How can online fashion stores get ready for the Christmas sales 2020 season – Store optimization and marketing strategy tips
In many parts of the world, Christmas is typically the peak selling season for retailers. Christmas shopping season starts as early as October, but the real shopping craze dramatically increases by Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales right after Thanksgiving day. People purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. And how crazy it gets? Well, a quarter of all personal spending in the United States occurs during the holiday and Christmas shopping season.
The effects of the global pandemic on the fashion industry
Fashion retail got hit hard by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to current data, 43% of people spend less on clothing than they did before the pandemic. If the virus spread is contained in the next period, the prognosis is that fashion sales in brick-and-mortar stores might return to 2019 levels by the end of 2023.
The lockdown hit physical stores the hardest, but people quickly shifted to shopping online. The shift stays even though people are getting back to (new) normalcy, and the need for self-expression increases again.
And how are big brands coping? Zara, Topshop, & Other Stories, H&M and Cos, reported lower sales than usual. However, they still survive the crisis thanks to loyal customers who have transferred their allegiance to their online sites. Despite having a minimal online presence, even Primark has fared far better than expected.
Like most industries in 2020, fashion retail needs to focus on online sales, especially in the run-up to the holiday season. This is why shop owners need to make sure they are delivering the best user experience with their online store.
In the previous article, we talked about getting your m-commerce store ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In this guide, we will focus on getting your m-commerce store prepared for the Christmas shopping season.
- We’ll talk about what products are selling best and how you should adjust to the specific demand of this holiday season dictated by the pandemic.
- We’ll also share some suggestions on effective marketing techniques and enhancing the user experience of the shopping app.
The best selling fashion items for Christmas of 2020
2020 trends show that two apparel niches are trendy at the moment—streetwear and loungewear. Obviously, it’s all about making your shoppers comfortable. On the other hand, the crisis will affect some sectors of the fashion industry differently. People are more cautious about ready-to-wear, accessories, formalwear, and tailored work-wear.
When you think about what you should list in your shop, think about gifts. From this period on, people will mostly be looking for gifts for their friends and family. But as we said, this year, people want to be comfortable, and they carefully consider where and how they spend money. So affordable lounge and sportswear brands are on the rise. Also, sustainable and eco wear are a massive trend in the past couple of years. But what are the favorites?
1️⃣ Sweatshirts, hoodies and joggers
You can’t go comfier than sweatshirts, hoodies, and joggers. These items are not exclusively relegated to the sportswear section anymore. They became a staple in loungewear and sportswear. 2020 trends in loungewear are pastel colors and tie-dye graphics, so let your imagination go wild. Selling these items also gives you an opportunity for upselling and cross-selling techniques. You can sell sweatshirts, hoodies, and joggers separately or as matching sets.
T-shirts are evergreen and versatile items that can you can find in almost anyone’s closet, no matter the season. The steady volume of searches for T-shirt throughout the year shows that people always go for clothing staples, even though it might seem they’re not a classic holiday gift.
Source: Google Trends
They can be styled to fit any niche or season, and they are the foundation of fashion trends like streetwear and athleisure, which are based on basics, comfortable clothes, and layering. Also, keep in mind that with the rise of sustainable fashion, shoppers are looking for unique premium quality basics produced in an eco-friendly way and long-lasting compared to fast fashion items.
People are also searching for headwear, whatever the season—wide brim straw hat for summer, a visor for running, a knitted hat for winter. They cover all seasons and occasions. What you can do this holiday season is offering embroidered designs. This trend represents a shift to a slower, personal attitude towards clothing, a way to make favorite items last longer.
Source: Google Trends
Leggings are both sportswear and an ultimate loungewear item, so you cover several target groups – sports enthusiasts, trendy fashion lovers, and people enjoying their relaxing time in front of the TV. However, it is essential that you specify what leggings you’re selling are intended for. Make sure you don’t set the wrong expectations and confuse your customers. What you can offer them for sure is versatility. Cotton for comfy fit or microfiber materials for training; monochrome or all-over pattern, leggings are almost having a better year than humans.
Another versatile item you can offer in your store is bags. Depending on style and design, you can adjust them to almost any niche and offer them to different demographics of customers. You can sell tote bags as a casual and affordable option that can come in various styles depending on your niche. You can even offer fanny packs that might be considered a summer product. Still, people use them on many different occasions, traveling, camping, skiing, and other activities where you need to be hands-free. What’s more, they are currently a very trendy fashion accessory.
The ultimate shopping experience in your online store for Christmas 2020
This season online fashion shopping will be predominantly mobile, so you need to develop a mobile-first mentality. This means making sure that it is easy for shoppers to find their way around your app, quickly locate the product they want, and checkout with minimum effort. But let’s see what further steps you can take to make your customers feel the Christmas spirit while shopping in your online store.
💄 Give your store a festive holiday makeover
People want to feel the rush of the holiday spirit while searching for gifts for their loved ones, especially in a year as hard as this one. Think about how physical stores are decorated weeks before the holidays and how you can feel the upcoming season’s excitement in the air. Your store’s makeover is as easy as adjusting the color palette and adding festive images. You can use the theme and graphics representing the holiday and ornate fonts that contribute to the holiday feeling.
📦 Get your logistics in order
Be in touch with your suppliers. Before you start marketing specific products, make sure you will have enough in stock and that they will be ready in time. Also, make sure you will be prepared to ship orders on time. Choose shipping methods that guarantee service within a certain number of days, even if they cost a little more. Inform last-minute shoppers if their order won’t arrive in time and of any additional shipping charges. You don’t want to be the reason someone hasn’t got their presents on time.
