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With the rise of e-commerce, online shopping has become a convenient and popular way for people to purchase goods. However, with so many online stores competing for consumers’ attention, providing an exceptional shopping experience is essential to stand out.
In this blog, we will discuss tips for optimizing the online shopping experience on your website and how we can help you attract, retain more customers and grow your business.
So, whether you’re just starting or looking to improve your existing online store, this information is relevant to your business, so let’s get started and take it to the next level!
1. Create a responsive website design
With so many different devices and screen sizes available, creating a website that looks and functions properly on any device is essential. One of the primary benefits of responsive design is that it provides a better user experience. When a website is easy for customers regardless of their device, it can improve engagement and reduce bounce rates.
2. Provide detailed product information
Giving detailed product descriptions, including size, material, and care instructions on your online shop, improves the customer experience, increases trust, reduces returns and complaints, improves SEO, and gives the online shop a competitive advantage. It is an essential aspect of any successful online shop; neglecting it can lead to lost sales and missed opportunities.
3. Display relevant product images
Relevant and meaningful photos are essential for the success of an online shop, as they make the website more visually appealing, easier to navigate, and allow customers to understand better how the products will look physically. This reduces the risk of dissatisfaction, improves user experience and trust, and ultimately increases sales.
4. Simplify check out process
Make the checkout process as simple as possible by reducing the required steps and fields. Use auto-fill to speed up the process for returning customers. Also, for your international customers, use a cross-border solution like BorderGuru Cross-Border to simplify their purchase and delivery process by allowing them to pay for shipping and landing costs when checking out.
Implementing all this will create a better shopping experience for the customer, reduce cart abandonment, and increase sales.
5. Share Social proof
Highlighting your online store’s customer reviews, ratings, and social media mentions can help you build trust and credibility with potential customers. It can also be helpful to gain more loyal customers, as other people’s opinions on a product influence most people, leading to higher sales.
6. Create rich content
Creating rich, relevant material about your brand and products is very important, as it communicates their value to your potential customers. It provides storytelling that can help customers understand how your products fit into their lives and why they need them.
Ultimately, providing engaging and informative content to customers can build trust, increase visibility, and drive more sales.
If you want to check more ideas to increase conversion rate, check our blog here
Now that you have the ideas and inspiration to optimize your online shop, are you ready to take your fashion and lifestyle brand to the next level?
Millions of potential customers worldwide are ready to discover your unique products. BorderGuru Cross-Border is your best partner to reach all these customers in 200 countries. It helps you to make it possible to diversify your customer base, leading to sales growth.
Contact us now and begin your international journey successfully!
Sustainable fashion isn’t a new concept. Everyone, from brands to governments to consumers, has talked about it in recent years and tried to implement measures to address the negative impact of the fashion industry on the planet and society. In the last year, there have been severer discussions and legal implementations that the government has done, mainly in Europe, to combat this problem officially.
So, what can you do as an e-commerce fashion brand to be part of the solution? In our last blog about sustainable fashion, we talked about actions you can implement and elements to consider a sustainable fashion brand. You can check it out for further information.
This time, we focus on one of the essential parts of fashion brands, Sourcing, and how it can be ethical.
Let’s start with the basics. What is ethical sourcing?
Ethical sourcing takes into account social (decent working conditions), ethical (good business ethics), and environmental factors (creates less waste) for the selection of suppliers. The finality of ethical sourcing is to minimize the negative impact of sourcing raw materials and manufacturing.
As a fashion brand, it is essential to be responsible for all your business’s actions. It is your job to ensure that in the place where your products are made, there are no unfair labor conditions, child labor, or massive disruptions to ecosystems.
Why is it important for fashion brands?
Implementing ethical and sustainable measures for your brand may seem difficult in the short term. However, it will have positive economic, environmental and social results mid-long. Taking care of the resources we have now will help to have enough to sustain current and new generations. This also applies to fair labor conditions. By allowing people to improve their lives, businesses will get a better qualified and educated workforce that can sustain enterprises too.
In summary, here are reasons why Ethical Sourcing is essential:
- A business reason, brand reputation, improves for businesses that implement and stick to high standards.
- Ethical sourcing helps build a more sustainable supply chain, reducing carbon emissions and waste.
- Ensuring employees receive fair treatment and a living wage is a human right and is the right thing to do.
- Good working conditions lead to higher productivity and better products made in safe, clean environments.
European consumers have been the most aware and interested in changing their spending habits and focusing on the brands they buy from. Consumers in this region are demanding brands actively implement sustainable practices in their business, mainly in their supply chain.
