In fashion, there’s no greater goal in life than standing out from the crowd.
And that’s for both the people who buy it and those who sell it.
This is more apparent when you venture into the world of eCommerce.
Out of the many eCommerce businesses existing on the internet, nothing competes for customers’ attention more than fashion stores.
Because when it comes to fashion, it’s all about knowing what your customers want.
So the question here is this. How can you stand out as an eCommerce fashion brand?
What do you need to do so you can maximize your customer acquisition and retention?
There are a number of strategies we will be discussing later on. But first, so that you can make the most of the solutions below, you will need to confront the challenges that your business venture faces.
What are the Challenges of eCommerce Fashion Brands?
No eCommerce business is without its fair share of challenges.
And online fashion brands are no exception.
Choosing the internet as a business platform opens up a whole new box of challenges that you will have to face. Let’s run through these challenges briefly:
Check out this infographic that contains data from Marketing Sherpa. It shows that Apparel, Footwear, and Accessories has an average conversion rate of 12.6%. This is somewhat in the middle compared to other product types on the chart.
So what does this mean? It means you have your work cut out for you. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. How can you compete for higher conversion rates?
What email strategies should you use? And which ones are best for your fashion brand?
These are probably the questions running through your mind right now, and you are always on the lookout for solutions to these challenges.
Product Positioning and Discovery
There’s a lot of competition on the internet. So it’s totally understandable if your potential customers will have difficulty finding your products.
After all, your online store isn’t the only one selling white shirts or khaki cargo pants. Product positioning would rely heavily on how visible your products are to your target customers, as well as how easily they can discover your brand.
Think of it this way. In your customers’ perspective, it’s like searching through a bursting closet filled with white shirts—with each shirt belonging to a different brand. So you would have to make sure that it’s your white shirt that the customer is looking for.
If only there was a way to easily reach out to your customers and make them notice your products.
Brand Trust and Loyalty
With all the other fashion brands on the web, how can you make sure yours is the one customers return to? How do you make them love your brand so much that they regularly buy from your shop?
Here’s the answer: customer engagement. In a nutshell, engaging with customers helps build customer relationships. This is something easily done with face-to-face interactions. But in eCommerce, how do you pull this off?
High Return Rates
Did you know that at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned? The shirt doesn’t fit. The pants are too long! The color isn’t as bright. These are just a few of the reasons why fashion products are returned.
As you know, there is no way to physically examine a product if you’re viewing it using a screen. As an online fashion store, this can be an inconvenience most of the time.
Customers are willing to take the risk, even if they can’t physically fit the clothes or shoes. If the clothes fit, that’s awesome for both you and your customers. But if they don’t fit, or if there are other issues, you can expect a return, a complaint, and sometimes even a refund.
How Can Your Online Fashion Store Benefit from Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a guaranteed way to communicate with a specific group of your customers. Plus, when you use email marketing for your eCommerce business, you get to enjoy a whole range of benefits.
Since yours is an online fashion brand, here’s what you can expect from email marketing:
You Can Sell Stock from the Previous Season Faster
Imagine this: The summer season is over and you still have a lot of summer clothes in your inventory. What do you do? You put them on sale, like other eCommerce stores!
However, simply putting your summer clothes on sale is no longer enough.
Remember, you aren’t the only online fashion brand on the internet.
That’s when email marketing comes in. If you know how to maximize your email marketing strategies, you can land a sweet spot in your target customers’ inboxes.
What does this mean? Getting into their inboxes is a surefire way to make your potential customers–and even your current customers, aware of your last season apparel sale.
Easier and More Efficient If You Know How to Use it Right
Email marketing sounds simple, and it is. The bottom line is you’re using the power of emails to make your customers want to buy from you.
Basically, email marketing is both easy to use and time-efficient. These are both qualities that are always beneficial especially when it comes to marketing.
The trick lies in knowing how you can use email marketing effectively so that it actually generates results. Maximize your strategies by using automation and you will be pleasantly surprised at the difference it makes.
