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Why SEO will NOT Grow your Fashion Ecommerce Business

Posted on 7th December 2015 , by Kunle Campbell in Strategy, Traffic

The Fashion industry is tough and arguably as saturated as the music industry. This is partly because EVERYONE now seems to have a ‘clothing company’…be it a t-shirt business or a fashion ecommerce business. You most likely know at least one owner or founder of a fashion brand or fashion online retail business.  Fashion is so pervasive due to the primary function clothing and design play in our lives on a day-to-day basis. Competition as a result is rife and digital marketing channels such as Search reflect the offline reality of the cut-throat competition in the fashion industry. The best way to illustrate this is with an example….

Maxi dress fashion brand

Let’s imagine you have launched a ladies fashion brand that in your opinion designs the best Maxi Dresses for the 22-34 years old female demographic (all of which are millennials).

Let’s further assume that you are based in the United States and have immediate plans to cater directly to the U.S. and Canada but will be open to fulfilling international orders.

Putting on an SEO hat, you immediately start think about the opportunities that Google has to offer and fire up SEMRush and Google Keyword planner to assess market opportunities.

maxi dresses semrush

So there are on average 165,000 searches for Maxi Dresses (alone) on Google U.S. per month – this is a massive opportunity, you snigger to yourself.

So how does competition translate on the SERPs – Search Engine Result Pages?

You can either buy your way into a market OR organically build a brand  – the better option is to do both.

Here is what the first page of Google looks like for your core term ‘maxi dresses’:

serps maxi dress

You will immediately notice that the top of the fold is dominated by paid AdWords placements of advertisers that are predominantly either NYSE/NASDAQ publicly listed retailers like: Macys, Nordstrom, JC Penney, Kohls, Express, Bebe or reasonably sized private fashion brands.

AdWords math…

Here’s some (very rough and) quick AdWords math showing Average CPC to  be about $1.14 and more importantly deducing that $38 will be your estimated cost per acquisition (CPA):

cpa maxi dressses

The above table (which is a simplified computation), reveals that it will cost your business $38 to acquire a customer. So if your maxi dresses retail at $99 on average, you have $61 left to cover your remaining overheads.

You will most likely not make a profit on a first time purchase of a single dress; and will either have to figure out ways of increasing Average Order Value (AOV) from each sales sent via AdWords or/and increase customer Life Time Value (LTV) so you start to make a decent profit from their second and subsequent orders.

Organic SERPs listing

Looking at the Page 1 SEO results in almost all competitive ecommerce market segments, the organic SERPs listings tend to have either or both the following characteristics:

  1. Most online stores listed belong to well funded companies that can afford to deliver exceptional user experience, deploy highly optimal technical SEO and have an effective means of promoting their brand (marketing and PR)
  2. Range also seems to matter – the wider the range your ecommerce store offers, the more likely traffic sent to your site will ‘stick’ as shoppers browse through your catalog.

organic SERPs maxi dresses

The above image shows the organic search results on Google U.S. (generated by SEMRush) for our head-term ‘maxi dresses’ – notice the trend? The websites listed are either owned by publicly traded companies or private companies with an extensive range or long history of trading.

If you decided to use SEO as a driver for growth for your fashion ecommerce business, the question is whether your company can deliver a wide enough range to compete in addition to getting the other two fundamentals right i.e.

  1. Sound technical SEO (Google’s technical compliance for indexation, crawlability and well keyword targeted pages)
  2. An identifiable ‘maxi dresses’ brand built through PR/online PR and marketing
  3. Delivering a superior user experience for shoppers that keeps them on your site longer than your industry’s benchmark average time on site.

If it can, then it will take time; 12 months will be a typical minimum, if you go full-on with executing the above.