In the last few years, there have been exposures of brands that work with suppliers that exploit their employees, with unfair and unsafe working conditions, child labor, and others that violate human rights. Society has also paid more attention to the negative impact of the fashion industry and overconsumption on the environment. These have been why consumers and the government are asking brands to change how they do business, and consumers are changing their shopping habits.
Top consumer’s expectations and views on sustainable fashion:
- According to YouGov, 42% of Europeans consider buying ethical and sustainable apparel essential.
- A survey from Mintel showed that 59% of Germans agree that their consumer behavior can make a difference to the environment.
- Consumers in Europe are seeking more durable and timeless products.
- Shoppers will seek value in purpose, supporting transparent brands that make a difference as they profit to ensure their everyday consumption choices align with building a better future.
- Recent events, mainly after the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the violations of labor rights in some third-world countries, have made consumers see how interconnected the world is, and more people are aware and concerned about the future, the environment, and the communities affected by their everyday choices and habits of consumption.
- As the market becomes saturated with sustainable claims, consumers are more aware and test brands for transparency to support those genuinely making an effort to be better for the planet.
Here is a profile of Germans who care about Slow Fashion by YouGov. This survey was conducted in 2021.
It is a fact that consumers want to actively support the planet and society, and one way to do this is to support companies that operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Another factor that comes into play is that they want products that last longer and help reduce waste. For this reason, price alone is no longer the most crucial factor for many shoppers. It is time for brands to pay attention and find ways to meet this demand while remaining competitive.
What is the EU government doing to regulate and motivate sustainable fashion?
For quite a few years, some fashion brands, non-governmental organizations, consumers and governments have been looking into how to improve environmental and working conditions and properly track and measure performance and results.
Since last year, the European Union and local governments in France, Germany, Norway and The Netherlands have introduced stricter policies to change how fashion brands source and manufacture their products, become more transparent to consumers and end greenwashing marketing.
Here are some actions the EU government is implementing as part of the action plan to be executed between 2023-2027.
- EU Commission: has introduced policies to crack down on environmental claims that mislead consumers. Before brands can advertise their credentials, they must dig deep into their operations and supply chains to gather the data they can accurately promote.
- Germany: The government has stricter requirements to make brands more accountable for bad behavior in their supply chains.
- France: From 1 January 2023, this country made it mandatory for fashion biggest companies to provide shoppers with detailed information on environmental characteristics, such as the proportion of recycled material in a product, where garments are sewn, and materials woven.
- Norway and the Netherlands have ruled out significant misleading marketing advertising about sustainable claims.
These policies will take time for fashion brands of all sizes to adjust, implement and comply. However, this is the correct movement towards a sustainable industry.
How can your brand be part of the solution?
For small-medium sized (SME) brands, it can be harder to fully comply with fashion sustainability, mainly due to having lower economic, infrastructure and staff resources than more prominent corporations. However, it is not impossible to implement ethical sourcing in their business.
Here are some aspects to consider when choosing a supplier:
- Be able to track a garment’s production from beginning to end. For example, this new technology platform called FibreTrace offers real-time verification of products as they move through the global supply chain.
- Evaluate raw material sources.
- Make sure wages are fair and the well-being of employees.
- Evaluate commercial practices
- Environmental justice
- Governance or brand ethos
As part of your strategy to become more sustainable, it is also essential to consider what measures your business partners take to contribute to sustainability. Especially as an e-commerce brand, you would look at how your products are delivered and whether it contributes to the solution.
Selling in the EU through marketplaces that align with your values and social responsibility commitment is essential, because the fashion industry is moving towards a new era and with-it consumers’ demand. This means that brands that sell their products in marketplaces that support and act towards sustainability will be able to move along with what government and society asks from brands and remain competitive.
Within the EU, Germany is the largest market. It houses the most influential fashion and lifestyle marketplaces that do everything in their power to contribute to a solution to a more sustainable fashion industry. These are Otto, AboutYou, and Zalando. In our blog “Sustainable Fashion in Europe,” you can find further information about their full measures. These measures help your brand be part of the solution and succeed in the EU market.
BorderGuru Channels, as part of the Otto Group, can help your fashion brand become part of these marketplaces. Partnering with us gives you exclusive access and the tools needed to successfully aggregate and accelerate your brand into Germany and the rest of the European market.
Contact us to partner up now!
