Fashion Ecommerce: The Changing Trends in Customer Journey
If you look at the millennials, you will find that most of them prefer to buy clothes online. In fact, they switch between different media and devices frequently. These youngsters are tech savvy, hyper-connected, and collaborative. Millennials are fashion conscious and there are different factors that influence their buying behavior as far as apparels and other fashion items are concerned. Fashion eCommerce is swiftly adapting to these trends.
Apps and Social Media
The biggest disruption is caused by apps and social media and both of these influence fashion industry in a big way. Before buying online, people prefer to go through the user-generated content. For example, reviews and comments of other users influence their buying decision in a big way.
When we talk about user-generated content and social media, the customer journey also involves searching the products on social channels. Instagram and Facebook are very popular. Discussing the fashion trends on WhatsApp groups, reading fashion and lifestyle blogs and using fashion apps is also a part of this journey. Some new apps popular among fashionistas include Depop, Trendabl, The Women’s Store, Styledotme and Flipboard/Magzter etc.
Some apps such as Snapette list brands and stores. They use GPS info to help the users find what’s available in the stores in their neighborhood. These apps also allow you to get a real-time view of current fashion wave in major cities and what other fashion lovers are finding interesting.
E-tailers across the world are busy wooing the fashion conscious youngsters using different tactics. Indian fashion e-tailer Indiarush engages their users through their blog, Fashion Edits. This blog helps youngsters find latest trends, ideas, fabric details, and style tips to express their personality. It targets different psychographic and demographic segments while offering fashion and style tips. It influences consumer purchasing decisions and greatly helps in conversion.
Ignore It and Lose Your Market Share
Initially, some of the luxury brands such as Chanel and Christian Dior were reluctant to ride on the eCommerce wave. However, realizing that the millennials were already bullish on it, they tried to catch up. Chanel launched a beauty product e-shop and Fendi launched an eCommerce platform to sell their products. Small retailers were already bullish on it and were trying to increase their market share.
Are You Offering Fluid Shopping Experience
The app mania is driving the eCommerce industry and different apps are competing against each other to provide fluid shopping experience. Such kind of experience and certain app functionalities increase addiction with apps.
For example, when a person gets used to a certain way of receiving product feed or a typical page layout, he might get addicted to that app or website. In this case, he would love to visit the website again and again. Therefore, some of the apps offer some of the most addictive experiences and can keep a person hooked for hours.
Social Media Integration
ASAP54 is a kind of app that comes with Instagram integration features. This app allows you to use your own Instagram library or the pictures you have liked on it to search for products on the app. It becomes even more important as customers like to have seamless services and they don’t want to wait. You’d be surprised to know that millennials switch between different media sources as fast as 27 times in an hour, according to a report published in the Daily Mail.
Most successful E-tailers are those, who support social media content on their eCommerce platform. This way the small brand can go big and offer more engagement. That’s the reason some prominent fashion eCommerce portals are eager to work with startups for mutual benefits. This way, they allow these small brands to get exposure to larger platforms.
Shopping App Fever
Shopping app fever is here to stay and would only grow in near future at least.
In a survey, it was found that customers spend 90% of their time on media and on mobile apps. eCommerce businesses can’t ignore this fact. The most popular apps:
- Remember your past purchases
- Remember products based on your preferences
- Tell you what your friends and other customers are buying
- Send you personalized push notifications about sales and deals
- Send you the content that you might enjoy
Trends in Emerging Asian Markets
Earlier, the US was the biggest eCommerce marketplace, but now Asia is also emerging as a booming eCommerce market as far as fashion and apparel businesses are concerned. The strong Asian economies are the driving force behind this. China is playing the key role in it, but eCommerce companies in India are also catching up fast.
According to Visual Next, in China, online sales revenue is expected to increase by 1 trillion dollars within next 3 years and this is much more than expected. According to an Assocham-Forrester survey, Indian eCommerce industry was valued at USD 38 million in 2016 and it is expected to touch the USD120 billion mark in 2020.
Critical Factors in Fashion eCommerce
With buyers, who are hungry to spend on the fashion eCommerce landscape, Indian players need to break down the trust barrier first. They should help the buyers visualize what these outfits will look like on them. Pictofit, is one such app that acts like a virtual fitting room. It helps close the sales with the skeptical buyers, who are reluctant to buy an item. Most of the times, they are not sure what it would look like on them. So, it removes the next mental barrier that hinders sales.
In Asian countries, people might not necessarily be looking for branded items. Most of the people want the following from an e-tailer:
- The finest fabric material
- Trendy prints and designs
- Street fashion collections
- A fluid customer experience
- Competitive prices
Sensing that, many fashion e-tailers have started offering a unique experience to their buyers.
Apart from the leading fashion eCommerce portals such as Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and Snapdeal, India has become the breeding ground of fashion e-tailers. When customers delight became a buzzword, e-tailers started offering quality assurance, discounts, free shipping, look books, etc. Internet of Things (IoT) is also revolutionizing the fashion industry.
So, fashion apps are competing against each other to deliver exceptional user experience, user interface design, and usability. Addictive site layout and feed are game changers. However, nothing works if you don’t take care of the basic factors such trust, quality, and affordability. E-tailers are constantly reinventing their strategies to match the needs of a dynamic market. Fashion never sleeps and eCommerce follows it.
Nashaat Quadri is a content marketing professional, who is passionate about 360 degree marketing approach in digital marketing and the art of storytelling to promote a brand. He is currently employed with Digital Berge, an ambitious digital marketing agency based in New Delhi, as a content marketing strategist.Read Full Bio