Internet shopping is now more popular in the UK than in any other country with consumer eCommerce now accounting for 30% of the total retail market in the UK (compared to 20% in 2020).
82% of the UK population bought at least one product online in 2021.
However, is the age of digital already coming to a head? And will traditional marketing reign supreme once again? With much of the global population navigating through the internet, standing out from your competition is more pivotal than ever to your success as a business.
It’s not enough to be good, you have to be the best!
Attracting your customers isn’t as “simple” as it once was, and delighting them when you only have a small timeframe online to do so is even more difficult. If your website or app isn’t up to the job by being (for instance) too slow – you’ve lost a good few customers… who probably won’t return.
Nearly 60% of consumers will abandon a site if they experience more than three seconds of load time
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Can you afford to be operating in ‘the norm’?
IRL pop-ups and augmented reality While Gen Z does tend to spend more time than other generations online, they are also the most adverse to digital ads of any other generation.
In this modern age, have we become numb to digital advertising?
This numbness is similar to ‘ad-blindness’ (or banner blindness), where visitors to a website consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like information.
You can’t argue that digital marketing technologies and their ecosystems have dominated growth in marketing budgets for over a decade. Traditional advertising had lost some appeal over the years, while marketers turned to digital methods through apps and social media…but it appears that traditional marketing is (yet again) rearing its head.
People are now looking to connect with brands through novel experiences, and pop-up shops are a fantastic opportunity for companies, both big and small, to do this, and drive sales.
As the name suggests, pop-up shops are limited-time-only retail stores – and while they are predominantly physical there has been a rise in popularity in virtual pop-ups too. Both options allow brands to reach a targeted audience with specific products and create an immersive shopping experience. Physical pop-ups are a great way for an eCommerce store to experiment with IRL shops without the commitment of a permanent location.
Pop-up stores are great for forward-thinking brands, but there is a prominent need for high levels of creativity and organisation. They are about creating a buzz, boosting brand engagement, and driving sales. While this is certainly doable online, you might be wondering – how do I measure the success of my irl pop-up shop?
It is possible through a number of key insights, including:
Keeping an eye on foot traffic You’ve had a killer content marketing and social media strategy in the build up to the big event, don’t waste the opportunity to measure success at this stage! Like visitors to your online store, see who’s returning and how long visitors are interacting with what’s around them.
Capturing customer data With permission of course! Having a friendly and welcoming experience with branded WiFi captive portals, waiver or check-in forms can be more than just a tick-box exercise for your guest before entering the experience.
Importing offline conversions Importing the data from offline sales or conversions will help build a more complete picture of both your business and your path to purchase. By facilitating the creation of a link between offline sales and Google Ads (for example), you can better understand how effective your pop-up was.
Another approach to delighting your customers, this time in the realm where you’re probably most comfortable, is by creating online experiences through augmented reality (AR). For example, a popular approach is using interactive displays that allow customers to browse products and access digital content. For your fashion commerce store you could have digital mirrors that make use of the camera feature on their devices to show your customers how a product would look on them.
One such brand embracing AR is ASOS. During the Covid-19 lockdowns in-person photoshoots were unfortunately ruled out – so ASOS turned to AR to promote its products to the world. The AR offered realistic and engaging product presentations – and their digital dress-up system “See My Fit” generated fashion content with real-life customers and models without the need to step outside the home.
See My Fit aims to help customers make more informed purchasing choices, by better showing how products look on models that more closely reflect individual customers. ASOS is the first retailer in Europe to trial the technology.
Content and Context We’ve said it before, and no doubt we’ll say it again – content is king. If that’s the case, then surely context is queen.
Engaging with users in order to develop an ongoing relationship is about serving them when they have a specific need, as opposed to pushing content and offers out to them. Context is about creating meaningful content that fits the user’s interest, and information that can bring the customer forward, closer to buying, or facilitating their understanding of your product.
Content is a medium through which customers experience your product before even committing to purchase an item, and a rich content experience is the pillar of ecommerce stores due to its immersive capabilities.
Written The following tips are just some of the myriad of ways you can attract and delight your online customers who are looking for a personable experience when looking through your fashion commerce site, and beyond.
Customer-centric emails You really need to know who you’re writing for, and a personalised email can go a long way into making the customer feel appreciated and acknowledged. In the fashion industry especially, it is important to create compelling copy that targets a specific demographic.
Optimised product descriptions Conduct thorough keyword research and focus on long-tail keywords. These keywords are more specific, so they attract leads looking for your products. Also, when you do find relevant keywords, integrate them into your title tag and meta description – only if it makes sense, do not throw them in there just for the sake of it. These keywords are important as this information is the first thing your audience will see when they discover a site, and it will show relevance.
Match the item to the product description You wouldn’t want to falter at this hurdle. There’s been a few times where the product description simply doesn’t match the product. This can make the brand look lazy, and like they don’t really care about its customers. In addition, the copy you choose to display on the site will impact the amount of satisfaction a customer receives upon receiving the product.
Imagery Product photos are the primary reason for converting a sale online. 93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be the key deciding factor in a purchasing decision.
Our dedicated insight into the vast world of imagery is available to read here. Your visuals communicate a story, and we’re sure you want a ‘happily ever after’ ending. A great SEO practice to adopt is to properly name your photo files, including your product name and keyword – as well as including a relevant alt tag of course!
The way products are shot and displayed is an essential purchase driver for brands and marketplaces. Everything from the framing and lighting of a photo to the styling of the product can make or break the customer’s decision to add to cart.
Social Commerce An additional content avenue is ‘social commerce’. Hootsuite succinctly phrases it as:
Social commerce is the process of selling products and services directly through social media.
With social commerce, the entire shopping experience from product discovery and research to checkout, takes place right on social media.
While social commerce isn’t eCommerce, it could well be the future of brands looking to stand out from the sea of competitors. Simply put, social commerce enables customers to shop on their social media apps/platforms without ever having to leave said app. There is no redirection to the site.
Live selling Live selling, or live-streaming commerce is the practice of using live video streaming on social apps to sell products directly to consumers. In 2022, live-streaming commerce accounted for $514.20 billion in sales in China, and while it has yet to get to the same level of sales in the West – it will inevitably gain traction among users worldwide.
There are many benefits to live selling:
You can further engage with your audience through an immersive experience Allow customers to make a real-time purchase – in the age of the need for something instant, this is a game changer Create a personal relationship with customers online, it’s almost like being in person, right? According to Coresight data, live shoppers are 40% less likely to return an item than other online shoppers. The scope for scaling your business is vast as you can reach a broader audience. Consumers see brands’ social channels as a personable extension of the brand, so live selling that validates that perception is key.
Those who are facilitating the live selling can also get their customers to participate in the steam, making them feel like they’re actively involved in the conversation (which will likely increase sales).
User generated content At its core, UGC provides authenticity and trustworthiness to a brand.
User generated content (UGC) is any form of content, such as images, videos, text, and audio, that have been posted by users on online platforms such as social media. As many marketers are aware, word of mouth is still primarily the key channel for any brand – simply put, people trust people. So what better way to showcase word of mouth in the digital world than to use the people who are buying from brands?
UGC is 5 times more likely to convert customers into buying your products than professional product shots.
Types of UGC include:
Vox pops Reviews Dedicated hashtags Tagging Final thoughts There are many ways to attract and delight your customers online in the fashion eCommerce world, and this article is just a starting point. Amidst an overwhelming and oversaturated industry, standing out from the crowd is essential to your success.