Europe is one of the continents that will continue to grow and offer attractive sales opportunities for foreign brands. The increasing popularity of online sales through marketplaces has made them more attractive for brands to sell fashion, furniture, or beauty products. We all know the big global players like Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress, but if you only have them as your marketplace options, you give away valuable sales and growth potential.
We give you an overview of the European marketplaces that can offer your US brand an attractive profit opportunity beyond the big players, and how to be part of them to successfully expand into Europe.
Amazon and E-bay
Amazon and E-bay are well established worldwide. In particular, in Europe, they have long been established market players since the late 1990s, according to web retailers. Looking at the website traffic in Europe (excluding the UK), Amazon represents 19% compared to 38% for the US, and eBay 22% compared to 41% for the US. Although these two platforms are essential in the e-commerce industry, other marketplaces are just as competitive and more common in the region. Let’s also not forget that the Chinese platform AliExpress, which is enjoying growing success, especially in Eastern Europe, is also gaining popularity.
Online Marketplaces continue to grow after the pandemic
Over the last few years, European marketplaces have become a popular tool crucial to e-commerce growth. In 2021, e-commerce sales were estimated at 396 billion euros, with marketplaces estimated at around 120 billion to 150 billion euros. This means about half of the e-commerce sales.
Although Europe is a diverse market, international, regional and local marketplaces have been able to penetrate and grow. The largest market in the EU is Germany. Some of the most popular marketplaces, such as Otto, AboutYou and Zalando, offer US brands great opportunities to grow in the European market.
Successful European Marketplaces
Expanding your US brand into Europe offers many advantages, which you can find in our previous blog, “How to Expand Your Brand into Europe Successfully.” Looking at the critical role that marketplaces play in the e-commerce industry in this region, it is crucial to keep your options open, especially when selling fashion through other famous and successful marketplaces, that can help you achieve a smoother entrance, market penetration, brand awareness and desired revenue.
We present some of the most popular and profitable marketplaces for US brands to expand to Europe, and how we can help you become part of this ever-growing European sector.
Best alternatives to Amazon and eBay for US Fashion and Lifestyle brands to expand into Europe
If you are a US fashion and lifestyle brand looking for marketplaces that offer more than low price products, then the following list is for you. These marketplaces are more user experience focused and are experts in the e-commerce fashion and lifestyle industry.
As mentioned, Germany, the most significant EU market, is home to the most famous European marketplaces specializing in fashion and lifestyle products. They focused on offering consumers a platform to shop for lifestyles rather than low-price products.
- Founded in 1949, it is Germany’s most prominent fashion and lifestyle marketplace.
- Online sales of more than €11 billion
- Over 3,400 sales partners
- 11.5 million active customers
- 3.6 million new customers
- Zalando was established in 2008 as a pioneer in e-commerce, becoming one of Europe’s most innovative fashion platforms.
- Presence in 23 European countries
- Net sales of around €8 billion
- More than 5,800 brands
- 49 million active customers
- About You, founded in 2014, is one of the fastest-growing marketplaces in Europe and Hamburg’s first unicorn since 2018.
- Active in 26 European markets
- Sales over €1.17bn
- Over 3,500 brands
- More than 45 million unique active users per month
As the fifth largest economy in the EU, the Netherlands is an excellent market for US brands to consider expanding. It has strong links to the rest of Europe and has the largest port (Rotterdam) and one of the largest cargo airports in Europe (Schiphol Airport). This country also offers consumers hungry for new innovative and high-quality products.
- Bol.com was established in 1999 and is now the most extensive online shop in the Netherlands and Belgium.
- Over 5,400 sales partners
- 112 million visits per month
- 13 million customers in the Netherlands and Belgium
- 7,000 collection points in the Netherlands and Belgium
As e-commerce sales in Eastern Europe grow, more customers are eager to buy products online. In 2020, sales were $49.22 billion; in 2022, they are expected to be around $69.42 billion. Although demand has increased, there is not much competition yet, so it is the right time for US brands to pay attention to this market and secure market share. Countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Latvia are the ones to look at in this region.
- Van Graaf was founded in 2001 under Peek & Cloppenburg KG in Wroclaw, Poland.
- The online store Vangraaf.com was launched in Poland in 2016
- VAN GRAAF is one of the leading fashion retailers of high-quality basic garments and international lifestyle brands for men and women.
- Presence in six European countries
- Up to 200 international labels are available offline and online.
How can we help you join any of these European marketplaces?
Yes, we know that expanding into Europe has many advantages. It can also be difficult to face the challenges alone. Some are different time zones, customs, regulations, logistics, and local peculiarities, such as language and culture.
