How To Take Your Fashion Business Direct-To-Consumer And Succeed In The Digital Era – Forbes
In the past decade, âfast fashionâ retailers have dominated the retail industry, giving birth to some of the most recognizable and profitable brands today like H&M, Zara and Forever 21. But now, the fast fashion industry is at a point where retailers are struggling to maintain growth: Many powerhouses are experiencing weaker sales, while smaller, U.S.-based brands, like those in the Los Angeles Fashion District, are being wiped out completely.
As this fast fashion business model crumbles, smaller B2B brands that have traditionally manufactured for the fast fashion retailers are looking into direct-to-consumer strategies to appeal to todayâs market. The adaptation of this new business strategy is causing a seismic shift in how the fashion industry has been fundamentally operating. Brands are now forced to become more consumer-centric. The fashion industry can be volatile, and only a few brands implementing this business model are having any success with it.
The direct-to-consumer model means that clothing goes straight from production to selling, mainly via a digital platform. Brands can skip the traditional and lengthy process it takes to get prime spots on brick-and-mortar retail floors. They start selling directly to the consumer outside of traditional fashion business cycles, utilizing the power of digital to create and grow their own market.
This big shift happened not because of the brands themselves, but rather because of a shift in demand. Due to the advancements in e-commerce and social media technology, the influence of digital business has increased and the entry barriers to selling online have significantly lowered. It is now so much easier for digital brands to disrupt the market and give consumers what they want, when they want it. Through the power of digital, brands can speak directly to their consumer and gather important data that will help the brand make strategic business decisions. Almost half of shoppers have zero brand loyalty: As such, businesses must viciously compete and pay very close attention to what consumers are looking for.
After talking with hundreds of retail e-commerce fashion brands trying to implement their own direct-to-consumer strategies, weâve discovered that most business owners are struggling with how to efficiently invest their marketing dollars. Here are some inside tips on how to successfully take your fashion business direct-to-consumer using the power of digital:
1. Invest In A Strong Digital Foundation
Building a brick-and-mortar brand has its own unique barriers to entry, from building your first location and attracting foot traffic to generating sales. Fashion business owners who have been operating this way for decades must realize that building a successful digital sales channel takes just as much strategic planning and investment. It starts with a well-developed e-commerce site developed and optimized for sales, though it takes more than a good-looking website to create a viable and profitable digital business channel. The website has to be strategically built from the ground-up with traffic and revenue generation as the objective: Everything from the layout, structure, coding, down to the images themselves must be properly optimized for these purposes. This is one of the top reasons many brands fall short — they cut corners through low-budget websites. As a result, they fail to generate traffic and revenue.