5 Top Tips for a Successful Fashion E-Commerce Strategy

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Fashion remains the largest B2C e-commerce market segment – sales are predicted to reach $1 trillion by 2025 (Statista). And not only the biggest segment, but the most successful too: from 2020-2021, sportswear brands and luxury players including Nike, Adidas, Anta Sports and Lululemon, as well as LVMH, Kering and Hermès were among the “super winners”, outperforming the wider market.

In the following article, we will not only highlight the challenges they (and you) face, but also provide five key tips on how to work around them to drive a fashion e-commerce strategy that makes you become a super-winner.

4 challenges every fashion brand needs to meet

1. Death of brand loyalty

The ever-present threat of abandonment by fickle customers is a clear and present risk to brands, especially on marketplaces. 44% of brands report the biggest challenges selling on marketplaces are competing on price and controlling (i.e., differentiating) the customer experience.

2. Rising return rates and how to manage them

Despite the emergence a decade ago of virtual fitting rooms to help shoppers choose the correct size, see how a garment would fit on them, or even go with other garments (outfit-builders), return rates today remain stubbornly high starting at around 25% for single items purchased in a single size.

3. Technological advancements require investment

Continuing a trend which started to gain traction soon after the emergence of virtual fitting rooms, augmented and virtual reality shopping experiences are rapidly becoming the norm, especially for luxury brands. The metaverse – fully immersive, virtual reality worlds – is upon us. But not many brands will be able to invest as heavily as luxury fashion brands to take advantage of it.

4. Pressure from consumers

Younger shoppers, in particular, are likely to lend their loyalty to brands with which they share an affinity, usually on the basis of common values or purpose. This frequently manifests in the form of “green credentials”, requiring brands to be able to demonstrate the use of ethically sourced and green manufacturing materials. This is leading to the introduction of “product passports”, which achieve two goals: tackling counterfeiting, and enhancing consumer trust. 40% of fashion executives plan to adopt product passports.

5 top tips for your fashion e-commerce strategy

Those are four meaty challenges. Addressing them successfully is, pretty much, a matter of life or death for fashion brands. And they are addressable, for sure. But at what cost? How can you address challenges like these without simply breaking the bank a different way?

1. Embrace the ‘social selling’ revolution

Social commerce sales are expected to nearly triple by 2025. Fashion brands are testing out the opportunities presented – such as livestreaming and augmented reality – on platforms including Snapchat and TikTok. Promote and sell your products on social media too, to increase visibility and brand loyalty.

How can Lengow help?

Lengow has developed integrations for social media platforms just as it has for 1600 other marketing and sales channels. We have integrations for Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. 

We have created powerful functionality on our platform (in the form of My Custom Channel) to help our clients win at live commerce.

Using the Lengow platform, Pimkie quickly gained visibility of an affinity audience and gave its traffic team full autonomy to manage its campaigns on TikTok. Since the campaign’s launch, Pimkie has increased coverage of under-25 shoppers by a million – up 78% – and has increased the number of customers recruited via the website by 10%.

Pimkie Case Study

Successful launch of Pimkie on TikTok Dynamic Product Ads with Lengow ...

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2. Sell your products on the right marketplaces

Marketplaces are a game-changer for driving growth and reaching new audiences: they are growing at double the rate of overall e-commerce, with more and more niche marketplaces created every year.

Many niche fashion marketplaces have emerged in the past few years, on which 35% of consumers* shop, especially for apparel, sneakers/other footwear and home products.

As well as providing visibility, marketplaces provide brands with other benefits – for example, the opportunity to sell end-of-season or off-season garments at cheaper prices. YOOX, Veepee, Privalia, showroomprivé.com or SecretSales provide this opportunity. This is increasingly important, since it is now illegal to destroy unsold goods in France, with similar legislation possible elsewhere. Where legislation doesn’t (yet) exist, consumer expectations around your approach to sustainability play a part.

How can Lengow help?

Lengow has integrations with all major (fashion) marketplaces (Zalando, YOOX, La Redoute etc.), enabling you to sell in more places without needing extra resources. Administer your marketplaces and monitor all key metrics through a single interface: the Lengow platform.

The made-in-Spain footwear company Liberitae developed a profitable digital strategy on the right marketplaces thanks to Lengow. They increased by x10 their turnover on marketplaces and got presence in x4 more countries.

Fashion Marketplaces

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3. Enrich your product catalogue to stand out from the crowd

With increasing competition and an increasing number of touchpoints, it is both difficult to stand out from the crowd and to ensure that shoppers see the same information wherever they encounter the brand.

To compete, follow best practice:

  • optimise your titles: use attractive, well-structured, strategic keywords. Use search tools to find out what people are searching for.
  • provide as many attributes as possible to better describe your products. Using both mandatory and optional attributes is important to providing a first-rate online product experience and to increasing the visibility of your product. This is especially important but challenging in the fashion sector, due to the numerous possible attributes. But it’s also vital to help your customers make a better-informed decision.
  • enrich your descriptions: give as many details as possible so customers know exactly what to expect from your fashion products

How can Lengow help?

Use the Lengow platform to create automatic rules and optimisations that improve the quality of your products feeds and save time and resources. For example, create rules to ensure that titles all have the same format – perhaps with capital letters at the beginning, and the same order of attributes. Use Additional Sources to enrich your catalogue with hot or cold data sources, to create a single, optimised product catalogue.

Using the Lengow platform, Liu Jo has optimised and automatically adapted its product catalogue of over 5,000 products for publication on 15 new marketplaces and marketing channels across seven countries.

Liu Jo Case Study

Success of Liu Jo, Italian fashion brand, on the European market in 8 ...

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4. Pay attention to your visuals and pictures

We’ve mentioned the high return rates in the fashion sector: 56% of clothing or footwear purchases are returned, and 30% jewellery and other accessory-related purchases are returned. Not only does the revenue not accrue, but there are restocking and other costs to absorb too.

It’s well-known that the more quality pictures a shopper sees, the higher the chance of conversion and the lower the chance of a return. Some marketplaces impose rules regarding the images you may use – for example, YOOX requires you use at least two images, such as two pack shots, or a mix of packshot and model, on a white/clear background.

Start also thinking about using User-generated content (UGC) for your different marketplace presence.

How can Lengow help?

Don’t risk having insufficient images: use Additional Sources to add more images to your product catalogue. Create the best customer experience possible and reduce those returns.

5. Maintain accurate and up-to-date product data (including stock!)

Just as insufficient product information can lead to costly returns and customer churn, so can inaccurate product content: 50% of shoppers say they have returned an item they bought online because it didn’t match the product description. Of those who return items, 54% are less likely to buy from the same vendor again. 

Remember that stock levels are an integral part of product data: an order cancellation due to lack of stock or a delayed delivery will have a negative effect not only on your customer’s experience but also on your reputation. It is better to be able to tell the customer that you are currently out of stock.

How can Lengow help?

The Lengow platform enables you to use data and insight to manage availability and visibility more effectively. It also enables you to synchronise your inventory across all your sales channels via a single platform, and to set up distribution rules that disables the display of out-of-stock products to avoid overselling. 

What next?

A large part of the success of fashion’s “super-winners” is down to them doing some important elements of e-commerce perfectly. As we’ve shown (and our clients testify), many of those things you can also do perfectly, using the Lengow platform.

Sofia Carvalho e Pereira

Sofia is a language enthusiast with an academical background in Linguistics and Strategic Communication and PR. Before joining Netrivals' and Lengow's e-commerce content team, she worked in diverse sectors as part of their marketing departments.

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