This is where we, as BorderGuru, come in and be your partner to help you successfully and without hurdles expand into Europe. BorderGuru Channels provide your brand with all the tools you need to be part of the most well-known European marketplaces and sell your products to millions of potential customers in 27 EU countries.
We provide your business with content localization, tax and legal compliance, logistics, customer service and much more to successfully aggregate and accelerate your brand in the European market.
Do not think more; take the first step towards expanding your brand into Europe by contacting us now!
It is an exciting time to be involved in the ever-changing e-commerce industry!
With the rapid growth of online shopping, we’ve seen some interesting new trends emerge in the past few years and 2023 is the best year to implement them. Here are our top five most relevant trends in e-commerce in 2023:
1. Personalized customer experience
There is no better way to deliver a superior customer experience than personalization. With consumers’ limitless brand options, they look for brands that will stand out by fulfilling expectations and making their end customers feel appreciated.
Some examples could be personalized marketing, email campaigns, and targeted ads that resonate with the end customer. This successful tactic increases customer engagement, loyalty, and sales. To implement personalized customer actions, businesses need to collect data, process it, and focus on the information that reveals customer preferences and buying patterns.
You can learn more ways to increase online store conversions in our blog.
2. Seamless Online Shopping Experience
This is crucial for e-commerce stores, as the second customers encounter a bad experience with your online shop, they look elsewhere. Providing excellent customer experience ranges from quick loading, content quality, usable search box to checkout experience and delivery.
For your business to increase international sales and avoid cart abandonment, providing a seamless shopping and shipping experience is essential. Customers appreciate businesses that avoid headaches and deliver orders quickly without extra surprise fees. You can offer this and more with a cross-border solution like BorderGuru that guarantee landed costs, competitive shipping fees, on-time delivery and customer service in several languages for international customers.
To learn more about the impact of high extra fees on the cross-border online shopping experience, visit our blog here.
3. Mobile shopping
With many consumers worldwide adopting mobile phones and using them to buy online, providing an excellent user experience on these smaller devices is crucial to continue growing your business. Mobile e-commerce will account for 42.9% of e-commerce sales by 2024 (Insider).
Make sure the content of your website is optimized for smaller screens and that it can be loaded quickly not to lose your customers’ attention and miss out on sales.
4. Social commerce and automatic marketing
Digital media continues to be the best way to attract new generations.
Automatic marketing refers to using AI and tools to collect the data needed to create value and optimized ads for businesses to increase brand awareness and sales.
The best way to capitalize on this trend is to create strategies depending on your target market and make sure that your brand and products are visible where your customers spend time searching and scrolling to make an online purchase.
In e-commerce, it is no longer just the price that decides. There is currently a high wave of consumers worldwide who are more aware and concerned about the impact of businesses on the environment and communities. The growing number of people who buy items from brands actively trying to make a significant change in how they do business to reduce adverse effects is essential to move toward growth and success.
Read more of the actions you can take to become a sustainable fashion and lifestyle e-commerce brand here.
As you can see, there are several key trends and technologies that you should keep in mind if you want to stay ahead of the competition in the e-commerce industry. Considering these elements and understanding how to use them effectively will enable you to keep up with the ever-evolving industry and remain successful for years.
Learn more on this blog about Otto Marketplace experts’ thoughts and expectations on the 2023 e-commerce and marketing trends. Perhaps this can give you more assurance on what you could do for your business to thrive and grow from this year forward.
BorderGuru, a single partner, to help you achieve your international goals. Diversifying your market will allow you to gain new customers that can convert into loyal ones, increasing your sales.
Contact us now and see how easy it is to become our partner and take advantage of everything we offer you to grow your brand internationally successfully.
Hermes Germany, a leading provider of parcel logistics, is building a new sorting and distribution center in Thiendorf near Dresden. This move is in response to the increasing demand for parcel delivery services, particularly during the holiday season. The new logistics center will significantly increase Hermes’ capacity to handle shipments, enabling faster and more efficient regional deliveries.
Hermes Germany is part of the Otto Group, a global retail and services company based in Hamburg, Germany. The company has been providing parcel delivery services in Germany for over 40 years and is known for its reliable and customer-oriented approach to logistics. Today, Hermes operates a network of over 15,000 ParcelShops, 1,500 parcel lockers, and several sorting and distribution centers throughout Germany. With its innovative approach to logistics and focus on sustainability, the company has become a trusted partner for many businesses and individuals in Germany.
