Promoting Your Fashion Business Posts On Facebook

In my last post, Making Facebook Work For Your Fashion Business, I explained a number of ways to use Facebook to market your fashion business.

Fashion marketing facebook promote posts

When it comes to good fashion marketing using Facebook it’s a good idea to “employ” a number of proven techniques to promote your fashion and your store.

One technique is the method of “BOOSTING” a post on Facebook.

When you notice a recent post of yours getting a bit of attention from people (and store customers) who have liked your Facebook Business Page – such as liking your post and adding a few comments.

You can choose to “boost” your post by selecting the “Boost post” option.

You then will have the option to select who to promote your post to.

Choose “people who liked your page” and “friends of people who liked your page”

What this will do is allow your post to reach deeper into your fan base and their friends and family – a great way to market your fashion business.

Give it a go. Review your recent (and future) posts for engagement, and if proven to be popular, then try out the “Boost post” feature in Facebook.

When it comes to achieving results with your fashion marketing, you’ve got to use what works!

The Death Of Facebook and Free Fashion Marketing

For many fashion business owners, having a few hundred Facebook Likes (fans) for their Facebook business page was pretty good, and over one thousand usually indicated a successful Facebook marketing effort.

Until just recently when you made a post on your fashion Facebook page you could expect a good engagement from your followers when they saw your post. This meant you could get a good response from your fashion promotional post, or sale or store discounts offered, etc.

However, with the changes being effected from the year 2014, Facebook is now saying "Hey, we need to get a return on investment – we have to show a profit to our investors. Why don’t we CHARGE to promote posts instead of giving it away for free?"

In other words – your fashion marketing posts to your Facebook page no longer have the same REACH to your followers as they used to. You will notice fewer views and get fewer likes than you used to. This is being done on PURPOSE by Facebook to move business pages to a PAID model.

So if you use a Facebook page as part of your fashion marketing mix, which I certainly recommend, you will now need to look at paying to promote your posts to get a better reach to your followers and audience.

Fashion marketing Facebook paid likes and engagement

Whilst Facebook have almost killed the FREE posting model, the good news is that you can get a better reach than before.

More on this on my next blog article. Stay tuned.

About the author. I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

More Customers For Your Online Store – Part 2

In part 1 on the topic of increasing sales for your online store we discussed the importance of getting traffic to your website (people surfing the net). Good traffic volume is a major component of online fashion marketing.

In fact, there are over 100 ways to get traffic to your fashion site and to marketing it online. And many more techniques are being developed all the time.

These techniques includes all the paid advertising models like google Adwords, Facebook advertising, banner ads and so on. We can categorise these as either paid or unpaid advertising or marketing.

One such unpaid fashion marketing method to increase traffic to your online fashion business is the use of video.

Fashion marketing video icon

SOURCING FASHION VIDEO

How can you get a fashion video file to use?

You can either ask your label supplier to provide you with some video that you can use, or you could quite easily take your own video of your fashion merchandise – with or without models.

I won’t go into the details of how to take good video, how to setup lighting, etc.

There are plenty of sources on Google and Youtube that can show you how to do this.

 

What I can tell you that’s important is how to DESCRIBE your fashion video. You see, computers and Youtube (Vimeo, etc) don’t understand what’s IN a video. You have to describe it in words so the search engine can understand it and can then direct traffic to your fashion site.

Words that can use to describe your video include:

  • the brand (label)
  • what it is (shoe, jewellery, top, jeans, etc)
  • the colour(s)
  • and another information tied into an event, or the use of the fashion item, the models name, etc.

And there are a number of other important factors as well…

If you would know the specifics of how these strategies work in more detail then check out our, fashion marketing secrets mini-course CLICK HERE for free access.

About the author. I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Making Facebook Work For Your Fashion Business

Okay. Someone told you that you need to have a Facebook page for your fashion business.

One of two things happened… one, you either resisted probably thinking "I don’t have time for this." or "How is this going to get me more people to buy my fashion items?"

Or, you (or someone did for you) set up your Facebook page, you got a few dozen likes (or hundreds) and now you want to see better financial results. That is, more actual customers coming in and spending money.

Fashion marketing making money from Facebook

So what’s the best way to achieve this? What content should you put on your Facebook page to make this happen?

