Whether it’s the daily email alerts from Drapers confirming the boom in online fashion, the remarkable year-on-year growth figures for ASOS or Hitwise showing an increase in traffic to online clothing retailers, online fashion is all very optimistic.
Even so, the norm seems to be to venture into potential growth areas, such as homewares, with caution, if at all.
Establishing one’s position in the market through a unique point-of-difference is the order of the day – ready to reap the rewards once the general retail market improves.
Homewares isn’t quite fashion, but there have always been retail links between the two.
So, now might not be the right time to be getting into selling items for the home, but online stores which do it already, such as Oli, Next and Littlewoods, have a head start for the future.
If they’re clever they will use this time to really understand web shopping habits for homewares, profile customers for email campaigns and prepare to use homewares as a way of introducing customers to their fashion ranges.
All whilst the conditions for entering that sector remain unfeasible for other online retailers.
Let’s assume every online fashion store decides to do homewares; there are only ten spaces on the first page of Google results for a competitive keyword.
As we all know Google will give preference to websites consistently associated with, in this case, homewares – only the stores which sell it right now can formulate SEO and online PR campaigns to establish their positions for related terms before everyone jumps into the market.