So how will your fashion store benefit from this? Automation makes communicating with your customers faster and more efficient. Even promotional emails or campaigns can be automated, so you don’t have to send them manually.
You Can Recover First-time Buyers
A brand new customer visits your website, browses your items, makes a purchase, then goes off to another part of the internet. Maybe he has the intention to go back, but he gets easily distracted by other products and other shops. The Internet is, after all, full of distractions.
So there’s a pretty big chance you won’t be hearing from that customer ever again.
What do you do? Use email to stay in touch with first-time buyers.
Yes, it’s that easy. Especially since it’s a customer who already bought something from your online store. You have their email address and you know they’re interested in your products.
Instead of just sending them confirmation emails about their orders, hold their hand till they actually receive what they purchased from your online store.
You can do this by sending a series of emails updating your customers about their orders—like where it is, when they can expect it, and even fun how-to guides.
Here are a few examples from the online fashion brand ASOS: First, they sent a confirmation email—
And yes, it’s more than just a confirmation email.
They explained stuff like canceling or amending the order if the customer finds it necessary.
There’s more! They even have a call-to-action included in the email that offers assistance to customers about their orders.
Next, they sent a quick update email—
They detailed that the customer’s order is already on its way.
Not only that, they snuck in a little link encouraging the customer to return to their website and browse for more items.
And as a bonus, you can even add a reward for your first-time buyers, like ASOS did:
Rewarding your first-time buyers will encourage them to buy from you again. This means you can convert them into regular customers.
So the next time someone asks how to get customers to buy from their shop again, you already know the answer.
You Can Anticipate Seasonal Sales
Have you ever wondered what your customers want so you can guarantee they buy what you offer?
With email marketing, all you have to do is ask!
Yes, even when you’re still in the conceptualization phase of what to stock up for the next season, you can use email marketing to ask your customers what they would like to see for sale in your store.
You can also ask for their opinions about their favorite items from your store.
This way, you’re stocking up on items that have a higher chance of selling and you also have a better feel of what favorites to restock.
Email Marketing is the Most Effective Advertising Method
With email marketing, you can accurately target your email campaigns to your segmented email list.
This means you can group together your customers who have similar demographics, interests, behaviors, and even engagement level.
Then you can send the right promotional emails with content relevant to each group for maximum marketing effectiveness.
Fashion Consumers are More Receptive to Promotional Emails
Turns out, people actually love receiving offers through email.
Did you know? 77% of consumers prefer email over other forms of online channels.
The best part? Direct mail is in second place with 9%. Now that’s a HUGE gap.
In fact, back in 2016, a survey conducted by Mapp Digital found that 82% of women like to receive offers by email or newsletters from the usual shops they buy from.
So don’t hesitate to send your customers promotional emails. As long as the content is relevant to them, they would be more than happy to receive them.
With all these benefits in mind, how can you make the most of email marketing for your eCommerce fashion brand?
Or rather, let’s put it this way—
How Can You Keep Your Fashion Brand in Style with Email Marketing?
Finally, what can you do to stand out from the crowd and attract the crowd? What do you have?
Well, you have the power of customer engagement with email marketing by your side.
But with all that power, how can you use it effectively to benefit your business?
Here are some email marketing tips for your eCommerce fashion brand:
Use Double Opt-in Emails
Getting customers to sign-up for your newsletters is one thing. But you’re going to need a way to confirm your customers have legitimate accounts and that the email they gave is an active one.
This ensures you have organic traffic going into your website and not just empty email addresses filling up your email list.
This practice will not only benefit your conversion rates, open rates, and overall revenue. It will also help you measure your engagement levels more accurately.
Segment Your Emails
When it comes to email marketing, this is the one practice you will always hear about.
It involves dividing your email list into segments made of customers with similar interests, as we mentioned earlier.
This way, it’s easier to send relevant emails to the right customers.
