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Recent years have made personalization central to fashion marketing. The ever-elusive millennial demographic demands shopping experiences which foster lasting connections between consumers and brands. The brands that succeed in the formation of these personal connections are rewarded with consumer loyalty. Individualization is fundamental.
What does the fashion marketing industry look like? In a word: big. Management consulting goliath McKinsey & Company estimated in 2016 that fashion is a $2.4 trillion industry, growing at an annual clip which exceeds 5 percent.
Broadly speaking, in the post-2008 world, consumers are more frugal when it comes to non-essential purchases like wardrobe upgrades. Although many try to remain loyal to their favorite brands (especially, again, those which develop an individualized experience), the power of discounts and sales is immense. Belt-tightening consumers hunt for bargains.
Consumer behavior is not, however, monolithic; although some are forced to settle for the cheapest products, others have room to splurge. More particularly, consumers of wine, cosmetics, and fresh produce seem to accept higher prices. Ostensibly, those who pony up premiums for beauty products will do the same for high-quality clothing. The key, then, for fashion marketing in a context of uncertainty and frugality is persuading the consumer to buy your product rather than a cheaper alternative.
Those who care about fashion and invest time in their wardrobes consider clothing central parts of their identities. Good fashion marketing must capitalize on this sentiment and emphasize the expressive capacities of clothes; our products make you more you.
Of course, in order to market such a claim, your brand must have a story. Where does your brand come from? Why does it exist? What does it represent? Perhaps more importantly, what does your brand not represent? This is where marketing comes in. Whether you’re using an image on a Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) or a 15-second promoted video on Pinterest, you should always keep in mind the values and the ideas associated with the products. The more focused and refined these attributes, the more successfully you can market fashion to consumers who increasingly demand authentic and personalized shopping experiences.
When it comes to browsing the interwebs, mobile dominates desktop. However, although the majority of ecommerce browsing is done on mobile devices, consumers tend to make purchases on their desktops. Indeed, privacy concerns and navigation challenges deter shoppers from clicking “add to cart” on their smartphones. The takeaway: make your mobile shopping experience more secure and more user-friendly to minimize forgone transactions.
Along those same lines, it is imperative to simplify the mobile checkout process. Consumers, particularly young ones, do not want to jump through several hoops to make their orders. Make it quick and make it easy.
Speaking of mobile devices: take advantage of social media. Grounded in photography and videography, Instagram and Pinterest lend themselves seamlessly to fashion marketing, and the latter platform remains criminally underappreciated by advertisers. Social media users flock to these platforms to build and browse personal aesthetics, thus creating an environment conducive to advertisements for clothes and accessories; if you can develop a brand aesthetic that feels natural and appealing in one’s feed, Instagram and Pinterest users will become consumers.
For more on fashion marketing, branding, social media, and more, head over to the WordStream blog.