When you start with a direct to consumer online business model, you’re eventually going to realize the necessity to balance all the digital stuff with some real life, in-person, offline initiatives.
Why? Well, one reason is that people still love those in-person interactions, not just in terms of shopping, but also in terms of getting to know a brand. Just like with people, connecting face to face allows consumers to better understand the personality of your brand.
But also, Revenue.
According to WWD,
…the average order value in-store is about three times what it is online.
That’s very important to know.
But keep in mind that selling to a boutique is not the same thing as having an offline strategy for building your brand. You need to create an offline strategy that reflects your online presence and communicates your brand strongly, but also gives the buyer an experience that is different from what they get when they visit your website. It’s important to think creatively about your offline and online sales strategy.
How to differentiate the buyer experience:
- Create merchandised packs or groupings with special offline packaging
- Create a “how-to” corner at a pop up or trunk show where you can demonstrate to customers how to wear your pieces in different ways or how to pair various items from your line
- Pitch a collaboration or co-branded initiative with a boutique. Can you create a small collection separate from what you offer on your website to offline customers?
- Do you have a studio or office space? Have you considered offering by-appointment shopping?
- Consider a friends and family or VIPs sale in an inexpensive space for a weekend and offer an experience they can’t get online
- Try in-home salons. Who in your network might want to host one?
It easy to dismiss these kind of initiatives as being things you can only do if you have a budget. And sure, you do need some kind of budget to get these going. But you have to push past the boundaries of what you think is doable… and try for those things that seem like “good ideas that you’ll try later”.
When it comes to experimenting with sales and marketing tactics, you’re not going to know what works well for your brand until you try it. Or else you’re constantly going to be spinning your wheels, desperately trying to figure out how to grow your fashion business.
So don’t make excuses, choose one thing from this list and create a plan to make it happen!
Image via Chris JL