The answer is that again, if you saw my recent post on email marketing for fashion retailers, is that continually making offers is really setting the tone that your Facebook page is just an online catalogue – not much different to what people get in their letter box at home.

Yes, people if they have liked your page will see your offers and some will respond – however, if offers are continuous, especially if they are similar in nature… "10% off this week" then "15% off mens X" the week after, then "20% off all summer items" – what may occur is that many of your Facebook followers could ‘switch-off’ and become disengaged from your Facebook page.

This is not a good fashion marketing tactic.

The best way is to offer BOTH types of information – one is your offers and the others are items of NEWSWORTHY nature. Like style tips, outfit combinations, cleaning tips and so on. And then to mix this up.

Say post two newsworthy items (pictures, text or videos) and after that, a sale notice. Then after the sale, more content NEWSWORTHY items, or funny pictures, stories, etc.

By doing this you will see more customers referring other people, them liking your page, commenting on your content (newsworthy) posts and then being more engaged with your Facebook page.

When this happens, your sales notices will get more attention and more customers will respond. And that’s how you drive more sales in your fashion business.

About the author. I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Your Fashion Advertisement – Did It Bring You More Customers?

It’s very difficult to track whether your fashion advertisement brought in any more store browsers or customers – unless you advertise some specific promotion.

You see, most fashion advertising is based on Branding or Image marketing which can re-enforce your brand identity and your product identity. However, this can take a long time and deep pockets (money) to achieve.

Fashion advertising in newspapers

Promotional marketing also has its challenges.

For fashion clothing price is not easily defined. Advertising 30% off may sound like a bargain to some or typical (boring) to other consumers.

So it’s brand or promotional marketing as the two major choices to advertise your fashion store.

 

How about I open this to comments. Which have you found to be the more effective for your fashion business?

About the author. I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Kinetic Media & Marketing, an Australian consulting business that focuses entirely making our clients MORE PROFIT WITH LESS EFFORT. We understand the financial and time pressures felt by small business owners especially in a competitive marketplace. We rely on our proven marketing and business strategies along with smart systems to produce and maintain a healthy increase in sales and profit for our business clients.

Big Opportunity For Savvy Fashion Retailers

Owning any retail business (including fashion, clothing, footwear, jewellery) in the current economic climate is a challenge. However it’s also a ‘golden’ opportunity.

What would you rather do? Purchase a fashion business at the peak of the market (last peak was 2007) and pay the ‘peak’ price. Or obtain a bargain at the bottom of the market which can only move up?

Although I’ve included yet another article from "Gerry Harvey" – love him or hate him, he certainly knows the retailing trends in Australia (see article below).

Underperforming retailers are closing – often business owners have seen a decline in sales from 2008 to now – and they’re worn out, frustrated and tired.

A perfect time to make them a ‘fair’, yet realistic offer.

The challenge for you – if you decide to purchase a fashion business right now- it to be able to maintain a positive profit figure in the current consumer market. Certainly paying too much for the business and stock won’t help.

However, if you have bought well, kept a very close eye on your stock levels and marketed your store using some of our low cost marketing strategies – then you’ve really got a lean and profitable store with good sales growth potential when consumers return to spending (which they will). Not only will you take advantage of the increase in cash-flow, but also capital growth too!

Gerry Harvey Fashion Business Retail

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

What Are QR Codes And How Can They Be Used In Your Fashion Business

Business marketing Perth using QR codes

What are QR codes? Well, they’re similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. The main difference between the two is the amount of data they can communicate.

Traditional barcodes which I’m sure you’re familiar with use vertical lines and can only hold up to 20 digits, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) and can hold much more information.

When a customer scans or reads a QR code with their iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone, the phone can automatically:

  • Be linked to a web page (for your shop, or fashion business)
  • Activate a number of phone functions including email, messaging or SMS
  • Directed to an online video (Youtube, etc)
  • Display prices or other data about a product, etc

Really it makes it EASIER for a customer (or potential customer) to obtain further information about a product – WITHOUT having to enter in information (e.g. your website address). It’s a good fashion marketing and sales tool.

I’ve recently seen a big goods retailer use QR codes as a ‘teaser’ for advertised specials. So it will be interesting to keep tabs on the varied (and creative) uses for QR codes in fashion retailing and business.

