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If you’re thinking about creating a stunning online fashion store or fashion eCommerce website to sell apparel online, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some takeaways.
Are you also selling cosmetics along with your apparel? Check out our sell cosmetics on an online beauty store article. If you are about to just showcase your new design, set up a fashion design portfolio website.
Online Fashion Market
First of all, let’s take a look at some facts about online fashion and clothing retail sales figures.
SaleCycle, an eCommerce and digital marketing service provider, reported last year that according to Statista, the online fashion market worldwide is predicted to grow by 64% from $533 billion in 2018 to $872 billion in 2023.
Based on Online clothing market in the UK – Statistics & Facts published in March 2020 by Statista, accounting for more than 20% of total sales, online is increasingly becoming more prominent in the UK retail industry. The past three years saw consistent growth in the share of online, particularly in the retail sales of clothing and footwear. Forecasts indicate that in the coming years the eCommerce revenue of retailers in the fashion sector will continue to climb, parallel to the increasing number of eCommerce users who shop online for fashion in the UK.
Digital Commerce 360 reported in May 2020 that while total ecommerce sales have boomed during the pandemic, online apparel sales plummeted in March. Now, online shoppers are beginning to buy apparel online, according to new data from Rakuten Intelligence.
Why Do I Need An Online Fashion Store?
The above figures revealed the online clothing market is predicted to grow 64% from 2018 to 2023. For this reason alone, whether you are a brick-and-mortar fashion store and are looking to expand online, or you want to sell your new apparel online, you may want to ride that wave. In summary, below are the upsides of selling your products directly on your online fashion store.
First, you can sell to anyone anywhere anytime. This can boost your sales by leaps and bounds.
Secondly, you can keep your overheads to a minimum while growing your sales.
Thirdly, a fashion eCommerce website with the right content can keep your online store at the top of search results pages i.e. higher SEO ranking on search engines like Google.
Fourthly, many people only shop online. You can reach new audience whom you will not have reached by just selling offline.
Fifthly, you can enhance your customer experience by letting them download product information, answering their feedback, posting how-to videos, webinars, FAQs, etc. from your online fashion store.
Additionally, you may share your posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. This can funnel your social media visitors and followers back to your fashion eCommerce website.
Finally, you can improve your corporate image and brand awareness by having an online presence.
What eCommerce Platforms Are Available?
Deciding which eCommerce platforms to use to create your online fashion store is the very first and yet the most critical step. However, there are tons of options available. Below is a summary of the most popular eCommerce platforms you may use to create your fashion eCommerce website.
- Marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy
- Hosted platforms like Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly
- Self-hosted platforms like WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart, and PrestaShop
WooCommerce is the world’s leading eCommerce platform for online stores. According to Datanyze (the world’s leader in technographics), WooCommerce is used by more than 28% of all the eCommerce websites.
Most importantly, WooCommerce is built on WordPress, the world’s leading online content management system that powers over 35% of the websites around the world. WooCommerce is simply the best of the best as far as an eCommerce platform.
Besides, regularly audited by Sucuri, an industry leader in security, WooCommerce online stores are in good hands.
Here are the features of a WooCommerce online store.
How To Create An Online Fashion Store
If you want to create a WooCommerce online fashion store to sell your apparel, you may follow these simple steps.
- Think of an online store name that is creative and easy to remember.
- Get a domain that matches your blog name.
- Get a hosting plan.
- Install WordPress.
- Install and set up WooCommerce.
- Customize online store design.
- Set up products in your store.
- Set up shipping.
- Connect a payment gateway e.g. Paypal or Stripe
- Start selling.
- Manage orders.
- Analyze sales data.
What Should A Fashion eCommerce Website Have?
First, you should ensure the following in your fashion eCommerce website.
- Good UI/UX in terms of design, colors, fonts, and navigation
- Simple and clean design and layout
- Short and concise calls-to-action that stand out with compelling words
- Website performance optimization
- Mobile-friendly responsive design
- HTTPS secure website
Secondly, to serve the aforesaid purposes, an online fashion store should include the following pages.
- A slider of high-quality professional images or videos
- A call-to-action button to buy your products like Free Shipping, Best Sellers, Favorites, and Special Offers
- Featured products with high-quality professional images
- A newsletter sign-up form to stay in touch with your consumers by email about new products, offers, and reviews
- Social media icons
- Write your story and business values that sets you apart from others by conveying your personality to build trust
- Write compelling and persuasive product descriptions with details about your brand and products including the product composition, the fabrics and materials used, the standards and certificates your apparel meets, and washing instructions for the fabric
- A selection of high-quality product images like ones with a model and some pieces on their own in a neutral background, and a well-lit environment
- Product images must be clear and in focus
- International size guide for each product or brand (US, UK, EU, etc.)
- Product reviews from your customers after their purchase to share their buying experience with links to your social media channels
- Product images in all available colors
- Filters of product type, size, color, etc.
- Returns & Shipping
- Many shoppers would reconsider buying on the same website if product returns are easy so customers need to know if and how they can exchange or return the products.
- Free return is a good strategy to rationalize a buying decision.
- Shipping policy ensures that your customer’s order arrives on time
- multiple ways that your customers can reach you on like email, phone, instant chat, social media
Thirdly, you may consider the below features.
- Cross-selling allows you to incorporate relevant products to those already in your customer’s cart
- Multiple payment options for better user experience like credit card, debit card, internet banking (depending on the countries you sell to), Apple Pay, Google Pay, Paypal, Stripe, Afterpay, etc.
- Wishlist does not only allow customers to save the products they want to buy later but also allow store owners to find out what your customers’ preferences for marketing purposes.
- Regularly add new products and collections based on the fashion trends and your customers’ tastes and preferences.
Lastly, you can use content to market your online fashion store. They include fashion blog posts, videos, podcasts, whitepapers, case studies, eBooks, webinars, guides, checklists, and quizzes.
What is the best eCommerce platform to build your professional online fashion store? In fact, there is no definitive answer which depends very much on what you are looking for in a fashion eCommerce website platform.
For instance, as a startup with not much budget and time, you may try Amazon. First, it is because according to Statista, there were over 2 billion visits to Amazon per month from May 2019 to February 2020. This gives your products great exposure but lots of competition too. Secondly, Amazon can manage your inventory, packing and shipping. This lowers your upfront and operating costs as a startup.
If you have time and a bit more budget, you may consider building a Shopify online store from scratch by using their online store templates and purchase a domain at Shopify.
However, if you are a discerning businessperson with long-term goals, you may want to scale up your online fashion store project with customizations and add-on features to grow your audience and boost your sales using WooCommerce.