The future of fashion e-commerce looks bright. According to market research firm Emarketer, online sales of apparel and accessories are now growing faster than any other e-commerce product segment (20% per year). By 2016, the category is expected to account for $73 billion worth of online purchases in the US alone, just over 21% of all online retail sales.
Fashion & Beauty e-commerce is a competitive field and being on top of recent developments in social and paid media, UI/UX, and targeted shopping is crucial for the growth of every company. However, to maintain growth momentum or outperform competition in fashion and beauty, there are additional approaches that need to be considered.
*this article has been published in Fashion Mannuscript --> http://bit.ly/trendforecasting
1. Aligning strategies with current and upcoming trends
A big differentiator between customers of fashion, lifestyle and beauty e-tailers and others is a strong sensitivity toward trends. Aligning all elements of your e-commerce site with colors and modern designs that users are exposed to offline will resonate with your trend-conscious user group. A good example is the coherence of elements at fashion department stores, where furniture and visual merchandise are organized by “navigation path,” design and how the customer is responding to it. We all know that a consistent representation of your brand across channels helps to build better relationships with your customers. But taking this one step further by anticipating trends and adjusting your language to the one that your early-adopting user group is speaking (visually) will create an edge for your e-commerce site. Monochromatic designs may work in some cases, but why use two colors when the whole rainbow is available? The trend of flat UI continues and makes use of multicolored designs less distracting. Not fashion related, but one of my favorite examples for smart use of color is Coloured Lines. Takes this and apply it to beauty, lifestyle or fashion!
|Multicolored website design|
A few trend forecasting agencies such as trendstop.com offer an interesting intersection between intelligence on products that will sell in the near future and designs that a trend- conscious user will respond to. Fashion e-commerce on a high level is not about the color of one CTA button anymore, but encouraging purchase through giving your users stylistic guidance.
|Trendstop.com Fashion Forecasting|
2. Utilizing existing tools to analyze keyword trends
I mentioned the adjustment of language above and this applies to both visual language and wording. Many fashion and beauty retailers know that product buzzwords can change swiftly in a trend-driven environment, which is why they need to remain on top of search terms that their customers will use when searching for products. Below are a few smart practice tips for any retailer, who is working with an early-adopter user group:
Use your internal site search on Google Analytics or other tools to see if your customers are using slang or jargon that is new to you, so you can add these low-volume, but also low-difficulty search terms to your site search and SEO efforts.
Scan websites of market leading companies in your field. They might experiment with word-creations to establish monopoly per term, and if caught on time you might be able to piggyback, boosting your traffic for the new term.
3. Implement your findings and trend intelligence into landing pages
When potential customers arrive at your site from a search engine, you want to awe them with product choices that match their search terms. I recommend the use of SEO-related landing pages to display not only products that are relevant to the search, but also similar or popular products, like those displayed in your own site search results. This may lead to increased conversions and offers the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell right from the landing page. If you have the tools or resources, try to create automated feeds from your landing pages to segmented lists. This will help to further analyze your user group and ultimately lead to smarter conversations for lead generation.
Have you had the chance to implement trend intelligence into your website design and campaigns? Feel free to continue the conversation on Twitter @global_trend. Please use #ecommercetrend - I am looking forward to your comments.