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How Apparel Companies Can Leverage Reviews to Drive Traffic and Sales

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Two Takeaways from our Apparel Webinar

Today, according to Forrester Research, only 15% of apparel is purchased online. But as more and more consumers crave the convenience of browsing and shopping for just about everything online, the number of people shopping for apparel online is expected to grow. Amazon’s expansion into the online retail space will likely accelerate this growth. According to a Morgan Stanley report, Amazon currently has a 7% market share of the apparel industry, but by 2020 that number is predicted to climb to 19%.

During our recent monthly webinar, I shared five recommendations for apparel brands and retailers looking to leverage reviews in order to provide a differentiated experience to today’s information-hungry shoppers and avoid losing market share to Amazon. Read on for two of those recommendations.

Allow Consumers to Submit Photos and Video
According to a survey from Body Labs, 23% of all clothing gets returned, and 64% of consumers say “incorrect fit” is the major reason for the return. In addition to collecting text reviews, encourage your shoppers to submit photos and videos of the products they’ve recently purchased. Seeing images and videos of a product on a real person will allow future shoppers to understand how an apparel item fits on different body types, so they know what to expect when the item arrives. In addition, user-submitted photos and videos can also spark ideas for different ways to accessorize a piece of clothing, leading to more multi-item transactions.

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If you don’t provide shoppers access to user-submitted photos and videos, they’re less likely to convert. A recent PowerReviews study found that 40% of Centennials (age 13-18) won’t purchase a product if there are no photos of people using the product. And if they do convert, there’s a good chance they’ll return the item once it arrives on their doorstep.

40% of Centennials won't purchase a product if there are no photos of people using it. Click To Tweet

 

Generate Content Quickly
Apparel merchandise often moves on and off the shelves quickly, due to seasons changing or styles going in and out of fashion. For example, in most parts of the country, heavy winter jackets are only sold a few months of the year. Since reviews play a powerful role in driving traffic and conversion, it’s key for apparel brands and retailers to generate quality reviews as quickly as possible.

PowerReviews data has found that around 60% of reviews are written as a result of a post purchase email, which asks customers to review items they’ve recently purchased. So be sure to send a mobile-friendly post purchase email to all consumers who make a purchase.

In addition, while longer reviews provide valuable insights for shoppers and businesses alike, there’s great value in shorter reviews too, especially for products with a short shelf live. Simply asking a shopper “Why Did You Buy?” immediately after purchase will provide you with additional content to drive traffic, sales, and insights.

Missed Our Apparel Webinar?
Did you miss our recent webinar on the importance of reviews for apparel brands and retailers? Hear all the tips I shared by watching the on-demand session.

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Arit Cummings

Arit has a background in client success in the online space. She’s currently responsible for the success of PowerReviews clients, taking a consultative approach to relationship management. Previously with Cappex.com, she lead the client service initiatives and advised clients on marketing and recruitment strategies. Arit has held positions creating and editing user generated content for several websites and… Read more »