Growth hacks to expand your fashion brand

Depending on the amount of capital or marketing budget your fashion brand has to either launch or expand, the following strategies should be considered and will loop back into the brand building elements required for your overarching SEO strategy:

1: Influencer Marketing & Celebrity Endorsements

The key here is to align your brand values and target demographic with the key influencers that can tap into audiences likely to be buyers of your wares. Outline a list of influencers comprising of bloggers, instagram models, celebs, musicians, YouTube vloggers and any other public figures with a significant social following or online audience. Whilst small influencers might be easily approachable, bigger influencers might be reachable either through their managers or by referrals.
Your remit is to get these influencers and celebs to wear or use your product and then have them share and also mention your brand with their audience.
Photographs are your core collateral as they drive awareness and interest about your brand.
You might have to hire a PR Consultant or PR agency. I especially like the case study on this episode of Shopify Masters (start from 32:00).

2: Video: YouTube & Facebook Video

Video offers significant exposure and opportunity for Fashion ecommerce brands to get in front of their target audience. Here are some of the most effect video marketing tactics to can use now in fashion:

i) Haul videos with YouTube vloggers

Identify Fashion YouTubers with an audience that matches your target demographic. Get in touch with them with the possibility of featuring your products.

ii) Product Feature Videos

Single brand product feature videos with prominent YouTubers are tough to secure but offer the most exposure as your brand is presented to their audience.

iii) Lookbook Videos

Lookbook videos like all other collaborations you make with influencers should be based on the target audience of the vlogger and how well they will pair your products with other brands featured in their lookbook video. There has to be an alignment with the choice of pairing.

 

iv) In-Person Events and Shows with Prominent Fashion Bloggers

ASOS run a #BeautyChat roundtable session with prominent fashion bloggers who come to their studio to discuss

v) Unboxing Videos

If your fashion brand is in the luxury segment, unboxing videos might be a format to consider with YouTubers and vloggers. Unboxers tend to pay special attention to the wrapping and packaging of products and will meticulously untie and present them to their audience. For potential customers, it is the closest way to experience a product  without having to physically handle it.

3: Distribution i.e. Wholesale

A lot of Fashion ecommerce businesses seem to overlook the power of bricks and mortar and online distribution through the right channels. The success of your fashion brand is likely going to ball down to key relationships and distribution deals you are able to secure.

In order to find potential distribution and wholesale deals for your fashion brand into both large and small retail stores, ensure that you attend as many industry trade events like:

  1. Magic (Las Vegas)
  2. Panorama (Berlin)
  3. Pure (London)
  4. Here is a list of fashion trade shows.

Join local or national trade associations to help build your brand among peers and pro-actively seek out potential wholesalers.

Online distribution

Online marketplaces and websites offer ample opportunity to grow your brand. If you are for instance a luxury brand, then consider approaching luxury online department stores such as net-a-porter.com, huckberry.com, mrporter.com, yoox.com, coggles.com, theoutnet.com and brownsfashion.com (there are a tonne of other online shopping platforms with wide audiences).

Marketplaces also offer opportunity for exposing your brand to new audiences. Here are some of the top fashion marketplaces available:

4: Crowdfunding

If you intend to offer a truly unique direct to consumer fashion brand set out to change the industry or the world, crowdfunding should be an option on the table because you are able early adopters and your first true fans will vote with their wallets; and you are able to raise capital.

Minimalist luxury leather bag brand: Linjer raised over $500,000 from Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

USD$360,075 raised on Kickstarter

USD$183,075 raised on Indiegogo

5: Content: Visual, Look Book

LOOKBOOK-CLUSE

Fashion is all about the visuals and your story has to trigger emotive responses that lead to loyal customers. Investing in a lookbook enables you pair up your brand with complementary brands.

Tom Montgomery, the founder of Chubbies, the U.S. based men’s short company that reportedly sold $600,000 worth of American flag shorts in 1 day do not blog – they instead rely on visual content and user generated content to build their brand.

6: Work Visual Social Media

Creating content is not enough – its power comes from distribution. And today’s core distribution channels for fashion brands are inherently visual social media platforms such as: Instagram,  Facebook and Pinterest. Organic reach is a challenge on Facebook but Pinterest and Instagram tend to have strong reach with a decent sized audience and quality content/imagery.

