Effective Fashion Marketing – The Biggest Challenge For Store Owners

It’s not easy. Every fashion store owner wants to see a healthy number of browsers and shoppers over the day, but in reality often most stores are a little too quiet.

One of the biggest challenges is effective fashion marketing and promotion. That is, ways to generate store traffic without spending thousands of dollars.

Whilst most store owners like to stock unique fashions – the general public are very fickle and have a multitude of options when it comes to purchasing clothes, shoes and jewellery. The ability to purchase online, anywhere in the world is also a double edge sword. Good for the consumer but not so good for the local fashion store owner.

Fashion marketing is all about getting the interest and getting the potential customer to make the decision to visit the store.  Once that person makes that initial visit – at least the store owner has a much better chance to get them back.

Unfortunately advertising unfamiliar brands are difficult to use as methods to attract a new potential customer.  They just don’t know that brand. For example "10% off <little known brand" will produce a very poor sales response.

So a photograph of the "Style" is the best technique.  A unique item of clothing is also a good window dressing technique.

With shoes, people like to "see" both quality and style especially if you stock more expensive items. This also applies to jewellery.

Finding good fashion merchandise therefore is the most important first step – and then using effective fashion marketing methods to promote it.

Fashion marketing media strategies include online (especially social), and traditional offline such as referrals, window dressing, press advertising and so on.

Website and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is fine IF you do sell name brands. Otherwise it’s not the best option for promoting unique, unfamiliar to the public brands.

So there you go – some "food" for thought. Effective fashion marketing is not just about promotion, it’s also about "strategy".

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!

How Does Fashion Store Mobile Marketing Work?

Almost everyone has a mobile phone these days and uses it to search for local shops and stores – including fashion.

Mobile Phone Fashion Marketing

Imagine a woman, let’s call her Karen, sitting at a hair salon waiting for her colours to set, or on a bus, or on a train, or waiting for the bell to ring at her son’s school, this is a perfect time for Karen to use her mobile phone to search for things she may need.

Karen is not alone – millions of mobile phone users are doing just that.

So how would a mobile user be able to get information about your fashion store?

One way is to have a mobile friendly website. That is – your website techie can set up a cut down, simple website that is suited for display on mobiles.

Here’s one I found – check it out: actual mobile website example

A mobile website shouldn’t cost more than $300. It basically uses the same pictures and content from your main fashion store website. So you don’t have to provide anything to your techie apart from telling them what images and text to use.

The result is a mini-me website that looks pretty cool on your potential new customer’s mobile phone!

About the author. I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing. We assist 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!

How Often Should You Email Your Fashion Store Customers?

I am frequently asked this question. Why is it so important?

Well, you have a list of email addresses given to you in good faith by your customers and you want to do the ‘right’ thing.

Fashion marketing email how often?

That ‘right’ thing involves respecting their privacy, not sending them rubbish and not hounding them.

So most fashion retailers typically end up on the conservative side when it comes to communicating to past customers via email.

What is an acceptable frequency of contact?

Here’s my recommendation…

On one end of the spectrum is the least frequent… Once a month should be the maximum time between contacts. Otherwise what will happen is when you send infrequent emails, the customer is likely to say “What’s this email? I don’t recall requesting this!” and they’ll click on the unsubscribe button. And you certainly don’t want your list to decrease in size over time.

And on the other end of the spectrum is most frequent – it could be daily, weekly or fortnightly (that is anywhere between 1 to 14 days).

However, emailing your fashion customers shouldn’t be just about promoting sales and events. You’ll need to try to offer something of value such as information as well.

"What type?" you ask. Okay, how about something NEWSWORTHY such as new styles women are wearing in Europe and now being seen in Australia. Or how to clean certain types of shoes, clothing, etc. Or style tips – this goes with that. And so on.

By offering good information on a topic or subject, you see a stronger retention of customers on your email list as well as creating more interest in your future emails. That is, your fashion store customers would be more likely to open and read your emails.

Okay – so the plan is to communicate to your customers via email at least every 14 days. Sounds like a bit of work. But, I’ve got some good news for you… I’ve got a shortcut which I’ll share with you on a future fashion marketing post. 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!

Surprising Results With Customer Fashion Marketing

A fashion shoe store owner (a client) and I have just been analysing the results of her recent Back-to-School summer marketing promotion.

The shoe store owner was thinking about how big her database was getting and the cost of mailing out a letter promotion to 4,000 past customers (about $3,400). So instead, we just did one email and two SMS campaigns.

Did they work? Absolutely. The almost identical SMS, email and letter promotion has been sent out the past 4 years. Every media worked – email, SMS and post.

See the results below:

Fashion marketing shoe sale results

Now the 110 (approx) sales the store owner missed out this year (Jan-Feb 2013) versus the 2012 result of 225 came down to not posting the letter. So I did the sums. 110 sales x the average sale. The result was approx $2,000 profit.

So the moral is… if a promotion works, don’t stress about the cost.

If your database is growing – fantastic!

If on the other hand you don’t know if your letter or SMS campaign will work, then test on a small batch of 400-500 customers. Less than 400 won’t give you enough of a measurable result.

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!

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!

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!

Using The Mailbox Flyer Fashion Marketing Strategy Successfully

"Fashion Retailer Brings In An Extra 51 People In One Week!" – but, first a little background information…

Shoe store fashion marketing logo

Often fashion retailers approach me and say they don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising. If their fashion shop is in a residential area, or in a suburban shopping centre, I often recommend the mailbox flyer marketing strategy.

A mailbox flyer is a one page pamphlet stuffed into residential mailboxes (letter boxes).

Many retailers may have tried flyers in the past, but stopped because they didn’t get a good result. However, John’s Shoe Store brought in an additional 51 people in one week last month (they tracked them) using the flyer from our Customer Marketing Sales Kit.

Getting a good result from a flyer design down to simplicity with a marketing message that entices the reader to visit the store.

Often retailers will focus too much on a ‘branding’ message rather than a design focusing on new styles and looks. Sure, you can achieve a similar result from Community Newspaper advertising, but occasionally I like to ‘mix-up’ the marketing to reach local, surrounding homes for stronger store recognition and branding.

Oh yeah, a tip: I prefer the A5 size (1/2 A4) as it doesn’t require folding (as you would need to do for the A4 size), you get double the amount of flyers when printing, and the A5 size is easy for someone to put in letter boxes.

Fashion marketing with mailbox flyers

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!

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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