In 2017, online fashion sales in the UK reached 16.2 billion. By 2022, this figure is expected to grow by a huge 79%. Compare this to the poll which found that 50% of retailers had experienced a drop in in-store sales and it's clear that digital offers the greatest area of opportunity for fashion retailers.
But how do fashion retailers seize this opportunity and use digital to grow the success of their brand? In their Fast-paced Fashion: The Digital Forecast 2018 white paper, Mediaworks has identified six areas for retailers to focus on over the next 12 months. Here, we take a look at what each of these areas mean for you, the fashion retailer:
Nowadays, we're rarely without our mobile phones — that's probably why we swipe and tap our smartphones 2,617 per day on average! Not only can mobile readiness help retailers capture a greater share of online sales, it can also boost in-store performance. 76% of people visit a business after a product search on a smartphone. Nearly a third results in a conversion.
All fashion retailers should have a mobile-friendly site in place by now — if not, implementing one is imperative. For those that do already, the priority becomes refining and building this mobile presence to deliver a superior user experience. Consider creating an app to diversify your brand, use conversion rate optimisation to improve the user journey and further your mobile presence through social ads.
By 2020, customer experience will become the main reason a customer will choose a brand over another, overtaking both cost and product. This can be done through journey personalisation, which essentially helps you deliver an in-store experience online.
Crucial to this will be your adoption of advanced technology, such as AR, VR and MR, which could lead to everything from virtual changing rooms to product AR scans. Artificial intelligence and understanding customer preferences and habits will also be important.
More voice searches are being carried out than ever before, occupying 40% of all searches. This is a result of its falling error rate (8% down from 20%), the growth of mobile devices and the rise of personalisation.
To cater to more conversational search behaviours, content should be optimised around long-tail search phrases. Review your existing content's style, format and flow. Also consider implementing visual search, something retailers like John Lewis and Boohoo.com are already experimenting with.
Successful digital marketing campaigns have always hinged on a brand's understanding of their customers. In the near future, customers will become more willing to share data, which retailers can use to build a more comprehensive data model.
Using purchase history and customer feedback can inform how to encourage additional sales from others within the demographic. Likewise, unify your online and offline efforts through local inventory ads.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rolls out in May 2018, so of course data and its use will be important for fashion retailers. A key process will be transitioning from segment-based to signal-based data, which will ultimately help you gain greater visibility of the success your digital marketing strategy is delivering.
Prioritise contextual marketing to help you time the promotion of products and services, using data from each of your digital touchpoints to help you do so.
90% of advertisers believe attribution is important for marketing success. Fewer than 27% of marketers use multi-touch attribution models, which can help you properly attribute value across devices and channels.
Start by reviewing the existing attribution model you have in place — does it successfully give value to all channels and stages of the purchasing funnel?
For more information about each of the above, visit digital marketing agency Mediaworks' website to download the white paper.