Cyber Monday Starts Now. Link in bio to shop the sale.

A video posted by Herschel Supply Co (@herschelsupply) on

7: Harvest your Audience: Retarget Advertising to Site Visitors & Create Lookalikes Audiences

Re-target users (or potential shoppers) that have visited with your website with highly targeted content and advertising. The two core retargeting platforms are:

  1. Google remarketing – that also feeds into YouTube and
  2. Facebook Custom audiences (by installing a Facebook pixel)

You are also able to upload your customer email list to both Google and Facebook; and their figure out the profiles of emails that they have records on for custom audience targeting

8: PR & Work  onyour Brand Story

Nailing your brand story is essential to connecting with your target audience and customers. Driving in an emotive brand in addition to producing high quality products will ensure customer loyalty over the long term. Tie in your brand story with video and images. Emphasize the craftsmanship, your attention to detail and your WHY.

9: Scalable ROI focused Paid Acquisition

Advertising on the following platforms offer ROI to advertisers and are scalable.

  1. Facebook – targeting audiences based on their interests
  2. YouTube Ads (via AdWords) – audience targeting based on interests
  3. Google Product Ads – the visual adverts on Google’s search results offer higher click through rates and conversions
  4. Instagram and Pinterest – being visual social media platforms with relatively new advertising platforms offer a lot of potential to early adopters.

10: Pop-up Shops

Pop-up shops help bridge the gap between online and offline selling. As a retailer or fashion label, you are able to get direct tangible in-person feedback from your customers and connect with them.

adiddas pop up shop
Adidas pop up shop

A few factors to bear in mind when considering pop-up shops are:

Footfall traffic

You will need a location that is along transitional pedestrian traffic. For example at a major train station, an underground metro station in a city; or in a shopping area.

Quality of traffic

You will also want to investigate the demographic of the footfall traffic to see if they match your target customer. For instance, if I owned a vintage trainers brand, I will not hesitate to  locate a pop-up shop in or around the Shoreditch tube station because it will match my target audience: colourful 20-34 year olds, hip, stylish, street art and graffiti culture.

The CORE metric to focus on…

Regardless of whether you will be actively engaging in SEO or not, the one most important marketing metric to track is ‘brand name’ search volume i.e. the number of searches for your brand each month. This metric is indicative of the effectiveness of your marketing as a whole. You can build upon ‘brand name’ search be extending it from Search to Social mentions and trends reporting.

Totême

Here is an example of a Swedish brand called: Totême. They are minimalist fashion brand established in 2014. They utilise distribution as a core strategy for expanding their brand by listing on net-a-porter, theoutnet.com and norsestore.com.

Totême logo

Totême search volume

mahabis

Here is another relatively new brand – mahabis. They are a London based footwear (slippers) brand founded in 2013, that utilize audience targeted Facebook advertising to grow their brand – there were close to 20,000 searches for their brand name in November 2015. As at the time of writing this post, they had over 235,000 Facebook fans.

mahabis fb ad mahabis search volume

About the author:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

Did You Enjoy Reading this Article?

Get Free Email Updates by Signing Up Below:

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  • Some great ideas for how to grow a fashion brand, however, I disagree with the angle you took to set up this post.

    You demonstrated that fashion is a competitive SEO niche that requires expertise and time to grow your presence. However, this is true of almost every SEO niche with high potential. I also believe these facts hold true for the tactics you are suggesting. For instance isn’t crowdfunding very crowded, especially for fashion brands? Don’t you need to have expertise in crafting a story and casting your vision for the unique value your fashion brand offers?

    SEO is a powerful traffic acquisition source that delivers strong ROI for many businesses in competitive niches. Ignoring SEO from the outset will only remove a valuable source of traffic from your business later down the road.

