Digital Market is also known as Internet Marketing or Online Marketing. The Internet is a superhighway of information of today’s Information age. It is becoming the biggest knowledge repository of the modern age. There are many benefits that internet users around the world are reaping. One of the most significant use of the internet is online marketing. Many marketers and companies are selling their products online. This also includes the Fashion industry. The Internet provides an opportunity for you to sell products and services to people worldwide. In today’s fast moving age, people want information at their figure tips at the click of a mouse or press of a button.
The internet is being used by billions of people around the world, and their number is growing very fast. People are looking for products, services and information instantly.
We will consider all the components of Internet Marketing. We will study to use the leverage of Internet Marketing for products related to fashion Online. We will also devise a strategy to sell fashion products. We will also determine the target audience of fashion and measure the results.
Planning and building a website is also vitally important to your Online Marketing of Fashion. This includes building a wire frame and a site map of the website and selecting a domain and web hosting company. We will discuss all the necessary steps to make the website up and running. This will lead to creation of articles, social media posts and email newsletters etc. These elements are the basis of an internet marketing component called content marketing to sell your fashion products online.
We will go through “Search Engine Marketing” (SEM) and “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO). We will also see how to sell fashion and fashion related products by harnessing the viral power of social media that include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These will keep our audience informed, engaged and updated with new offers on our website. We will also take a look at Online Advertising and email marketing to gain exposure for our website.
Online Marketing (Definition)
Online marketing means different things to different people. The Online Marketing can be defined as a marriage of art and science on the web with strategy. This includes the design and development of a website. At the same time it also includes awareness building, communication, connections, sales and analytics.
You can have the best fashion website with the quality jewelry or apparel ready to be sold but if web users do not know about it, the website will have no use. The sense of awareness has to be developed as we will discuss.
Communication is the information that is displayed or distributed via the internet to tell the audience about your products and services in our case it is fashion. You need to tell people that you sell fashion products online.
This is where we tell people to know us, like us and trust us. In the fashion industry, there is a huge list of products that are very expensive; therefore, it is necessary to build a trust relationship that is part of the connection. This only comes after you have a great looking professional website and people know your honesty, and they like you.
The service is the most ignored part of online marketing it is visiting your fashion website, going through the pages of the website, shopping through it, your website being found on the search engine.
Generally sales aspect of online marketing means that all of the previously mentioned components of the online marketing, come together and becomes a motive for the customer to make a purchase.
Online marketing for fashion does not mean only to acquire customers but customer retention is also equally important. Your relationship to fashion lovers really matters. The successful online marketers say that it takes around seven touch points to make a sale. Touch point is any kind of your fashion website exposure like a referral, an online advertisement, a web search and Blog or social media mention etc. The more components (as we will mention in detail in the following) of online marketing are working for you the better the chance is that your customer will buy fashion products from you.
Distinctions of Online Marketing
If you are a person who has a shop selling fashion products, you should consider taking your business online. The reasons are as follows, online marketing is up 24/7. People can come visit your site and make purchases 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The worldwide visibility will open your fashion business to a global market. You can reach a much targeted market, that means if you have fashion services or products in specific categories and you want to target specific customers who are looking for exactly what you are offering. For example, you can choose to target trousers or blouses to girls who are 20 years of age. This will display your ad to that specific category. The website services that provide features, for instance, is Facebook.com and Adword.com.
Building Online Fashion Business foundation
When you are building a website to sell fashion products you have to keep certain planning points in mind. These planning points should be implemented in the design of the online foundation because they can be the difference of success and failure of your online fashion business. Those planning points are as follows:
Credibility is one of the most important steps in Online Marketing planning to sell expensive fashion products. This attribute of Internet marketing should exuberate from all the online efforts that you make from your articles that you may submit on famous article sites, on your website, your blogs, online videos and PRs and so on. There should be consistency in the information that you provide so that your clients and potential customers can trust you. Creating this trust makes your online presence more credible.
Usability is also another feature that your online fashion marketing should exhibit. Usability means the easiness of the usage of your online marketing. If there is difficulty to navigate menus, broken links and missing contents, slow page loading, then the people will not come to you, and you might lose them forever. It always makes sense to spend money on the usability of your site and other online marketing resources that sell expensive products to make a memorable impression on your customers. User-friendliness is also a part of usability. Your website design should have a clear navigation, responsive design, proper call to action and social media inclusion.
Visibility of a fashion website and other online presence is also very important. You have to make sure that the site is properly placed on the Internet where people frequently visit. These places are search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. You also need to make sure that you post content about your fashion business that are famous and popular. Visibility can also come from email marketing, online advertising and Social Media, etc. Enhanced Visibility can be accomplished by including Keywords in the content of your fashion website. It can be programed into the coding of the website also.
