In 2020, Amazon outpaced Walmart to become the number one apparel retailer in the United States.
More specifically, Amazon sales accounted for 34-35% of all apparel sold online. What does this mean for DTC fashion & apparel brands? If you aren’t using Amazon as a merchandising and advertising vehicle, you’re missing out on integral revenue. As shopping trends continue to shift online and Amazon continues to dominate the marketplace, there is a clear opportunity for apparel companies to reach new customers and grow their brand.
How is the fashion industry changing?
When the 2020 pandemic began, consumers shifted their retail purchasing from brick & mortar to online. eCommerce trends suggest the online retail experience will continue into 2022 and future years. On another note, consumer spending for the apparel industry focused on athleisure and loungewear as many people began working from home. As vaccinations have become available and brick and mortar stores have begun to open up again, it will be noteworthy to see how spending shifts towards professional attire like suits, blouses and dress shoes. The industry has become increasingly competitive and many challenges are presented to DTC brands looking to sell clothes, footwear and jewelry online. Some of the greatest challenges include:
- Consumers losing the personalized experience of shopping in-store
- High return rates
- Merchandising apparel properly for color, fit, size etc.
- Differentiating your brand perception on Amazon storefronts
Loss of in-store shopping experiences leads to high return rates
It goes without saying that customers prefer being able to feel the quality of the material of a sweater, or feel the snugness of the jeans they try on in the fitting room. This experience gets lost with an online storefront, but brands can leverage different techniques to create similar experiences online. Brands like Billabong offer virtual try-ons and augmented reality to support this personalized experience to mitigate return rates for clothing that can be as high as 35%. Amazon has created another solution to replicate the try-on experience by introducing programs such as Try Before You Buy with Prime Wardrobe. Amazon Prime Wardrobe allows consumers to order multiple pieces of wardrobe to try on at home. The consumer is able to send back merchandise they do not wish to keep and only pay for the items they wish to purchase.
Merchandising apparel properly for color, fit, size, etc.
DTC brands who offer a variety of product variations (like color, fit, size, etc.) must think about how to not only differentiate each product type on Amazon, but how to advertise for each as well. Utilizing tools like Amazon advertising by bidding on keywords specific to color, fit, or size (exs: black face mask, size 6 women’s bootleg jeans) can help gain visibility for specific product variations. Also including unique, accurate product or lifestyle imagery (vs. editing product color multiple times on the same photo) help improve customer trust.
Differentiating your brand perception on Amazon
Amazon storefront product detail pages leave little room for layout customization. This can become challenging for brands to stand out and offer a uniqueness to their products (outside of great product imagery or videography). Luckily Amazon has introduced Brand Pages to curate a unique, brand-focused experience for customers shopping on this platform.
Amazon fashion features
As previously noted, Amazon has introduced various programs, tools and integrations to help eCommerce merchants sell fashion and apparel online. We’ll review some of the top ways clothing merchants can scale their Amazon strategy.
1. Brand Pages
Brand Pages are digital storefronts native to the Amazon marketplace that create an elevated shopping experience through custom layouts and pre-made templates. Brand Pages allow shoppers to discover your full range of products with your own branded URL, allowing you to maintain your brand’s reputation on the world’s largest marketplace. This opportunity allows your brand to educate consumers on your story and mission, and gives you the chance to stand out from competitors so you can capture new audiences. Some of the many benefits of Amazon Brand Pages include:
- Brand stores can be used in conjunction with Amazon Advertising to drive traffic to your store
- Creates a more seamless mobile shopping experience
- Ability to market products to new and existing customers
2. Amazon Prime Wardrobe
Since its origin, Amazon Prime Wardrobe has rebranded into Try Before You Buy. This includes merchandise like clothing, footwear, jewelry and accessories for men, women and children. The program allows prime-eligible members to choose up to 8 items for a 7-day try-on period at no additional cost. The customer can select which items they’d like to purchase and return the remaining items for free (shipping label and resealable box included). Try Before You Buy brings the “fitting room” to the customer’s home, which offers benefits ranging from lower return rates to customer trust.
3. The Drop
As Amazon continues to expand its fashion business influencers are playing a huge role in that growth. The Drop provides exclusive access to limited edition collections curated by international influencers and trendsetters. Each collection is live for 30 hours or less (flexing exclusivity for your merchandise) and made to order. In particular, Staples by the Drop are ready to wear basics that build the base for any look and are always available for purchase. Staples are meant to compliment the limited edition pieces and improve average order value (AOV) of each transaction.
4. Influencer Storefronts
The Amazon influencer program is an extension of Amazon’s affiliate program that brings product-related content from influencers to the Amazon platform. Influencers with a meaningful following on Youtube, Instagram, Tiktok or Facebook are eligible to receive commission from Amazon on qualifying purchases. Inlfuncers independently determine which products they want to recommend. After joining the program, influencers can promote products from their own Influencer Storefront where they can create lists of product recommendations.
How to market on Amazon
- Upload quality, high resolution product images with various angles of the products on the model. Also include content on how to style each piece.
- Optimize product title, bullet points and product description to educate customers about the product by using relevant keywords to help increase organic traffic, page rank and Amazon search visibility.
- Superior content creates a more pleasant shopping experience and gives brands the opportunity to incorporate lifestyle imagery onto their product detail pages, differentiate their brand from competitors and increase conversion rate.
- Video: Adding demonstrable or lifestyle videos to main product images can increase buyer confidence.
- Amazon Posts: a free way to repurpose your social media content on Amazon. Each post links to a product detail page. This helps shoppers discover new products by browsing brand-curated shoppable feeds and gives your product additional exposure on the platform at no additional cost.
- Reviews: Increase consumer confidence with more 5-star reviews. This will also help increase conversions up to 270% if your products have great reviews.
- Utilize Amazon Advertising to drive traffic to your listings and create brand awareness. 43% of consumers clicked on Amazon ads, suggesting they should be an integral part of retailers’ advertising campaigns.
- Use Sponsored Product Ads to drive traffic to your product detail pages. 70% of shoppers on Amazon are not searching for a specific brand. Utilizing category keywords in these campaigns to acquire new customers is crucial.
- Use Sponsored Brands Ads to drive brand awareness and traffic to your storefront where consumers can shop your full range of products.
- Use Sponsored Display Ads to re-engage shoppers who have previously viewed your products and similar categories.
Our Amazon Advertising Experts are here to help
Looking to grow your fashion brand on Amazon but don’t know where to start? Our Amazon team at The Stable has utilized these best practices to help countless brands launch and grow on Amazon. Get in touch with our team to set up a consultation to discuss business goals and learn how we can help.