Build an eCommerce clothing website like Zara, H&M, Forever 21, Venus, Pacsun, Nasty Gal, J Crew or Revolve that is high on technicalities and performance using Magento platform. Here is the technical check list to start your own clothing website that can compete in the big league.
The global apparel market is valued at 3 trillion dollars, 3,000 billion and accounts for 2 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Fashion made ecommerce popular and is one of the trickiest domain in online business as user preferences change every day. In this ever-changing scenario, clinching success as an online fashion store is something close to very difficult.
Online fashion giants like Zara, H&M, Forever 21, Venus, Pacsun, Nasty Gal, J Crew, Revolve etc have made it big already and so here comes an attempt of decoding their success formula and providing a blueprint on how to build an online clothing website that’s as good as the besties in the market.
Decoding Success Formula of The Top Online Clothing Websites
The top players in the fashion ecommerce market have a few things in common. Quality, product delivery and marketing approach are those which mark their uniqueness and help them carve a niche in the market.
Being the Trendsetter - Innovation and Quality - Fashion is a trend and it keeps changing every now and then. These brands have been tirelessly innovating their clothing line to keep in par with the changing preferences of audience of all the age groups they cater to. It depends on having the right bunch of designers to the production unit that materializes the designs into attractive fabrics.
While considering quality everything comes into play. Beginning with the quality of the fabric, aspects like stitch, convenience in wearing, quality of the dye, durability and much more come into play.
Being a Fulfillment Expert - Being on time, every time is important to achieve 100% customer satisfaction. If your customers like your products, order them agerly and you keep them waiting for longer periods or fall in short of delivery time by a smaller margin, your brand’s image is going to be tarnished for sure. That’s a costly miss! All these online fashion stores have created a complete brand image that also includes promptness in delivery time.
Marketing Like a Pro - Marketing is the link that connects your products to your target audience. A majority of these brands target the millennials and a few focus on people of all age groups as well. So, the key marketing strategy is to promote online and for this these brands have made use of email marketing and paid ad campaigns.
Email marketing wins subscriptions and keeps them intact with the store. Cart abandonments can be reduced a great deal with this strategy personalized offers and discounts can be sent to customers in order to woo them to buy.
What it takes to Build an Online Clothing Website like Zara, H&M, Forever 21
The formula to build an online fashion store can be segmented into three - Pre build, Build and Post build. Let's save the technical build part for last and now begin with the other key considerations to develop an online clothing website.
Your Brand/Business' Name - Your name is what your brand is. Keep it short, simple, attractive and easy to be remembered or typed. A fancy name is good but not at the cost of spelling or pronouncing difficulties. A mix of number and words will also be great.
Domain - The Official Address of Your Online Presence - Getting your domain registered is difficult as most of them are already taken. Don’t worry a domain name for your business will still be available. You can either choose to be a .com domain or register region specific domain names for your business if you are going to target several geographical locations separately.
Hosting - Expect the unexpected - Ecommerce websites are prone to traffic fluctuations. A seasonal sale can bring in a tornado of customers which can wash away your hosting capabilities and so cloud is the best solution to take down such surprising challenges. Amazon is arguably the best and the nominal cloud hosting solution provider. You can go for dedicated server hosting as well.
Be it cloud or dedicated servers, make sure you have your website’s content distributed over a series of servers placed all over the globe if your target is global.
Platform - The Base Work to Build Your Own Online Clothing Website
The platform you choose to build an online clothing website determines how technically sound, secure, customizable and scalable it is going to be. These factors are crucial for a longer run of your online clothing store.
We’d suggest Magento CE because, it is the highly preferred open source development platform that has been evolving since its inception according to emerging web standards. Magento leads the best ecommerce development platforms chart with 29.1% market share.
Features That Convince You to Start an Online Fashion Store on Magento
Magento Open Source (free) and Enterprise edition (premium) | Widespread community of Magento developers | Extensions and add-ons | SEO friendly build | Supports 100+ payment gateways | Security permissions can be customized | Mobile friendly
Developing Your Online Fashion Store - Building Blocks of Clothing Website
UI and UX - The interface forms the layer of communication of your website with visitors. Being minimal is more than enough instead of unwanted interfaces clumsiness. This will contribute towards better user experience on the whole.
Responsive - Being mobile and fluidic responsive guarantees that your website can be accessed in any device thus providing maximum visibility overcoming device fragmentation's.
Customizability - While coding for your fashion ecommerce store build, make sure that it’s done in such a way that it can accommodate changes or integration's in the future.
SEO - Search engine friendliness determines the popularity of your website among search engines which in turn paves way for more number of organic traffic to your online clothing store.
Security - W3C validation and SSL are must in order to immunize your website from hacks and internet theft threats.
Performance Optimization - Caching methods (Memcached, leverage cache) load balancing, CSS & JS optimization, Ajax etc and ensure that your webpages are rendered in a faster rate.
Coding Standard - Make sure the ecommerce development company that you deploy follows Magento coding standards in order to build a perfectly functioning clothing store.
Mobile Commerce App
Global mobile commerce market is 429 billion USD according to Statista. Having discussed the key aspects that ought to be in the checklist of your clothing store build, now comes yet another selling platform that can complement your online clothing store. Yes, we are talking about mobile app. Building a mobile shopping app can
Other Possible Selling Mediums - Social Media
Apart from extending your selling medium by building a mobile commerce app for your clothing store, you can capitalize on the power of social media to extend it further. If the question, which social medium will be apt for selling clothing is in your mind we would suggest Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
Fashion is visual and you impress with pictures. These three social platforms have photos as their mainstay and hence they are the perfect choice to improve your customer base.
Marketing - Make Your Brand Heard
Marketing your store is making your brand and its uniqueness heard to the crowd you target. Well, the methods are numerous but the first this that should be perfected is ‘Content’.
Content - Content marketing, like SEO, helps your earn more organic traffic which proves good for a longer run. Blogging, product descriptions, forum participation etc are the basics of content marketing.
Social Media - Social media provides the opportunity to reach customers in the place they thrive. Hence, getting your products on social media is the easiest to reach millions in quick time.
Affiliate - Affiliate marketing will turn customers to speak for your brand and earn new customers. For this you provide a discount or bonus points for shopping and thus keep your loyal visitors intact.
Subscriptions - Email subscriptions and newsletter helps your brand to keep in touch with audience time and again. Informing about sale, discounts will woo a shopper to pay a visit and ultimately buy.
Paid ads - Paid ad campaigns in Google can place your brand in areas which other marketing methods could not. Both textual and visual ad campaigns can do good for your business.
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