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Fashion Retail Sales Slowdown Australia-wide

Consistent with the emails and phone calls we receive from fashion retailers all over Australia is this last weekend photo in the Weekend Australian (30-31 July 2011).

"Kira Stutton has seen a steep decline in sales figures for the shop she manages in Adelaide."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has confirmed consumers are saving more and spending less. I believe many fashion retailers became lazy and complacent with their marketing over the ‘boom’ years and now as store traffic has declined they are feeling the pinch. The need for good (if not, great) fashion marketing is more important than ever to bring customers into your store!

Fashion business sales adelaide store

Photo source: Weekend Australian (30-31 July 2011)

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

You Need Deep Pockets Using This Type Of Fashion Advertising

This is a classic example of the "image" style of fashion advertising which I saw in a magazine recently…

fashion advertising mens clothing

Why do I say you need deep pockets to run this fashion advertisement?

Someone has paid a large sum of money $1,000 or more to run this advertisement to ‘brand’ their clothing label and fashion business.

This "image" style of advertising, unless run frequently (at a significant cost), often will not have an impact to the sales of the fashion business.

Deep pockets = lots of money wasted … ouch!

About the author. I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Loss Of Store Traffic – Don’t Let This Happen To Your Fashion Business!

I’ve been saying it for years… when it comes to fashion business marketing (and any other retail store for that matter) – you can’t simply rely on local walk-by or drive-by traffic. You are putting yourself at the mercy of the local conditions – car park changes, local council works, nearby building works, etc.

Here’s proof… have a read of this article in The West Australian newspaper this week…. One retailer has lost his franchise business, others are running at a loss and all had to lay off staff and reduce hours. We certainly feel for these business owners… not a nice thing to happen… but it does unfortuntely.

Retailing requires smarter thinking – that’s why you have to look at other ways (strategies) to market and deliver your products to consumers.

Fashion business and other retail stores lost walk-by traffic

Fashion business and other retailers lose store traffic

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Fashion Retailer Sees The Value In Email Marketing – $4,143 In Sales From One Promotion!

Clothing retail marketing

Jewels Armstrong
Owner, clothing retail business, Morley, WA.

"We have been in business for over 35 years and we managed to obtain a good sized customer list of postal addresses. The much smaller list was a collection of email addresses which we didn’t use very often."

"Mark Fregnan from Kinetic Media & Marketing approached us and said that we would still get a good response from that smaller and older email list."

"Mark and his graphic designer created a February sale promotion which brought in $4,143 in sales which we were very happy about. Since then we have been keen to add in fresh email addresses and we engaged Kinetic Media & Marketing to help us with our marketing on a monthly basis."

February 2010

Will Mobile Phone Shopping Affect Fashion Retailing & Marketing?

Mobile Phone Apps and Fashion Marketing and Retailing

What do you think about the above article from the Wall St Journal? It’s an important shopping trends not only for US consumers but for Australian shoppers as well.

Fashion retailers, importers, designers, wholesalers, manufacturers and anyone that sells a fashion ‘product’ will be affected by the growing trend towards researching and even purchasing fashion online.
Once wary and shy consumers are now experienced online consumers by the use of ebay, Google, Gumtree and even Facebook.

Whilst many traditional brick’s’morter fashion retailers look at online shopping as a possible way to reduce their overheads (offering more stock without increasing floor space and reducing staff costs) it means they are now competing even more.

Whilst fashion retailing is less exposed to the move to online shopping due to the need for consumers to ‘try-it-on’ – certain fashion merchandise and products could be – such as shoes, bags, belts, hats, jewellery and so on.

Fashion marketing, branding and the retail experience for the customer has to be even better so that consumers WANT to make the trip to a retail store. This factor has become more and more important and may mean the difference between success or failure in fashion retailing.

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Gerry Harvey, You and Online Shopping

Wow, what a big controversy recently in Australia about online retailing and whether people should pay GST when ordering online from overseas suppliers.

Big heavy weight retailers like Gerry Harvey from Harvey Norman and others claim that they are at a disadvantage because people can buy online (overseas) and not pay GST.

How would the trend in overseas (online) purchases affect FASHION retailers?

I still firmly believe the overall trend is still in the (physical store) fashion retailer’s favour.