🛍 Carefully choose and expose in-demand products
As we’ve already mentioned, during the holiday season, people will mostly shop for gifts. But they will also use the opportunity to purchase items for themselves that are on sale. Do your research on the holiday-friendly items that are in demand in your niche. Check what were the best-sellers in the previous years, what people are searching for the most. Make sure you provide the best and easy choices for your shoppers.
🌟 Create the best customer experience
Inevitably, whatever you do, some issues will still pop-up. Give your best to provide a smooth user experience, but also make sure that you’re able to offer a quick response time and efficient customer service. Even if they encounter some problem shopping from your online store, 93% of the customers will return to your brand if they’ve had a positive experience with customer service.
Effective holiday marketing strategies for e-commerce in 2020
1️⃣ Create holiday gift guides
Make an edit of products from your store that work great as a gift. This is a great way to draw people to specific products. You can create a blog article on this subject or even make several guides with different categories – gifts for fathers/mothers/sister/brother, bigger or smaller budgets, and so on. This guide can be a landing page that you can promote on your social media during the holiday season, and your customers will have a simple edit of your products they can buy immediately.
2️⃣ Create a digital holiday catalog
If you are ready to invest a bit more time and money, a digital catalog is a great option that expands the idea of gift guides. It’s an opportunity to show off your products with quality design and stunning images of your products. You can create an interactive catalog and link product images to the relevant product pages. This is an excellent idea for re-engaging previous buyers and give them a more detailed insight into your products. You stay eco-friendly without printing, but your customers still have the opportunity to sit and browse through a catalog. And it can be marketed as any other piece of content – on social media, in a blog, and a link in your main website navigation menu.
3️⃣ Show care to your long-time customers
Your long-term customers will appreciate a little extra attention; after all, the holiday season is a time for giving. Show them that you appreciate their loyalty by giving them a discount, a gift with a purchase, free shipping on certain items, or a discount coupon for after-holiday purchases. This way, you’re even giving an incentive for future purchases. Keep in mind that acquiring new customers cost a lot more than retaining the ones you have.
4️⃣ Take care of your first-time shoppers
But you still appreciate every new customer for your business and want to give them the reason to keep coming back. Think of something that will delight them and make them feel welcome. Most brands will provide new customers with a discount on the first order, but something that will make you stand out from the crowd is adding value to their purchase. So, offer a coupon that’s valid for the rest of the year or add in a ‘stocking filler’ product for free.
5️⃣ Strategically place impulse buys and stocking fillers
This is the moment when the UX and UI of your online store play the key role. Most people shopping for gifts in this period are shopping for more than one person, and they’re shopping online because it’s quicker and more convenient. So place so-called stocking fillers (some cheaper products) in areas of your store where a customer can quickly and easily throw them into their cart. Place a ‘people also bought’ or ‘you may also like’ element in the footer after someone has added a product to their cart. If you’re selling shoes, you can include a basic pair of socks or shoe cleaner as a way to increase an average cart spend.
Get ideas on holiday marketing from big brands
Being a fashion brand in the ever-changing fashion industry can be quite a challenge. The challenging task of marketing stands in front of you. But in developing a marketing strategy for the upcoming holiday season, you can luckily take a page from the big brands’ marketing strategies. So, let’s review some of the marketing strategies from the big guys.
Conquer hearts and minds with story and emotion like Nike
From ‘Just do it’ to Colin Kaepernick, Nike keeps raising the bar with evocative, memorable campaigns that stay in your head and heart. To build global brand awareness, Nike creates compelling stories. Their marketing is not at all about big marketing budgets and celebrity engagement. It’s about emotional storytelling.
So, how can you employ this inspiration from Nike? Start building a story around your brand and build it into the word of mouth marketing: the ads, the stories, and the emotions that are so good, people won’t be able to help themselves but talk about you.
Help your fans spread the word about you like Birchbox
Birchbox created a simple, user-friendly referral program to help their fans spread the word about their products. When users sign up and purchase a box, they’re reminded to tell their friends about it. Every successful referral earns them 50 points, which translates to 5 dollars of online credit and saves them money on future purchases.
What can you take from Birhcbox’s referral strategy? With this tactic, you will let your customers do the marketing for you. Birchbox’s satisfied customers happily share their brand new fashion products across all social media channels, creating a viral referral marketing campaign that eventually made this fashion brand millions.
Build a proud, loyal community connected by values like MATTER prints
Matter decided they won’t compete with fast fashion or high fashion brands but build a community of customers who share their values. They are a slow fashion brand that integrates modern design with traditional textile production made by artisans. They show that where and why a piece is made is important. This offers them an opportunity to create a conversation around their products and a meaningful connection between customers and producers.
How can you strengthen the connection with your customers? Center your fashion business on the community it supports, and you’ve already found your niche. Stories like this are especially important around the holiday season, and people gladly support communities that share their values.
Strategies like this will allow you to build long-term brand awareness, and they work for you for two important reasons. You provide your customers with great storytelling and a human touch.
So, the Christmas season of 2020 will definitely be different than any other before. If you are in the business of fashion retail, you’re probably already aware of the benefits of having a mobile shopping app or website for your store. But it would be best if you still got well prepared for the upcoming sales seasons. After all, it’s time to go from red to black in the books. But if you get your online store optimized and your offline logistics in order, you’ve already made a solid start. Throw in some smart marketing tactics, take a note from the marketing book of big brands, and connect with your customers on a deeper level. Good planning will make your holiday season sales go smooth and earn you some well-deserved rest afterward.
And if you still need some help setting up a quality shopping app for your store quickly, feel free to contact the Omnishop team.
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