Tips and Trends in Fashion eCommerce

In a digital world with so many choices on where to exert your effort and budget, the question for DTC is really where you should be spending your time and what channels – new or old – can deliver the desired results. Smaller brands cannot be everywhere all the time nor do they have unlimited cash. In mid-September at the Chicago eCommerce Summit, I had the opportunity to discuss challenges and trends with three entrepreneurial fashion direct-to-consumer marketers: Dana Todd, CEO,, Meagen Johnson, SVP Marketing, and Germaine Caprio, Owner/Designer,

While it sounds like everyone spends all their time on social, these women, across vastly different business models, all depend on strong SEO & paid search as a bedrock of their advertising. Email continues to be a workhorse but pending changes to privacy will challenge the use and results in the coming years. So what opportunities should fashion online retailers be looking towards when steadfast channels are challenged?

What’s Old is New Again

As brand recognition becomes more and more difficult across Google and crowded social platforms, our panelists agreed that Content continues to push each brand’s message to the right audience. For, their marketplace of boutique sellers attracts passionate purchasers from young to old, with a primary segment of young women who love to share themselves wearing/using items they’ve purchased at across channels.

Connected TV: Balodana is targeting audiences on Hulu. Dana shared that “OTT” (over the top) streaming content ads give you the benefits of testing discrete audience profiles like you do with web & mobile ads, down to lifestyle and behaviors, plus the added bonus of being delivered in a non-cluttered, non-skippable experience. For brands and campaigns that rely on storytelling, it’s a unique way to have “TV ads” without the waste.

Retail stores: Pop-ups and trunk shows have been used successfully and are once again under consideration as the U.S. economy opens up. Majamas will be adding two stores in 2022 in the Chicago area after stepping away from bricks & mortar two years ago.

Samples: Before committing to or making a custom garment, an actual fabric sample can seal the deal.

Print: While email boxes and social feeds are overflowing, mailboxes are not. The quality of your images on paper surpasses digital. With the right planning and budget, print can prove out to improve repurchase rates of customers and feed acquisition of more customers like them.

Social Commerce as the New Affiliate Marketing

Everyone has seen their Facebook ad results plummet. With the downfall in tracking and results from recent iOS14 changes, the strongest frontier to jump into now is social commerce on Facebook and Instagram. participated as a beta for Facebook and it truly offers the customer a frictionless chance to buy right then and there.

On its heels is Live Shopping on Facebook and Instagram. Create your own “home shopping” experience, allowing viewers of your live-stream to click through and purchase. Afterwards, turn your live-streams into an on-demand program, but remember to include time-sensitive offers to incite action.

Fueling growth – and our planet – with Sustainability

For Majamas, sustainability is woven into every aspect of their business, and Germaine is passionate to raise our awareness as industry participants. Majamas’ clothing is organic, recycled, reclaimed and sewn in the US. As per Forbes, of all fashion produced, 30% of it is over-produced, creating excess. Fabric production and garment production accounts for 20% of the world’s waste water. To sum it up, our fashion addiction is one of the harshest on our environment.

On-demand and custom clothing are one solution Balodana embraces. While sourcing globally, custom made to order items create a lower impact on the environment and are retained longer.

Although it seemingly takes forever, public understanding and sentiment is beginning to show up via buyer habits. 72% of Millennials and 62% of Gen Zers want sustainable clothing and both say they will pay more for it (Forbes). Additional trends with these key demographics include upcycled products (new products created from trash; example, plastic bottles recycled into materials for clothing) and buying secondhand clothing from a variety of outlets.

Where does that leave, unabashedlly instilled in the fast fashion space? Meagen shared, “we are seeking more brands committed tot he sustainability and urge our sellers to pay attention to their production and packaging practises.” Brands can contine to diminish their carbon footprint by thiunking through their packaing materials and prcatises, aw well as sizing to minimize returns and dicards.

Apparel faces challenges to revenue alongside sustainability from returns. With the huge lack of clarity and uniformity in sizing globally, fashion continues to see the highest return rates in eCommerce due to fit, and lingerie – particularly bras – rank among the highest. 60% of buyers are bracketing (ordering two different sizes of the same item in order to return the one that doesn’t fit). This is problematic for sellers, as well as increases shipping waste with each return. “This is an issue that we are collaborating with the IEEE to develop body measurement and sizing standards, to help makers deliver a proper fit to consumers,” shares Dana. “One key metric slowing down the process? No one can agree on where your waist is!”

All brands warn against “greenwashing.” The long-term damage when your brand will ultimately be unveiled heavily outweighs being transparent in your markeing & communication with customers.

To sum it up, we all agree, “when one door closes, another opens.” As frustrating as it is to experience some demise in social ads and email, there are new and fresh spins for brands to explore and engage your target audience. Jump on board with social commerce if you haven’t already and focus on providing content for and by your customers. Know your mission and be true to it. And have a great Q4!