Is your fashion e-commerce site optimized for success?
It’s so easy to want to give up on your fashion e-commerce site, especially if you’ve been in the game for a little while or you’re just getting started and are wondering, “What on Earth is going on?” You might think, “Jeez, should I just give up or stop doing this business altogether?” but no, you shouldn’t. In fact, you should be testing to see if you’re implementing these five strategies to build an amazing website that’s going to get conversion, build brand loyalty and really help to establish your brand and online fashion boutique in the marketplace.
Let’s look at…
- Product Images
- UX/UI Experience
- Mobile Optimization
- Shipping Policies
1. Poor Product Photography
We all know the importance of high-quality images. Every time you flip through Vogue magazine or you’re on a digital publication you see high-quality images. They exude your brand’s voice and a certain sense of emotional communication.
When you skip out on photography, the primary mode of communication to your customer, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Bad images from what’s easily seen as a low-budget photoshoot is not on brand. It’s going to tell your customers that you don’t care about your photography, you don’t care about the experience they have when they see the images and you don’t care if they buy something or not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen poor photography on price points that are quite high. How on Earth would you spend $500-$1500 on an item if you don’t actually see all the bells and whistles, you’re not seeing the product in context, you can’t see great lifestyle images and it doesn’t look on-brand? Photography is super important- especially for fashion e-commerce.
Please don’t skip out on this important visual channel. Think of it as the equivalent to the ever-important visual merchandising in any given department store of fashion boutique.
2. Lackluster or Insufficient Copywriting
Those great fashion e-commerce images need great copy. They go hand-in-hand. While you’re focusing on developing great photography, do not skip out on great copywriting- even if that means you’re not the one writing the copy yourself. Sometimes, as a business owner, it can be really difficult to be able to speak objectively to your customer from a perspective that doesn’t feel so personal. Some brands work well with a personal tone and their customers love that personal interaction and engagement. Determine your brand voice. What is your copywriting strategy? How do you talk about products? How do you talk about products in a way that your customer wants to relate to them?
At Scaling Retail, we come up with communication strategies, full, in-depth guides that really help our clients understand how to speak to their customers. How does it look visually, and how does it flow where syntax is concerned? Communication and copywriting are extremely important.
It’s very simple. It’s almost the difference between using words like “made in the USA,” where you capitalize U, S, and A vs. saying things like “made in the U.S.” or “made in America.” We might think these are very generalized or we can kind of use any of them but it’s important to stick to very specific ways that you talk about your business so you can reinforce your message with the consumer.
Don’t forget that copywriting also takes place not just on product pages but also on your homepage, on your blog, on your about page…. Copywriting is a thread that carries throughout all your different sales channels.
3. An Outdated or Confusing UX/UI Experience
10, 15 years ago, it was very, very expensive to build a website. Lots of companies invested tens of thousands of dollars into building platforms that you can purchase these days for a small fraction of those costs. You can buy a template and create one for a few hundred dollars. When you think about being attached to a website or being attached to something from the past, do plan to say, “Hey, maybe it’s time to let it go.” Just because you spent tens of thousands of dollars doesn’t mean it’s necessarily relevant in today’s market. You have to be looking at refreshing your site, introducing new UX/UI experiences and really starting to craft a website that’s going to be user-friendly for your consumer today- including on mobile.
Having a current website design and structure is particularly important for such a creative field as fashion. Fashion boutique shoppers are savvy and will hesitate to use their credit cards on sites that don’t appear to have been updated in some time.
4. Mobile Optimization
Businesses these days are looking at building mobile first, meaning they’re looking at mobile-first marketing, Instagram, News Feed on Facebook…. They’re also looking at building specific websites that are going to be easy to engage, easy to purchase and use – specifically for mobile – and then thinking about the desktop version later.
According to one Brandzooka report we saw, they said 68% of consumers were going to mobile first. When you’re looking at the hierarchy of brand development, the redesign of your website, et al., make sure you’re using one of the more modern and refreshing templates. Also look to hire an outside agency, such as Scaling Retail, to build your website, and please approach the project from a mobile-first standpoint. It’s very important to be building for future marketing- not just for today’s marketing and strategies.
5. Shipping Policies
Lastly, when it comes to looking at shipping and thinking about how you actually deliver the goods, one of the reasons why someone may not buy is that they see your product and know they like it, but may not be sure about the following:
- Exactly how long it’s going to take to get to them
- How much they’re paying for shipping
- Is there a flat rate for shipping
- Is shipping going to be based on weight variables for different products or
- Can returns be made in person at your fashion boutique.
You need to get really clear on your shipping guidelines and post them up in your banners. If the deal is to spend $250 to get free shipping, make it loud and clear. If it’s free shipping and free returns on everything, make it clear. If it’s free shipping on goods over $50, again, whatever it is, make it super clear. If you don’t offer free shipping at all, think about incorporating free shipping as a marketing tactic. For example, you can offer free shipping on all orders this week. If it’s something new and special, you can use this as one of your marketing strategies
I hope you found this really interesting and important. There are so many strategies and tactics we can be implementing to really get your existing fashion e-commerce site and business model optimized online. There are lots of conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies, including strategies like heat mapping and landing page testing (via testing your copy, your images or both). There are lots of ways we can start taking incoming traffic to highly convert and churn out sales
For those of you interested in developing mobile-first platforms, please check out our blog post on how to develop a mobile-first website. Also, if you want a great e-commerce checklist, click over to this download. I think you’ll find it to be really interesting and easy-to-follow. You’ll discover important do’s, don’ts and tasks for your website. Sit down and take the test. How do you rank when it comes to what a website that converts should look and feel and be like?