With online shopping sales growing from $231 billion in 2012 to an estimated $370 billion in 2017, it’s not a shocker that online shopping is one of the most popular ways to shop today. In fact, 72% of Millennials say they regularly browse for items and shop their options online before heading to a store or mall, and 50% say they regularly browse for items they don’t even need. So being online isn’t really an option anymore for retailers, it’s a necessity.
Zvelle, a luxury footwear brand is one of those many online retailers that have taken advantage of online shoppers and the ability to reach a wider audience through the Internet versus in-store or physical locations. The founder, CEO and creative director, Elham (Elle) AyoubZadeh, explained her desire to always build a brand, but more specifically a global brand, and by creating an online store, that goal can be more achievable.
But when you’re selling something like luxury shoes to women, it’s hard to convince them to take the plunge in spending the money on something that they aren’t going to get to try on until it arrives at their doorstep. How do you know you’ll like them? How do you know they’ll fit? Elle had some tips for online businesses that are concerned about converting sales and retaining customers when they can’t actually try on the product.
The first tip is to not skimp on product photography on your website and for your brand. If you claim to be selling a high-quality product, especially in the luxury sector, people expect that your website matches that brand image you’re trying to portray. Would you spend $200 on a pair of shoes if the website didn’t make them look worth the price tag? Probably not. Pay a professional to do this.
2. Content & Messaging
Just like with any business, Elle couldn’t stress the importance of having great content and messaging for your brand. “It’s important to clearly state who you are and why your product is worth trying,” she said. Your website, product descriptions, and all aspects of your brand should be consistent, and aim to build trust in order to lead yourself to sales.
3. Media & PR
Depending on the industry you are in, it can really help your business to aim to get some press coverage that you can showcase on your website and through social media. Landing opportunities like this won’t only get the word out about your brand but also help make your brand trustworthy and make your customers feel more confident in making a purchase. Zvelle for example recently landed a lot of press when Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau wore her shoes on a visit to Japan. These things can be game changing for a start-up.
4. Shipping & Returns
If your business has the ability to, Elle suggested that providing free shipping and returns can really help boost your customer’s confidence. This way, you’ll ease their concern of the shoes not fitting and them not having the ability to send them back. This can also be a more effective tactic then discounting products as a way to motivate people to make their first order. “That just shows people that you don’t value your product or that it’s overpriced to begin with,” Elle shared.
5. Social Media
Lastly, spend time on your social media. Part of having an online business is being present and active everywhere that someone may find you online. Determine which platforms work best for you and your business, and which ones will help you reach them the most effectively and get in front of the eyes of your consumers. When you don’t have a physical store location, you don’t have the luxury of regular foot traffic that may happen to walk by or in your store. “Build it and they will come is not always trust for an online business,” Elle explained.
People will be willing to try products that are high quality, luxurious and attractive to them but that doesn’t mean that just having a great product is enough to bring you customers and sales. The above tips can help attract and retain consumers, as well as trust your brand.
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.