Today’s fashion environment is a combination of brick-and-mortar stored and online clothing retailers.
As an up-and-coming designer who wants to be a force to be reckoned with on the fashion scene, you will need to position your online presence in ways that allow your brand to attract a global audience. All this while maintaining its local touch and be economical as well. while doing that. Your online brand will need to have a personality that resonates with the people you’re trying to reach.
Here are some helpful tips to have in mind as you start the journey.
1) Have a vision statement and stay true to it.
Where do you want your online business to go? You want to have a clear picture of where you intend to take your fashion business in the future and as you contemplate about this, you want to stay true to that framework.
You don’t have to include how you are going to market and deliver your designs to customers when you are making your vision statement.
The vision is not in the details of how you plan to carry out the business. You have to stay true to a vision that will allow your brand to soar – and it is important that the vision statement captures what you are passionate about.
Your business vision may not be a comprehensive answer about your milestones but it does set the direction right.
2) Come up With a Clear Plan
Lack of clarity may be a recipe for business failure and it is imperative to clear the smoke while launching an online business. Clear planning has to be put in place to forecast and plan inventory locations, distributions cost and its impact on your company’s overall margin.
Before launching your product, you may want to set up goals to grow your social media followers. What conceptual place would you want your product to hold in the mind of your audience? Your plan will have to include ways to communicate your core value in a brand voice that resonate with the group of people you want to attract.
Do you plan on providing luxury and exclusivity? Then just like Tom Ford, you may want to have specific goals to provide high quality and expedited shipping of your product.
3) Be Authentic
With online business, your communication has to be authentic and must establish a deep-rooted connection between your brand and the target audience.
The authenticity has to be parallel with things that your customers can identify with. You want to articulate your core competencies through the value you add. Social media provides an avenue where you can easily create authentic connection – by responding to comments, taking feedback, answering follow up questions and resolving related issues.
Additionally, you can also gain loyal customers by promoting messages that are intrinsic in nature across platforms.
4) Have a Purpose
Why do you want to launch an online brand? You want your business to have a sense of purpose that should be of great value to your audience. Once you clearly define the purpose, it will have a huge influence on decision making and the way you allocate resources.
The purpose of the business will allow you to provide a product/services that are of excellent quality; something that enriches the life of your customers. Net-a-Porter Fashion House’s main purpose is to innovate the way women shop for luxury goods online.
You can decide to build an online store that enables you to directly engage with customers, provide seamless shopping experience and at the same time providing them with high quality products.
5) Being persistent and patient goes a long way
Businesses, like seeds, need time, investment, and nurturing to grow. You can’t expect your product or your brand to go viral overnight. You must work on branding and PR team to create a brand awareness and design a social media growth strategy for yourself. You can also start by posting content on a consistent basis on all your social media channels to create awareness.
Be persistent and stay committed to the process of building your business and you will see it move from an unknown brand to something your loyal followers swear by.
Do you have other ideas about how to launch a fashion brand online? Leave a note or two below!
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These are all great points but from my 20 years if experience in building fashion brands from the ground up I would also advise that before spending your time and money you must be clear about the following 4 questions;
Having clarity about these questions are the key points for any successful business in any industry.
Good luck with your business.