Today’s statement from Captain Obvious: E-commerce is absolutely necessary for building and marketing your brand. But it can be difficult to set up your own all-encompassing, social shopping experience when the majority of your focus (and money!) always seems to go towards creating a beautiful and saleable collection. The monetary commitment of hosting a full-scale, top of the line shopping cart system, is usually only something that major brands can pull off.
As an emerging luxury brand your sort of stuck, right? You understand the importance of selling online but, due to time and budget issues, you really aren’t sure you can pull it off the way it needs to be done. So seeking out a third party digital commerce platform seems like the best option. And, you’re right, it is a good option but one bit of advice: do your homework.
Finding an online shopping outlet shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Let’s face it, they’re everywhere. From craft-based to high-end luxury, the options seem endless. But be careful. There are a few key factors to make sure that you have in place:
- Is the site’s audience made up of your market?
- How long has the site been around? Does it even have an audience?
- Does it truly understand how to create a comprehensive and cohesive online shopping experience?
- Are all of its social media platforms run with creativity and proper execution?
- What other designers do they sell? Is their work very similar to yours?
It’s imperative that you take the time to do your research because the shopping outlets that you choose to associate with, will be representing your brand. Before you make your final decision on which one(s) you want to use, do a few things that can help make that decision a little easier.
- Buy something from the site; truly understand the shoppers experience on the site i.e. ease of transaction, ability to share with friends on social platforms, timely shipping, the state of the package when it arrives. Did you feel special when it got it in the mail?
- Spend time interacting with them socially; leave a comment on the site’s Facebook page. Was it responded to? Re-tweet them, did you get a thank you?
- Email some of the other designers who sell on the site; ask about their experience.
By doing this, you will really start to understand how consumers will feel when purchasing products, namely yours, when shopping these online sites.
Looking for a few places to start your search? Well, we haven’t worked directly with any of these sites so this is by no means a recommendation for definite collaboration but here are a few that seem to pop up a lot in our everyday fashion lives: FashionStake, FABLOGUE, Style Trek, Sense Of Fashion, US trendy, OTTE