As we’ve seen, online shopping is continuing to be buoyant against a mostly gloomy high street environment.
That is not to say it is not being affected by the economic downturn, let’s face it, what’s not, but it certainly seems to be sailing calmer seas.
If we consider the positive state of play for online sales, it could be the result of the very same factor that’s negatively impacting footfall on the high street – the current economic climate. It’s widely acknowledged that businesses, now more than ever, need to adapt to consumer demand. The savvier shoppers are coming up trumps by finding great deals – online – and retailers need to respond to this by being competitive, and that includes in marketing to consumers.
So to stay ahead of the game, what are the cleverest of us doing? The answer isn’t in upping the ante with simple ad words, which can be untargeted, but in seeking innovative and sophisticated new approaches that are part of a journey. This journey is incredibly focused: directly communicating with your consumers, then leading them through an enjoyable brand engagement to finally converting the investment into tangible sales.
The innovative approach I’m referencing is affiliate marketing: the partnering with cutting-edge shopping search sites, which enhance brand presence, navigate consumers and drive sales via an additional consumer shopper channel. Furthermore, it’s measureable with click-through, usage and conversion rates.
This kind of online marketing approach is still very much in its infancy for fashion, but it is pioneering and paving the way for those that want to see that clear financial return. A win-win for those opting for new thinking but a big loss for those who continue to opt for tired tactics and who will undoubtedly be left behind in the brave new online world.
Now is not a time to be resting on our online laurels but instead seeking out ways to reap the benefits during the downturn – after all, where there is threat there are always opportunities.
Andy Moss is general manager of ShopStyle, UK and US shopping and search website for fashion.