The fashion and apparel industry thrives on promoting the newest and best-selling items, making it easy for online shoppers to find the latest trends. But those aren’t the only apparel ecommerce trends you should watch.
There are plenty of changes in selling and consumer behaviors you should be aware of to continue offering the best experience for your customers.
Learn more about the leading apparel ecommerce trends and how to take advantage of them. We'll also discuss common mistakes online fashion businesses make and how to avoid them and share time-tested best practices for you to drive sales.
Why should you follow apparel and fashion trends?
It may seem obvious, but in the fashion industry, staying ahead of the curve is essential to success. Staying on top of consumer trends can give you a competitive edge in the market.
By identifying emerging trends and incorporating them into product offerings, you stay ahead of your competitors and provide customers with the products and services they are looking for.
Understanding consumer behavior and preferences also can help you tailor your marketing strategies to resonate with your target audience, increasing engagement and conversion rates.
Keeping up with top-selling products also can provide valuable insights into what customers look for and what products resonate with them. By analyzing sales data and customer feedback, you can identify which products are popular and adjust your offerings accordingly. This can help you optimize your product assortment and improve their sales performance.
Staying on top of trends and top-selling products can help you build a loyal customer base. Customers are more likely to return to a business that offers products they're interested in and stays on top of the latest trends. By keeping up with consumer behavior and preferences, you can create a personalized experience for your customers, making them feel valued and appreciated.
New technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality are changing the way consumers shop and interact with brands. Meanwhile, shifts in consumer behavior, such as an increase in flexible payment options and fast shipping, mean the shoppers’ expectations also are evolving.
Here are some key ecommerce apparel trends to watch.
With the rise of social media and the increasing popularity of platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, customers are becoming more and more interested in personalization. They want to express their individual style and taste, and they look for online retailers that can help them do that.
As consumers become more aware of the impact their purchase choices have on the environment, they look for sustainable options. They want to know that the products they buy are ethically produced and will have minimal negative impact on the planet.
Social media platforms have completely changed the way we interact with each other — and that includes the way we shop! These days, customers are much more likely to discover new apparel brands and products through social media than they are through traditional advertising channels like TV or print ads.
Smartphones have become indispensable in our daily lives — and that includes using them for online shopping. In fact, according to research from Sistrix, over 70% of online fashion searches were done from a mobile device.
Influencers are people with large followings on social media who can influence their followers' purchase decisions. If used correctly, influencer marketing can be an effective way to reach new customers and promote your brand.
What common mistakes are related to these trends?
As you recognize these top ecommerce fashion trends, keep in mind that your competitors also embrace these approaches. You’ll need to be smart in your approach, differentiate yourself and avoid easy mistakes that undermine your message. Here are common mistakes to avoid with each of these trends.
Not understanding your target audience
One common mistake made in fashion ecommerce is failing to understand your target market. It's important to know who your target market is so you can market your products effectively to them.
Not having a clear understanding of your target market can lead to wasted marketing efforts and lost sales. Many fashion retailers fail to use customer data effectively to provide personalized product recommendations, which can result in irrelevant and annoying messages.
This lack of understanding can lead to missed opportunities for personalization. For example, if you don't know that a certain segment of your customers prefer eco-friendly materials, you won't be able to offer them products made from sustainable materials. Similarly, if you don't know what styles and trends interest your customers, you won't be able to recommend products they likely will love.
In response to the demand for sustainability, many fashion and apparel ecommerce businesses are marketing their products as "sustainable" or "eco-friendly." However, in some cases, these claims are misleading or exaggerated, a practice known as greenwashing.
Greenwashing is a common mistake made by businesses that want to appear more environmentally responsible than they actually are. This tactic involves using marketing and advertising strategies to create a false impression of environmental friendliness, without changing the underlying practices that contribute to environmental harm.
For example, a fashion brand might promote its clothing as made from organic cotton but still rely on fast fashion production methods that generate significant waste and use of resources. Ultimately, greenwashing can erode consumer trust and create a sense of cynicism about sustainability claims, undermining the efforts of businesses that are truly committed to improving their environmental impact.
Not having an effective social media strategy
If you’re not leveraging social media to its fullest potential, you're missing out on a massive opportunity to drive sales and grow your customer base.
Not having an effective social media strategy is a common mistake many fashion and apparel ecommerce businesses make in relation to social selling. Without a well thought-out plan, you might not post enough or post too much, which could make your customers lose interest in your brand. You could also post content that isn't tailored to your target audience, which could lead to a lack of engagement and, ultimately, no sales.
To succeed with social selling, it's important to understand which platforms your target audience uses most and create content that resonates with them. By consistently posting high-quality content that's relevant and engaging, you can build trust and brand loyalty, which can translate into increased sales and revenue for your business.
