The apparel industry is booming, with reports showing that worldwide revenue is expected to hit $7.40 billion by 2022.
If you run an apparel business, that means right now could be a perfect time to start planning how to scale your business in 2019 to take full advantage of this positive trend. If you fail to scale, you’ll miss out on interesting opportunities for investment, and you won’t be able to add higher-skilled staff to your workforce.
In this article, we take a look at how to pull away from the pack and grow your apparel business in the coming year.
1. Offer top-notch customer UX
More and more sales are coming from online channels. It’s undeniable is that the ecommerce sector has experienced explosive growth for the last few years.
For you as a business owner, this means a need to focus on your website.
What’s important is crafting a website that offers an exceptional UX to your customers. To this end, it’s a good idea to take a look at your competitors to see how they’re presenting their websites. You should also think about performing split tests to gauge what types of elements your customers respond better to, and you overall need to carry out heavy market research.
It’s also important to optimize your website for both desktop and mobile. Mobile readiness is key in an era where more and more of us are researching and making purchases with our mobile devices.
Because mobile users behave differently from desktop users, you need to understand the behavior of your consumers across different devices so that you can present your website and content in a way that hits the spot. This means testing your site speed, as well as optimizing key elements, such as your headlines and calls to action (CTAs) so that they resonate with the right types of audiences.
Make sure that your website is easy to use and navigate. A good customer experience is at the heart of ecommerce success and your website needs to be well-presented, responsive and usable.
(To learn more about creating a mobile-optimized website for your business, start here.)
2. Create an omnichannel experience
In 2019 and beyond, your customers will expect an even more seamless and convenient omnichannel shopping process than ever before. They’re already used to researching and buying across several devices, and to keep the momentum going you need to make it simple for them to purchase whenever they want, wherever they want.
This is what a point of sale (POS) card reader does. Whether you sell remotely or face-to-face, a POS card reader makes the checkout process more intuitive and efficient. Which is exactly what your customers want. You will never have to worry about accidentally running out of stock either since a POS is able to sync your inventory between your physical location and eCommerce store. Instead of having to manually enter every single sale that is made, backend systems are updated automatically. This process streamlines your business operations.
Not just this, but a POS card reader—such as this POS card reader from Shopify—stores customer data, such as their purchase history. This allows you to make their future shopping experiences with you more personalized, which is another thing they want more of in 2019.
3. Secure trade credit
Trade credit remains the single largest source of short-term business credit in the world.
It allows business owners to acquire the supplies and inventory that they need right now – and then pay for them later. It saves owners from having to dip into their personal credit and can help apparel brands scale their business faster by increasing sales and facilitating growth.
Provided you have a solid business credit score to your name, securing trade credit should be a simple enough process. It can be much easier than securing funding from another source, such as a major bank, for example. You pay back the funds over time, typically anywhere between 30 and 120 days depending on your credit agreement.
Check out our whitepaper to learn how top and growing apparel brands are succeeding with trade credit.
4. Invest in tools
Investing in tools to scale your apparel business is essential in 2019, especially if you’re selling your products online. In the ecommerce sector, with competitors like Amazon, you must be willing to implement modern technologies that work seamlessly together in helping businesses scale.
Manually processing payments, for example, is time-consuming, unreliable and will cause your business to be eaten up by forward-thinking rivals. Automation across many areas of your business is important as it will save you money, time and effort.
Consider investing in tools like MailChimp and Hootsuite to aid your marketing efforts and lead generation campaigns. Use a tool like Zendesk or FreshDesk to improve your customer support. Try an inventory management tool that you don’t run the risk of an overstock or an understock.
Don’t shy away from modern technologies, but work with them to make your company more efficient. After all, that’s why they’re here.
5. Perform an SEO audit
It doesn’t matter how pretty your website is, if you don’t implement an SEO campaign it won’t rank and thus won’t be visible in search results.
While it’s possible to drive a lot of traffic from social media, more search engines are better qualified because customers actually have intent each time they make a search. And it could be an intent to buy.
To make sure that your SEO game is strong, perform an SEO audit at the start of each quarter. Here is an in-depth resource that explains what you need to do. The good news is that an SEO audit doesn’t have to take too long, but it will help you to optimize your website for keywords, content, and usability so that you drive more of the right traffic to your page; this will help you scale.
These are 5 ways to scale up your apparel business in 2019. It all starts with a solid website that’s mobile-friendly, easy to use, and which has been properly optimized. Then, consider making the payment process easier than ever with a POS card reader, and securing credit that will allow you to invest in more tools that will allow you to scale.