New Customer Acquisition & Conversion Strategies for Your Fashion Startup


Hey, it’s Syama. Today we’re going to chat about new customer acquisition and conversion strategies for your fashion startup. I know you guys are hearing all about different kinds of tips, what’s happening in the marketplace these days, how to get customers to come, and convert, and engage with your brand. And I want to just highlight a few key strategies, and really dive a little bit deeper into what certain brands are doing and what is so amazing and impactful about that. Number one, we’re going to take a look at radically changing the way that you look at social media in terms of getting that customer acquisition. The second, we’re going to look at creating new buzz in terms of how merchandising strategies can really start to get your company visibility. Next, we’ll dive a little bit into conversion rate optimization, I know, it’s a technical term but one that you need to know more about. And lastly, we will follow up with how to start to integrate things like live stream. How your fashion startup can start to sell to a more global audience, and how you can leverage influencers in order to be able to drive sales and visibility to your brand.

Do you guys remember Dov Charney? Well, he’s the one who founded American Apparel. And guys, he is back bigger than ever with Los Angeles Apparel. Now, what’s super cool about that? Well, number one, he realized, you know what? Your first business isn’t always your last business, and that’s an important rule and thing for all of us to recognize. But really what he’s been doing is taking a radical approach to how he’s approaching social media for his business. Meaning, he is getting on social, he is going live, he’s talking about the industry. It’s not in a pretty, highly-edited, highly-curated way. In fact, it’s really raw and it’s radical, and it’s getting people who are really interested in the American Apparel brand, and really fascinated with him and what he’s been able to create, to chime in, to share, to engage.

And, guys, as we’re seeing with social media, we’re moving away from the glossy stuff, right? We’re moving into an era of rawness, realness, and starting to engage one-on-one. In fact, guys, I’ve been seeing more and more people taking advantage of actually the live two-way conversations, right? Meaning, I can get on social go on Instagram Live and say, “Hey, who wants to have a conversation and talk about their business?” And you know what? I can invite you and we will be face-timing in front of a live audience. So, radical ways of looking at social media are an amazing way to capture the audience as well as being able to really fully engage with them. And trust me, you open the door, you show visibility to who you are as the CEO and the founder, and people are going to love that authenticity.

Next, we’ve got to take a look at really interesting ways that you can start to develop your merchandising. Now, companies like VETTA that produce five pieces and that show you how to wear them into 30 different items. That is a collection that’s built for organic brand marketing. So when you start to take a look at really their merchandising strategy and what you are developing, really ask yourself, how is this going to translate into marketing? How is this going to take on life in terms of how your customer experiences it? Is it going to create word-of-mouth buzz, right? Creating new customers to fall in love with your fashion startup also means finding new ways of being able to present and talk about your merchandise and your product. You can’t simply just be the Uber of X anymore, right? You can’t be the Everlane of a certain industry. We are tired of seeing copycats. You need to start to branch out and really think about what kind of space you are going to own and how you’re going to make that an innovative and very attractive marketing strategy that runs deep within your actual product development and product execution.

Now, conversion rate optimization is a really funny strategy. Funny in the sense that it can mean all sorts of things. For our particular case, I really want us to start to think about things like heat-mapping, meaning, really understanding how people are navigating your site. Because while we’re thinking about obviously getting new people and new acquisition strategies, we also have to be thinking about how you’re going to convert that. So, part of doing heat mapping or integrating with a heat mapping plug-in into your website is going to give you extreme visibility into how people are navigating your site, what areas they’re spending more time with their cursor on. Now, certainly, a cursor is different than eyeballs, so there’s going to be a certain margin of error. However, this will give you an idea if someone’s hovering over something more but clicking on something else more. Now, in addition to CRO strategies, aside from heat mapping, we also want to be A/B split testing your website and your landing page. And, guys, you may have heard me say this before but the average website for e-commerce converts at a little over 1%. The top 25% of e-commerce sites, the top 25 convert over 6%. Now, how do you move the needle from 1% to 6%? Well, you start to engage and interact with conversion rate optimization strategies. You don’t just do A/B split testing, you do A, B, C, D, E, F, G split testing, right? You’ve got to make sure that you’re staying on top of UX, UI and how your consumers are really integrating with the product.

