Shopping is very aptly described as a personal experience. It’s quite simply because of the fact that shopping is viewed very differently by different people. While for most of us it remains a therapeutic way out of the mundane, it shouldn’t really be forgotten that for some it is nothing short of a worrisome chore – whereby they have to go through stacks of clothes to find the right fit.
Shopping is also dubbed as personal experience quite simply because of the gender-wise differences in “tendencies”. While women are mostly found treating shopping as a learning experience – whereby they get to bolster their know-how about the latest fashion trends, men prefer to channelize their “grab-and-go” instincts while shopping. For them, it’s more of a time-consuming necessity rather than a therapeutic indulgence. For most of the ladies out there, clothes and accessories remain the only ways to convey their personal fashion choices while they are socializing.
It has been maintained that only the e-commerce brands that are able to acknowledge shopping as an emotional experience for shoppers will be able to chart a desirable trajectory – riding high on lasting customer relations.
It is very important for e-commerce business owners to tap into the psychological factors driving purchase decisions as such. We have already discussed the gender-wise shopping tendencies. Online retailers can actually go on to design the shopping experience for users in accordance. Here are important pointers that e-commerce stores can work on:
- Now it has been largely seen that male shoppers are more in favor of quickly browsing through collections and picking up their stuff. There is a remarkable focus on the time involved in shopping in that case. Online fashion stores can use this knowledge to streamline their shopping experience in accordance. The website or for that matter the section of the site selling men’s stuff as such should be backed by clear information and easy and efficient checkout process.
- Their female counterparts – on the other hand – would like to invest hours in their shopping experience. They would like to conduct wide research on the products before zeroing in on something. An e-commerce site designed for this type of audience needs to have elements that help them minimize uncertainty, establish credibility and of course build trust.
So basically, there is an urgent need to design web experience depending on audience behavior (i.e. behavior of your target audience). You need to spot both behavioral similarities and differences of shoppers while designing websites. You also need to have a thorough understanding of your consumers’ needs while shopping. With the psychological drivers well taken care of, we can expect substantial growth of fashion e-commerce in times to come. As per reports, online shopping of clothing, accessories have actually gone up by 45% in recent times. Plus, as far as consumption of information or research is concerned, around 64% consult websites before investing in fashion purchases. The focus on retail e-commerce is not only stoked by its rapid growth but also by the incessant shutting down of malls in many parts of the world. Experts, as such, suggest that it is the right time to invest in e-commerce retail if you are a fashion label. Substantiated below are reasons.
Investors, as can be seen, are definitely more interested to explore fashion e-commerce quite simply they can estimate promising growth. The success of major players like Net-a-Porter, Zalando, Lyst and Warby Parker has spurred reports of huge investor funding in recent years. The 2016 E-commerce Investor Report from RJ Metrics actually revealed that the median size of early e-commerce investments actually spiked from $3 million in 2011 to $9.4 million in 2016.
Though it has been maintained that achieving steady e-commerce growth is not a breeze but the introduction of more personalized stores can actually go on to facilitate the future of fashion e-commerce.
If the inability to access products through touch and feel had so far been viewed as the biggest weakness of online stores, let us tell you that many forward thinking stores are slowly but steadily doing away with this particular drawback. Today, online shoppers do have access to virtual 3D versions of clothes that they might want to invest in. Talk about incorporating augmented reality technology and these stores are actually giving you a glimpse of what the “fit” would be like. Do you know about Virtusize? It actually offers you the opportunity to browse garments against stuff that you already have.
Today fashion brands have the scope to engage directly with potential customers through the social channels. While brick and mortar shops have known to bolster customer relations over the years, the e-commerce stores can actually aim for similar equations through FAQ pages, forums and reviews. Today, customers do have the choice to make crucial purchasing decisions based on their online rapport with brands and influencers. As an e-commerce business owner, you should be able to harness user generated content to gain a competitive edge.
The fashion labels selling their stuff online have capitalized on the concept of sharing economy big time. Today, if you can’t afford expensive clothes or can’t justify spending on pricey outfits for special events then you can always access stores offering rent outfits. In this manner, they are immediately driving millions of those millennials to their website - millennial, who can actually not afford very expensive clothes but are always looking for a great experience.
Investment in the newest of technologies like A/B testing, real time campaign progress trackers, and social media can only go on to help businesses further. A/B testing, for example, makes way for highly individualized messages for individualized audiences. By studying inputs from users at real time you can estimate the progress of your campaign instantaneously. Social media definitely makes for a potent tool driving customer engagement. It definitely acts as a means to reach out to target audience quickly and inexpensively.
Stories by Nirdesh Singh