The fashion and beauty industries are some of the most competitive out there, which means the companies operating in these spaces always need to be ahead of the curve. We’ve spoken to a handful of experts from these sectors, who outlined which trends are going to be informing their digital marketing strategies in 2020. Read on to find out what they had to say.
People are shopping more responsibly
There’s no denying that consumers are increasingly concerned about the ethical and environmental implications of their purchases. More shoppers than ever want to know exactly what their clothes are made from, whether their cosmetics are vegan and cruelty-free, and if their products have been transported in the most eco-conscious way possible.
Liezl Bruwer, who works in marketing and social media for Dolma Perfumes, told us: “Currently, veganism is being backed by the focus on climate change and the impact of the meat and dairy industry. Our company values have always been to be more ethical, vegan, and cruelty-free, but we have homed in on spreading that message to promote our company and brand.
“We spread this message through our social media and blog, where we focus not only on veganism, but on sustainability and ethical living too. Our content is ultimately a display of our brand and its values.”
This is something more brands will need to think about as shoppers become increasingly aware of the damage their fashion and beauty choices might be doing to the planet. The simplest way to do this is to regularly post social media content that highlights what you’re doing in the way of sustainability. But, it’s also a good idea to create high-quality and in-depth content for your website that gives a more comprehensive look at everything from how your products are made to what their packaging is made from and how everything is transported.
Not only could this level of transparency help you to bag more sales, but publishing high-quality, relevant content can also help with search engine optimisation, potentially going a long way towards boosting your E-A-T rating. This means, if people are looking specifically for ethical and eco-friendly fashion and beauty brands using Google, you’ll be much likely to rank well in the results.
Buying now and paying later is becoming a lot more common
Thanks to the influx of “buy now, pay later” services like Klarna, it’s become easier than ever for people to update their wardrobes without worrying about the immediate costs. There are a number of benefits to this for both shoppers and retailers.
For consumers, it means they don’t have to go without a new outfit for a special event, even though they might not be able to afford it until payday. It also means they can buy a range of sizes and outfits and then just keep the ones they actually like, without the hassle of waiting for the money to be refunded.
For businesses, it can encourage a higher average order value because, when customers are able to delay their payment or pay in instalments, they’re less reserved when making a purchase. If you work with the right provider, you’ll still receive upfront payment and won’t be responsible for collecting the money from the customer. That means extra protection against fraudulent activity.
There are other advantages, too. Sophie Palmer, Online Editor at Jules B, told us: “‘Buy now, pay later’ is a great way for us to emulate the in-store experience that we’re so proud of online, by providing customers with a ‘try before you buy’ experience. We’ve adapted our strategy by integrating Klarna, making it clear in our marketing what this payment method means for our customers and how we can make their shopping experience more convenient.
“To achieve this, we’ve created a dedicated ‘About’ page for the service, with content that includes relevant key terms. We also have a banner about Klarna at the top of every page on our website and have been including ‘buy now, pay later’ in our social media advertising to reinforce the message to new customers.”
It’s also retailers’ responsibility to ensure their customers know the risks of using these kinds of services. While services such as Klarna aren’t quite being discussed with the same seriousness as credit cards and more traditional loans, ‘buy now, pay later’ services are a form of credit that can lead to people getting into financial difficulty if they aren’t used appropriately.
Consumers care more about authenticity than ever before
The fashion and beauty industries are overcrowded with companies that all have the same goal: encourage consumers to buy products that help them look and feel their best. But what actually sells? The answer is simpler than you might think: authenticity.
William Soulier is CEO and co-founder of the fashion influencer agency Talent Village, which means he’s worked closely with a lot of fashion and beauty brands. He told us: “If Instagram simply becomes a shopping catalogue, people may well switch off from their feeds as the demand for high-quality content increases.
“This year, we will see the Instagram checkout feature spark exploration and act as a key call to action for driving sales, but how can brands better stand out in the crowd, especially as over 80% of accounts follow at least one brand on Instagram? We believe it has never been more important for those working with creative talent to ensure that the influence landscape continues to remain authentic.
“We all know that the less genuine a channel becomes, the more likely it is to lose followers. This means that brands must put even more emphasis on sharing compelling content crafted by a meaningful storyline and activated by true talent in order to successfully engage their customers.”
Brands and influencers need to make more of an effort to forge partnerships that make sense and appear organic — otherwise, they could both lose the trust of their audiences. For example, it doesn’t make sense for an ethical clothing brand to collaborate with a fast fashion influencer just because they have a lot of followers and might be able to reach a very large audience. Working with people who might have small followings, but that hold the same values at heart, will be far more worthwhile.
It’s also important that brands offer value to their existing and prospective customers, outside of pushing their products. This might come in the form of in-depth guides to looking after their clothing and making it last longer, interviews with celebrity makeup artists who are willing to share their tried-and-tested tips, or styling videos that show how a new piece can be incorporated into an existing wardrobe. All this can go a long way towards showing that brands actually care about their customers.
With the fashion and beauty industries being so competitive and trend-led, it can be particularly difficult to stand out from the crowd. But, by letting consumers know what you’re doing to be more sustainable, responsibly promoting ‘buy now, pay later’ services, and ensuring you stay authentic and offer value through various channels, you can really grab people’s attention in 2020.