We predict a seismic shift for brands and consumers online over the next few years.
As a clothing brand, you want to start creating super fans by delivering value, community and inspiration on top of your clothing products. Read more about this shift in The future of DTC Marketing for clothing brands
Selling online direct to consumers has several advantages for clothing brands. First, it allows brands to bypass the middlemen and sell their products at a lower price. Second, it allows brands to build a direct relationship with their customers, which can lead to increased loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. Finally, it allows brands to reach a larger audience, as online shoppers are not limited by location.
Although we predict this major shift there will still be a place for brick and mortar retail as long as there's a need to try on clothing or make a purchase quickly.
For this reason, if you are a clothing brand that has a group of loyal stockists you should tread carefully when considering going direct to consumer, as you may risk cannibalising sales from retailers. For this reason, we highly recommend that when launching your direct to consumer site don’t forget to promote your stockists as well.
Consider joint marketing ideas to avoid the risk of becoming a competition to your retailers.
Going DTC is more than just a website
Selling direct to consumer is more involved than just launching a website. Often overlooked, is the amount of time and energy packaging, shipping and dealing with customer enquiries can take. It is crucial to have staff and processes running smoothly from the get go, as a bad customer experience will damage your brand reputation.
Make sure you have a seamless process for returns, exchanges and have someone who can deal with customer service enquiries, and monitor social media for questions. There is little worse for your reputation than having a disgruntled customer airing their complaint in a public forum. So make sure either staff are in place to monitor and be proactive about helping.
How do you decide a platform?
Don’t cut corners when deciding what e-commerce platform you are going to use, you want to make sure you build on the right platform for your business from the get go, as a rebuild will be expensive and disruptive. It’s important to think about the bigger picture—including things like load speeds, payment options, and security.
One of the biggest issues with e-commerce platforms is that they can be slow. This is especially true if your site has a lot of traffic or if you’re using a lot of images, videos or plugins. If people have to wait too long for your page to load, they’re likely to leave.
Is one payment option enough?
Another thing to consider is the number of payment options you want to offer. Many customers may favour options like Paypal or Afterpay and not all platforms offer a wide range of payment options.
You need to be mindful of security.
As an e-commerce site owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your customers’ data safe. This means choosing a platform that offers good security features to avoid the embarrassment of being hacked.
Finally, you’ll want to think about your CRM.
A CRM is a tool that helps you manage your customers’ data. It is the most important asset of selling direct to consumers. As you understand their buying habits, special events and needs, you can create custom marketing campaigns that have a higher success rate than blanket marketing.
When selling directly to consumers, a clothing brand needs to weigh up the costs and benefits of cutting out the middleman. Whilst there are some costs associated with selling direct, such as website development, maintenance, staff and logistics there are also many benefits, including greater control over pricing, branding and customer engagement.
Are you ready to make the step of selling directly to your consumers?
Get in touch with Kozler to discuss how we can help you launch your strategy.