Email segmentation helps with your product positioning and customer loyalty.
Your customers know that you know what they want, and you deliver. With content tailored to their preferences, your customers will be more inclined to open your emails, read your messages, and conduct a purchase again.
Engagement is Key
One of the most important things for fashion brands is customer engagement.
As an eCommerce business, this will help you in the long run.
When done right, marketing emails can replicate the effect of engaging with customers face-to-face.
Customer engagement builds customer relationships. This, in turn, creates customer loyalty. And customer loyalty is what will give your eCommerce business a solid foothold on the internet.
With the many types of marketing emails out there, you have a wide variety of email types to choose from that best capture your customers’ attention and interest.
Personalize Your Customers’ Experience
Not all clothing sizes can comfortably fit everyone. Not all customers will have the same tastes and preferences.
Using the power of email marketing, you can ask your customers for additional details so you can find the “clothes that best fit them.”
You can do this by engaging with your customers through emails. Specifically, you can use follow-up emails after a customer has completed their purchase.
You can use this time to open a conversation with your customer and ask about any additional information you need to make sure they’re getting exactly what they bought.
Not only is this a great way to confirm your customers’ purchases, but it also gives you the opportunity to collect data for your customers’ preferences when it comes to their clothes.
This way, you can avoid product returns from customers unsatisfied with a piece of clothing they bought.
Giving your customers the ability to be specific with the clothes they want to buy from you only encourages them to choose your fashion brand more than others.
So even if your store has that white shirt that every other online store has, at least your customers know that your shop has the white shirts that fit perfectly and comfortably.
Inform Your Customers About Your Products
How can potential customers choose your brand if they don’t know much about the apparel your store is selling?
With email marketing, you can send informative emails with details about the clothes you sell—especially details that they can’t find on your store’s catalog alone.
This is a great opportunity to engage with your customers and open conversations with them.
When they know you are there to provide them with extra information about your products, that is a very big plus for building customer relationships.
Even when your customers have so many fashion brand choices other than your own, they will still choose you.
Why? Because your customers trust you, they know the clothes you’re selling, and they know you care more about their satisfaction with every piece of clothing they buy from your store.
Offer Special Deals and Discounts
As an online fashion store, one of your best weapons on the field is the power of incentive.
After all, who can say no to a good deal, right? Regularly sending emails with special offers to your customers will make them more receptive to other emails you send.
Try to change it up from time to time. You can offer free shipping sometimes, or discount coupons. You can tie up some freebies sometimes too. Don’t be afraid to be creative and experiment.
Promote New Products
What keeps customers engaged with your brand? It’s the fact they get to look forward to new clothes you have available for sale.
This is a great strategy when winning back customers who haven’t visited your online store in a while.
Promoting new products also nurtures customer loyalty. Because they know you keep your catalog updated with new clothes to try on.
Here’s a sample product launch email from Chubbies:
Remember, it’s not simply about introducing a new product to your customers.
Chubbies engages with their customers by giving their email exciting energy and the right amount of humor.
Now think about this: what flavor can you add to your product launch emails?
Even though there are many other fashion brands out there, you can still stand out from the rest by reaching out to the right customers.
By introducing your brand to the right customers, you are building customer loyalty.
And when you have loyal customers, your online fashion brand becomes their go-to fashion brand for their fashion needs and wants.
BigCommerce has an article that lists down the Top 18 E-commerce Fashion Websites to Watch in 2019. And here’s an article from EcommercePlatforms showing 60 Amazing Online Fashion Stores and their UX Tricks You Should Steal.
We like these two articles because they enumerate the different existing online brands you can look up for reference. Not only that, but these articles also highlight the strategies that the brands used to optimizing their websites with the best user experience in mind.
And finally, this article from ReferralSaasquatch shows 8 Fashion E-commerce Email Marketing Examples you can use as inspiration for your own marketing emails. This article has a great selection of examples so you can learn about everything that goes into designing marketing emails for your online fashion store.