Online fashion retailing is one of the most successful ecommerce sectors. According to IMRG, in 2016 the clothing sector reported 18% YoY growth. This compares to an increase of 10.7% in 2015 and 12.8% in 2014.
Large online retailers and giant marketplaces like Amazon have recognised the growth potential and have been increasing their focus on this industry. But as fashion ecommerce becomes increasingly successful, so does the competition.
Many merchants and brands are finding it challenging to stand out in the crowd and attract new customers or repeat purchases, especially when consumers have millions of choices to compare with a flick of their fingers.
So, what can online fashion retailers do to stay ahead of the competition and keep pace with the market?
According to many studies and surveys, the answer lies with customer reviews.
• 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
• 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site with user reviews
• 87% of consumers won’t consider a business with low reviews
This proves without doubt how critical reviews are for the fashion industry.
Of course, positive customer reviews are based on good quality products, a seamless shopping experience and great customer services. Having some negative reviews is valuable as well. 68% of consumers have higher trust in businesses that have both good and bad scores.
The important thing when receiving unfavourable comments is to address them quickly and show customers that you’re investing time and resources into solving any potential issues. At the same time, negative reviews are a great source of information and enable you to fine-tune parts of your business.
Furthermore, customer reviews have considerable SEO benefits. They are a great source of fresh, unique content for Google and products with a constant stream of reviews are likely to perform better in organic search results.
73% of consumers believe reviews older than three months are less relevant so it is crucial to ensure you constantly encourage customers to provide feedback and comments regarding their shopping experience with you or the purchased product.
The review process should be as quick and easy as possible. Your customers are busy and overwhelmed by a constant stream of information and marketing messages. Some incentives like a raffle, vouchers or discounts should also help to generate more reviews.
Just as important as gathering reviews is to make them available where shoppers are interacting with your brand and products. Your website is the obvious channel to display them, but don’t neglect personalised email campaigns or mobile push notifications.
If you want to learn more ways to grow your fashion business online, you can check out our articles on differentiation for fashion retailers and the future for apparel ecommerce, or just get in touch.