The new sorting and distribution center in Thiendorf is strategically located near Dresden and Leipzig, making it an ideal hub for servicing several areas in the greater Dresden area. The facility covers an area of 68,500 square meters and includes an 8,850 square meter logistics hall with a high-performance conveyor and sorting technology. Initially, the location will be able to process up to 60,000 shipments per day, with a plan to process up to 200,000 shipments per day eventually. The logistics center will employ around 100 people to ensure smooth operations at the facility.
The logistics center construction is being implemented by the Bremen-based company group Peper & Söhne in cooperation with Goldbeck Nord GmbH. The new building is designed to be sustainable and energy-efficient, with a gold certificate from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e. V. (DGNB). The roof of the logistics hall will have a photovoltaic system measuring around 3,100 square meters, which will provide power for up to 40 planned electric charging points for electric vehicles. All other roofs of the administrative buildings will be greened. The logistics center will also feature an office, a social wing, and a porter’s building, in which a Hermes ParcelShop will be located.
The new logistics center in Thiendorf will enable Hermes Germany to increase its capacity and provide faster and more efficient parcel delivery services in the region. With its focus on sustainability and innovative approach to logistics, Hermes is poised to become a leader in the parcel delivery industry in Germany. The new logistics center is expected to begin operations in time for the Christmas season in 2023.
How is BorderGuru related to Hermes?
BorderGuru, powered by Hermes, is also a member of the Otto Group. With these two giants behind us, we can provide your business and end customers with the best international shopping and shipping experience worldwide.
BorderGuru Cross-Border is your best solution to reach your international customers regardless of their location.
With our Cross-Border solution, you can sell in up to 200 countries, offering visitors customs-cleared orders and competitive shipping rates at checkout. With this solution, we also handle all the complexities of cross-border sales.
Contact us now and see how easy it is to become our partner and take advantage of everything we offer to grow your business successfully.
E-commerce is one of the sales channels that continues to grow immensely. However, additional fees such as shipping, taxes and duties have also increased. When selling online, these are inevitable and, in some cases, can hurt business profits. The good news is that there are ways to minimize the adverse effects these can have on e-commerce businesses.
Learn more about the impact of high extra fees and how your store can reduce it, keeping customers happy.
Effects of high shipping, tax and duties fees
Let’s start by stating the facts. Cart abandonment is inevitable, and some reasons are simply a natural effect on how users browse websites; for example, window shopping, price comparison, looking for gifts, etc. This trend is also seen in retail stores, so it is not inevitable, but also not unusual behavior. According to the Baymard Institute, There is a rate of 69.99% cart abandonment that does not consider the reasons mentioned, but other reasons that can be fixed to reduce the impact on cart abandonment.
As we can see in the chart below, the reason with the highest percentage is “extra costs too high shipping, tax, fees,” so we are focusing on this. If you want to learn more about other reasons and measures you can take to reduce cart abandonment, visit our blog.
So why is this the reason that contributes most to cart abandonment? In the end, this also means losing potential sales and profits. Well, it is a fact that no one likes to pay extra surprise fees over the product price shown on the website. Now we as consumers know that shipping, taxes and duties fees exist. Still, if they are not communicated on the website, we can be discouraged, abandoning the shopping cart and looking elsewhere.
What can you do as an e-commerce business to lower the impact of high extra fees on cart abandonment?
Here are some tips to enhance the shopping and shipping experience and avoid unhappy customers and missing potential sales.
1- Strategize and find the right shipping solution for your business and customers.
Looking at the various options available and finding the right solution to offer you a competitive shipping price and reliable delivery service is the basis for how your business can reduce shipping costs to avoid cart abandonment. Do not be afraid to look at options even if you already work with a carrier. After all, it is about finding what works best for your business and customers.
BorderGuru is part of Hermes, a global logistics champion based in Germany, which offers competitive cross-border shipping rates for online stores. We are a reliable service that shows a specific delivery time at the checkout, depending on the destination. We are not a broker; we are a one-stop-shop solution focused on online stores, consolidating thousands of online orders from different stores and shipping them to 200 countries worldwide. Reaching a specific volume to get a good deal is not a problem with BorderGuru.
Find out more about the measures you can take to reduce shipping costs in our blog.
2- Be transparent about shipping, taxes and duties fees (live rates)
Free shipping is not always possible, but it is also not the only way to encourage consumers to buy from you. It is essential and much appreciated by consumers when e-commerce stores are transparent and clear about the shipping and import fees. Especially now, as online shopping is more common than ever, there are many options for consumers to buy from. BorderGuru Cross-Border can quickly help you calculate shipping, taxes and duties fees at checkout (live rates) and guarantee them, clearing orders customs. This will let your customers know exactly what they are paying for and build trust, avoiding cart abandonment.
