Blaise McCann
Blaise McCann, CEO + Founder at Hear Us Roar

Ecommerce strategy

How do I increase sales on my online fashion business?

Hey There,

I've just launched my new business - an online marketplace for plus size clothing.

I had great traffic and made $1000 in my first week of sales - since then traffic has dropped and I really need to get some sales in the door as I've spent so much money.

I work full-time along with this so it's hard to manage huge time commitments - what can I do to grow the business and drive sales?!

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7 Answers

Philip Brookes

Hi Blaise, there are so many things we could talk about here that I could go on for weeks - and, in fact, do with my clients :) But let me start by focusing on the conversion rate - are you getting customers to your site and they're not converting into traffic? This is one of the challenges we frequently have to address - we can get traffic to the site but they may not buy. Even though they're the right type of audience. Why is this? (And you've got a good looking Shopify site, you've got good images, etc....).

In fashion, more so than most other types of ecommerce, people can have doubts about their potential purchase - will it fit me, is the quality as good as it looks in the photos, can I return it if I'm not happy, do I even trust that they'll ship me the goods, how long will I wait.

The key is to preempt all of these things and address them as thoroughly as you can in advance. This occurs not just on your website but also through endorsements and social proof. There's nothing quite as powerful as having a robust Instagram account with a few thousand followers (minimum), plenty of likes, and then some reviews by fashion bloggers, lifestyle journalists, etc... When you've taken care of the essentials on your site, I'd turn my attention to PR activities - even if you can't afford a PR agency, you can still find some creative ways to reach out and get people to talk about you online and in print.

But if we focus first on the site - here's a quick hit list:

1. Free shipping - you're better of selling at $160 including FREE shipping rather than $150 + $10 shipping - no one likes being hit with the extra shipping fee at the end, and study upon study upon study have shown that you'll get more sales when shipping is included free, even if the total $ value is constant. And make it clear from the moment someone arrives at your site - e.g. top notification bar

2. I note you have size charts at the bottom, but if you can implement the sizing alongside the selection of products, this will ensure that people don't lose momentum. There are some good Shopify add-ons that cater to that. You've probably seen this type of thing before - you mouse over or click a link for sizing, and it pops up but doesn't take you away from the screen you're on.

3. Make your returns policy really easy to find, and reassure your client. Better yet, give them a *guarantee* - "totally delighted or your money back" and make that clearly visible in the notification bar too, or clearly visible on the home screen.

4. Get some testimonials from someone/s :) Add the testimonials to your website, perhaps as a revolving/slider setup. "I ordered on a Saturday, and by Tuesday it was delivered to my door!" "I was nervous about ordering online, but I had nothing to worry about - the quality of my skirt is superb and the sizes match the charts exactly!"

4. Consider having a Customer Service number and/or Live Chat. Even if this is a 'moonlighting' business you can outsource this for a very reasonable fee to an offshore company. If you've ever read some of Tim Ferris' stuff you'll see that he used this to help him scale up back when he was getting started out. Having a customer service number visible at the top of the site helps instil confidence.

5. Implement cart abandonment automation - chase up people who got close to purchasing and win them back. Even if you don't make as big a profit margin, you can at least find ways to learn why you almost lost them.

6. Offer a discount off the first purchase for people to sign up to your email list - when you can market to people using email it's gold - companies like missguided do it really well.

Also, your Facebook shop is pointing to hear-us-roar.myshopify.com rather than hearusroar.com.au - try to get that fixed up, you want every URL to point to your own domain rather than Shopify's one.

If there's anything further we can help with, please get in touch. Hope this helps a bit!

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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Blaise,

I have a few thoughts for you. I saw you have a decent followiing on Instagram. I think you should double down efforts on that platform. Typically I've seen other female fashion brands post close ups of a specific item, full shot of model wearing piece, laying out an outfit, motivational quotes (could be overlaid on a product image - you can use a free platform like Canva to accomplish this).

Also, I would recommend some specific blog categories, talk about putting the perfect outfit together (based on a season or specific holiday or occasion), give a tutorial on how to pair accessories with a wide range of outfits, and talk about motivation and empowerment (body positive posts). I think also tying in some of your pieces such as "new arrivals" or "sale" or "limited edition". Something else that builds trust and humanizes your brand is "give a look behind the curtain", in other words show them what goes on behind the scenes. You can also use the blog to talk about upcoming fashion trends. Also, you can reward customers for participating in your media. Give them a discount on a future purchase or a small gift of appreciation if they post an image of them wearing something from your line in social media and give you permission to feature it on your blog or website.

