Without customers, it is impossible to successfully run a fashion business no matter how good your products are. Customers are the lifeblood of any business and returning customers keep the business going.
Last week, we reviewed a video by Ada-Uju or Stitchadress on sewing habits that are affecting your income and growth, and this week, we reviewed a video by Beth Fayemi on ’15 Strategies to Retain Customers, Build Customer Loyalty, and Get Them to Buy Again’. In it, she highlighted ways fashion brands can retain customers in the brand.
The video aims to help fashion entrepreneurs know what strategies to take to take to keep new customers glued to their fashion brands and make old customers loyal to their brand.
This video review will cover;
- useful points fashion entrepreneurs can learn from,
- important points missed out,
- the relevance of the information provided to fashion entrepreneurs.
We used the opinions of Eli Okubanjo of Eki Oris Fashion Company to further buttress the points.
7 Ways To Retain Customers in Your Fashion Business.
1. Work on Customer Complaints and Your Customer Service.
As your fashion brand begins to grow, there will be negative reviews and complaints from customers. You need to assure customers that you are taking note of these and working on them.
This shows them that you are more interested in pleasing them than in making money which, in turn, helps you build brand credibility and trust. When customers know that the complaints they make will be taken seriously and worked on, they will keep coming back to your brand.
See how best your brand can improve on your flaws, provide the best support to customers, work on negative feedback, and show the customer that you care.
Also, working on your customer service can greatly help you retain customers. If you have amazing fashion products, but bad customer service, customers will keep coming and going. You need to work on your customer service and make sure it is topnotch and watch customers stay with your brand.
When your customer service is great, even if another fashion brand has better products than yours, customers will want to stay with you.
2. Create Referral and Loyalty Programs.
Referral programs are programs that are set up to get customers to refer your brand to others in exchange for something your brand will give them. In your fashion brand, you need to reward customers that refer you to other people.
This is important because it makes customers more eager to tell others about your brand. It could be by giving them a link or referral code to have customers use when they are referred to your brand by other customers.
This will get customers to stay with your brand and invite others to become customers of your brand.
“Some of the ways I retain customers in my fashion business while still getting new ones include customer loyalty programs and incentivizing customers with referral programs.” – Eki Okubanjo.
A referral program is a lot different from referral programs because loyalty programs are set up for loyal customers that have bought your fashion products multiple times. These customers are loyal and you want to avoid anything that will make them switch to another brand.
Creating a loyalty program will help these loyal customers stay in your brand. For example, you can create a loyalty card that has 10 punches in it and once those punches are filled out, you can give them access to any product they need, a massive discount, coupon codes, or any other thing that might interest them.
A loyalty program makes customers eager to keep coming back to your brand because everyone loves free things and loves to get value for their money.
3. Surprise Your Customers and Entice Them with Gifts.
Imagine you purchase something from a brand a few times and then on your birthday they surprise you with a gift – it will make you want to go back to patronise that brand because you feel loved.
Try as much as possible to get important information from your customers that you can use to pass messages across to them. You can send them emails on their birthdays or even deliver something to their doorstep.
Surprising your customers is something that will make them loyal to your fashion brand and build trust in them. Once you surprise them, they will want to refer you to other people.
Enticing new customers with gifts is also a great way to make them come back. When a new customer makes an order, you can gift them 5 per cent or 10 per cent off their next order to entice them to come back. You can also go the route of putting something extra in their package.
4. Improve in Your Products and Give Discounts to Returning Customers Only.
When customers buy from your brand and each time they come back they see improvements in your products, it makes them want to come back because they see growth. Everybody wants to associate with growth, so, when you grow in your business they want to grow with you.
When customers see the quality of your fashion products improve year in, year out, they will what to stay because they see improvements always. Whenever you improve your fashion products, communicate with your customers so they see it and know it.
Also, make it known that you are giving discounts to returning customers only for a certain period. This will not only entice new customers to make their first purchase, but it will also entice old customers to come back.
5. Under Promise and Over Deliver.
This is important because many fashion brands like to over promise and under deliver and this makes customers discouraged and not want to go back to such brands. As a fashion brand, try to under-promise, this does not mean selling yourself short, it just means telling them what your brand does and then over-delivering on that to them.
When you over-deliver on promises, it blows customers minds and they get attracted to your fashion brand. Always try to communicate what you offer to your clients as simply as possible but do not over-promise, and then when it’s time to deliver, do extra.
6. Follow Up and Figure Out Why They are Leaving.
Following up is a very crucial way to keep customers in your brand. This is because customers always want to say something and always want to feel loved.
You need to try your best to follow up on customers – especially first time customers – after they purchase something from your fashion brand.
“I also constantly show appreciation to my customers and do after sales follow up on customers after they purchase an item from my brand.” – Eki Okubanjo.
Also, customers always have reasons for leaving a fashion brand. You can ask customers that did not return to patronise your fashion brand after the first time(s) politely why they have not come back and get their honest feedback.
If they give complaints, you can find ways to work on their complaints so future customers do not also leave after trying you out a few times.
7. Build an Email List and Create a Communications Calendar.
It is very easy to get email addresses from customers by asking for it alongside their order. When you have their email addresses, you can add it to your mailing list so you can send them emails periodically about promotions, new products, and so on in your brand.
This makes it easier for customers to remember your brand when next they want to purchase a fashion item your offer.
“Another thing I do is keep my customers informed about my products, discount etc., by sending targeted messages to them via email, text messages, WhatsApp or even by putting a call through to them.” – Eki Okubanjo.
A communications calendar, as the name implies, is a calendar for communication. What this means is that you create a calendar where you input your customers’ details and schedule when you want to reach out to them.
This means that you plan when you will reach out to customers that bought from your brand one month ago, two months ago, or even one year ago. This helps keep you at the top of mind of your customers.
It could be via emails, Instagram direct messages, Facebook messages, and so on. The message could be to just greet them or inform them about a new product or promotion going on in your brand.
Important Points Missed Out
1. Make Your Buying Process Easier and Reduce Wait Time.
No one likes to pass through long processes to make just one purchase. When your buying process is easy and user-friendly, it encourages customers to make more purchases.
As much as possible, look for ways to simplify the processes customers pass through to make purchases from your fashion brand. In simplifying the processes, find ways to along reduce the time customers have to wait to get their orders as no customer wants to wait for long to receive the fashion products they ordered from your fashion brand.
As much as possible, reduce the time customers have to wait to receive products they have ordered from your brand. Don’t make them wait a month to get their bespoke outfits, or wait two weeks to get a ready-to-wear outfit or a pair of shoes from your brand.
Cut out any unnecessary processes that make customers’ orders take long to get to them.
The Usefulness of the Information to Fashion Entrepreneurs
All of the strategies highlighted in the video are quite useful and very practicable for upcoming and established fashion brands. Fashion entrepreneurs can begin to get customers coming back to their brands by putting these strategies into practice.