The current state of the fashion industry is uncertain and challenging as most executives especially in traditional markets describe it. However, there are still optimistic views as the growth of around 5% globally is being witnessed each year.
This growth is definitely not uniform and it is largely attributed to the emerging markets. Despite this, there is no denying that a good number of fashion players have adapted to the industry’s unpredictable nature by focusing their energies on what is within their control.
A number of major fashion retailers continue to close because of declining sales and narrowing profit margins. Fashion retailers like BHS, American Apparel, Jaeger, Greenwoods, Henry Lloyd and Blue Inc. among others are some of the failures that have been witnessed in the UK in recent times. So, as the retail sector continue sailing into a perfect storm, what can fashion retailers do to keep their doors open?
Evaluation of business processes
The success of any retail store highly depends on the business processes that are being implemented. The starting point of any fashion retail shop success effort is to look at the things that are working and those that aren’t. In the view of customer retention and attraction, it is important to know what the customers like and don’t like about the business.
After such an evaluation is done, it makes it easy to do a cleanup by prioritizing and changing the things that are not working. Some of the very important aspects to look at includes retail store design, pricing strategy, customer service, advertisement and financial management among others.
Building customer loyalty
Today’s consumers have an insatiable appetite for new experiences, stores and products. This makes it very hard to turn them into faithful customers that can be relied upon for traffic. In this case, it is important for fashion retailers to be unique by implementing things that will keep their customers going back because they cannot find what is being offered to them anywhere else.
The current unfaithful customer can only be tamed by providing them with experiences that are hard to find anywhere else.
Making use of technology
Online sales have been rising at almost the same rate that foot traffic has been declining. Many businesses have moved their operations online in an attempt to create leaner businesses and reap the many benefits that tech has to offer. Many fashion retailers have witnessed growth in this way but this does not mean it is a walk in the park.
The online business kingdom just like the physical one is highly competitive and traffic only come by if the online store is friendly to the search engines for high rankings and visibility by potential customers. Therefore, this makes it necessary to hire SEO agency to help make things right for fashion retailers. As this is one of the components in building trust and bringing customers.
Considering the omni-channel approach
The omni-channel approach involves making use and integrating platforms and devices that customers use to interact with the fashion retail business. This model will link the physical store, mobile devices, telephone, social media and business website for an integrated customer and sales experience.
It is important to understand the goals and objectives of this strong strategy before any planning and implementation because its infrastructure should be tailored for each business.
Bonding with customers is very important especially for fashion retail businesses. A successful business is the one that is known to understand, prioritize and act on the needs of customers. Employees directly deal with customers and this makes it necessary for owners to bond with their employees to transfer the same to customers. Happy employees mean happy shoppers who usually spend more.
There are many ways that fashion retailers have and continue to use to remain in business. There are those who make use of unique promotional events that end up creating a buzz about their businesses. Others have simply advertised more, created their own ‘holidays’ around their products, moved outdoors or created highly functional websites among other efforts.
The bottom line is that there is a big challenge in driving and maintaining traffic to fashion retail shops and many continue to succumb to failure. It is time to try and find new ways of keeping up and perhaps learn the secrets of success from those that have made it.