Not many products are more personal to customers than the clothes on their backs. And as retail continues to recover from the past couple of years, 2022 looks to be a year when savvy retail brands can capture a re-emerging populace, eager to try new styles and make a splash.
But there are new trends in the retail clothing space that go beyond just a boom in athleisure. Namely, customers want their fashion marketing as personalized as the clothing itself. In fact, “72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging.”
Perhaps this is a symptom of relying on ecommerce so much during lockdowns, or the desire for more personal connections across the board due to forced separations. Whatever the reason, today’s retail clothing consumers want to engage with brands that truly know them.
Here are 5 ways your retail clothing business can increase sales and engagement through personalization.
1. Targeted Promotions to Customer Segments
The very first item on the list is to do away with mass email marketing. When your customers are looking for personalized messaging, a few general emails touting styles or items they don’t care about are a one-way ticket to their spam folders.
Instead, clothing retailers should lean heavily on the data collected via their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. A good CRM provides data on what items appeal to certain customers, what items don’t, what messaging they have responded to in the past, and even when to reach out to them for the highest rate of engagement. This way, you can intelligently segment your audience in order to send highly targeted and personalized marketing messages.
For example, savvy retailers often segment out their highest Average Order Value (AOV) customers for specific marketing. Since this group has a history of buying high-ticket items, their marketing messages can consist of pricier pieces of clothing. Another segment might be those that only bargain shop. Message these customers with blowout sales for high engagement rates.
Also, keep in mind that texting is an even more personalized form of messaging that has an open rate as high as 98% compared to just 20% for emails. Endear clients who utilized segmented text messages not only saw these high engagement rates, but also higher conversion rates that led to more sales.
Learn ways to increase foot traffic at your stores
2. Curate a visual gallery
Clothing retailers already know how important images of their products are in their marketing messages. With personalization through your CRM, your brand can go even further when showcasing clothes by digitally curating a selection for your customers.
This “visual commerce” is hugely important for younger consumers, with 62% of Gen-Z and Millennials wanting “visual search capabilities” while they shop from their mobile devices. Couple that with a curated selection that’s highly related to items and styles they have previously bought or browsed online, and your business will see a big boost in sales.
Endear clients who leverage curated Lookbooks into their email and text messaging see this bump in conversions across the board. Shoppers not only like to see a personalized set of products that match their interests, but curation also cuts down on the Paradox of Choice that can lead to inaction.
Brands powered by Shopify can utilize Shoppable Stories which allows users to purchase directly from lookbooks sent in messages. They can click on the item they like from a text message and buy it right then and there. This removes yet another hurdle and can easily boost sales for your retail clothing store.
3. Eliminate wait times in-store
Making your customers wait in line is not a good idea. Two-thirds of customers said long lines would make them less likely to come back to a particular store. And over 80% of customers would bounce if any wait was more than 15 minutes. In essence, waiting is boring, frustrating, and makes customers feel like they are unimportant; all the complete opposite of a personalized shopping experience.
This is why more retail clothing locations are trying to eliminate wait times at checkout, or for the attention of a sales associate, or even for the dressing rooms. For your business, this may take additional employees which will increase costs. But keep in mind, two-thirds of your returning customers are at stake here! The increase in sales should vastly outweigh the expense of additional workers.
Another way to cut down on wait times is to utilize a mobile point of sale system. Arming your sales associates with tables with a mobile POS can help your business check out customers throughout the store, which can feel incredibly personal if they were just being helped by that employee during their shopping process.
4. Launch an omnichannel campaign that resonates with your shoppers
Aerie, a lingerie brand, took stock of their audience and the trends across social media and decided to stop photoshopping their models. This led to a 9% increase in sales. By knowing their customers and aligning with their ethics and conscience, they tapped into a sense of brand loyalty by pushing out a campaign that really resonated.
Your clothing brand can do this as well by examining what your customers value. It can be as simple as focusing on lower-cost clothing due to spending trends, or green products for social consciousness, or a commitment to diversity like Harper Wilde does.
Do a deep dive into customer research, starting with the data in your CRM and expanding out to surveys and listening on social media. Zara is a great example of unearthing their voice through their customers. And once you have something that resonates, push out the messaging via an omnichannel marketing campaign across your website, social media, email & text, and in-store.
An omnichannel strategy is important because it shows a commitment to the cause and solidifies the messaging in the minds of the customers. In short, your brand’s voice should be consistent and seamless moving from online channels to in-store displays, to even how your sales associates talk about your company’s core values.
Today’s brands that have dared to be bold in their messaging have created incredibly loyal customers that not only buy more, but pull in their circles as new shoppers as well.
5. Enact clienteling
Finally, here’s the ultimate personalization in retail that boosts sales: clienteling. Clienteling goes beyond simple customer service and provides a shopping experience that feels customized and personal for each shopper.
And it works. Retailers that have implemented clienteling have seen a 56% increase in sales, as well as more engaged customers (63%), and improved customer loyalty (44%). Today’s shopper responds incredibly well to a more personalized shopping experience, and clienteling is the way your retail clothing business can achieve it.
Clienteling includes many aspects including 1-on-1 appointments, personalized recommendations, and frequent 2-way communication. A robust CRM can facilitate all these services and more. Endear clients have seen a 94X ROI from our built-in clienteling features in our CRM.
Personalization in retail is the key to boosting your sales numbers in today’s environment. Don’t be afraid to get personal with your customers. They’ll thank you with their business.