You love fashion, you love art, and you love the business. However, the bottom line is, you want to get paid. No matter how fashion forward and how awesome of a product you have to offer, if your sales are close to none you have to stop to figure out what you’re doing wrong. Where’s the hole in your strategy that needs to be addressed? What actions can you take to increase sales and visibility?
It happens to the best of them. You map everything out, bring it from concept to creation, get an online store, and BOOM you think you’ll start selling out off top. But whether it’s a brick and mortar storefront or the internet marketplace building your brand and making it profitable is not as easy as you think. But here’s 3 pieces of advice that will give you a strong starting point.
- Clearly Define, Understand, and Know Your Customer
Ask yourself who are you selling to? What type of person are they? What do they value? What drives them to buy? As we move into a future of more and more digital consumption, there are four main consumer tribes: Time Traders, New Eccentrics, Beliefists, and Co-Creators. Define which one, or which combination of tribes fits within your market. NOT knowing and understanding who your customer is, is detrimental to your business. Creating a product that addresses their needs, and solves their “problems” is your number one concern.
One thing all these tribes have in common is that they believe the future is now, but here’s a brief list of some elements that individually define them:
Time Traders: – have different realities of the future -augmented -establish communities and connections mostly online
-bored of technology -bored of wearable technology
-take inspiration from African Utopian Architecture eg. Masai tribe -believe in everyday opulence( luxury)
-takes inspiration from timeless art recreating the future -anticipation VS adaptation -healthy lifestyle
New Eccentrics: -playful -inspiration in everyday things -constant connectiveness (mobile and digital)
-uses everyday items to convey a message -speed of connectivity moves people to unplug
-offbeat attitudes -questions beauty standards -immersive entertainment -fun -embracing imperfections
Beliefists: -fear of having to forgo religion -engage people to slow down and reflect -self reflection -non-denominal
-start up religions (celebrrties/Beyism/Yeezus) -feeling of emptiness -reconnect w/nature
-collaboration of mind, body, and code/emotional wearables -contemplative construction/work-life balance
Co-Creators: -face to face community -craftsmanship back to community -don’t replace craft w/code -participate in creation
-believe in saving art -believe that to innovate must teach arts -share -hands on materials
uses the web as a canvas -value in customization -sets trends as opposed to following them
2. Create a Shopping Experience for Your Customer
The five things that matter to customers most are: fit, efficiency, joy of shopping itself, availability of items, and selection. With the failure of so many traditional brick and mortar stores and the move to online sales, every brand is attempting to master addressing the issue of getting the customer the perfect fit. Ill fitting clothes is the number one fear of online shoppers and the number one drawback of only having a store online. It’s important when building your store that you offer as much information on each item as you can. Sizing indifferent metrics, length, width, fabric, fabric properties, and high quality rich colorful photos with a 360 degree view. You want the customer to feel as if they’re in your store looking right at the product.
Online shoppers choose to shop online for convenience. So your site or app should be easy to navigate, they should be able to build a shopping profile so they can easily come back later, and it is very important that you offer reasonable and flexible return policies.
In reality, only 10 percent of the styles you carry drive 70 percent of your total sales. Those styles are what bring them to you, and those styles are what should partially drive your conversions. Keeping close track of what is bought, viewed, liked, and shared with others on social media; as well as what’s stored in the personal profiles of each customers helps to continue to stock and create only what your customers like to buy.
3. Invest in a “Mobile”App
As soon as you can afford it, create a mobile app for your bra. When you refer to the average that only 1.4 percent of sales are online, that’s on a traditional laptop/PC/tablet. The reality is more dollars are spent on sales done within mobile transactions. Looking at customer buying power, millenials(ages 25-45) have 2.5 trillion dollars in spending power. Aside from that, people in general, all over the world check their phones and browse an average of 150 times a day. For you that’s 250 chances for you to engage them with your brand. Although it’s a large investment, mobile marketing influences buyers, collect and tracks customer data, helps to define your conversion rates, and builds loyalty. Use the technology to leverage your brand.
Being an entrepreneur is never easy, but it’s never too late to stop, reflect, reposition yourself, and reconvene. If your ideas are strong and your drive is never ending, there’s always next season.