Gerry Harvey

Here’s my list of the advantages and disadvantages for the CONSUMER when buying FASHION jewellery, footwear and clothing online…

  FASHION RETAIL STORE ONLINE RETAILER
Ability to try on the item / view the item Yes. I believe this is one of the most important reasons why people visit stores. We all know that the actual size of clothing or footwear varies between brands and even by date of manufacture. The ‘cut’ can also make a huge difference. We ‘hope’ we’ve ordered the right size. Even with jewellery – it can look great in the photo but disappointing in real-life.
Quality #1 We can examine the particular ‘item’ before we buy it and take it home. The item may arrive damaged or was damaged at manufacture or somewhere along the distribution channel.
Quality #2 We can ‘see’ and feel the quality of the item before we purchase it The photo may differ to the real-life item
Service Varies – some staff at certain fashion stores have good product knowledge and some don’t. Sometimes you get friendly, prompt service and sometimes you don’t. May offer more information on their website about the item. Personal service not available.
Availability If it’s in store, we can buy it and take it home straight away – instant gratification. May take 1-3 weeks for delivery
Price A fashion retailer has higher overheads – usually high rent and staff expenses, so this is built into the price of what we pay. Usually lower. No GST for items under $1,000 (overseas orders only). Offset by having to pay for shipping.
Exchange Some stores offer the option to exchange items if they are not worn. Usually no exchange is allowed. Besides, you have to pay shipping to send the item back.

 

Out this list of products, the ones that I feel will be mostly affected by the trend to online shopping (in descending order) are:

  1. Bags (most likely to be purchased online)
  2. Jewellery
  3. Footwear
  4. Clothing

Sure, some ‘sales’ may be lost to online shopping but when it comes to FASHION jewellery, footwear and clothing – most consumers understand the benefits of buying locally.

Let me know that you think?

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

What To Do If Your Fashion Retail Sales Are Down

The GFC and the rising interest rate cycle has certainly affected retail sales in the past two years.

However, certain clever retailers have been able to leverage their fashion marketing and branding to maintain their revenue and even grow during this time. For the rest – recent times have been challenging. So let’s examine what is the role of the fashion store owner.

Fashion sales - what not to focus on

What NOT to do if your fashion store is quiet

I was contacted by a fashion marketing newsletter subscriber (a store owner) recently who said this (word for word…)
I know – it’s incredible…

…."I’m finding that we do not have time to read the ideas let alone implement them…"

I also had on my computer one of the original emails from this particular store owner – here is the important excerpt:

We own two clothing stores and have been in business for over 6 years. Although we haven’t made a profit in those 6 years! Our major goal, of course, is to turn a profit.

Yes, incredible. This owner says they don’t have time to implement our Smart Fashion Marketing strategies (actually proven to work – not theory), yet confess to spending 100% of her time on SHOPKEEPING ACTIVITIES!

This is real important – if you are fashion retail store… are you in the shopkeeping business or in the business of marketing of your store and brand?

I hope you answered MARKETING!

Absolutely – at least 4 hours a week of your time should be devoted to marketing, promotion and branding activities. It will only cost you $80 or so to free up those 4 hours (i.e. you pay a casual to do your shopkeeping work).

It’s YOUR role as the retail store owner to WORK ON your marketing and branding – no one else you employ will have the passion about your business that you do (you can, of course, leverage your time by utilising the services of a marketing house like ours).

Remember – you have to think like a marketer, and hand most of your shopkeeping activities to staff if you want to enjoy healthly profits and see your fashion store(s) grow!

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Fashion Retailing Meets The Titanic

I get correspondence from a surprising number of fashion retailers who own smaller stores where the annual sales revenue is ‘stuck’ at $200k, $300k or even $500k per annum. I’m told that not only have ‘sales growth’ have been stagnant this year, but for many years.

When I write back to ask them what fashion marketing, advertising or customer relationship activities they are working on – I usually get this response…

"Oh, we need to buy some new stock and move our displays around. We should have this all done soon. Maybe we can look at marketing next year."

Talk about "Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic!"

Running a fashion business like the titanic

If 100% of fashion marketing ‘activity’ is stock ordering and moving it around the store…

Beware!!!

It’s like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a difference result".

Yes, buying new stock and making the store displays attractive is important. Good visual merchandising does lead to increased sales. However, it can’t occupy 100% of the fashion business owner’s time.