    • @nathangrimm:disqus Thanks for dropping by. The point I am trying to make stems from conversations I have had with start-up fashion brands thinking SEO is the holy-grail to their success when in fact it really isn’t.
      If you take a close look at top direct-to-consumer fashion brands that have made a dent to their individual niches, you will find that SEO has played a minimal role in their success as compared to other channels and tactics that they have employed to increase the perceived value of their brands and maximise their brand reach.

      Here are five examples:

      1. Herschel Supply Co – founded in 2009, they push a great brand story behind them, have extensive online and offline distribution and have a huge social media presence (read this article: http://business.financialpost.com/news/retail-marketing/how-vancouvers-achingly-hip-herschel-supply-co-backpack-became-so-ubiquitous)

      2. Triangl bikinis – founded in 2012, $60 million revenue. Most of their success can be attributed to influencer marketing and instagram (read this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/brands/triangl-bikinis-a-swimwear-success-story/)

      3. Linjer – the example in my post, have 1 year into business sold $1million worth of bags predominantly through awareness generated from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

      That said, there is certainly a case for SEO when it comes to fashion merchandising i.e. sellers of a wide range of brands and clothing like ASOS, Boohoo, Urbanoutfitters, etc. Even then you could severely limit opportunity with an SEO only approach to business. Organic Google traffic is afterall only one channel.

      • I see where you are coming from – an SEO-only strategy is a bad idea. I would agree with that and expand it to every other marketing channel.

        Marketing, in any form, amplifies who you are (brand, message, values, product, story). If you focus purely on amplification, you’re going to convey an unconvincing message to a lot of people.

        A well-rounded strategy spends more time developing their technology stack, content, brand identity, value proposition, and product. As those things are built up, marketing amplifies them and delivers a compelling message to a lot of people.

        I would argue that the examples you listed did find a marketing tactic that worked wonders for their business, but first they built up a strong brand with a compelling story. I would bet that well-executed marketing campaigns in additional channels would also deliver strong performance for these brands.

Why SEO will NOT Grow your Fashion Ecommerce Business

Posted on 7th December 2015 , by Kunle Campbell in Strategy, Traffic

The Fashion industry is tough and arguably as saturated as the music industry. This is partly because EVERYONE now seems to have a ‘clothing company’…be it a t-shirt business or a fashion ecommerce business. You most likely know at least one owner or founder of a fashion brand or fashion online retail business.  Fashion is so pervasive due to the primary function clothing and design play in our lives on a day-to-day basis. Competition as a result is rife and digital marketing channels such as Search reflect the offline reality of the cut-throat competition in the fashion industry. The best way to illustrate this is with an example….

Maxi dress fashion brand

Let’s imagine you have launched a ladies fashion brand that in your opinion designs the best Maxi Dresses for the 22-34 years old female demographic (all of which are millennials).

Let’s further assume that you are based in the United States and have immediate plans to cater directly to the U.S. and Canada but will be open to fulfilling international orders.

Putting on an SEO hat, you immediately start think about the opportunities that Google has to offer and fire up SEMRush and Google Keyword planner to assess market opportunities.

maxi dresses semrush

So there are on average 165,000 searches for Maxi Dresses (alone) on Google U.S. per month – this is a massive opportunity, you snigger to yourself.

So how does competition translate on the SERPs – Search Engine Result Pages?

You can either buy your way into a market OR organically build a brand  – the better option is to do both.

Here is what the first page of Google looks like for your core term ‘maxi dresses’:

serps maxi dress

You will immediately notice that the top of the fold is dominated by paid AdWords placements of advertisers that are predominantly either NYSE/NASDAQ publicly listed retailers like: Macys, Nordstrom, JC Penney, Kohls, Express, Bebe or reasonably sized private fashion brands.

AdWords math…

Here’s some (very rough and) quick AdWords math showing Average CPC to  be about $1.14 and more importantly deducing that $38 will be your estimated cost per acquisition (CPA):

cpa maxi dressses

The above table (which is a simplified computation), reveals that it will cost your business $38 to acquire a customer. So if your maxi dresses retail at $99 on average, you have $61 left to cover your remaining overheads.

