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5 Things Fashion SMEs Need to Thrive Online

OCTOBER 22, 2021

The pandemic shook the retail industry, which experienced a 79% decline in sales in May 2021, compared to the same period before the pandemic in 2019. While the brick-and-mortar stores struggle to stay afloat amidst curfews and lockdowns, e-commerce has become the only avenue. As a result, several small and medium enterprises have gone entirely online, selling products through their own e-commerce sites, Instagram pages, Facebook Marketplaces etc.

However, e-commerce is a highly competitive market. With big players and multinational businesses already occupying the space, you will be competing with Goliaths, who have established brands, substantial marketing budgets and e-commerce logistics capabilities.

To win this fight and thrive online, you need these five tools in your armour.

#1 Express delivery for instant gratification

Today, a lot of customers are choosing e-commerce for revenge shopping and impulse buying. If you take two weeks to deliver an order, the element of impulse—and instant gratification—is lost. To capitalise on the pleasure of online shopping, you need express delivery.

You need a partner who can enable same-day delivery, next day delivery and slot-based appointments to customers throughout the country. If your customer can order a dress tonight and wear it tomorrow, they will choose you over your competition. And think of you every time they need something.

#2 Cash on delivery service for trustworthiness

When you launch your business online, you’ll attract new customers who might not know or use your products. They might be willing to give you a chance, but only if you can make it risk-free for them. For instance, if you’re a fashion designer selling high-quality hand-made dresses, you will likely charge a premium. However, the customer might be sceptical about paying that price without seeing/touching the fabric. Cash-on-delivery service can help overcome that scepticism, allowing them to experience the product and then pay for it.

#3 Reliable e-commerce platforms

Remember that retail shopping is a lot more about buying the product. It’s about the pleasure of exploring products, trying them on, and feeling great in them. While you might not be able to replicate all this online, you must do your best to make it as pleasurable as possible.

  • Build a website that works seamlessly on desktops, laptops, mobile devices and tablets
  • Give a 360-degree view of the products with photos and videos
  • Include a search function for users to find what they need instantly
  • Make the buying journey as short as possible — it should be as simple as add to cart > pay > done!

At the backend, it also helps automate several processes such as sending confirmation emails, placing the order in your order management system, booking pickup with the logistics partner, updating the inventory management system etc.

#4 360-degree personalisation

Customers today want e-commerce platforms to offer personalised experiences. In fact, if you can show them what they might be interested in, they will be happy to buy a lot more from you. Imagine delighting a customer by showing them that pashmina shawl they’ve long been eyeing!

To deliver this, you need data science and analytics capabilities that can dynamically offer personalisation for every customer. Many of the e-commerce platforms today, like Shopify or Magento, come with built-in features for this. But remember that personalisation is not just about their past behaviour on the website. You also need to include their shipping and delivery preferences to truly personalise their experience.

#5 Convenient returns processing

Sometimes, clothes don’t fit, shoe bite, jewellery isn’t as big as the customer thought. Customers want the freedom to return things that they don’t like. This is especially important when they’re trying new brands or new products. As an SME, offering no-questions-asked returns can boost your customer acquisition and retention significantly.

Get all Five Things at Your Fingertips with Delhivery

Delhivery SME, our small business-focused e-commerce logistics and transportation offering, is designed to give you everything you need to thrive as an online business.

  • Our delivery partners can handle cash-on-delivery orders with ease (and transfer the amount to you on the same day too!)
  • Delhivery’s order booking solution integrates effortlessly with major e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, WordPress etc. automating much of your backend processes
  • Our advanced data science and analytics capabilities empower you to leverage logistics data for personalisation
  • Our systems are designed to process returns as quickly as possible so you can refurbish/resell them immediately

If you’re a small business setting foot into fashion retail, consider Delhivery for your e-commerce shipping solutions in India. To know more, speak to a consultant today!

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