Blog

03/04/14

Leverage Your Social Following to Sell Clothes Online

The time is ripe for fashion retailers to learn how to sell clothes online
With e-commerce representing $240 billion in U.S. sales and growing 10% each year, the time is ripe for fashion retailers to learn how to sell clothes online.
Research from the Harvard Business Review tells us that while 79% of companies use or are planning to use social media, only 12% identify as effective users that have integrated social media into their overall growth strategy.
The good news is, selling products online has the inherent benefit of allowing your business to leverage its social media presence. Through an app like Soldsie, your fans on Facebook and Instagram can purchase a product you post just by commenting “sold.” Customers don’t need to leave the page they’re browsing and go through a disruptive check-out process–the buying experience is embedded within the social experience–so say goodbye to that 67.89% cart abandonment rate!
Quality Images Are A Necessity
Of course, Facebook and Instagram being visual mediums, product presentation plays a big role in how to sell items online. Scroll through what people are selling on Soldsie, and you’ll notice that great product photography includes clean backgrounds, well-lit subjects, and styling advice.
Make sure that you include multiple photographs of any clothes that you plan on selling and from a variety of angles so that your potential customer has a good idea of what showing the clothing from as many angles if you can. If possible you should model the clothes on a person  or mannequin.
The advent of smartphones with impressive built-in cameras means that independent boutiques can achieve a professional look, too so there’s no excuse for not having high quality photos. The variety of photo-editing apps out there help sellers change the depth of field, balance color, and add text to their photos.
Write Descriptions That Sell

Your product descriptions should be more than just a blurb that details your items for sale. If you really want to sell clothes online you need to be able to persuade potential customers to make a purchase by coming up with a description that sells.

  • Consider Your Target Audience
    If you know about the demographic that will likely be buying your product, you can tailor the language in the product description to pique their interest. Think about their needs and how your product can meet their needs, and adopt the appropriate voice—casual for a younger audience, and formal for older adults, for example. Think of your target audience not just as a group, but as individuals from whom you seek to gain trust and loyalty. Tell the customer how your product will benefit them or help them avoid problems. After reading your product description, your goal is to make the customer realize your product can play an essential role in their day-to-day lives. This realization is the most effective way to gain customers and referrals.
  • Be Descriptive, Yet Concise
    Tell the customer everything they need to know about the clothes you plan on selling online. Don’t just tell the customer that the item is excellent—show them with descriptive, sensory language and share about features (how it fits, the types of material, etc.) of the product that you know they will appreciate. This is best accomplished with concise bullet points that are easy to read and easy to remember.
  • Engage the Customer’s Imagination with a Story
    When you tell a story, you give the customer a scene to imagine and the chance to include themselves as observers or participants. Tell the story of how the product was developed: the who, where, and why. Tell a story about a family or group of friends using the product for a special occasion, or place the customer in the middle of a love story. Three or four sentences will do—just enough to place a picture in the customer’s head that gives them a feeling of happiness, nostalgia, romance, or any other feeling you want to share. Giving the product a creative name makes a story even more memorable and effective.
  • Use Reviews and Social Proof for Credibility
    If the clothes you’re selling have been endorsed by any well-known social figures or media sources, such as a well-known magazine, this is excellent information to include with your product description when creating your social media post. Utilizing testimonials and endorsements from sources the customer will trust can help boost your online conversion rate.
Follow The 80/20 Rule
When you sell products online through social media, make sure that your business pages balance posts that push product with posts that otherwise entertain or educate your fans. You’ll drive down engagement if you bombard your audience with posts that scream, “Buy this!” In an earlier blog post, we discussed the power of content experience: does your content make your fans feel smarter, give them something to talk about with friends, or help them trust your brand’s authority? Strike a good ratio between product posts and posts that tap into these experiences.
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Soldsie seller Bel Boutique not only uploads lookbooks that help their fans style their funky, trendy pieces, but also asks fans about runway trends (like the appearance of Star Wars-themed clothing on the catwalk). You’ll also know from our Soldsie Spotlight on Bel Boutique that owner Erin Tinsley has pinpointed what price level works best to sell items online: statement accessories and bold clothing items that go for $20 to $50 are conducive to Facebook “flash sales” because they’re eye-catching and impulse-buy worthy.
Do you sell products from home using Soldsie? Tell us about your store and what you sell in the comments!
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