You will most likely not make a profit on a first time purchase of a single dress; and will either have to figure out ways of increasing Average Order Value (AOV) from each sales sent via AdWords or/and increase customer Life Time Value (LTV) so you start to make a decent profit from their second and subsequent orders.

Organic SERPs listing

Looking at the Page 1 SEO results in almost all competitive ecommerce market segments, the organic SERPs listings tend to have either or both the following characteristics:

  1. Most online stores listed belong to well funded companies that can afford to deliver exceptional user experience, deploy highly optimal technical SEO and have an effective means of promoting their brand (marketing and PR)
  2. Range also seems to matter – the wider the range your ecommerce store offers, the more likely traffic sent to your site will ‘stick’ as shoppers browse through your catalog.

organic SERPs maxi dresses

The above image shows the organic search results on Google U.S. (generated by SEMRush) for our head-term ‘maxi dresses’ – notice the trend? The websites listed are either owned by publicly traded companies or private companies with an extensive range or long history of trading.

If you decided to use SEO as a driver for growth for your fashion ecommerce business, the question is whether your company can deliver a wide enough range to compete in addition to getting the other two fundamentals right i.e.

  1. Sound technical SEO (Google’s technical compliance for indexation, crawlability and well keyword targeted pages)
  2. An identifiable ‘maxi dresses’ brand built through PR/online PR and marketing
  3. Delivering a superior user experience for shoppers that keeps them on your site longer than your industry’s benchmark average time on site.

If it can, then it will take time; 12 months will be a typical minimum, if you go full-on with executing the above.

Growth hacks to expand your fashion brand

Depending on the amount of capital or marketing budget your fashion brand has to either launch or expand, the following strategies should be considered and will loop back into the brand building elements required for your overarching SEO strategy:

1: Influencer Marketing & Celebrity Endorsements

The key here is to align your brand values and target demographic with the key influencers that can tap into audiences likely to be buyers of your wares. Outline a list of influencers comprising of bloggers, instagram models, celebs, musicians, YouTube vloggers and any other public figures with a significant social following or online audience. Whilst small influencers might be easily approachable, bigger influencers might be reachable either through their managers or by referrals.
Your remit is to get these influencers and celebs to wear or use your product and then have them share and also mention your brand with their audience.
Photographs are your core collateral as they drive awareness and interest about your brand.
You might have to hire a PR Consultant or PR agency. I especially like the case study on this episode of Shopify Masters (start from 32:00).

2: Video: YouTube & Facebook Video

Video offers significant exposure and opportunity for Fashion ecommerce brands to get in front of their target audience. Here are some of the most effect video marketing tactics to can use now in fashion:

i) Haul videos with YouTube vloggers

Identify Fashion YouTubers with an audience that matches your target demographic. Get in touch with them with the possibility of featuring your products.

ii) Product Feature Videos

Single brand product feature videos with prominent YouTubers are tough to secure but offer the most exposure as your brand is presented to their audience.

iii) Lookbook Videos

Lookbook videos like all other collaborations you make with influencers should be based on the target audience of the vlogger and how well they will pair your products with other brands featured in their lookbook video. There has to be an alignment with the choice of pairing.

 

iv) In-Person Events and Shows with Prominent Fashion Bloggers

ASOS run a #BeautyChat roundtable session with prominent fashion bloggers who come to their studio to discuss

v) Unboxing Videos

If your fashion brand is in the luxury segment, unboxing videos might be a format to consider with YouTubers and vloggers. Unboxers tend to pay special attention to the wrapping and packaging of products and will meticulously untie and present them to their audience. For potential customers, it is the closest way to experience a product  without having to physically handle it.

3: Distribution i.e. Wholesale

A lot of Fashion ecommerce businesses seem to overlook the power of bricks and mortar and online distribution through the right channels. The success of your fashion brand is likely going to ball down to key relationships and distribution deals you are able to secure.

