3 Marketing Tips for Fashion Retailers
The fashion business is notoriously fickle. Today’s must-have is tomorrow’s faux pas. Arguably, fashion market trends are what keep the industry fresh and exciting, but that volatility is also challenging brands that are trying to stay one step ahead and align with evolving tastes. Consumer demand for fast-fashion and lower prices, as well as changes in shopping behavior, have left some well-established retail brands struggling to remain relevant. Women’s Marketing has looked at what’s working for fashion retailers, and we want to shares a few tips to keep your brand in style.
It’s about balance: Stores offering the right combination of value, convenience and selection are winning
Fast-fashion retailers are booming—H&M, Forever 21, and Old Navy are all posting record profits. “Millennial women love shopping. Fashion market trends express that consumers want the latest styles at inexpensive prices. Research shows that 41% of women think most clothing is overpriced, so it makes sense that value-oriented and discount channels continue to see strong performance,” says Andrea Van Dam, CEO of Women’s Marketing. “These companies are successful because they offer a wide selection of quality and unique merchandise at affordable prices, they’re also innovative when it comes to omnichannel marketing and connecting with target audiences.”
Fashion retailers should be nimble and take cues from changing consumer preferences
The apparel industry is being impacted by an overall increase and acceptability of casualization in all forms both socially and in work settings. The top items purchased in the last year are relaxed in nature: casual tops, T-shirts, jeans, and sweaters, while dressier items like blazers and skirts rank at the bottom. Fashion market trends show one key area of significant growth is “athleisurewear”— fitness clothing that is being worn for casual purposes. Women are driving this trend because they more frequently wear informal clothing like yoga pants and leggings. “This represents opportunity for retailers to play to the physical and the emotional benefits of ‘comfort’ which connote inclusivity and affordability,” explains Van Dam. “When it comes to where shoppers get their inspiration, the importance of social media must be highlighted, especially for young women. Making an influencer strategy using bloggers or other social media leaders part of your overall media strategy is a pragmatic approach, particularly when considering that women 18-34 rely on these channels at a rate that is nearly double that of all women,” Van Dam advises.
Omnichannel marketers will thrive
Understanding when and where to reach women is essential. The growth of digital and mobile marketing is providing challenges and opportunities for fashion retailers—they can no longer open a store and hope that women walk through the door. “In order for brands to survive, they must ensure that consumers have a seamless brand experience regardless of what ‘door’ they may enter,” says Van Dam. “Technology and visionary thinking is a baseline requirement to survive in today’s retail merchandising landscape,” she advises. “Whether it’s ‘buy now’ buttons on Pinterest or Instagram, or creating an experiential brick-and-mortar retail destination, consumers need to feel that they are shopping on their own terms,” she says.
At Women’s Marketing, we leverage our deep understanding of women’s shopping patterns and consumer behavior when working with our clients to develop strategic marketing and advertising initiatives. Call Women’s Marketing today to discover how we can provide actionable insights to help you brand thrive.
Source: Mintel Women’s Clothing U.S. May 2015