How to best use your b2b web shop
How are you getting your clothing into stores? Do you sell through your own branded store or do you also establish relationships with retailers or distributors? Are agents important for you? Have you thought about online retail for wholesale?
There are so many ways of getting your collection in the wardrobes of your consumers but what are the best ways for your brand? Some brands have set themselves strict guidelines on wanting to have a one-to-one, a direct relationship with their final customers thus only selling through their own brand stores, whereas other brands are happy to showcase their collections in retail stores next to other brands.
If you aren’t set yet on the ways in which to sell your clothing items, we would like to talk about how to use your own b2b online shop for catering to retailers.
How to use your own b2b online shop
In case you have many different retailers or are aiming for establishing relationships with many different retailers, it will become difficult to treat them all individually. You think you might need a big sales or customer support force to keep the contact with the retailers, to present your collection and to accept the purchases but this need not be the case. Nowadays, we are all used to shopping online or using online platforms for any other transaction, so that when it comes to business we can act just the same way. In fact, as we have heard, many retailers would love to have the chance to see the catalogue on their own and to be able to easily order without having to fill out long forms or sending emails back and forth with a sales representative of a brand.
We would thus like to introduce the idea of a self-service online b2b shop to you. A place where your retailers can shop just as if they were final customers, filling their baskets with the various items of your collection, editing the physical shipping address and paying up front through credit card if that is what you prefer. We have covered how to set up your b2b online store and how to use marketplaces to serve customers and would now like to go into more detail on how to successfully use this b2b online shop.
SEO for your fashion b2b website
Search Engine Optimization means optimizing your website so that it is ranked on prominent search engines such as Google, Bing or Yandex for Russia, Baidu for China and Naver for South Korea.
You want to be well ranked on these search engines so that possible prospects can find your website and not your competitor’s. First of all, you need to define what concepts are most important for you. What shall someone search for so as to be directed to your site? These searches are referred to as keywords and this is your very first starting points: For which keywords do I want my website to be ranked? Here, you should take into consideration a keyword’s search volume (how many people are searching for it), the relevance with your offer (how likely someone who searches for this, is to purchase something from your site) but also the competition (how likely it is that you might rank number 1 for this keyword). Imagine you are a fashion brand selling children’s clothing – The most obvious search keyword could be “children’s clothing brand”. it probably has a high search volume (many people looking for this) and is very relevant since your brand does exactly this, children’s clothing, yet it is very competitive. There are already a lot of people in the game, who want their websites to be shown in the first rankings for this search so if you are just starting out, you might want to look for another set of keywords.
This is only the beginning and Search Engine Optimization – all you can do on your website (onpage) and outsite of it (offite) to improve your ranking – and we will dedicate a whole article to this soon.
PPC – Online advertisement to attract visitors
PPC is the acronym for pay per click, it is online advertisement, that can come in various forms but is always paid by the click. Unlike advertisement in a magazine, where you hope to reach the most views, here your goal is to bring the viewers to site and you pay only in the case someone comes through to your web site.
We would distinguish PPC in three forms: Search, Display and Remarketing.
Search advertisement is done on search engines such as Google or Bing and an ad is served depending on the searches of the prospect. If you sell children’s clothing the people searching for ‘children’s clothing wholesale’ might be of interest to you. Here you could opt to show your advertisement (a title, a short description and a link to your site) bidding on the keyword ‘children’s clothing wholesale’.
Display advertisement is like a traditional advertisement campaign in a magazine or newspaper but much easier and faster to put into place. The main difference to search advertisement is here that your prospect is not searching anything and that you do not know their intent. You can place display advertisement based on the location so you could chose different industry magazines, which your prospects might be likely to read.
The last of the three is remarketing and comes into place when someone has already visited your webshop. Imagine someone was on your site, put items in their basket and then left. With remarketing you can retarget this audience, showing a banner or text advertisement to them, offering a coupon or a picture or phrase to capture their attention and bring them back to your website.
PPC can be done on a wide array of platforms, of which Google Adwords is probably the most interesting one. On Facebook another interesting aspect comes into play, the segmentation of your audience and the exact targeting based on the interest specified and the behavior displayed on Facebook. In the case of b2b marketing, this might be a bit tricky to make use of but for b2b marketing, it is an incredibly interesting pool of information.
Email Marketing to stay at the top of mind
Depending on the country and the regulation, a direct way of getting your prospects attention is email marketing. If cold calling has worked for you, calling up the buyer at the retail store of your choice, cold emailing might be just as effective. You build the email lists yourself and based on your target group should segment and customize them just as if you would when writing an email yourself. The more relevant the message, the more likely are your prospects to react. Since email is just the start in, you want to direct your recipients to your collections’ page where they can view the current products or upcoming products you have on offer, the conditions and maybe even the prices so as to get a good idea of what you could offer them.
Email Marketing is a whole world for itself and we will cover it in more detail, giving you insights into best practices, into landing pages to convert from prospect to leads as well as tools to get you started, in another post. If you want to never miss an update from FashionTrade.com, why don’t you sign up on for our newsletter list?
Referral & Influencer Marketing
In the sphere of b2c marketing, influencer marketing plays a very important role for companies that are just starting out as it is a way of gaining trust, of being referred to from another entity like spokesperson or blogger. Why – you wonder – is trust even important? It’s just about making a purchase. Well, with so much competition out there and many online sites, having a reputable web shop and creating trust is crucial. We have dedicated a whole blogpost to building trust online which you can read here.
These online marketing channels are all very important for increasing the sales on your own webshop, another option is using already existing infrastructure of marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay or Rakuten. These platforms and marketing on them, have their very own set of rules, their advantages but also disadvantages. We have created an overview of what a marketplace actually is and how you can most effectively use them for fashion retailing.
So much information to read!