In order to find potential distribution and wholesale deals for your fashion brand into both large and small retail stores, ensure that you attend as many industry trade events like:

  1. Magic (Las Vegas)
  2. Panorama (Berlin)
  3. Pure (London)
  4. Here is a list of fashion trade shows.

Join local or national trade associations to help build your brand among peers and pro-actively seek out potential wholesalers.

Online distribution

Online marketplaces and websites offer ample opportunity to grow your brand. If you are for instance a luxury brand, then consider approaching luxury online department stores such as net-a-porter.com, huckberry.com, mrporter.com, yoox.com, coggles.com, theoutnet.com and brownsfashion.com (there are a tonne of other online shopping platforms with wide audiences).

Marketplaces also offer opportunity for exposing your brand to new audiences. Here are some of the top fashion marketplaces available:

4: Crowdfunding

If you intend to offer a truly unique direct to consumer fashion brand set out to change the industry or the world, crowdfunding should be an option on the table because you are able early adopters and your first true fans will vote with their wallets; and you are able to raise capital.

Minimalist luxury leather bag brand: Linjer raised over $500,000 from Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

USD$360,075 raised on Kickstarter

USD$183,075 raised on Indiegogo

5: Content: Visual, Look Book

LOOKBOOK-CLUSE

Fashion is all about the visuals and your story has to trigger emotive responses that lead to loyal customers. Investing in a lookbook enables you pair up your brand with complementary brands.

Tom Montgomery, the founder of Chubbies, the U.S. based men’s short company that reportedly sold $600,000 worth of American flag shorts in 1 day do not blog – they instead rely on visual content and user generated content to build their brand.

6: Work Visual Social Media

Creating content is not enough – its power comes from distribution. And today’s core distribution channels for fashion brands are inherently visual social media platforms such as: Instagram,  Facebook and Pinterest. Organic reach is a challenge on Facebook but Pinterest and Instagram tend to have strong reach with a decent sized audience and quality content/imagery.

Cyber Monday Starts Now. Link in bio to shop the sale.

A video posted by Herschel Supply Co (@herschelsupply) on

7: Harvest your Audience: Retarget Advertising to Site Visitors & Create Lookalikes Audiences

Re-target users (or potential shoppers) that have visited with your website with highly targeted content and advertising. The two core retargeting platforms are:

  1. Google remarketing – that also feeds into YouTube and
  2. Facebook Custom audiences (by installing a Facebook pixel)

You are also able to upload your customer email list to both Google and Facebook; and their figure out the profiles of emails that they have records on for custom audience targeting

8: PR & Work  onyour Brand Story

Nailing your brand story is essential to connecting with your target audience and customers. Driving in an emotive brand in addition to producing high quality products will ensure customer loyalty over the long term. Tie in your brand story with video and images. Emphasize the craftsmanship, your attention to detail and your WHY.

9: Scalable ROI focused Paid Acquisition

Advertising on the following platforms offer ROI to advertisers and are scalable.

  1. Facebook – targeting audiences based on their interests
  2. YouTube Ads (via AdWords) – audience targeting based on interests
  3. Google Product Ads – the visual adverts on Google’s search results offer higher click through rates and conversions
  4. Instagram and Pinterest – being visual social media platforms with relatively new advertising platforms offer a lot of potential to early adopters.

10: Pop-up Shops

Pop-up shops help bridge the gap between online and offline selling. As a retailer or fashion label, you are able to get direct tangible in-person feedback from your customers and connect with them.

adiddas pop up shop
Adidas pop up shop

A few factors to bear in mind when considering pop-up shops are:

Footfall traffic

You will need a location that is along transitional pedestrian traffic. For example at a major train station, an underground metro station in a city; or in a shopping area.

Quality of traffic

You will also want to investigate the demographic of the footfall traffic to see if they match your target customer. For instance, if I owned a vintage trainers brand, I will not hesitate to  locate a pop-up shop in or around the Shoreditch tube station because it will match my target audience: colourful 20-34 year olds, hip, stylish, street art and graffiti culture.

