Whether you have a degree in fashion technology or just an innate sense of glam that has never let you down, there’s a business opportunity waiting for you online. There is no doubt that the competition is tough, but London isn’t one of the “Big Four” fashion capitals of the 21st century for nothing!
There are so many parts to opening an e-commerce site that it would be impossible to fit all the advice here, so we will now concentrate on perfecting three core aspects of a web-based fashion store, which might just set you apart from the rest.
What are You Planning to Sell?
This is one of the most important aspects of your business; you need to decide exactly what you are going to sell and who your target customers will be. As you are not a multi-billion pound company, you need to adopt a different strategy. Target niche, local markets and stay small enough for the time being to avoid competing with the established big names in the business from day one. Decide on the products, genres, brands, etc., and stick to limited but specialised stocks for the time being.
Create Your Own Line
The thing is that it would be impossible for any small website to compete with the big boys because the kind of price they can offer to their customers is unmatchable. But, that only applies when you are retailing products made by others, not when you have your own line of clothes, cosmetics, shoes, etc. Once you have a separate brand of products that are only available in your store, it creates exclusivity and then the price becomes secondary, as no other store has what you have. Of course, the success of the brand will largely depend on the quality of the products and the company’s understanding of their target customers.
The Photos are All Important
As photos and videos are pretty much the only links that a customer has with the product shown by an e-commerce site, you cannot compromise here. Hire a product photographer to take the photos that you are going to upload on your site because this is a make or break move really. When a professional still life photographer captures the clothes, shoes, jewellery, cosmetics and whatever else you are planning to sell, the photos come out clear and of high quality, but that’s not the only reason why it’s a make or break step.
The thing is that when someone goes online to shop for a product, most of the times, he/she ends up seeing generic images of the same product on multiple sites. However, when the customer comes across a listing that shows them clear, high-resolution images highlighting the most important aspects of the product, the customer pauses and takes the time necessary to go through the pictures on the page and possibly some of the other listings as well. This may not always convert to a sale right away, but rest assured that serious customers are far more likely to come back at a later point after this experience. To achieve this same effect on your own site, it is important that you don’t just contact a random friend with a D-SLR, but an expert still life photographer for the job. You’ll want to find a photographer who has experience with people in your market, for example there’s the still life photographer Chris Howlett who has worked with House of Fraser as stated on his website howlettphoto.com. If a big fashion brand like this one has worked with the photographer, that’s a sure sign of their reliability and skill.
Success depends on so many things these days that granular micromanagement is necessary – and that’s not something just everyone can do. These tips will help, but there’s always a lot more to learn on the job, so start small and never let things get out of hand before you are truly ready for the next step.