Sell-ability is related to those planning aspects of your site in that you show, sell and tell the importance of your fashion business. Whenever a visitor comes to your site, he may need to know the reason, he should do business with you. In this case, you have to highlight those features of your business that distinguish you from other fashion businesses. You need to constantly collect and display testimonials, press releases and video to educate users that visit your site online and convert them into buyers. All the feedback from your customers and other method salability inputs should be forged into your website and online presence such as blogs and email marketing campaigns.
When you apply all the previously mentioned planning strategies in your fashion website you reap the benefits of Scalability. This means that slowly over time you are compounding and building your business to a larger scale.
Target Market means that you have to understand your customers and then target and serve them through different online marketing channels. These are the two questions that you may ask.
- Who are they?
- What are their needs, wants and problems?
- How to help them?
When a web user visits your website he has a mindset that inquires what I can get from here. You have a few seconds to convince him. In our case, we are offering products and services related to fashion. Our prospects will always be people who are looking for fashion. This means that we need only those people who are looking for fashion. It is always not a good idea to look for lots of traffic, but the key is target marketing, focusing on those users who are specifically looking for fashion.
Once our fashion website is online we have to measure the activity of users to better manage the website and its contents. Any website that may be selling fashion will have qualitative and quantitative measurements to it. The Qualitative measurement is the quantity that cannot be measured via mathematical means like PR interests, Branding, goals, scalability and credibility, etc. The Quantitative measurements are those that can be measured with mathematically. The example of those are leads and sales, Email signups, traffic, etc. It is recommended that when you create a fashion website, the analytical measurement should be built in or you can get online analytic services by yourself to measure and evaluate the statistics of your site to make future decisions.
Building a fashion Website for online marketing:
The website is the central part of all the online marketing efforts. The Site Map is constructed before the website is built. A website map has to be developed before the website design or optimization begins. The Site Map helps to create the blueprint of the website that includes the important pages and other components. At the same time the Web designer has the clear expectation of the design. The Site Map gives clear guidelines about the page sequences that the web navigation will produce. The sitemap can be created on a piece of paper or it can be created with the help of software. This step is considered to be very significant and tells the designer the most important pages and their order.
Wire Framing is one the most important step to be taken to create a website. The wire framing determines where the different texts, pics, heading, links and buttons, etc. will go on the website before the color and style is applied using CSS 3 (Cascading Style Sheet 3). The wire frame can be considered as the skeleton of the website and the CSS3 provides the skin that is the color and the style of the website. The wire frame can be created with graphic tools or it can be sketched with a pencil and paper.
A successful fashion site
A website done with proper planning can save you from a lot of headache and hair pulling. A fashion site with clear architecture and the placement of different elements on the website as it has been covered in the wire framing process. The best fashion website should provide good navigation to its users. If it is determined to provide a newsletter service that is important in retaining customers, then this should be planned in. The fashion website will always remain the nucleus or the center of all your marketing efforts by serving, supporting and selling. In many cases like our online fashion business instant selling on the website may not occur. An online marketer should remain patient and be persistent and bear in mind that slow and steady wins the race. Selling fashion online may not be a great idea to become overnight, but it can be very fruitful in the long run.
Online Marketing Components
The online marketing for fashion can have many components. We will mention the most significant ones in the following:
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
The biggest number of searchers on the web do a search via search engines. The most popular search engines are Google.com, Bing.com and Yahoo.com. There are three types of searches that can be done that are listed as follows.
- Organic search
The organic search is the search that is done through keywords. User come to a search engine site and type a keyword like “Fashion” or “The latest fashion” that describes what they are looking for in the search engine query box. The search engine returns all the websites that are indexed in the database that has that keyword. The list of the results that typically are web site links and their descriptions. It is the dream of every website developer and designer as well as the people who own those websites to rank on top of those search engine results. They dream and work hard to make their websites on the first page of the search engine results. The reason being that the user searching for something will only see the top results of the search engine and in usual cases it is the first page of the Search engine result pages. The art and science of bringing the website on the top is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We will take a look at SEO in further detail later on.
- Paid search
If you decide not to spend effort on organic results then you can choose paid search. In that case, you pay some money to the search engine and that search engine will show the link to your website and other detail in the top results for the keywords that you have specified.
The paid search plays a very good role in enhancing the visibility of your fashion website. Unlike organic or natural search the paid site requires you to pay or bid to bring your site to a certain ranking. The search engine marketers have the freedom to create their own messages and self-select the locations where the ads can appear and the keywords searched. They can also see the statistics of the web users. They can see that how many have seen their listing, clicked on the listing and the percentage of the people who have taken some sort of action like signing up. As you know that you can come up with key phrases that you can include them in your website that can be used by users to find you on the search engine. You can also buy the key phrases the work best for you. A good management of your online investment should be in place. You should do proper statistical measurement for your online fashion business, this will lead you to a handsome Return on Investment (ROI).
