How to Appeal to Fashion-Conscious Customers in the Online Shopping Era

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The introduction of online shopping has revolutionized the way we purchase. With a seismic shift from the physical world of boutiques and shelves to the virtual realm of online stores, the traditional business rulebook has gone out the window, with numerous decades-old guiding principles suddenly no longer applicable.

These days it’s all about user-friendly interface, lower prices and simple and efficient purchasing process. The new rulebook teaches us about website optimization and behind-the-scenes algorithms designed to maximize the profit potential of every precious second prospective shoppers choose to spend in our virtual home.

Initial considerations

By now we all know how to set up our online stores for maximum effect, or at least know enough to let the professionals handle that for us. Still, if we are all following the same rulebook and doing the same thing, how exactly are we supposed to stand out?

For many business owners, the answer to this question lies in revisiting some of the pillars of the traditional business model. In short, you need to take the extra step beyond the virtual walls of your perfectly convenient online store and use different ways to forge a stronger, more lasting bond with your customers. In this, it is essential to understand that not all customers look for the same thing and that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in the highly personalized modern era.

As an illustration, we will focus on the clothing industry as a common example of the online shopping experience, but the same logic applies to most other types of business looking to distinguish themselves in the crowded online market.

Forge an identity

Today’s shoppers place a great value in individualism. Everything they buy is a representation and an extension of their lifestyle, which is particularly visible in their choice of clothes. Your product needs to tell a story, to carry a certain spirit that fits seamlessly into a certain lifestyle or worldview. The marketing keyword of today is ‘attitude’. Making a bold choice may seem like alienating a large part of your potential customer base, but, today more than ever, it is necessary to find your niche. Think of your target group, then make your choices and stick with them.

Focus on added value

It is easy to assume that all shoppers want convenience and competitive prices. While both of those things are certainly positive and, for some businesses, even essential, some customers might place a greater value on some other aspects of the product and the business. For instance, instead of focusing on a low-priced end product, you may instead insist on the quality of the fabric or the craftsmanship. Many customers are willing to pay more for a superior product, and quality is never a bad thing to be known for.

Provide an experience

For many, shopping is not a mere transaction – it is an experience. From the moment your potential customer steps into your store – whether physical or virtual – you create and shape that experience, and you are free to insist on any particular aspects, whether it’s professionalism, creativity and playfulness, engagement, etc.

Today’s products don’t exist in a vacuum, and behind their success lies an interwoven web of factors, many of which you can control and affect. For instance, this master course in menswear fashion design doesn’t focus solely on product design, but also on the broader context in which it exists, training future professionals to look at the greater picture and understand the intricate business and marketing mechanisms that help their work reach the audience of today. From the first idea to the final product launch, you must consider and plan how your product will interact with the world.

Engage with your audience

Modern technologies provide customers with a near-direct line with businesses and a platform to voice their impressions and opinions. While some see it as a curse or a necessary evil, it is essential to embrace direct communication and see it as an opportunity to reinforce the bond between your brand and your customers.

Unlike in some previous eras, today’s consumers don’t see brand’s as abstract entities; they are able to engage with them, and they like to know that their opinions are heard and respected. Provide a platform to interact with your customers and allow them to engage with others and share their experiences with your brand. Make your customer base feel like a community, and you will have a healthy foundation for long-term brand loyalty.

Today’s business landscape forces entrepreneurs to take extra steps to stand out amongst their competitors. It is essential to approach your work from the perspective of a customer and try to control and direct how they experience your brand from the first moment they’re exposed to it to form a long-lasting bond.

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Lillian Connors
BizzMark
As a senior digital marketing consultant, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale.

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