Achieving the right fashion website design can be difficult. However, it is attainable with proper planning, incorporating specific UX practices along with sleek back-end functionality. As a specialist fashion website design agency, ID Studio have great experience working with fantastic brands such as Ralph Lauren along with small startups trying to make their mark and enter the market. This blog aims to provide businesses operating within the fashion industry with some insights into enhancing your website experience and how to help propel your business online.
Researching your competition should hold true for any business, not just for fashion-related website design. There is always something new to learn, by looking at your competitors that are doing well you can gain great insights. Review their entire purchasing process, this will involve selecting products, registering, right through to the final payment option. Note down the process, see what works well, what can be improved upon and any smart user experience (UX) they might offer.
Make sure that you work with your web design agency of choice with regard to the user experience. Some areas that you need to consider might include:
Simple navigation – Allow your site visitors to navigate and find products easily, ideally with one click. Keep it simple and consistent.
Product search – Make it easy for visitors to find your products, by adding a search option you can help facilitate this process.
Core information – If people cannot find the core information they are looking for, they will find it on a competitor's site and potentially buy from them.
Purchasing process – Fashion websites need to compensate for the fact that people can’t simply pick up the products and feel them, try them on etc. Provide your site visitors with the options to compare, view different colours, sizes etc.
Checkout process – This needs to be made short and simple, if it is too longwinded, potential customers will drop out. Allow for guest checkout as well, not everyone wants to sign up!
Sticky navigation – Sticky navigation is a term used to describe a fixed navigation menu on a webpage that remains visible and in the same position as the user scrolls down and moves around a site. Sticky navigation works best with fashion retail, e-commerce and other types of ‘actionable’ sites where the owner intends a specific action, such as a click to purchase a product.
Options – Provide your customers with options. By restricting what they can see, compare, payment methods etc you are likely to increase dropouts.
Security and trust – If you are selling fashion items online, then security will play a big factor. If your site visitors feel the site is insecure in any way, it is highly unlikely they will make a purchase. Some of the areas you should look at will be security certificates such as SSL (Secure Socket Layers), secure and trusted payment gateways that people have heard of, include your contact information, terms and conditions, refund policy, testimonials and any endorsements.
Payment methods – Some people don’t want to use their credit card, others dislike PayPal, some are just fussy. By providing several options it is more likely that you will satisfy your potential customer needs.
Loyalty Programs – You have done the hard work and gained customers, it is vital that you retain them and keep them buying from you. Your fashion website needs to turn your customers into loyal repeat customers. By creating a loyalty program that rewards your repeat customers, you can help strengthen this process. Loyalty program schemes can include collecting points, partnering, games etc.
Promotions – Keep your website fresh and visitors eager with regular promotions. As a fashion-related company, one option could be to update your website with seasonal promotions.
Newsletters – This is a must for any fashion web design company. It provides an opportunity to communicate with past and potential customers, promote your fashion items and keeping your brand fresh in people’s minds.
Powerful CMS to keep your site updated and fresh – The fashion industry is a constantly changing market and your website needs to reflect this. By having a powerful content management system, using open-source technology will provide you with the ability to update your site in real-time without the need or expense of a third party.
Search google for fashion design websites, you will see that the majority of them make use of image carousels. Using carousels is a great way to visually and emotively promote your business, by strategically placing professional photography on the home page you can immediately try to engross visitors. First impressions count, make sure imagery is clear, professional and tailored towards your target market.
Professional Fashion Photography – Fashion is a very visual market and potential customers want to be able to view and appreciate what they are purchasing. This is especially important if the transaction is being made online. Make sure your photography rocks!
Content and communication are King - Not only will well-written content help your fashion website with regards to search engine rankings, but it will also help you communicate with your site visitors. Unlike a fashion retail outlet, site visitors are not able to feel the fabric, closely inspect the stitching and lining, view the emblems etc. It is important that you work with your fashion web designer to ensure that this information is communicated through your website. This can be done through a mixture of professional photography and descriptive content.
During the initial brainstorming and wireframing process, you should be working with your selected fashion web design agency to create a strong, obvious and constant call to action triggers throughout the website.
Clear policies such as returns – To further create an atmosphere of trust, clearly state your terms and policies to help reduce any hesitation in buying. Potential customers need to know that they are not going to be ripped off and their money is safe.
Live chat – Including functionality such as live chat is a great way to interact with your customers and keep them on your website. It provides your website with the ability to promote your fashion items, answer any queries and help convert visitors into paying customers. The only downside is that having live chat is time-consuming and is pointless if it is always closed.
Around the clock and professional support – Fashion is a competitive market (unless you have a monopoly or a very niche product), if you do not provide quick and meaningful support it is easy to lose customers. Make sure your response time is quick and meaningful. Having twenty-four-hour support is more important if you are an international business operating throughout the world in different time zones. By providing fantastic support you will increase the chances of repeat business, improve your reputation and help convert visitors.
If you would like to discuss your fashion web design needs or have any questions, please call Michael on 020 8948 5808 or complete our contact form.
Some of our recent fashion web design clients we have and continue to work with are outlined below.
For Ralph Lauren, we built a module that allowed for the creation landing pages.
Thorsager is a stunning new modern, contemporary, ecommerce fashion brand. The clothing is inspired by Scandinavian and normcore styles.
Created the designs and concepts for this hair and makeup professionals business.