The fashion industry is one of the most competitive industries in the retail landscape and consumers are more demanding than ever when choosing their favorite clothing brands. It’s not just about looks anymore – it’s about the whole brand experience. Shopping for clothes does not only have to be convenient but also both exciting and inspiring. How can fashion retailer gain customers’ trust and outperform competitors?
Here are 5 ways to increase customer loyalty in the competitive fashion retail landscape.
1. Prove your customers that you know them
Loyalty is based on great trust. Customers can only bond with fashion brands that know their audience. Customer data such as age, gender, shopping behavior are necessary for retailers in order to cater to the specific consumer needs. For online shops, it is easy to find out, but how about physical stores? That’s not a problem anymore thanks to Retail Analytics solutions. Through Retail Analytics technology, physical retailers get valuable insights about in-store customer behavior. Based on predefined KPIs, the collected data will then be illustrated in dashboards.
But how do you use these insights? The goal is to prove your customers that you know and care about them without being too intrusive. There are certain rules to follow that are simple but tremendously important. Some of the Do’s include things like using customers’ name when offering product recommendation and discounts based on their previous shopping behaviors online and offline. But don’t cross the line by including too many details and information. Asking your customer why he or she hasn’t bought any new sweatshirts since exactly 42 days is not a good way to motivate him or her to take a look at your new sweatshirt collection. Don’t be too specific because no one wants to feel like being spied on. The goal is to create customer value and gain their trust. Again, that is the only way to build a sustaining relationship. If you see that they haven’t bought any new sweatshirts in a long time, remind them indirectly by sending exclusive coupons.
2. Make the shopping experience more convenient
Shopping for clothes is supposed to be fun and make you feel good but if the buying process is stressful, potential customers will turn their backs on you. Omnichannel isn’t just a retail buzzword, it describes the shopping experience that today’s customers expect before they can trust brands. ‘Seamless’ is the keyword. Many people prefer going through online stores to see what their favorite fashion retailers have to offer. However, a lot of people still prefer trying clothes in-store before taking them home. Offer Click&Collect services, so that people can order clothes online and pick them up in store. That way, customers won’t have to worry anymore about their size running out of stock.
Thanks to retail analytics, you can also retarget customers online that visited your physical stores and send them customized offers based on data insights. There will be no need anymore to regularly look for the latest trends. That’s convenience at its finest.
3. Integrate Social Media into your loyalty strategy
People use fashion to express themselves and take a stand. A brand that doesn’t have a voice will not lure people into its stores. Social Media is the best way to share products, company believes and to bond with consumers. And there are great ways to gain customers’ trust through online channels: One of the most popular ways is influencer marketing. Especially young people have trust in influencers and by having those internet personalities advertise and wear your fashion, you are basically borrowing the trust they have gained from people for your own business. The next level would be collaborating with popular celebrities like Rihanna or Kanye West who have already designed multiple fashion lines in cooperation with brands and the success speaks for itself.
But an even more creative way would be turning your customers themselves into fashion bloggers: Being a social media influencer has turned into a much-desired dream job for many young people, so why not offering them the chance to become one? Give your customers special rewards such as price discounts or free shipping for their next purchase if they post your products online through their social media channels. Considering that the average person has 634 social contacts, the advertising potential isn’t just huge but will also help you bond with your customers since you are sharing something special with them.
4. Offer early access to limited and exclusive offers for loyal customers
Don’t reward customers equally. If you want to make your customers feel special, you need to reward them based on spending and engagement. A customer that spends more money for your products and engages more often with your brand should be valued more and thus, be treated better. If you don’t treat customers differently, you loyal consumers will feel a lack of appreciation . Also, you will also be missing out a big potential to motivate less engaged customers to spend more in order to profit from the same benefits. Create tiered loyalty programs that start with benefits such as free shipping and increase to more creative and valuable rewards.
5. Create engaging customer experience
If you really want to stick out from the competition, you might want to consider moving away from traditional rewards systems based on collecting points. Create loyalty programs that offer experiences instead. Host unique events such as special VIP store parties with exclusive products or meet-and-greets with designers for example. This will not only increase customer spending but also strengthen the relationship with your customers because you are creating memories together. You can even go a step further and partner up with other brands to increase your audience. Ideas could be offering makeovers for your new outfit or limited fashion lines in cooperation with another fashion retailers seen with the very successful H&M and Balmain fashion line.
Fashion is about expressing yourself and customers want to be heard by fashion brands
Fashion is not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. And people take it very seriously. Gaining their trust and loyalty has become harder in recent years and competition is tough. To stand out, you need to understand the members of your audience and create a shopping experience that is convenient and unique. Keep it simple and consistent. Focus on offering experiences rather than just simple reward!