According to the leading market analysts, Ibis World, the lingerie market is a $50 billion industry, globally. The market is growing at a rate of 3.3 percent each year. Experts and analysts within the industry, have predicted that the brands that disrupt the market space will be here to lead the way for the market. For instance, despite the existence of umpteen brands in the space, Victoria’s Secret–which reported sales of $1.7 billion for the fourth quarter ending in February–still reigns supreme all across the globe. The world of trade is evolving and the way consumers shop is also changing, their aspirations and expectations from brands is also changing every single day.
As a retailer, to stay ahead in the race you will need to adapt to the newer trends of the market and thereby understand the new-age customers. Building brand loyalty by connecting customers with an underlying story or message will allow you to keep your brand afloat. However, that is one aspect, but as a newcomer on the block you will have to be extra conscious about the trends and make the most of these ground rules, in order to count in the profits. For this reason, it’s important to take some time in order to perfect a strategy, which you can implement on your audience in the most effective way.
To start with get your basics right:
1. Research the domestic competition
Spend some time in understanding what your nearby shopping centers or lingerie stores are doing. From unorganized to organized, keep an eye on retailers. Scope out inventories, look into pricing scales and look for potential niches. Then explore the range on sale at the stores closer to your location, to know the sector that is selling most and the one that has been left unexplored. This will help you plan your stock and inventory better.
2. Stock your inventory
A lingerie store is known for their stock and brand line-up. Whether online or offline or both, remember to focus your attention to the stock and bring in collections that interest your audience. Be very choosy about the size, colour, and style selection. This will allow you to get closer to your customers and they will be able to find their niche with you.
3. Focus on marketing
Whether you are selling from a store in a busy locality or are building up a chain of lingerie stores across cities or are setting your online business, know the market and then entice and attract it using marketing tactics. Signages, messaging, social media ads and more, will work wonders for you.
Now that you have got your basics right, it is time to read between the lines and understand what the trade is bringing to the front in terms of new business ideas. Here is what you can do to attract the millennials and the new-age customers from every demographic.
PLAN FOR A SUBSCRIPTION PLAN
How uncanny it may sound, but subscription culture is huge right now and it’s not merely restricted to the entertainment industry. If you follow the footsteps of leading brands all across the world, then you notice that customers no longer want to buy clothing or, indeed, lingerie as a singular purchase. Customers look for long-term commitment from the brand and more than discounts, subscriptions are doing the trick for them at this moment. Annual packages are actually a thing now and it will not only offer your subscribers a variety, but will keep your sales on track on a monthly basis.
ALTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES
Create an impression on your customers. The experience you offer them at your store is what routes for the after taste. The power of experiential shopping is undisputed and happens to bind your customer to the store for the longest of time. Make the store experience interactive and bring in platforms like smart mirrors, conduct-store pop-ups, and more in order to charm your audience. Consider ways in which you can offer more to your average customer and connect with them better.
REDUCE SHIPPING COSTS
Whether customers are ordering online or in-store, there’s one thing that will set them off track and will reduce their loyalty towards you. That’s shipping costs. Customers do not love to spend on the shipping and wants to be rewarded for their spends on your brands. So, understand that the loyalties can shift as many of your competition maybe offering shipping free orders. It is better to offer them discounts on shipping or make it entirely free for them in order to keep them hooked to your brand.
SPEAK YOUR CUSTOMER’S TONGUE
The millennial shopper loves to shop from a brand or store, which talks their lingo. Lingerie shopping can be a sensitive and intimate experience, so make it ethical and allow your customers to feel comfortable within your store space. Explain, educate, and discipline the approach to buying lingerie. Even when selling online, observe a path that is strong and easily relatable. Keep it simple and real, also make trial room experiences very comfortable. This will help you strike a chord with the generation next.
Retailing lingerie is a very tricky task, unless done right. So, observe the basics along with the newer trends with care and make it work in your favour. Also, when retailing from a brick and mortar store, be very particular about the location you choose. Meet your new-age customers at their convenient locales and stay closer to their location. Retail chemistry is born right at the door of your store and will go on for years only when you pull up the trick to convert the present generation of buyers through modern techniques and strategies.