- Local search
The search engine when it is opened in your browser will automatically detect your location, such as your country and city. After that it will show you the different links that are related to websites that are offering products and services in your local areas such as jewelry shops and boutiques.
As a shop if you are selling fashion goods and services and you are not global that means that you do not have arrangements to sell products other cities and countries then you can apply for a local search in a search engine. This way, if someone is trying to find out product and services in the local region you can be found in the search result of that particular web user. In the future when your business grows and you decide to go global you can hire a shipping company that will arrange delivery of your products to web users that is out of your business range and have a bigger chunk of the global market in fashion. There are several companies that are functioning on the web like eBay and Amazon that offer you to open a store and sell your products worldwide. It is always a good professional advice that you open an online store with them. This will give you vital experience of how an Internet business works. You can later on incorporate these services in your website and take your business to a global level.
One of the good things about Search Engine Marketing are the number of ways that local businesses can be searched and found in verticals like local search. The businesses like a fashion business can go to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo and they can submit their business for local search. Once that happens the search engine might ask for address verification either by a phone number or sending a letter to the address where the physical business is located. This is called address verification. This verification proves that you are the person who owns the business at the location that is provided to the Search Engine, Your fashion site will be listed free in most of the cases. The submission of a business to a local business boasts the visibility of your local site.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The search engine optimization is defined as doing modification to your website such that it will improve the ranking of the website in the search engine.
The higher the website goes on the first page of the search engine the higher the visibility for the website. It will make the website more popular among the web users. This you will have more visitors for your fashion business. This kind of ranking is called organic or natural listing. The SEO is not related to paid advertising.
All the search engines have algorithms or mathematical formulae that are used to calculate the ranking of websites as certain keywords or key phrases are punched in the search engine. The search engine returns the uses the popularity, its relevancy with key phrases or keywords, competition as well as many other factors to provide the rank to the website. The SEO experts usually say that key phrases work better than keywords when you are optimizing a website for search engines.
If your business is providing fashion products and services to a city like Los Angeles only then Search Engine Optimization should be done merging your business activity with the city name. For example, if you have a barber shop or a beauty parlor than you can use your business name and service with the city name to appear better in the search results.
You need to brainstorm all the key phrases before you start any of your SEO.
There three major factors to consider when doing Search Engine Optimization.
Architecture in includes the Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), the code of your fashion websites and even the cleanliness of your website. The SEO of a website also depends on the unique meta-tags per on every page on your websites.
The content can be sprinkled with smart key-phrases to enhance the SEO of the website. When doing content marketing of your fashion website you can find ways to use the key-phrases in your site content, blog posts, press releases and articles.
Link building is also a good way of improving the SEO of a website. The search engine looks for internal as well as external links on your website pages to rank your website. You can ask other website to link to your fashion websites if they are in the same category that is fashion. If more and more websites are linked to your website than your website will go higher in Search engine rankings.
Email marketing can be a very powerful means of marketing. Email can be used to cater marketing for a large or niche audience. Emails can be specific or can be based upon the list that is created by their previous behavior or purchases. There is a very huge number of web users that check their inbox regularly. Email Marketing, when used properly can become a very important marketing tool. It can bring down in the potential customers in the sales funnel and create better connections with existing customers. The most important thing in the email marketing is the carefully collected list of emails. You can create and grow your list by placing your opt in forms in places like your web pages, your email signature or landing pages bring traffic from your online advertisement or links from social media. You can get people to sign in for for your newsletters by showing the value of taking this action. The opt in means that the person coming to your opt in page and willingly and indirectly says that I need this information. You have to make sure that your email list remains of high quality. If too many people flag your email as a spam in your email list can be blocked and the reputation of your fashion based company will suffer in the long run.
You can collect as many email addresses to send but if you send too any emails during a certain time you can get blocked. The ISPs are looking for automated emails passing through their filters in bulk. The email sending list no matter how large of small you company may be blocked. It is called being blacklisted in technical terms. After your email list gets blocked you have to wait for a certain time period to get back to the white sender list. The solution to this that you can get registered with larger third party ISP friendly email sender companies. This enables productive list management for scalability. There are many large scale email management systems on the internet like Aweber and mail chimp etc.
- Social Media Marketing
Social media mean the technical tools themselves. Social media includes thing like video, audio, pictures and text that is published and shared in a social environment. A video hosting site, podcasting site or a blog. The social networking is people or a group of people to network and communicate.
In general, Social Media can be anything from blogs, articles, videos, Facebook posts, tweets, LinkedIn posts, etc. It is one of the most important components of Internet Marketing. The search engines are very efficient to pick social media posts so they can be very effective. It is very good practice to make the content very entertaining and informative. It can backfire if you are posting to promote your business that is fashion products and services. Just create content that sparks interest in the audience and something about fashion that people like to see and hear. The true power of Social Media lies in when a content goes viral and more and more people are sharing content. This can significantly boost your sales on your fashion website.