At least 1-3 hours a week should be devoted to fashion promotion and working on the marketing calendar. You can’t expect store sales growth without this activity. It just won’t happen.

So when I get the ‘deck chair replies’ – I say to myself … "Insanity"!

If you are a fashion retail store owner and do spend 1-3 hours a week on ‘non-titanic’ activities – well done.

If not, or if you don’t know how to break-through to higher sales revenue, contact us about our fashion marketing programs. Not only will you save time and money ‘experimenting’, you will get actual proven and tested promotions ‘ready to roll-out’ for instant sales and more cash in your bank account.

Click here to contact us, or click here to join our entry level Fashion Retail Insiders program for only $47 per month.

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Does Facebook Own Your Fashion Retail Business?

"I want to save money on marketing and just use Facebook instead" – was the incredulous reply to a conversion I had with a Fashion Retailer recently. The reason I was so amazed at the response from this retail store owner was not the fact that he was using Facebook to market his business – actually I recommend fashion retailers to ADD Facebook to their marketing mix; but that the store owner wanted to rely on Facebook marketing exclusively!

Fashion marketing using Facebook

Facebook and Facebook fans are a great way to market your fashion business – but it’s not your customer database!

Facebook is a third-party company. The list of people (fans) are CONNECTIONS developed within the Facebook environment.

However, a Facebook account is not a retail store customer database. You don’t own a Facebook list – the Facebook company does.

When you want to communicate to a certain segment of your customers or find out how much they spent – Facebook can’t help you. You need to have your own customer database linked to sales history. That way you can be much more effective with your fashion marketing and achieve MORE SALES.

And as I’ve mentioned before, a customer database and the relationship with those customers is one of the most important assets in a business. It adds a substantial amount to your business goodwill.

SUMMARY : Add Facebook to your marketing mix, but it isn’t a replacement for a good customer list. Facebook is a complementary medium, use it to further promote your fashion store.

By the way, if you don’t have access to a good customer marketing system – Click here to test drive our Lifetime Customer Program (included in the Fashion Retail Insiders membership).

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Getting Good Results From Your Fashion Advertising

Having a quiet week? Want to bring in more store traffic – right now?

Good, consistent store traffic year round is the holy grail of fashion retailing. There’s no point spending money on good stock, hiring the best sales staff, having the nicest store with the best customer service if people don’t come in. Ensuring regular people traffic is one of the major challenges for most fashion retailers.

Message branding advertising

Our Fashion Retail Insiders know the twelve (12) specific ways to bring in more traffic to a fashion store and they understand the specific tactics that make them successful.

Many of the twelve traffic strategies will be familiar to you, like … print media advertising, internet fashion advertising, good building signage, referral programs, and so on…

However, in order to get a good result from any fashion advertising or marketing campaign, a specific tactic or marketing message, is required.

For many smaller retailers especially (and larger fashion retailers too), the focus needs to be on generating a customer. Yes, absolutely branding is important, but if it’s the sole message in the advertisement, it will be a costly expense for the retailer – as we say in the marketing game – "you need deep pockets". A better way, is to employ a marketing message that brings in paying customers AND builds your brand at the same time. That way your fashion advertising and marketing will pay for itself.

Take for example; Fashion Retail Insider  Gill from John’s Shoe Store. Gill took one of our designs and tested a very small advertisement in the local community newspaper – it brought in $1,382.70. Granted it was a very small advertisement and dollar sale, but you can see the potential of running a similar advert weekly. i.e. $1,382.70 x 52 weeks is $71,900.

I’m sure adding almost $72,000 in annual revenue would be welcome by any fashion retailer.

Not only is the revenue important, but see what else happens :

  • 12 new customers were introduced to the business (from one week) – that would be 624 new customers a year. Those customers would return to make additional purchases and refer other people to the store, and,
  • The retail store would achieve brand awareness with the readers of the local community newspaper.

And that’s a good result from fashion advertising!

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Why Oh Why Are We Not Meeting Our Fashion Sales Targets?

I had a call this week from a fashion store owner who doesn’t work in the store himself (it’s under management). He was frustrated with the low numbers of paying customers even after placing "Up to 75% off" signs on the store windows. This business owner was convinced that the shopping centre was doing a lousy job of attracting people.