Now, we all know influencers are making a big splash. Everyone’s talking about how to use influencers. I really want you guys to start to take a look at how companies like Tommy Hilfiger, for example, is approaching influencer strategies. They’re not just leveraging influencers to use in campaigns and catalogs, and, granted, everyone’s doing that these days. But they’re actually doing collaborations and partnerships to develop and design new product. Nordstrom has done the same thing. Tommy did it with Gigi Hadid. Now, what’s very important, guys, is you start to think about who are the key influencers that you would actually possibly want to do a real collaboration with? Meaning, it is their brand and your brand. It is a true collaboration, not just them wearing your brand. Now, this is a great customer acquisition strategy really because when you start to think about the synergy and the synthesis of different worlds we live in, we all follow certain key influencers whether those are our friends or whether they are actual, truly, style influencers, or food influencers, or art influencers, and we’re also continuously looking to consume more content, and we’re shopping, right? We are in an amazing era when it comes to retail and fashion.

So the synthesis of these two worlds becoming more and more the same is really important for you to start to get an attention on, and you need to start to focus and realize how are the ways in which you’re truly going to be incorporating that. Now, guys, don’t go around picking influencers just because they have a big following. You want to make sure they are on brand for you. Because, otherwise, those collaborations, while they may drive sales temporarily, and they may drive your followers, your engagement ranks temporarily, they may not be a long-term strategy unless the brands are deeply aligned, right? You might have a bunch of followers because of a collab, and then all of a sudden those followers fall off because your marketing, your advertising isn’t truly in the essence of that collaborator, of that influencer. So, make sure that everything is really succinctly aligned for the sake of your fashion startup.

Now, guys, lastly, tapping into global markets is one of my favorite topics these days. Companies out there like ShopShops that actually allow you to sell your products in the United States by having a virtual camera, a camera come in. You’re basically selling through Skype. Imagine setting up in your showroom, or in your studio, a collection of products, being on camera, talking about those products, and really pushing them and selling them to a new market, and to a new audience. Companies like HelpJess, and ShopShops, and I’m sure there are tons of others out there, have really made it a focus to try to bridge the relationship between global markets and, obviously, domestic US brands, and even global brands for that matter.

But here’s the business model, here’s what’s happening. ShopShops, for example, will find their local constituency in different markets in China. These are girls, these are guys, who want to shop, who love US brands, and who really want to buy something new and exclusive that not everyone else has, right? Traditionally, guys, in emerging market countries, you find that the first to market there are really the Guccis, the Pradas, the Chanels, all the licensed products, and then slowly you start to see bigger brands come in to really sell to that luxury customer. But we are seeing a huge rise in terms of brands that are really attractive. For example, advanced contemporary brands, contemporary lines, and certainly more niche luxury designer brands that are based here in the states. So I would say, guys, definitely start to take a look and experiment with attracting a more global audience. I think what you’ll find is that the Indian markets, the Chinese markets, are really hungry and they’re looking for this kind of product.

All right, guys, if you want to read more about getting into international audiences, do check out our blog post on the new technology that is allowing you to expand into these markets. Lots of things are changing constantly. We’ll make sure that blog post stays updated. So make sure you check that to see exactly the different tools and technologies you can use to break into these international markets. And if you’re looking for a juicy download, please check out our Creating Fashion Websites That Sell – an amazing, tried-and-true book. It’s fantastic, and it really walks you through the nuts and bolts of creating a really great e-commerce platform that allows you to convert in the best way possible. We even talk about things like how to name your photographs, so, fashion startup owners, check out that download. And lastly, leave comments below, make sure you follow us on Instagram @scalingretail. And, guys, when you’re ready to start experimenting, when you’re ready to start to find innovative strategies to grow your business, please send us an email at I can’t wait to work with you and help you grow your business. Have a great day. Bye.

Ready to spring into action? Our free e-book will help. Download your copy of “Creating Fashion Websites That Sell”.

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