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March 25, 2020
Maria Pesin

Buying fashion on line has been popular for some time.  For many brick and mortar stores it is a significant part of their business.  I always advocate for creating on line stores for my clients.  However, in the past retail stores still represented a larger portion of the business.  

Well obviously that is changing now.  With most stores closed everyone is forced to buy on line.  There is no other way.  So the last holdouts of online buying are joining the current online shoppers and will soon discover how easy it is to shop this way.  And their last reservations will fade away. 

Buying all your fashion on line is now the new normal. 

If we manufacturers play this right we can actually grow our business, maybe not in units but in profits, as the margins on Internet sales are so much greater.  It is also less expensive to create sales this way.  The costs of commission, tradeshows, staff, and showroom costs are eliminated when going the online sales route.

Now is the time to double down on your marketing efforts to grow your website business. 

However, with business being tough in stores many manufacturers are scaling back on their sales efforts.  One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to eliminate marketing.  So they stop all of their marketing at a time when they should be increasing it.  What a mistake.  

A McGraw-Hill Research analysis of 600 industrial firms shows that companies maintaining or increasing advertising during the 1981-1982 recession averaged higher sales during that period and for the following three years than companies which cut advertising.

Studies have also confirmed that in previous recessions businesses that continued to invest in marketing saw growth in their businesses while those that cancelled their marketing saw a decrease in sales.

“During 2008’s crisis, it was companies who completely cut their marketing budget that suffered the most. The churn rate continued to increase, but there was no influx of clients to replace all the lost business. Of course, spending must be more closely monitored at times like these, but marketing is the one place the budget simply cannot be eliminated. In this particular crisis, everyone is online. The chaos in our modern world has presented all businesses with a challenge to help people and an opportunity to grow their brand at the same time”, states Austin Sabella, Chief Operating Officer at Uptown Creation

There are many ways to do this.  Consider the following strategies.

  1. Work on your SEO – SEO is a long-term strategy that works over time.  The goal is to rank on the first page.  
  2. Advertise on Google, Instagram, or other online platforms – Paid search and social media advertising are all great ways of attracting visitors.
  3. Social Media Marketing – Placing great content on social media platforms will increase your audience
  4. Influencers – These are people who have followers as little as 1,000 and as many as a million.  When you get influencers to wear your clothes or write about you on their blog (depending on how wide their audience is and how engaged they are) will find you pops of people clicking to your site.
  5. Media outreach – Contact national and regional magazines, newspapers, and online companies to pitch your product for editorial.
  6. Affiliate marketing – There are publishers who will plug your product in return for a commission.

The times they are a-changing.  Look for the opportunities in the crisis.  Everyone’s home and bored out of his or her minds.  How much television can one person watch? Or video games can one play.  Shopping is great form of entertainment.  How fun is it when you are stuck in doors for days at a time, and a package comes to you door with new clothes?  It definitely is a great way to pick up your spirits.  Website business is one of the answers to this challenge. 

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Maria Pesin

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