seamlessly. For example, huge fashion retailer New Look are leading the way in this area, which they explain on their website:
“Unlike multichannel, our omnichannel approach provides a unified experience across all channels, whether that’s our app, website or physical stores. This gives our customers the freedom to shop and engage in a way that suits them, whether that’s ordering online to collect for free in their local store, or shopping looks direct from our Instagram feed.”
With ecommerce fashion becoming more and more present on social media, especially with the rise of influencer marketing, the omnichannel approach has allowed fashion retailers to expand their reach and create a shopping experience that takes customers seamlessly from their platform of choice to the checkout.
The Role of Product Reviews
Product reviews are a crucial part of any ecommerce site, but none more so than in the fashion market. With confusing sizing that often isn’t very consistent, misleading product photos or even a lack of representation for all body-types, customer reviews are a great way for customers to learn more about a product before they hit the checkout. Not only do reviews help to inform customers and build trust, this openness with customers could also reduce the number of returns. By implementing a review platform onto your ecommerce fashion site, you could be eliminating the buyer’s hesitancy surrounding online shopping and giving them one less reason to opt for a brick and mortar store. Here at 5874, we support integrations with platforms like Stamped and Reviews.io to help our clients reap the benefits of customer reviews.
Women in Fashion
When discussing the rise of fashion in ecommerce, we have to mention the role that women in ecommerce play. Recently, our Marketing Director, Sara Russell, attended the ‘Women in Fashion’ event in London that was hosted by our partner BigCommerce along with Dressipi and Voyado. The event covered topics such as how fashion brands can use personalisation to their advantage, the ROI and best practices of social media and TikTok and how to build authentic brand content that resonates with your audiences. Sara had this to say about the event:
“Events like this really support and inspire what we’re trying to achieve with The Women’s Domain – women have such an important role to play in our industry and the more recognition that gets the more success we’ll see.”
The Women’s Domain campaign was founded by the 5874 Commerce marketing team with the intention of shining a light on women in ecommerce and celebrating the impact they have on the industry. The campaign has included a number of events that look at the impact in detail and provide a place for women and allies to network and share their experiences. For example, on November 15th 2023, The Women’s Domain held a panel event looking at ‘The Rise of Social Commerce’ which celebrated the role women have played in social commerce and the industry in general. Read a recap of the event and the main takeaways in our blog ‘The Women’s Domain: Community, Collaboration, Connection’.
Best Practices for eCommerce Fashion Brands
So, now you know some of the key reasons why ecommerce has had such an impact on the fashion industry, here’s some of our tips for maximising your fashion brand’s potential online and standing out in the crowd:
Social Media presence
First, you need to decide which social media platforms are best-suited for your business and your target audience. One of the most popular platforms amongst fashion retailers is Instagram, which makes sense with “apparel brands averaging 13.71 interactions per 1000 followers”, which is much higher than competitor platforms like Pinterest or LinkedIn. Platforms like Instagram are also very popular with brands looking to leverage influencer marketing, which can be a very powerful tool especially when marketing to a younger audience.
Website Appearance and User Experience (UX)
It doesn’t matter how well you present your business on social media, if users get to your site and it looks unattractive and isn’t easy to navigate, then you’ve already lost the customer you worked so hard to convert. If your site is outdated, one of the best ways to digitally transform your ecommerce site is through an agency like 5874 Commerce. Our client, Mona Fashion, came to 5874 as an internationally-recognised fashion brand that needed their site to better represent their brand and facilitate their continued growth in the ecommerce landscape. We utilised our BigCommerce partnership to transform their monolithic site using BigCommerce and Ionic React platforms, and leveraged our other partnerships with Vercel and Linnworks to enhance overall user experience. Read the full case study to see the whole process and the results they achieved, here.
Personalisation shouldn’t stop with search and merchandising. You can continue to add value to your customers by offering discounts and promotions that are tailored to their shopping habits to ensure they keep coming back for more. Many widely-recognised fashion brands wouldn’t be where they are today without utilising the technological advancements that the ecommerce industry has to offer.
As a BigCommerce Elite Partner, we have access to industry-specific tool kits that have led to a catalogue of success stories. Our partnerships combined with our expert ecommerce knowledge makes us the perfect place to start growing your business. Contact us to find out more, here.