3- If possible, add the shipping cost to the final product price
This is part of developing the best strategy for your business and customers. Adding the shipping costs to your final product price and communicating this to your customers as “free shipping” could encourage them to buy from you rather than from your competitors. But remember that there are taxes and duties to pay for cross-border shipping, depending on product, volume and destination. Be clear when communicating this in your shipping policy. The best way not to discourage your customers is to use a guaranteed Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) service so they do not have to worry about surprise fees at delivery.
4- Avoid confusion by having a clear shipping policy
An excellent way to avoid misunderstandings and conflict with customers is to have a clear shipping policy that is easy to find and refer to. In this way, customer service can better deal with discontent, leave a good impression and create loyal customers. In the end, remember that their reviews are very important for brand perception and that shipping problems are common, so the goal is to avoid losing customers.
Here are some questions your shipping policy should have and answers to. These will also facilitate your customer service team job.
We can conclude that high extra fees significantly impact cart abandonment, resulting in companies losing potential conversions and profits. Make the necessary changes now to meet the needs of your business and customers, remain competitive and continue to grow.
At Borderguru, we are more than ready to discuss our solution, which will help your business sell cross-border conveniently for you and your customers. Contact us now to make your international goals possible!
In a world where people can access products from various countries, companies must strategize to be more competitive and continue to grow. A way to stay ahead of the competition is to know and show what differentiates your products from others and what value they offer consumers. For this reason, you should communicate your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) across your sales channels, including social media.
If you are looking for tips to create or improve the USP of your company and promote it better, then you are in the right place. Here we show you what a unique selling proposition is, how you can find or improve yours, and how our solution can value your brand.
What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
According to the Entrepreneur.com Encyclopedia, Unique Selling Proposition is the reason or reasons presented by a seller that argues that a product or service is different and better than the competition.
In simple words, USP differentiates a brand in terms of how the product covers what customers care about that competitors are not. Let’s say, for example, you sell lingerie and women care about comfort when they wear a bra. Your USP could be selling comfort instead of just “lingerie.”
Remember that you do not need a unique product to have a strong USP. Instead, find what consumers are interested in and analyze what competitors are doing to see the white spot where you can plant your products and develop them to position yourself differently. In the end, all areas of your business must work around your USP, and all your marketing and communication strategies must be consistent.
What is not a Unique Selling Proposition? Marketing offers such as discounts, free shipping, 24 / 7 customer service, and an excellent return policy are not USPs. Because they are not unique on their own and quickly copied by competitors. Especially now in the connected world, we live in, consumers expect these features, which so many companies now offer.
So then… How can you find your Unique Selling Proposition?
Now that you have seen the definition of USP, here are some tips on creating, uncovering, or refining your Unique Selling Proposition.
- Start by listing all potential differentiators of your product and what you sell. Get particular breakout products, your values, what you think your product solves or covers the needs and wishes of consumers, and how it does it.
- Research the USP of your competitor and look for gaps where you can potentially introduce your products differently.
- Compare your unique features with your target market needs. Perhaps you can find the needs of customers or pain points not covered by competitors, which you might be able to position.
- Once you have all the data, highlight your most vital USP and think about how it can be applied across your business. From your brand name to your shipping and return policy, to advertising to reinforce the idea to your audience.
With the vague idea of your USP, it’s time to get it down on paper as a position statement:
[YOUR BRAND] offers [PRODUCT/SERVICE] for [TARGET MARKET] to [VALUE PROPOSITION]. Unlike [THE ALTERNATIVE], we [KEY DIFFERENTIATOR].
Although this will not be precisely what you will advertise on your website, it should help you better clarify your USP, your audience and any specific differentiators. Once you have a clear USP, it can be used on your website, slogans, ads and social media.
For example, Dove positioned its product not as a soap but as a moisturizing beauty bar. As its beauty product portfolio has grown, it has positioned itself as “The home of real beauty,” as the brand is committed to “helping all women realize their beauty potential by creating products that deliver real care.”
Remember that your USP is how you position your products in the eyes of consumers. Get it right to remain competitive within your industry.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Are your products unique and with a strong USP? Then it is time to reach your current and potential European customers through the most popular and unique European marketplaces. Sell your amazing products in Otto, About You, Zalando, Bol and much more quickly with BorderGuru Channels. Our solution helps you aggregate and accelerate your business growth in the European market.