Missing a mobile-first approach
A mobile-first approach means prioritizing the mobile user experience in every aspect of your ecommerce strategy, from website design to checkout process. This includes making sure your website is optimized for mobile devices, with a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes. It also means simplifying the checkout process so customers can complete their purchase quickly and easily on their mobile devices.
By ignoring the mobile experience, you risk losing out on a significant part of your potential customers. Frustrating and difficult-to-use mobile ecommerce sites can lead to high bounce rates and low conversion rates.
Failing to vet influencers for brand alignment
Working with an influencer who doesn't share your brand's values, aesthetic or target audience can be a waste of time and money, and it can even harm your brand's reputation.
It's important to carefully research and evaluate potential influencers before partnering with them. Look at their social media profiles, content and engagement rates to determine if they align with your brand's values and aesthetic. You also should think about their audience demographics and whether they likely would be interested in your brand and products.
By not taking the time to vet influencers for brand alignment, you risk partnering with influencers who don't resonate with your target audience, leading to ineffective campaigns and a poor return on investment. Additionally, partnering with influencers who don't align with your brand can harm your reputation and damage your relationship with your target audience.
What are the best practices for fashion ecommerce?
Following best practices can help you stay on top of the latest consumer trends and help you provide a great shopping experience for your customers. Here are some important ways you can improve your business practices to stay relevant and offer value to your customers.
Provide a Personalized Experience
One way to take advantage of the personalization trend is to offer customized products or services.
For example, you could let customers choose their own colors, designs or materials for a product. Or, you could offer a made-to-measure service in which customers can input their own measurements and receive a custom fit.
Another way to personalize the customer experience is through your content. When you create blog posts, social media posts or even product descriptions, try to focus on your customer's individual needs and desires. What are they looking for? What kind of style are they going for? By tailoring your content to your target audience, you'll be able to better connect with them and build a loyal following.
You can make your fashion ecommerce business more sustainable in a few ways.
One simple way is to look for manufacturers that use sustainable materials like organic cotton or bamboo. You also can look for products made with recycled materials. By offering eco-friendly products, you can appeal to eco-conscious consumers and show that you're committed to sustainability.
Whenever possible, avoid using plastic packaging material. Instead, opt for recyclable or compostable options like paper or cardboard. You also can encourage customers to recycle by offering incentives like discounts or free shipping on orders placed with recycled packaging material. Look for other opportunities to go green, such as implementing eco-friendly shipping and finding ways to minimize packaging.
Sustainability is about more than just selling eco-friendly products — it's about raising awareness and educating others about environmental issues. Use your platform as a fashion ecommerce business to educate your audience about sustainability issues and what they can do to help make a difference.
It’s important to take advantage of the social channels your customers use.
Make sure you have an active presence on all the major social media platforms. Post engaging content regularly, run social media giveaways and interact with your followers as much as possible.
And don't forget about visual platforms like Instagram and Snapchat! These platforms are perfect for showing off your latest products and trends.
Optimize your mobile experience
What does mobile-first mean for fashion ecommerce businesses? It means you need to optimize your website for mobile if you want to stay competitive.
Make sure your website is responsive so it looks great on all screen sizes, not just desktop computers. Also, consider creating a mobile app for even easier access on the go.
Build relationships with relevant influencers
To find relevant influencers in your industry, start by searching popular hashtags related to fashion or apparel. Have a look at who uses these hashtags most often and see if there's anyone with a particularly large following who might be a good fit for promoting your brand.
Once you've identified some potential candidates, reach out and see if they'd be interested in working together!
How to adapt to trends with simple inventory and order management
Providing the best experience for your fashion and apparel customers means adapting to their changing needs and staying up to date with the latest fashion ecommerce trends.
Whether it’s better understanding your customers, offering a more convenient experience or improving your business processes, there are plenty of ways you can take advantage of these trends to grow your business.
It’s important to run your business in a way that lets you control your operations and growth in a smart, manageable way. You know that managing your inventory and orders is a critical aspect of your business. Without a system in place to track your inventory levels and manage your orders, you risk running out of stock, overselling items and disappointing customers. This can lead to negative reviews, loss of repeat business and, ultimately, stunted growth for your company.
An inventory and order management system can help you avoid these issues by providing real-time visibility into your stock levels and automating the process of fulfilling orders. With a system like Linnworks, you can easily track your inventory, set reorder points and receive alerts when stock levels are running low. You also can automate your order fulfillment process, reducing the likelihood of human error and improving efficiency.
An order and inventory management system is one of the most effective ways for you to scale your business without taking on additional headaches. Find other proven ecommerce fashion strategies for growth.