The CORE metric to focus on…

Regardless of whether you will be actively engaging in SEO or not, the one most important marketing metric to track is ‘brand name’ search volume i.e. the number of searches for your brand each month. This metric is indicative of the effectiveness of your marketing as a whole. You can build upon ‘brand name’ search be extending it from Search to Social mentions and trends reporting.

Totême

Here is an example of a Swedish brand called: Totême. They are minimalist fashion brand established in 2014. They utilise distribution as a core strategy for expanding their brand by listing on net-a-porter, theoutnet.com and norsestore.com.

Totême logo

Totême search volume

mahabis

Here is another relatively new brand – mahabis. They are a London based footwear (slippers) brand founded in 2013, that utilize audience targeted Facebook advertising to grow their brand – there were close to 20,000 searches for their brand name in November 2015. As at the time of writing this post, they had over 235,000 Facebook fans.

mahabis fb ad mahabis search volume

About the author:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

Did You Enjoy Reading this Article?

Get Free Email Updates by Signing Up Below:

  • Some great ideas for how to grow a fashion brand, however, I disagree with the angle you took to set up this post.

    You demonstrated that fashion is a competitive SEO niche that requires expertise and time to grow your presence. However, this is true of almost every SEO niche with high potential. I also believe these facts hold true for the tactics you are suggesting. For instance isn’t crowdfunding very crowded, especially for fashion brands? Don’t you need to have expertise in crafting a story and casting your vision for the unique value your fashion brand offers?

    SEO is a powerful traffic acquisition source that delivers strong ROI for many businesses in competitive niches. Ignoring SEO from the outset will only remove a valuable source of traffic from your business later down the road.

    • @nathangrimm:disqus Thanks for dropping by. The point I am trying to make stems from conversations I have had with start-up fashion brands thinking SEO is the holy-grail to their success when in fact it really isn’t.
      If you take a close look at top direct-to-consumer fashion brands that have made a dent to their individual niches, you will find that SEO has played a minimal role in their success as compared to other channels and tactics that they have employed to increase the perceived value of their brands and maximise their brand reach.

      Here are five examples:

      1. Herschel Supply Co – founded in 2009, they push a great brand story behind them, have extensive online and offline distribution and have a huge social media presence (read this article: http://business.financialpost.com/news/retail-marketing/how-vancouvers-achingly-hip-herschel-supply-co-backpack-became-so-ubiquitous)

      2. Triangl bikinis – founded in 2012, $60 million revenue. Most of their success can be attributed to influencer marketing and instagram (read this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/brands/triangl-bikinis-a-swimwear-success-story/)

      3. Linjer – the example in my post, have 1 year into business sold $1million worth of bags predominantly through awareness generated from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

      That said, there is certainly a case for SEO when it comes to fashion merchandising i.e. sellers of a wide range of brands and clothing like ASOS, Boohoo, Urbanoutfitters, etc. Even then you could severely limit opportunity with an SEO only approach to business. Organic Google traffic is afterall only one channel.

      • I see where you are coming from – an SEO-only strategy is a bad idea. I would agree with that and expand it to every other marketing channel.

        Marketing, in any form, amplifies who you are (brand, message, values, product, story). If you focus purely on amplification, you’re going to convey an unconvincing message to a lot of people.

        A well-rounded strategy spends more time developing their technology stack, content, brand identity, value proposition, and product. As those things are built up, marketing amplifies them and delivers a compelling message to a lot of people.

        I would argue that the examples you listed did find a marketing tactic that worked wonders for their business, but first they built up a strong brand with a compelling story. I would bet that well-executed marketing campaigns in additional channels would also deliver strong performance for these brands.

eCommerce Marketing Growth Hacks 

UPCOMING WEBINAR:
November 21st 4:30pm GMT / 11:30am EST
with Kunle
Campbell

Facebook Funnels for Ecommerce that CONVERT

Register now

2X eCommerce Podcast

Kunle interviews Founders of Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retail Business & E-commerce Marketing Experts

View podcasts

Download your free ebook

More

The eCommerce Marketing Blueprint