Dress your page for success: Optimising your online fashion shop

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Leigh Mardon

Reading time: 3 minutes

On average, blubolt’s platform draws in nearly £250 million yearly and a large majority of that comes from our award-winning fashion retailers. Working side-by-side with the likes of Seasalt, Isabella Oliver, Hush and Pure Collection has not only strengthened the features on bluCommerce but has also given us a unique insight in the world of fashion commerce. In this post, we’ll examine some of the design and marketing tactics used by fashion retailers and how our clients have used them to stand out in the competitive market.

Keep homepages clear and concise

By analysing our clients performance, blubolt insights have found a well constructed homepages can increase overall conversion by 70%. It’s therefore essential to have the right visual cues and navigation on the homepage to help influence buying decision.

Pure Collection have a simple, clean homepage, using image mapping to collate their latest offers in a carousel-style navigation. The calls to action here are clear, the carousel takes you to the Lookbook or the new seasonal range; offering only 2 landing pages to drive the customer to those areas of the site.

Busy sites discourage buyers so keep the design simple. Use large visual cues and filter products to make room for better navigation. For example, Topshop have a very concise and organised homepage. The Navigation bar is clearly defined with drop down filters to keep things tidy. Simple black and white text  is minimal and easy to navigate with a large banner image to entice the buyer.

Tell a story with Lookbooks

Online retailers go beyond just selling the clothes these days, they tell a story and promote their brand through personal touches. Lookbooks are a simple but effective way of doing this, as well as strategically up-selling items with a unified theme.

Whistles have a consistent layout for all of their Lookbooks. They use large, tiled images and minimal text so as not to distract from the clothing. With multiple links next to the models it’s a one-click navigation that takes you through to the products.

Seasalt do something similar, grouping seasonal items together and incorporating markers for convenience and speed to the user’s journey. They also use the Lookbook as an opportunity to showcase themselves as a brand. The section ‘Seasalt Families’ highlights the personal side of the company and still uses the same one-click navigation to view the clothing.

Communicate in real time

By the year 2020, customer experience is expected to overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator. This is especially true for fashion retailers who can have a loyal customers base so long as they build trust through quick, successful customer interactions.

Award winning retailer Seasalt have recently integrated with the third party system Live Chat and it is now possible for them to reply almost instantly to the customer. This can not only save time but speed up the customer’s journey and build trust in the process. Integrating with social media channels can be used in much the same way.

New Look have a separate Twitter account called @newlookhelp that focuses entirely on customer service and aim to respond within 30 minutes. Although an entirely separate account may not be feasible for some, using social media is an excellent channel for better communication and rapid responses.

Personalise and target customers

A great strategy for converting shoppers into buyers is to actively engage through personalised offers. Banana Republic are an excellent example of utilising email marketing to drive sales. They offer exclusive deals like free shipping and returns viewed on a modified version of the site. By clicking an email link, the offers become visible to to those who sign-up. Personalising the emails for “subscribers only” can help drive sales and build customer loyalty.

Inbuilt site modifiers on bluCommerce mean our clients can create these campaigns, time them and trigger them in various ways. It’s possible to configure the CMS content, discounts and price lists for a select groups of buyers. The modified site is often sent via an email and it’s a time saving way to target frequent, and less frequent, shoppers with personalised offers.

Let the buyer advocate your clothes

Buying clothes on pictures alone can deter some shoppers so having a product review section can help sway their decision. Around 63% of shoppers are more likely to purchase from a site that has a first-party reviews in place so having one can be beneficial for overall conversion rates.

As peer reviews are a trusted source of information, it’s the perfect opportunity for the buyer to , advocate your products. For example, ModCloth shoppers are very proactive on the review section and it’s the main source of information on their products. You can check the fit, length and quality from first-hand reviews and there’s even the option for the customers to upload images of them wearing the items.

Moshulu, are another company that use reviews in a unique and efficient way. Comfort and quality are rating options, as well as a bespoke ‘smile factor’ rating to go with their brand. bluCommerce gives our clients the opportunity to integrate with some of the key third-party review systems including bazaar voice, feefo and eKomi.

If you’re a fashion brand with a growing eCommerce presence and you’re looking to re platform soon then get in contact with blubolt, all of our contact details can be found here.

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