How to design a fashion website that actually sells its merchandise
All business owners are aware of the fact that social media marketing plays a very vital role to boost sales and increase traffic. According to Statista, the last few months of 2017 witnessed 1.37 billion active users on Facebook on a daily basis. An attractive Facebook page and a successful Instagram account can act as a lead generation magnet.
However, all your social media marketing efforts can go down the drain if your website is badly designed and has a poor user-interface. Hence, it is obvious that to create a thriving fashion brand you should build a fully functional website that acts as a sales tool and actually sells its merchandise.
Where to start?
If you have decided to start your own online fashion brand, then there can’t be a better time than the present. According to research by Statistica, the fashion industry is an $80 billion-a-year industry, and it is one of the most popular e-commerce niches.
However, creating a successful fashion website is a lot more than just buying a domain. It is dependant on a lot of factors such as the niche, branding, user interface and of course, product quality and customer service. Today, we are going to discuss some of the most essential factors to design a fashion website that can drive sales through the roof!
1- Hire a professional web designer
If you want your fashion website to be able to compete in the fiercely competitive online world, then you should invest in a professionally designed website. No matter how small or large your fashion brand is, you should hire a competent web designer to do the job. According to research, it takes about 50 milliseconds (almost 0.05 seconds) for visitors to form an opinion about the website and to determine whether they like it enough to stay or not. This opinion is based purely on visual aesthetics. Visitors are able to tell right away whether a brand has invested thought and money in their branding or if they’ve taken the cheap route.
2- Think about the design
Thinking about the creative aspect while designing the website can be a paramount task, but if done right- it can do wonders to boost sales and increase traffic. Observe the design trends on websites of other successful fashion stores and communicate with your designer about your likes and dislikes.
We love Zalando’s website. It is clean, easy to navigate and minimalistic. Focus on a few strong images that express the nature of your business. They are much more powerful than badly sourced stock images.
3- Start a blog
Most people do not purchase clothes or fashion accessories because they necessarily need them. They buy fashion products as a symbol of class and to look like they belong to a certain lifestyle. Fashion has the power to change to people perceive you, and as a fashion business owner, you should employ this opportunity to the maximum.
Start working on a cycle of blogging, marketing and developing a trusted community of fans. Most online fashion retail stores owe a big chunk of their website’s traffic and revenue to their blogs. For example, if you are running an online leather skin shop, then publish blogs that educate customers about taking care of their leather accessories or different ways to style leather jackets, etc. Take a look at Nasty Gal’s great blog for a dose of inspiration:
4- Improve SEO of your website
Search engine optimization has a direct impact on your website’s conversion rate. Optimizing your website according to the latest Google algorithm will not only improve your website’s rankings but will also improve user experience which will ultimately result in more sales. All the top rated fashion brands have successfully combined SEO and CRO (conversion rate optimization) to provide their visitors with a stellar online shopping experience. Read this informative article by Forbes to learn about the various SEO tactics that will help increase conversions.
5- Price your products right
Another vital aspect of running a flourishing fashion website is setting the right prices. Do a lot of research about your target customer and learn how much they are willing to pay for fashion apparel and accessories. Calculate the price of your raw material and manufacturing costs. After that reach a conclusion about how you should price your product.
Make sure that the costs give you ample profit. An over the top price tag will scare away the customer, while something below their expectation will make it seem like your product is using cheap raw materials.
Read this post by Neil Patel at MarketingLand to learn more about decoy pricing.
6- Use high-quality images
When it comes to designing a fashion website that actually intrigues the customers to hit the add to cart button, product display is a crucial component. Since customers are not in a brick and mortar store where they can explore themselves, your website has to make the product look larger than life.
Settle for nothing less than high-quality images so that a visitor feels like he or she is viewing the product with their own eyes. Use a macro lens to show the fabric details, stitch, seam, and other emblems or decorative additions. Read this guide about how to take fantastic fashion product photos to help you create a memorable and profitable fashion brand.
Remember, the more visual information you give your customers, the more convinced they’ll be. Which brings us to our next point- the importance of adding product videos.
7- Add product videos
You must have heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. However, a product video is worth so much more, and it’s one marketing tool that you can’t afford to ignore if you want to create a hot-selling fashion website.
Did you know that videos are preferred by search engines, and they appear in 70% of the top 100 search results listings? And when people shop for fashion related goods, they want to visualize how the piece might look on them, and a video helps them do just that.
