Apparel brands across the globe are looking to increase their share of the rapidly growing online fashion market. This is in part due to declines or stagnation of offline revenues, and partly because new technologies are starting to open up new opportunities for these brands to capture a competitive advantage. Fields like artificial intelligence and ecommerce-first technology can set up these brands to grow their apparel ecommerce sales.
1. Getting to market faster
For brands with a large range of products, producing new lines frequently, they have a real challenge getting all of that product data online effectively and quickly. In reality, long-term growth and short-term revenue realisation are put in conflict as ecommerce teams have to get as many product listings live as possible, which results in missing attributes.
However, by adopting new technology to list in a more efficient way, major apparel brands are able to list significantly faster and generate higher quality product content at the same. In this way, they get more products ready for sale and making money sooner.
2. Higher quality listings
As we just touched on, higher quality listings are another key outcome for apparel brands looking to grow online. By using technology and processes which put data quality and product content at the centre, brands no longer need to think about getting the data out to as many channels as fast as possible and can focus on improving the quality of that data as it goes to the right channels. This is enabled in part by the efficiency of new ecommerce technology which allows teams more time to enrich and optimise product content. It’s also enabled by brands’ move away from legacy technologies which have been cobbled together to produce ecommerce listings – instead, by working with systems which were designed to keep up with modern consumer demands, they’re able to process product content in a smarter way to create better quality results.
This means they see increased visibility on search engines and realise revenue faster. Their growth is supercharged by the additional product content and data which helps to improve conversion as well as visibility.
3. Investing in product marketing
For apparel brands and their consumers, it’s all about the product. Clothing, footwear and accessories are about as personal as products can be and consumers respond to the design and positioning of these products. For that reason, apparel brands who are successful in ecommerce typically invest heavily in their product marketing on channels like Google Shopping.
Having higher quality product content means they are able to include the right attributes and information for both the channel requirements and for consumers to be engaged and interested in the product.
4. Optimising with actionable insights
Getting closer to the customer is a constant high priority for apparel brands, but only a few have been able to harness the data they already have access to in order to generate useful actions for their digital marketing and ecommerce teams. A key route to ecommerce growth for many apparel businesses will be to use technology solutions which can capture this relevant data (be it from channels, their own ERP or accounting systems, CRM tools and listing tools).
AI offers the ability to intelligently sort through this data in a margin-sensitive way and prioritise useful actions – for example, tweaking description copy to include high traffic relevant keywords that the team was unaware of previously. The key for insights and reporting is that they aren’t simply piles of data. Teams need actionable intel which they can use to make changes which positively affect the bottom line.
5. Getting the right mix of channels
Having more time thanks to efficient processes means the ecommerce teams can manage more channels, and with higher quality listings thanks to process and technology changes. However, they need to be careful to combine this with analysis of the opportunities available on different channels in order to take the right action for the brand, the bottom line and the customer.
By focusing on these 5 areas, apparel brands are able to unlock their full potential, become more effective and deliver better customer experiences. As consumer expectations continue to evolve and the demands put onto ecommerce and digital teams grow with them, tech-enabled businesses will stand out with stronger growth and better resistance to challenges.