By next year the global fashion eCommerce market is predicted to be worth over 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars. It’s not surprising then that many businesses are seeing cartoon dollar signs and rushing to set up Shopify stores – but with this huge surge in popularity, comes a huge surge in competition.
Staying competitive in a saturated market involves more than just a good eye for the latest fashion trends. It requires efficiently integrated systems and processes that ensure the seamless experience customers have come to expect.
In the same way fashions, trends and buying behaviours are continually changing, the technologies and systems necessary to conduct eCommerce fashion businesses are evolving too. You only have to see the impact AI has had in the past year to recognise how drastically systems can change over a short space of time. Finding the platforms that suit your specific needs as an eCommerce fashion brand can make you feel like Cinderella looking for a glass slipper.
You’ve tried, tested and exhausted your options. Then suddenly, you find a CMS system that perfectly showcases your range of hot pink 80s headbands. Yay you. But alas, your trusted inventory management system refuses to comply with the payment system offered by your shiny new CMS system. This incompatibility of platforms results in a chain of unfortunate complications. We’ve explored how these complications might affect your fashion eCommerce business.
AI was one of the hottest topics of 2023. The impact it will have on fashion eCommerce (and the world) is unquantifiable – yet unpredictable. With AI-based platforms being introduced into the market, it’s important to have a trusted way of integrating new features easily.
A Vogue article published at the end of 2023 noted that ‘having a centralised e-commerce platform that can incorporate AI technology enables brands to easily utilise the technology’. With so much unpredictability, it’s important to have an integration software you can rely on.
Fashion brands thrive on variation. ‘You love your new headband? Why not try it in blue? With rhinestones? A matching tiny version for your pet Chihuahua?’ The more variation, the better the consumer experience. However, with great variation, comes increased data complexity and often, increased work.
When it comes to fashion eCommerce, presentation is everything. 66% of consumers want at lease 3 product images whilst online shopping. Therefore, ensuring your product listings are high quality across all your sales platforms is crucial. When your sales platforms are not integrated, this can mean huge amounts of time spent manually updating each sales platform with the ongoing ever-changing headband sales information.
This is either your own time spent repeating an already time-consuming exercise, or the time of your paid employee. Having a connected system or systems removes the need for duplicated data input and increases the time efficiency of your business processes.
Duplicating manual efforts has another inevitable outcome, human error. This is particularly prevalent in fashion eCommerce, as your range is likely to evolve with trends and seasonal product variability. Fluffy thermal hot pink headbands for winter, sweatproof chlorine-resistant hot pink headbands for summer – obviously.
Love us for trying, but humans are riddled with mistakes. Mistakes happen and life goes on – however, when it comes to integrating your platforms, this responsibility becomes an unnecessary burden on you and your employees. Integrating your fashion eCommerce platforms eradicates human error and gives your employees space to do their jobs better.
Despite working tirelessly to keep all your platforms in sync – at the end of the month, you find yourself frantically trying to understand why your inventory system thinks you’re clean out of headbands, whilst your sales channels through your CMS continue to sell them like hot pink hotcakes. Keeping a firm grasp on your stock positioning is vital in predicting future buying behaviours, keeping promises to your customer base, and staying on the right side of marketplace selling standards. Integrating your eCommerce platforms automates the stock updates for each platform, ensuring an accurate understanding of your stock levels.
While you’re juggling data input across multiple channels and coming up with stock inaccuracies, your customers are waiting eagerly for their headband needs to be met. Keeping your customers happy is one of the key levers of eCommerce efficiency. There’s a reason the ‘Customer is King’ focus is such a longstanding attitude towards business.
Fashion eCommerce already has the highest returns rates of all eCommerce industries, with 30% of all sales being returned to the seller. If your customer’s expectations are not met due to human error – either by inaccurate listing information, inexact stock availability, or incorrect item dispatch – those numbers can quite quickly become out of control. As eCommerce customers become more accustomed to their high standards being met, in turn, they become less patient with errors.
Before you know it, you’ve got an angry headband-less mob taking to social media to condemn your brand as unreliable and inefficient. Efficiency is key, and integration is the most efficient way of conducting business.
In an industry where understanding trends is critical for sustaining growth, knowing your customer behaviours is invaluable. Reporting is what we call a ‘Super Lever’ for efficiency.
Your key metrics determine your entire business strategy, and trusting the accuracy of your numbers is paramount in building an informed plan of action. When you integrate your eCommerce, your reporting should dramatically improve your understanding of the wants and needs of your customer base.
The fashion industry prides itself on maintaining pace to stay relevant. Therefore, anything that negatively impacts your time to market and your internal efficiencies is detrimental to the growth of your business.
Integrating your fashion eCommerce removes the need for duplicating data entry across multiple platforms, reduces the likelihood of human error, improves stock accuracy and customer experience, and consolidates your reporting to build insightful analysis. All of which improves time efficiency, drives up profitability and supports business growth.
Get in touch if you would like to find out more about integrating your platforms as a fashion ecommerce business.