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The Latest Digital Trends Impacting the Fashion Industry

We all know fashion is a fast-paced industry, but how does the rapid growth of digital impact it? Digital agency Mediaworks have created a digital forecast – check out the key points here and what you can do to stay on track

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Are you up to date with digital trends?
Are you up to date with digital trends?

Digital influence is going nowhere – by 2020, almost 30% of the UK’s total fashion spend will be from online sales.

The UK is already leading the way when it comes to digital performance in the fashion industry – between 2015 and 2016 alone, there was a 28.7% growth in traffic to fashion retailer websites. Compare this to the overall European growth of 18.4% and it’s clear to see we’re leading the way.

Award-winning digital agency Mediaworks have put together the Fashion Forward: The Digital Forecast white paper to examine and highlight the key digital trends retailers need to consider, and it makes for fascinating reading. We’ve picked out some key points to share with you to help implement and understand a successful digital strategy below.

Embrace Online

This is a trend we’ve seen rapidly emerging within the bridal industry – luxury retailers embracing digital as a platform for sales – as retailers explore different ways to connect with brides. For the fashion industry as a whole, back in 2015 luxury fashion sales made up just 3% of the total worldwide fashion spend – but it is estimated that by 2018 this number will have grown to 17%. The growth in numbers is significant – can you afford to be left behind?

Be Relevant

It sounds simple but it can so easily be overlooked. You’ll hear lots about the importance of SEO and keywords if you run your own website, but to be honest, the most important thing is to be relevant to your audience.

Google uses an artificial intelligence system named ‘RankBrain’ to make its search engine smarter – it ensures the most relevant results are displayed for users. Have a think about what your target audience is likely to be searching and create content that relates to that.

Keep an eye on what performs well and do more of it, and identify your niche. For example, if you stock plus-size bridalwear, make sure you have lots of content devoted to that to increase the flow of relevant traffic to your site.

Optimise Your Website

Web consumers are browsing more content than ever on the go. Today’s brides are planning their wedding as they commute to work, on their lunch break and in front of the TV on a Sunday evening – mobile phone in hand.

Make sure your website works on mobile and is easy to navigate. On average, the conversion rate for fashion retailers in just 1.7% on a mobile device. It’s higher on desktop computers and tablets, which implies mobiles tend to be used for research.

Improve your mobile experience and increase your conversion rate – whether it’s simply a contact form being filled out, or an order for accessories being placed, by making sure your mobile site is easy to use you’re more likely to achieve your online goals.

Combat Basket Abandonment

If you sell accessories on your website, or have an online booking form, you make have experienced this common phenomenon: basket abandonment. It’s a real issue – where a customer starts to place an order and then leaves before the purchase is complete.

The most common reasons for this are as follows:

  • Unexpected shipping costs (28%) – are you upfront about your delivery costs, whether an item must be collected in store or if a deposit must be paid for an appointment? Having this information clearly displayed means the user is more likely to complete the transaction.
  • Having to create an account (23%) – do you request that users sign up to a mailing list or enter lots of details before they can achieve their goal? You could be turning them off from committing to buying or booking. If this isn’t essential, get rid. By streamlining the process, you can engage more users.
  • Conducting research (16%) – perhaps you ask a lot of questions when it comes to booking an appointment through your site. Scrap this and instead get a phone number – you can always call the bride ahead of their appointment to find out what you need to prepare.

Connect with Social Media

Everyone knows they should be on social media, but that doesn’t mean they are using it properly. It’s important for a fashion brand to have a strong social media platform – you can use it to engage new customers, showcase products and connect with clients – the latter being particularly important in the bridal industry, where there are so many emotions tied to the dress shopping experience.

Instagram is a key platform for fashion retailers – fashion brands receive three times more interactions than any other brands on Instagram and have a three times larger audience on the site. Whilst it may not drive hundreds of referrals to your site, it’s excellent for brand awareness and engaging with your customers.

Use Facebook to encourage site traffic – post links to site content and communicate with your audience, but make sure you take time when crafting content. Your social media pages and your website are a virtual shopfront – typos, slang and a confusing tone will drive traffic away. If you’re not confident when it comes to your social media representation, consider hiring an agency or an in-house individual with good experience to help you.

Check out the Fashion Forward: The Digital Forecast white paper for a more in-depth look at the trends, or read one of our most recent opinion pieces about the importance of embracing social media as a small business for more tips.

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