I'm not saying to ignore other social networks or outlets, but definitely keep in mind that clothing is very visual and emotional. Look at ways to tie positive emotions not only to your clothes, but to your brand and to how your clothes can make any ocassion feel more like a special occasion.

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Quentin Aisbett

Quentin Aisbett , Chief Enthusiasm Officer at OnQ Marketing Melbourne

Hi Blaise,

Congrats on launching your own ecommerce business and for getting those numbers in your first week!

Whilst not addressing online fashion specifically, you should find some value in checking out ' How To Improve Your eCommerce Website in 15 Easy Steps' .

One thing I did notice was that Google hasn't indexed your site properly yet. You can check this for yourself by entering this as a search 'site:https://www.hearusroar.com.au/'. You will likely see only 1 result.

Good luck!

Quentin Aisbett

Blaise McCann

Blaise McCann, CEO + Founder at Hear Us Roar

How do I change Google indexing?... read more
How do I change Google indexing?
Raz Chorev

Raz Chorev, Chief Marketing Officer at Orange sky

Add a site map, and submit it to Google. here's how - https://blog.kissmetrics.com/get-google-to-index/... read more
Add a site map, and submit it to Google. here's how - https://blog.kissmetrics.com/get-google-to-index/
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Raz Chorev

Raz Chorev , Chief Marketing Officer at Orange sky

Blaise

Setting up a store is a great step, but it's only the first.

You're so right - managing a full-time job, and a side business is hard work. Very hard! So much to do, and so little time...

At some point, you should make a decision - if you want your business to thrive, you'd have to take the leap, and focus only on the business.

The only thing I'd recommend you do now, is invest in Search Engine optimisation (on the site itself), re-tartgeting campaigns (very cheap!), and instagram / facebook sponsored posts. Not expensive, and highly effective, if you do it right.

I would engage a digital marketer (doesn't matter where they are), and pay them to drive campaigns.

If possible, offer them an incentive/ compensation as a percentage of sales, so they'll right the right kind of traffic, not just volume.

I'm happy to have a chat, and give you some more ideas.

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James Parnwell

James Parnwell , Managing Director at TheOnlineCo.

Hi Blaise,

Congratulations on your new business, your website looks great and it's very encouraging to hear that you got some good sales in the first week. My first question is where did that traffic come from and can you repeat it?

In terms of marketing your business and growing it, there are two strategies, one is to get people who are looking for your product now and hence gain immediate sales, the other is to build a following and grow your brand and thus create ongoing long term sales.

To get sales now you are usually looking at an SEO & AdWords strategy. I would suggest trialling a Google Shopping campaign as the clicks are likely to be cheapest. I talk about Google Shopping here .

To build your brand longer term you need to head down the social media and email marketing path, but first, you need a narrative or story to tell that is engaging. You can then build an FB and Insta following and your email database so you can push specials and drive sales.

Unfortunately, there is no get rich quick strategy, but I think you have a lovely brand and your products look great so I'm sure some persistence will pay off!

Cheers,

James

https://theonlineco.net/

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Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson , CEO at Blogging.org

Very nice website! There are many components that go into a great marketing and branding plan to grow a website or ecommerce site. Not only will content creation come into play, it’s also how much effort you put into your content promotion as well.

In the world of blogging seo and traffic generation, this can be done in a number of ways. We are currently using the following methods to increase traffic, backlinks and exposure to our sites:

  • - High quality blog content, case studies and tutorials
  • - Social media to connect with new audiences and share blog content
  • - The creation of shareable content like infographics
  • - Guest blogging and article contributions on other sites
  • - Creating expert round ups of other top bloggers and industry influencers
  • - Getting interviewed on other podcasts and running a podcast of our own

If you need a good resource for sites that are looking for guest blogs and content, I would take a look at this list and try to find sites relevant to your audience. This will help with your SEO and also build a brand for yourself and your business as well. The good thing about many of these options is that you can start using them at your own pace and many of them are free. If you implement these tips into your own marketing and content creation efforts you should see continued success.

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Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons , Consultant at SMS Fusion

Spend more time on your business. You made enough money in the first week of sales to get by. So why would you continue to work full time. 

Your marketing leading up to the launch worked. That tells me you have what it takes to get consumers to your store. I can only base my comment on your post here and your website as I don't know you however. Your problem is simple. Time!

Focus on your future, not your present. If you spend as much time on marketing every week as what you did for the lead up to your launch you will be fine. That means, work full time for yourself.

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