Selling fashion: How to do it online
The global fashion industry is worth 1.7 trillion dollars. 56 billion of this comes from the UK.
This astonishing figure makes the UK the third largest market for clothing and footwear worldwide, coming after the USA and China. Fashion is one of the biggest markets in the world, and for business owners, this can be daunting. So, how exactly can fashion businesses stand out in a crowded market?
To make money, you have to spend money. But to make a profit, you have to watch your outgoings. Purchasing stock without an evaluation of finances is a rookie error. Yes, stock is essential, but expensive stock is not. This doesn’t mean sourcing the cheapest stock you can find, but rather, sourcing stock that is good value for money and reflects your brand.
The fashion market is fast-paced which means that due to demand, prices can change quickly. Combined with inflation rates, this can cause chaos for fashion retailers due to uncertainty surrounding the cost of supply. To keep chaos at bay, people in fashion can take advantage of tools like the economic calendar, which provides insight into data that can range from industry-specific to general economic information, such as employment and inflation. Fashion businesses can use the calendar to plan their stock transactions to make the most of their money and anticipate future customer demand.
Invest in Marketing
It’s all well and good having stock, but clothes aren’t just going to sell themselves. After all, they’re not just a necessity. They’re a lifestyle choice – an image, a statement, an identity. A fashion business should come with a brand to make it identifiable to potential consumers. Take H&M as an example. They’re a high street fashion retailer that provides decent quality fashion at a reasonable price. On the other hand, there are brands like Chanel that pride themselves on their luxury status and high price point. Already, both brands target different consumer markets.
Marketing goes a step further. It works to actively find and target your desired consumer to invite them to become a customer of your brand. First things first, market research is a must and can take the shape of surveys, focus groups, interviews, and more. In doing this, a fashion business can uncover the needs and wants of their brand’s target market. From there, a brand’s offering can be formed and promoted to the desired market. This can take the shape of SEO, digital advertising, and email newsletters.
Get social savvy
Social media falls within a marketing strategy, but thanks to its rapid growth over the years, businesses are dedicating full teams to social media. It’s more than placing ads on social platforms and posting organic content. Now, thanks to the rise of platforms like TikTok, consumers want to see authentic content generated by people they trust.
This is where influencer marketing comes in and is a huge selling point for clothing brands. Take Pretty Little Thing as an example. They got Love Island contestant Molly-Mae Hague on board as an influencer and clothing sales rose rapidly. By working with influencers that relate to your target market, consumer relationships and brand loyalty can be formed.
There are many steps to achieving success as a business entrepreneur in the fashion industry. Monitoring spend, acquiring stock, promoting your brand, and connecting with consumers are the key pillars to getting there.
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