In an ever-changing fashion world where Instagram is replacing magazine editorials and runway collections are becoming instantly shoppable, brands need to be able to keep up with consumer trends and adapt. Think about your audience and who or what drives their spending habits. Create seasonal and long term plans for your product promotions, and plan in time to be reactive to what’s in vogue.
The Fashion Industry at Present
Some facts to consider about the fashion industry landscape in 2017:
- Sale/discount periods are lasting longer and are more frequent
- Annual spend has only increased by £10 on average over the last decade
- Consumers are savvier than ever
- In 2016, the fashion market went into decline for the first time in seven years
Analyse and Adapt
What Are Your Most Profitable Categories?
The cycle of analysis and adaptation should always be applied to your most important pages first! Look at your product categories and determine where to put your efforts. Where is there growth? Which categories have always continued to generate revenue? Which are seasonal? Which used to be popular and are now losing you money?
A Changing Customer Language
Think about how consumers search for the kinds of products you sell. Would you describe a product with a short description or a long one, e.g. ‘skater dress’ or ‘fit and flare dress’? Have trends developed more popular names since you initially created the category, e.g. ‘boho’ vs. ‘70s’?
Who Are Your Influencers?
What do you think consumers are searching for when they’re looking online for a product? With celebrities having a greater impact on buying behaviour, it’s more common to find searches like ‘Gigi Hadid bomber jacket’ than in previous years. For the consumers who don’t search in this way, they’ve likely already been introduced to a style or product from what they’ve seen in popular culture. So, anticipating who your consumers look up to will allow you to spot trends ahead of time. If a trend has suddenly sprung to life, consider who is influencing it and utilise your blog content, imagery and newsletters to focus on it or the person who’s is influencing it.
New Technology, New Searches
Think about how users are searching. Consumers using their mobiles may be less inclined to type a long search phrase (keyword) into Google. Alternatively, they may be using voice search, which may mean they search for more descriptive phrases. And with the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, search phrases may become more conversational and longer over the coming years, likely in the shape of questions.
Promote the Best Content!
How can you promote your products? Determine which available mediums are relevant and get marketing! Find a popular blog post from a competitor and create one that goes beyond it. Send that blog post in a themed email to your newsletter readers and promote it across your social channels. Don’t forget users who haven’t signed up though – make sure the relevant product or category page is high up in the navigation for them to find.
Your Ongoing Strategy
The answers to these questions and the above ideas will give you a well-defined, but flexible, product and marketing strategy. This will allow you to create both a long term and seasonal plan of which categories to focus on. Seeing when and where the opportunities are for growth will ensure that despite industry changes, you’re the one who’s always adapting and moving with consumer behaviour.
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