Do not wait any longer and contact us now!
Live Shopping – The newest online shopping concept is here to stay, as more fashion businesses worldwide look for ways to implement it successfully. It first became popular in China, further expanding to Europe and the US during the pandemic.
But what is Live shopping? How does it work? And where is it currently popular?
What is Live shopping?
Simply put, it is the modern way of TV shopping. Online live shopping is a new way to narrow the gap between online and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences. Since many consumers like to buy in physical stores because of the look and feel and immediacy of buying products, this new online shopping method offers a closer experience than in physical stores.
During live broadcasts, brands talk about trends, current offers, products, and advice on how best to style them. Presenters and models try the clothes and give their opinion on the look and feel of the outfit. In addition, viewers can ask questions, receive real-time answers via live chat, and buy the products presented on the spot, using exclusive discounts available only during the live broadcast.
Image source: The Baltic Times
Where did the trend start, and where has it become famous now?
Live shopping became first popular in China in 2017 among young people. It rapidly became a trend, and since then, it has grown at rates of 280% per year until 2020, according to a report by McKinsey. Live shopping was worth over $300 billion in 2021, vs half the amount in 2020.
Since the pandemic, this way of shopping has become popular in Europe due to consumers looking to get inspired to buy clothes and other fashion items. They have become more aware of live shopping events, mainly held on companies’ websites.
One of the markets in Europe that have been more open to shopping at online live events is Germany. Consumers in this country are more triggered and likely to buy products online from live shopping vs other European countries, such as the UK, France, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden. This is all according to an online survey by iPaper and Epinion in 2021.
Since Germans like to research products before making a purchase, it is essential to provide content that differentiates a brand from another, to gain their attention and trust in buying from one to the other. Nowadays, consumers browse the Internet for inspiration, and live shopping can be the game changer to offer the extra value and user experience that sometimes goes missing from online shops.
Which Marketplace has successfully implemented inspirational Live shopping in Germany?
Regarding Fashion, the number one platform in Germany and Europe that successfully implements inspirational online shopping and live shopping events is About You.
This Marketplace aims to digitalize the classic shopping stroll by creating an inspiring, personalized and unique shopping experience on the smartphone. These have led them to make decisions from the layout of their website to content, to organizing offline and online events, such as fashion shows and live shopping, to working with more than 1000 well-known and inspiring influencers.
They have an entire team of employees and influencers who work in live shopping streaming, which has brought positive results to them and the brands participating in it.
How can About You benefit US brands that want to expand to Germany and the EU?
With About You consumer base in Germany and the EU, and the marketing initiatives that implement it, it can provide US fashion brands with the opportunity to increase sales and awareness, positive reputation, customer acquisition, retention and loyalty.
About You continuously improves its techniques and technologies to stay up to date with the latest trends in online sales and the fashion industry. In addition, the best possible online shopping experience differentiates it from other platforms.
Consumers in Germany and other EU markets perceive About You as an interactive online shop that inspires them to be and express themselves. It is also a marketplace that stays connected with its audience through social media, live shopping and influencers. These give a sense of reliability that positively impacts fashion brands that sell their products on this platform.
You can find more information regarding About You in our blog “ABOUT YOU- The Most Inspiring Online Fashion Shop in Europe.“
How can your brand be part of About You?
BorderGuru is the answer. We are part of the Otto Group, which About You is also part of. We offer your fashion brand the opportunity to enter the German and European markets by aggregating and accelerating your fashion brand’s growth in this and other exclusive marketplaces.
Our solution takes care of all the complexity associated with international expansion, so you can only focus on selecting the products that will sell on this platform and profit.
Become part of About You and start your success story by contacting us!
Prices are rising. Interest rates are increasing. Brands across the fashion industry have less margin due to rising prices across most categories. Since the fashion industry has long buying and merchandizing cycles, fashion businesses that take action now to address these factors will be most successful in the short- and long term.
Consider consumer spending trends, regional inflation effects, and your business model when planning the 2023 strategy for your fashion business. We’ve identified six key actions you can take to optimize your approach.
What are consumer spending trends in 2023?
Overall, consumers are spending less and selecting more value-conscious options.
- Current Consumer Spending Trends
According to the most recent Consumer Pulse Survey, 37 percent of consumers plan to spend less on discretionary items. Seventy-four percent report trading down when they shop.
- Risks of Ignoring Current Consumer Spending Trends
Without a clear strategy to address the current economic climate, you could negatively affect your margins and performance for years to come. Here’s what to do to optimize your fashion business for success in 2023.