But you see, there are two aspects to obtaining paying customers… 1) Store traffic and, 2) Sales conversion.

Fashion retail sale sign

I had a feeling that the staff weren’t doing such a good job of selling.

The only way to find out is to measure TRAFFIC AND SALES. From that the sales conversion can be worked out.

For most fashion retailers the sales conversion rate will be between 10% to 40%. That is, out of 10 people that walk-in, one to four will buy.

Whoa, I bet you’re telling me your sales conversion is much higher. Okay, prove it!

Below is a sample store browsers chart. Rule a single page with 6 columns and mark one line for each person that walks into the store every day over one week (count a couple and families as one person).

Then check your sales numbers at the end of the week (from your POS or till). Divide # sales / # browsers and multiply by 100. That’s your conversion as a percentage.

Then you’ll know if your staff are doing a good job or not. If your conversion is below 10% you’ve got a BIG problem!

P.S. The more accurate way of obtaining your store traffic numbers is to install an automatic people counter – I have discussed this on a previous post on this website.

Fashion retail store success

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

When Is The Right Time To Open Your Next Fashion Retail Store? Part 2

I know, I know – you’re itching to open your next fashion retail store.

If your next store is store number 3 (or more) – I reckon you must have created a very good store opening process, so I would say go for it.

However, if it’s your second store – BEWARE – there are pitfalls.

Fashion retail store fit out

Many single store owners are tempted to open a second store because the first fashion retail store may not be performing that well and an opportunity arises to have another store in perhaps a better location.

Watch out – not only could this be a money trap, it can be a time trap as well.

I’ve personally met ‘stressed-out’ fashion retailers who try very hard to keep two stores profitable, by cutting staff time and working unrealistic hours, running back and forth between the two retail outlets. What often happens (and I’ve heard this first hand on the telephone from these poor retailers) is that they will finally close one store and be stuck with a big financial loss, excess stock, and excess store fittings. This extra burden puts more pressure on the cash-flow of the remaining store and often the retailer will close that store too, and be out-of-business!

It’s a heart-breaking situation, but unfortunately all too common in the fashion business world.

Here’s how to avoid that situation…

Guidelines for opening your second fashion retail store

Your single store MUST be able to stand on it’s own. That is, the store needs be profitable by being staffed without you being there. That is, your full-time staff member(s) and casuals cover 100% of the store hours. Another way to look at it – could you take three months off and still have an open store when you got back?

If not, please don’t open that second store – you’re not ready yet!

When you open your second store, you’ll need to give it your full attention for perhaps several months – to get everything right so it’s a profitable store too – you can’t be worrying about your original shop.

To have a fashion retail store that is profitable without you requires good marketing systems, good sales systems and good procedures for the staff to follow. Not only will this information make your first store very profitable, it will essentially form the basis of a ‘cookie-cutter’ system which will allow you not only to open a second store, but many others too.

For more information on good fashion marketing take a look at our FREE mini-course (click here).

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

When Is The Right Time To Open Your Next Fashion Retail Store? Part 1

Oh boy, this is literally the million-dollar question.

When it comes down to it, there is only so much sales revenue and profit you can generate from one fashion retail store. You are usually limited by floor space and how much stock you can display.

However, you can generate a lot more revenue from one store than you might think. I love this real-life business story…

Beechworth retail store

“Tom O’Toole turned a failing little bakery in an isolated and dying Australian country town (Beechworth, VIC) with a population of 3,000 into a company with an annual turnover in excess of $12 million, serving over one million customers per year.”

“A bakery that has become one of the highest earning single bakery retailers in Australian history.”

So how do you grow your revenue in your existing fashion store. Again, in a nutshell, it comes down to good branding and fashion marketing, good products and great customer service.

You may have read or heard of my comments about branding – essentially I subscribe to the Dan Kennedy marketing rule… “Branding should be a by-product of good marketing”.

In other words, advertising or marketing that generates customers at a profit and pays itself – should always be your primary goal. We’ll discuss this further at another time.

So, to summarise – you don’t always need to open that next store, right now. You can squeeze out a lot more profit out of the store(s) you own already. But, if you’re still thinking about that new fashion store – I’ll go through on my next post some very important things you’ll need to consider before you put down a deposit on that new lease. Watch this space.

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

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