For today’s fashion retailers eCommerce opportunities are ripe for the picking across the globe and across consumer markets. Russian fashion is the latest player storming the scene, with the online fashion market growing at an impressive 40% in the last year alone. Our own client Tesco Clothing have cornered the market in Eastern Europe, whilst in the US almost 70% of high income American males are now choosing eCommerce channels for their luxury purchases from the likes of Rolex and Luis Vuitton.

Meanwhile, boohoo.com have announced their plans for international expansion, capitalising on a growth rate running into triple figures over the past year.

Recession? What recession?

When it comes to eCommerce the fashion industry is resolutely defying economic challenges. So as a fashion e-tailer it makes sense to capitalise on your online channels to maximise the buying boom. What’s the best strategy? Of course that depends on your brand, market and proposition, but there are some key techniques you can use to drive online revenue growth and order values – as tried and tested by boohoo.com, Superdry and Tesco to name just a few.

Fashion eCommerce: getting the value proposition right

Practical eCommerce have just published a useful guide to understanding and defining your value proposition online. There are some useful tips here – from pricing and product placement to controlling shipping, logistics and stock to avoid customer disappointment.

Of course these issues have to be considered strategically, but on a day to day basis managing online delivery of your proposition can be tricky without the right technology.

Enter Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® – a unique Software as a Service model that’s ready to plug into your site with no changes to your current platform. The software equips you to control every aspect of merchandising, search and recommendation functionality across your site via a single dashboard.

Online visual merchandising: take control

Practical eCommerce emphasizes, amongst other factors, the importance of aligning your shopping environment to your brand and customer profile. That’s logical enough – but this isn’t just a branding issue. It’s about ensuring that your market segments have fast access to the most relevant lines that will entice them to buy.

Freestyle Merchandising enables you to configure and control visual merchandising, product sequencing, brand adjacency and search result prioritisation in response to your individual users in real time. Even as your visitors search, click and add to their baskets the technology’s algorithms are analysing that behaviour and responding with the most relevant product results and sequencing.

This ties up with our rules based merchandising features and a unique technology that we call Balance Factor®. For the first time you can weight internal metrics and influence product placement according to your own strategy.

 In the case of stock control, for instance, you can prioritise high stock items, sale items for quick clearance, or new items with a higher margin. This also applies to any number of criteria – pricing, sizing, new lines, occasion-led designs – or whatever matters to you.

What’s more, you can change the scenario at the touch of a button, enabling you to adapt instantaneously to your retailing targets as well as your customers’ needs.

Online product displays: the human factor

The beauty of Freestyle Merchandising lies in its ability to automate performance and hence streamline behind the scenes operations. However fashion is fast paced and there are times when only human input will do. That’s why it’s just as easy to opt into the system manually as it is to configure automatic functions.

For boohoo.com this is essential – as for many fashion retailers. As the brand’s eCommerce Manager Catherine Turner explains, Locayta’s visual merchandising functionality enables them to “tie categories and sequencing into a wide variety of trends, colour stories, collections, and special promotions in line with the latest media coverage and at a moment’s notice”.

Effectively, Locayta allows the retailer to create a virtual shop window that recreates the best practices of the high street and delivers an inspiring and personal journey for style-hungry young shoppers. Online consumers these days expect a sophisticated experience – which is exactly what boohoo.com can deliver thanks to Freestyle Merchandising.

Think big with global multi-site potential

Boohoo.com are joined by Superdry in recognising the commercial value of international sales. Currently using Locayta as the tool of choice across 8 international sites, Superdry have experienced 4 figure growth in recent years. Locayta’s ability to deliver fast, intelligent search and category results across multi lingual sites is vital to this success. Search facets are defined on demand by the retailer, with complete control over the criteria users can use to search and the results they see.

As fashion eCommerce goes global the potential is there for every retailer to maximise online revenue as well as minimising internal costs. Locayta’s ability to facilitate this is proven – with clients consistently testifying to increased conversion rates and order values of up to 19% when they start using the platform. If you’re interested in knowing more just get in touch – we’ll walk you through the functionality with a free demo and show you just what Locayta can do for you!

Read more:

What’s the value proposition of your eCommerce Company? Practical ECommerce, May 2012

Wealthy Males Prioritise Ecommerce WARC.com. May 2012

IDEA MEDIA Concentrates on Russian Fashion eCommerce Market, Fastest Growing in World Marketwatch, April 2012

Boohoo opens doors to new markets Internet Retailing, April 2012