The fashion industry’s growth has been enviable. When dissected, the remarkable growth points at the factors below:
- Customer feedback in fashion commerce
- Mobile commerce
- Millennials making up the target audience
- Harnessing big data
Fashion startups are following innovative promotional strategies. Some are creating platform for sustainable fashion, some are letting fashion lovers rent expensive designer clothes, and some are creating member-only zones for designer garments.
The key to success, however, depends on incorporating automation. Automation can increase the effectiveness of all the said factors. Let me explain how.
Fashion Brand Feedback
Fashion brands sell garments, apparels, jewelry and vanity accessories. They value honest fashion brand feedback from customers because it clues them in on the quality and trendiness of the stuff they sell.
However, if the feedback is too honest, then that might be a problem for them as negative feedback posted online can hurt a brand’s reputation. Many brands are investing in automated user-generated content aggregating tools with advanced algorithms, able to gauge which products can be positively reviewed, by which customers and when.
One such brand is a New-York based Lingerie startup called Adore Me. After they started using review software Yotpo, they got access to the full spectrum of user-generated content from customers – both positive and negative. Slowly, the number of negative reviews went down and that of positive reviews escalated, proving the efficiency of the feedback loop increases when it is fed information by an automated system.
An efficient and automated feedback loop can facilitate a fashion brand’s growth. The algorithms analyze user-generated content and hollow out valuable insights, which brands later use to improve the product experience for customers. This is what happened with Adore Me and this can happen with any other brand.
Mobile commerce or M-commerce is the latest fad in e-commerce. Since it’s about consumers who access a site from handheld devices, it narrows down the audience pool for brands.
Yotpo’s research points out something really fascinating – the percentage of mobile traffic that fashion brands get is higher than the cumulative mobile e-commerce traffic.
See the infographic below:
Mobile shoppers are apparently more interested in buying fashion related stuff. A recent report from Statistic Brain showed the market share of footwear, clothes, apparels and jewelry was only 13% in 2015, trailing below the market share of books, software and consumer electronics.
We can cite two reasons behind this disparity. First, M-commerce is yet to grow and encapsulate the whole of conventional e-commerce and second, shoppers are not interested to buy from new brands because 41.5% of startup fashion brands lack consumer reviews. See the image below:
The data in the infographic were obtained from surveying 500 mobile shoppers, the majority of whom said user-generated content with a positive undertone is more important than affordability.
We can refer back to Adore Me’s experience again. Being a small business and a lingerie brand, they grew so fast and added 3 million women to their network only because they reached out to mobile shoppers through their responsive site and mobile app, and impressed them with positive user-generated content from the previous customers.
Once again, we can reference Adore Me because their quick success was not due to a streak of luck but due to a well-crafted strategy that centered around millennial shoppers. The style quotient is at the core of millennial’s shopping habit, as in, they’d rather shell out extra than compromise with low-quality products, lacking a style statement.
Adore Me’s target audiences were urban millennial women and the key insights related to their shopping behavior was conveyed to the lingerie brand by the cutting edge tools it used, especially Yotpo. To understand millennial consumers, we need to refer to Forbes and Accenture.
According to Forbes, millennials want to engage with a brand, take opinions from others before purchasing, access e-commerce sites from multiple devices and prefer co-creation in collaboration with brands. It seems millennial’s loyalty depends on brand experience, which is disrupted by the lack of consistency.
The fashion brand J. Crew’s sales went downhill after it abandoned the classic style in favor of the boxy silhouette style. This shows millennial women stay posted about what’s happening in the fashion circuit and are not hesitant to shift their loyalty if a brand disappoints them.
What Adore Me did was totally the opposite of what J.Crew did. They listened to their customers at every touch point and made it their priority to bring up what the customers wanted. In short, they connected to millennial shoppers and the result was a phenomenal success.
Fashion Brand Feedback Provides Data Analytics
Many online retailers, especially the ones who sell designer clothes and apparels are clueless about the benefits of harnessing big data. Here are some fascinating information that Yotpo’s analysis of fashion brand feedback reveals:
- The average order value (AOV) is disproportionate to the store size. The bigger the store, the lesser is the AOV.
- The average number of products per order is also disproportionate to store size.
- The volume of user-generated content from customers is proportional to the store size.
- Stores that get more than 10000+ monthly orders have 8.2% response rate and 41% open rate.
In the world of fashion, small brands are those that get around 1-1000 monthly orders. They have ample chances to grow as the review conversion rate is higher in fashion (43%) than any other e-commerce segment.
See the infographic below:
Fashionistas are more likely to write reviews for brands than any other consumer segment. In order to grow, fashion startups need to have positive user-generated content backing them, and bulk up their collection as the average number of products per order is higher for small brands.
Consumer reviews are entwined with several other factors in an intricate manner. One such factor is product recommendation. Millennial fashionistas, especially those who shop from online stores, prefer relevant products recommended to them.
Only smart algorithms can wade through a brand’s collection and select a relevant product based on an individual customer’s preferences. In Adore Me’s case, they harnessed Yotpo’s state-of-the-art algorithm for this purpose.
eMarketer predicted the US apparel and accessory retail segment to grow into a massive $86 billion worth industry by 2018. Growth is on the cards and there are enough opportunities for small fashion brands. But unless they mix the right amount of automation and have user-generated content endorsing them, they couldn’t catch up with their big rivals.
Runway Photo via Shutterstock