According to a survey by Animoto, 96% of e-commerce customers appreciate videos as it helps them make better online shopping decisions. Another research proves that 144% more likely to purchase after watching a helpful video as compared to those who only rely on images.
8- Offer personalization
Nowadays online marketing is all about personalization. It’s one of the best marketing tactics which helps you increase your sales through customer targeting and segmentation. If you’re still new to personalization, start with baby steps like showing personalized messages to sub-segments of traffic instead of the whole website. Or by sending thank you emails to those who have subscribed to your newsletter or Facebook page etc. Another great idea is to develop loyalty programs based on the interests of your customers.
The aim is to show content to your visitors which reflects their interest so you can provide them a better customer experience. A study by Janrain & Harris Interactive, irrelevant content often frustrates website visitors, and they end up leaving the website altogether.
9- Make sure your website is mobile optimized
More than half of the internet’s traffic is coming through mobiles and other hand-held devices. So, if your website is not yet mobile optimized, chances are you are probably missing out on a big chunk of sales. Amazon’s mobile-friendly site is an excellent example of how mobile e-commerce should be.
10- Improve site performance and speed
There is nothing more annoying than a slow loading website or a page that keeps on crashing during high volume sales. If your website is experiencing any one of these problems, then you might be at risk of losing some precious customers forever.
In another article, experts highlight that 79% of the visitors who are unhappy with a website’s performance are less likely to buy from that particular website again. According to Skilled, for every 1-second delay in website loading, there is a 7% decrease in sales. This is why if you want to improve your website’s conversion rates, you should optimize your website’s speed and overall performance.
You can reduce the loading time of your website in many ways such as compressing and reducing the image files, improving coding and leveraging a content delivery network. To learn about more ways to improve your website’s performance, read this blog post.
11- Provide simple one-click checkout
Adding clear CTA buttons is a great way to get visitors to put items in their cart and increase conversion rates, but there is another step which can help you increase your sales even more.
And that is by adopting a one-click checkout process where visitors can simply add the products to their cart and check out quickly and efficiently. One of the best examples of this process can be seen on Amazon.
According to Magento, by shortening the checkout process to 1/10th of the time it used to take in conventional methods, can help your sales increase dramatically. The chances of cart abandonment are next to none, and you won’t find customers leaving halfway because of the long checkout process.
12- Provide multiple payment options
After providing a swift one-clock checkout, you don’t want a customer to abandon cart just because they cannot find their desired payment method. There is so much choice when it comes to making online payments. Hence, it is vital to offer trusted and newer payment services that are popular nowadays.
13- Add customer reviews
Most website visitors read product reviews and customer testimonials before hitting the ‘add to cart’ button. In fact, legions of happy customers are much more influential than the best-written sales copy. Try to add customer testimonials on your product pages, landing pages, pricing page, even your home page.
According to a study by Spiegel Research Center, even negative reviews can boost sales, and online reviews increase conversion rates as much as 270% with higher priced items benefitting the most. A website with 100% positive reviews seems very fake, and customers will think that most of them are either paid reviews or scams. This is why a few negative reviews make it seem more legit. Potential customers also access your brand’s customer service by seeing how you tackle negative reviews.
A multi-million dollar jewelry brand, Pura Vida, recognized the importance of user-generated ratings and reviews recently. They saw a huge increase in the engagement rate of on-site customers and the average order value of visitors who engaged with reviews was $34 higher than those who didn’t.
14- Offer stellar customer service
One of the reasons why famous fashion brands become great is because of their customer loyalty. And the only way to make sure that the customers stick with a particular fashion brand is to offer excellent customer service.
Lastly, we recommend keeping a minimalistic approach to your website. Not only will your website look more clean and professional, but it will also increase sales by decreasing the distractions. Here are some additional tips that will help your website get sorted within no time:
- Focus on sharp product imagery with little or no design elements.
- Adopt the ‘less is more’ approach
- Use large and compelling CTA buttons that direct your customers to the add to the cart button.
- Test your website regularly.
To wrap up, we recommend treating your fashion websites like a room that needs freshness and airing. Create a smashing brand identity that boasts the range of products you are offering, be present on social media platforms and use every promotional medium to build your brand. Keep it flowing and full of engaging content and soon you will notice the sales beginning to rise.
We hope these tactics will help you in creating a fashion website that closes more sales online. If you have any more questions regarding different ways to increase online sales, then let us know in the comments below: