To keep ahead of the competition, every fashion brand requires a solid marketing strategy.
A smart plan will not only keep them afloat in the choppy waters of eCommerce but will also help them develop as others flounder.
This is a marketing strategy plan for an e-commerce fashion store called Stitched by Gael, it is dedicated to women and kids and showcases Africa’s finest prints in a fashionable and empowering way.
Establish your goals
- Make marketing and sales a priority
Bring awareness to your products through effective and efficient marketing strategies will help improve the stores’ sales. It is essential that you assess a couple of the free or modest cloud-based applications that can assist you with streamlining web search tools and further develop PPC crusade results, increment lead age, or make it simple to dispatch and keep up with promoting efforts. The more people click on your webpage, the more they’ll be tempted to purchase your clothes.
2.Come up with new ideas/ designs
Put time to the side every week or month, whatever turns out best for your group, to conceptualize and bob thoughts off of by giving distinctive
preparing or uncommon meeting orchestrated them with the assistance of occupation bits of knowledge, work on your item and set out new open doors.
This will also help in making sure that the store is relevant and thus keeps up with the latest fashion trends which will eventually help in the long-term success of the business
3. Increase social media following and platforms
It is impossible to overestimate the value of social media to your clothing line’s success.
People are more likely to desire to buy your products if you have a greater social following and more involvement on your social media platforms. It generates leads, which can later turn into paying clients.
This means that the store needs to not only have an Instagram account but also Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Yaga. Encourage user-generated material from your consumers, create incentive programs for your most loyal customers, answer your customers’ concerns and respond to their queries immediately, and educate them about the meaning of the African prints to boost your social media following.
• Branding will lead to success
In order to grow your brand since your store is fairly new, you should invest in extensive marketing and advertising strategies that expose to the masses who you are and what you represent, which are essentially proudly African prints that empower women.
Getting well-known influencers to model your clothing items and also showcasing them on their social media platforms that already have a lot of followers will help create awareness of your brand.
This will also help create brand loyalty which is essential for the long-term success of the business.
• Open a brick-and-mortar location
The physical presence of an organization or business in a building or other structure is referred to as brick and mortar. Eventually, it would be ideal to open physical stores internationally to be a well-known brand that most people in all socio-economic backgrounds prefer.
• Remain profitable
Maintaining a profit is one of the most crucial business goals you’ll ever have.
To be profitable, the income you generate must always be more than the costs you incur in the process of generating that revenue.
It would be essential for the business to save up all it can when the cash flows are in large amounts during peak seasons or rather when the website has more sales so that it does not have cash flow issues during the off-peak months, e.g during winter.
Understand your audience
It is significant for the business to conduct a competitor analysis, this will help the store understand its competition in the fashion market, and also it will be easy to recognize any gaps lefts by its competitors.
Those gaps will help the store see what people actually want to buy but are not finding right in the fashion market.
The store will then try to come up with ideas that will essentially take advantage of that gap.
These surveys will help the store understand its’ customers’ needs.
The store can release these surveys as little questionnaires on their website and all social media platforms with specific questions like, what kind of African prints they would prefer as kimonos,
what kind of sets they would like to see on the website and whether they would like the store to introduce winter African sets.
These kinds of surveys will help the store know what its’ audience consumes, and what they want to buy in the future.
The application has a section called Audience and it shows the visitors’ or customers’ demographics, genders, and what kind of devices they are using. It basically shows information about the people who visit your site.
The use of this application will help the store see where its’ audience spends more time or less time on the website and will thus help in improving the pages where less time is spent. It will also help the store the size of its’ audience.
Implementing the plan!
You have to decide on a strong team of marketers who will carry out your strategy plan and how you will achieve your goals.
Content marketing is your best friend!
We have all heard of the cliche content is king! well in this e-commerce world it really is king because customers are attracted by what they see and that is what pushes them to buy.
Websites are now making their content shoppable, providing more evidence that fashion e-commerce and content are a perfect match.-link
Invest in a very good photographer
-create relatable images
–Canva is a great content creation tool , is free but can be upgraded.
-content marketing promotes brand awareness
-create content that encourages consumer engagement e.g polls, interactive polls, this or that games, your fashion e-commerce brand needs to create content that your customers will want to share. Think entertaining, funny, exciting, out of the norm.
The international institute of digital marketing™ offers courses to teach you how to create content like a professional if you do not have a team
Product videos have more impact compared to product images on customers’ minds.
As per statistics 73% more visitors will buy the products if they watch the product videos on site. So, make sure you add the product videos as well.
Search engine optimization is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
Keywords will help you drive traffic to your website, firstly in your blogs, item descriptions, and captions, be as descriptive as possible to win in driving traffic to your site and being top in search results.
Types of keywords to include
Navigational-these keywords direct you to a certain place e.g Facebook, Instagram, or your website
Transactional-this is when the consumer knows what they are searching for e.g African print kimono, African print tops, etc.
Investigational-these keywords help the consumers solve a problem where can I buy African print attire/ best places to get modern African clothing.
Informational-helps answer a question e.g what do you wear to an African event/ wedding
PPC/Pay per click
What it is? PPC advertising is a type of online marketing in which you position adverts in strategic locations on the internet and only pay when a visitor clicks on the ad.
How it helps? This allows you to market your products and services to the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
How you can do it? Place your ads in fashion blogs, online magazines, places that will draw in customers
A type of social media marketing that relies on product endorsements and mentions from influencers–individuals who have a large social following and are regarded as experts in their field.
We have all heard the saying that in order to make money you need to
spend some money, in this case, it is with your own merchandise.
Influencers are the modern-day mannequins of the world and have the ability to reach and engage with your market.
How can you do it?
Conduct extensive research on social media of course sometimes it is not the people with the largest followers that make the most noise so be strategic.
Pick someone/people who align to your business aesthetic, someone who will represent your brand aesthetic will and connect and engage with your audience to drive sales.
You would have to invest quite a bit and if done right you will be memorable!
This is what your consumers use to recognize your company whether it is color, aesthetic, logo, slogans
A brand presents itself through several different methods visual, sound, message so consumers can resonate with it.
Create an eye-catching logo
A slogan that is catchy and resonates with your brand
Create an aesthetic e.g stickers, thank you cards, delivery packages, tags, labels, etc.
Social media marketing
You cant say digital marketing without talking about social media marketing because that is where the bulk of your customers mostly spend their time.
Create ad campaigns that involve your customers, Provide a way for your customers to show off the fashion products you’re selling to build both community and loyalty
for example creating client appreciation posts or reels on Instagram done by your customers to add as content to your social media pages.
Run giveaways and competitions to keep consumer engagement and gain brand interest.
There are several social media pages out there each with a customer waiting to save, wishlist, tag, or share your page or an outfit to your future clients.
You will have to create content suitable for each SM page social media pages including Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp (business accounts) , Pinterest, Tik Tok, or Youtube, and track where most of your traffic comes from.
Social media automation tools
This here will save you time so read c a r e f u l l y
What are SM automation tools?
You compose and design your material for automatic social media posting, then schedule it to be shared at a later time.
This automation allows you to complete and schedule your work at the same time, eliminating the tedious, manual busywork that would otherwise force you to multitask and significantly reduce your productivity.
Top 5 Social Media automation tools (link)
Events / networking/collaborations
This is very important, a traditional way of marketing but very important to get some human interaction to get your business known.
Attend concerts, events, market stalls, fashion shows to network and contact different online stores that share the same idea/ideology that will create a massive customer market gain, drive traffic and keep your business relevant.
It is the use of email to promote a company’s products and services while also rewarding customer loyalty.
It is a way of informing customers on your email list about new products, discounts, and other services that you can use for your customers as an online store.
Get your customers to sign up to your website so they can get in your mailers list to receive your special emails.
Here are my top 5 email marketing automation tools to save you time and allow you to be effective.
- Sendinblue (www.sendinblue.com)
- Mailchimp (mailchimp.com)
- Mailjet (www.mailjet.com)
- Drip (www.drip.com)
- ConvertKit (convertkit.com)
Google my business
This is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.
To help customers find your business, and to tell them your story, you can verify your business and edit your business information.
KPI’s/Key Performance Indicators
key metrics that help you to understand where your eCommerce businesses successes and failures are coming from
Google Analytics is your best friend here, this tool will help you measure your KPI and allow you to be effective and measure your business’s success and failures and improve on them.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service that provides statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes.
All you need is a google account and plug in your website /domain to start analyzing.
Google Analytics is used to track the operation of a website and gather information about its visitors.
It can assist businesses in determining the top sources of user traffic, assessing the success of their marketing activities and campaigns, tracking goal completions (such as purchases and adding products to shopping carts), identifying patterns and trends in user engagement, and obtaining other visitor data such as demographics. link
This is the rate at which your best sellers sell or how much a business makes in sales during a period.
This can be calculated using your best sellers or how long items remain before they sell out.
Visitors per page
This will show you how many visitors per page you get, based on preference find out how long visitors spend on each page.
Pages per visit
Focus on how many pages per visit do your customers’ visit do they go through all you have or only recent new stock.
Conversion rates are not always the same your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website that complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors.
Conversion goals can be how many customers are Signing up, adding to cart, add to wishlist, etc.
A high conversion rate is indicative of successful marketing and web design: It means people want what you’re offering, and they’re easily able to get it!
New leads/sign ups
This shows you how many new visitors are signing up to your page or visiting with the potential to actually add to cart/return or even buy.
ROI/Return on investment
This indicator tracks if you are making money on your investments be it endorsements, products, ads, etc
Find your best sellers and push their performance
Every marketing strategy is not a solid plan but a stepping stone that can be adjusted and reimagined to make it work for your business.
What is important is knowing your digital footprint, best sellers, create smart goalS (smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals)
Market research is important and knowing your audience, measuring your KPI’s and implementing your strategy.
If at first, you don’t succeed try, try and try again till you get it
Always remember revize, rework and re-implement.
About Authors :
Samela Madyibi is a BcomHons in Economics student at UJ who lives in South Africa and is also an intern at IIDM.
Jessica Kalanda is an intern at the International Institute of Digital marketing and is also from South Africa.