How is inflation affecting various markets worldwide?
Although inflation affects the world, regional factors often affect fashion brands. Your business will need to consider its regional exposures to develop the most effective strategy for 2023.
- Inflation in the United States
In an attempt to reduce inflation, the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates in the United States. Private sector wage increases in the US outpace those in other regions, which may indicate inflation will continue longer than in other areas.
- Inflation in Europe
In Europe, increasing energy prices significantly affect inflation. These effects may change quickly when the results of the war in Ukraine resolve. Fashion businesses with costs in US dollars and sales in euros will also need to consider the effects of currency fluctuation.
- Inflation in Asia
Although Asia is not experiencing inflation to the extent of other regions, economic growth is slow. Rising US interest rates and high commodity prices also affect the region’s financial health.
- Inflation in Latin America
Some Latin American countries are experiencing little inflationary risk. Others are implementing strong monetary responses to mitigate inflation’s effects.
How is inflation affecting the fashion industry?
Inflation affects various fashion businesses in different ways. Generally, fashion businesses affected most by disposable income are experiencing the most significant impacts.
- Effects on Luxury and Affordable Luxury Brands
Many luxury and affordable luxury brands remain relatively unaffected by current inflation. LVMH, which owns Christian Dior, Fendi, and Givenchy, reported 20% organic revenue growth in the first nine months of 2022.
- Effects on Premium Brands
Premium brands are affected by both inflation and consumer income. Value-conscious consumers select value, off-price and private label options instead of premium brands. Higher-income consumers generally continue selecting premium brands.
- Effects on Value Brands
There are several opportunities for value brands as consumers become more price-conscious. Consider offering more private-label products instead of brand-name. Meet shifting consumer demands by implementing an agile product design strategy.
- Effects on Discount Brands
Discount brands will likely see demand increase, especially from lower-income consumers. Consider purchasing low-cost inventory from retailers experiencing economic pressure.
6 Ways Fashion Brands Can Respond to Inflation and Current Economic Conditions
Although inflation is rising and consumer spending is falling, you can take steps now to position your fashion business for success.
Strategy 1: Maximize productivity in three key areas.
As prices rise, productivity becomes increasingly important. Make sure you examine these key areas:
● Review cost bases and supply and distribution networks. Look for opportunities to increase efficiencies.
● Reduce distribution overhead. Relocate distribution centers or use third-party logistics and supply-chain-as-a-service providers.
● Define key performance indicators (KPIs) that track customer behavior so that you can respond quickly to behavioral changes.
Strategy 2: Update your assessment and category strategy.
Consumers are increasingly value-conscious. For 67 percent of customers who tried a new brand, the value was the reason they switched. Be sure to consider the following to respond to consumer behavior effectively:
● Revise assortments and review entry-level price points.
● Increase private-label offerings.
● Use data to drive decision-making. Determine where customers are price-sensitive, and develop a response.
Strategy 3: Reprice strategically.
Sweeping price increases across all categories can decrease customer trust. Consider the following targeted approaches instead:
● Offer personalized promotions and loyalty incentives.
● Reprice by customer and product segment.
● Consider absorbing some higher costs in the short term.
Strategy 4: Review discounts and promotions.
Use data to guide decisions about pricing and promotion. Be sure to utilize data for the following:
● Manage inventory surplus and margins effectively.
● Analyze perceived value.
● Determine which attributes are valuable to consumers and make decisions accordingly.
Strategy 5: Upgrade your labor model.
Review your business model to find savings opportunities for labor costs are increasing. Ensure you examine the following:
● Labor allocation and scheduling
● Employee experience
● Recruitment and talent analysis
Strategy 6: Grow internationally without additional investment.
Many online stores focus on selling only to markets in the US and Canada. Take advantage of a worldwide market and increase growth by:
● Avoid hefty shipping fees and extended shipping times with BorderGuru’s low express shipping rates.
● Eliminate hassles at customs by seamlessly calculating and paying customs and duties seamlessly in real-time at the point of sale.
● Simplify customers’ shopping experiences and increase sales with simple checkout processes, no matter the customers’ locations.
Next Steps for the Fashion Industry in 2023
Current inflation and economic uncertainty affect the fashion industry. Fashion businesses that utilize short-term strategy, flexibility, and fast decision-making will be the most successful.
Ready to explore frictionless global logistics and expand your international reach? Book a call to learn more about BorderGuru and how you can convert your international traffic into loyal customers now