- Content Marketing
Content can be thought of as something that bind together the steps of credibility, usability, visibility, sell ability and scalability as previously mentioned. It is simply defined that material that can be text, audio and videos that educates your website users. The objective to produce content is to make users know, like and trust us. When you are supplying them with a classy fashion product you can satisfy them with content that establish your authority in the field. This means that you are indirectly telling them that you know your trait and you have the knowhow and the knowledge of those products and services. There are several places on the internet where you can share content to gain the confidence of your website users. Those places are your own website, email, Press releases, FAQ, Blogs, Videos, Social media, Articles, Podcasts.
- Web Analytics
The web analytics provide you the information that you gain from the activity of your visitors on our website. You get information like how many visitors were there on your website in the last month or the last few days, how many of the visitors bought your fashion products, etc. There are many hundreds of companies online that provide you with this service and many of them are free. Web Analytics is a powerful tool that provides the measurements so that you can effectively manage your online website business.
- Article Marketing
Article marketing is also a very powerful means of marketing online. You can use your knowledge of “fashion” to create educational articles. When you write articles, always remember that you have to avoid any kind of commercialism and give your readers quality advice and information. You can write interesting articles, but never let the users know that you are selling him something like a fur coat or discount offer on a jewelry set. You should write as though you are speaking directly to your readers. It is a very good idea to introduce entertainment or humor in your articles but do not be promoted. Articles can be a standalone article page, It can be posted to a blog, It can be on your opt in email list or to an article marketing site. It is a good idea to reach out to the sites with that you share the target marketing that is fashion and provide them your articles and a link back to your site. Once the articles go live on the web they can be socialized i.e. If the article is good enough, it can be shared on social media.
- Online PR
Online Public Relations is synonymous your overall content marketing strategy. Online Public Relation is a very nice way to create your credibility, Visibility and Sell ability. There is a saying, “you are what you publish”. When you are experienced in the Fashion industry working as a fashion designer or fashion manager, you competitively know quite a lot about fashion. You can share this knowledge, you can share new products and services of your industry, you can share news and breakthroughs, you can share events, etc. The news about awards given to your company or professionals can be worth sharing also.
- Website Design
As it has been previously mentioned that the very minute details in the website design can be affective in the search engine ranking. The content of your website must contain quality keywords and key phrases. You can find out key phrase that will help your fashion website higher by using the online keyword tool from Google called Adwords. You just have to type keywords related to fashion and it will provide you with suggestions that you can add in the content on your website. Similarly, in the URLs of your subpages you can include multiple words separated by hyphens can also help your website to rank higher (Ross, n.d.).
Finding of Primary data (for the fashion business)
Primary research is sometimes very expensive, but, the data that is collected is extremely useful. As we have a running fashion business we gain valuable input on what our customer thinks about our products and services. This allows us to serve our customers better. There are typically three tools to conduct primary research (Businesscasestudies.co.uk, n.d.).
Since the company intends to sell 3D printed and Tech wears fashion products and service that are branded. It needs to enter local and internet market. For this reason, it conducted surveys online to assess the demand for fashion. The questionnaires are distributed by mainly conducting online surveys.
In this online market survey the company stalk holders became very excited because there is a huge demand or these products and the competition will be very low, so it was the best time to enter and capture the market share for branded 3D printed products and Tech wear. It seems that everyone like to see and use fashion products like these around them.
Finding Secondary data (for the fashion business)
The secondary data is not a specified data to a company or organization and it is not confidential. The data for secondary research is widely available to public. This is the data about fashion businesses in manuals, Library books, online resources and newspapers, etc. There are benefits of secondary research that can be outstanding for a fashion design company.
The secondary research allows the researchers to keep track of the performance of the company they work for and they are able to compare it with their competitor. The reason for bringing secondary research into Market research is that it brings useful information about the industry in general that is useful to train company employees. The other benefit is that you can assess the footprint of your company in the marketplace. You can keep track of emerging technologies and in fast pace business like these days, the extremely important to adopt and embrace new technology as they are commercially available. As we have seen in this dissertation that the evolution of the technologies over the past ages that led us to the current emerging next big thing in the market that 3D and 4D printing technologies in the market. As an entrepreneur in the fashion industry you must get hold of it. The fashion on Internet is a huge growing market to reach your customers and introduce new products. Take their feedback, etc. and take action by enormously vast potential to market and promote your fashion company and its products and services.
we have examined the Internet marketing to sell fashion products. We have covered all the method that would lead to sales of fashion products and services online. Today’s competitive world is forcibly pushed every business large or small to become live online.