retail store owner working

The apparel industry comprises a huge percentage of ecommerce transactions. With remote work becoming the new norm, it’s no wonder that remote shopping is following suit.

But succeeding in the ecommerce marketplace is challenging for apparel brands who aren’t as established. From financial pressure, to intense competition with other brands, to increased demand to be environmentally friendly, brands are juggling a high level of expectation while still trying to stay afloat.

Wondering how to up-level your ecommerce apparel business? Here are five challenges that apparel brands face in ecommerce and the steps you can take to implement sustainable solutions.

#1 A High Return Rate

Free returns are a great perk to offer customers, but the convenience comes at a price. Due to the ease and accessibility of online returns, ecommerce businesses in the US experience a high percentage of returns. Additionally, according to Invesp, “58% of consumers want a hassle-free “no questions asked” return policy, and 47% want an easy-to-print return label.” While it’s important to cater to customer expectations, it’s also important to discourage frequent returns as much as possible.

#2 Demands for Fast Shipping

Shipping and order fulfillment are the top priority for many ecommerce consumers. Free and fast shipping options are now considered a “must have” for customers who are accustomed to those perks from larger companies. But offering multiple carrier options and free shipping is financially prohibitive for some ecommerce businesses.

#3 Environmental Responsibility

From packaging, to the products themselves, environmental accountability is a high priority for many consumers. While this trend is positive overall, it does place ecommerce businesses in the stressful situation of needing to pay extra for more sustainable materials and practices. Transitioning from standard, albeit less sustainable, shipping practices to eco-friendly systems may require a sizeable up-front-investment.

#4 Competition

The ecommerce marketplace is saturated with apparel brands all trying to get ahead. While some competition can be a motivating factor, intense competition places undue strain on smaller companies. Cutthroat competition forces apparel brands to keep up with the pack and invest in expensive upgrades and services that may otherwise be financially inadvisable.

#5 Managing Products Across Multiple Channels

A huge challenge in ecommerce is ensuring a smooth shopper experience across multiple channels. When managing multiple platforms, e.g., social media, website, marketplaces, dropship retailers, Google Shoppingemail, it’s essential for shoppers to have a streamlined experience across all channels. From product descriptions to warehouse management, integrated product data management is an essential element of successful ecommerce businesses.

How to Overcome Challenges in Ecommerce

Although apparel brands face numerous challenges in ecommerce, there are many ways for companies of all sizes to get ahead of the curve and maximize their impact.

Gather Data and Customer Insights

Without sufficient data and customer insights, it’s impossible to gain a clear picture of consumer trends. Utilize data about shopper habits, return rates, purchase patterns etc. to improve the structure and flow of your website.

Create Detailed Product Descriptions

Customers are more likely to return a product if the product descriptions and specifications aren’t updated to match current revenue. A well-maintained and detailed product page with accurate specs and clear photos will help customers make an informed purchase.

Update Shipping Services

To address shipping expectations, work on updating elements like shipping costs and fulfillment times. A simple way to “eliminate” added shipping costs without actually offering free shipping is to include the shipping price in the cost of each product. Additionally, you can improve order fulfillment and shipping speed by working with multiple distributors across your target region.

Use Centralized Warehouse Management Software

Streamline your digital world by consolidating all your software needs into one, easy-to-use platform. Technology that incorporates inventory updates, order information, logistics information, customer data and more simplifies your life and prevents important details from slipping through the cracks.

Working with Digitbridge

Digitbridge is your new go-to ecommerce platform for your apparel business and beyond. At Digitbridge, we offer a fully equipped cloud-based platform where you can sell, fulfill, and buy all through one intuitive interface. Manage your multichannel ecommerce business without the hassle of going back and forth between apps. With Digitbridge, you have the tools you need to expand your brand’s reach while providing customers with a user-friendly experience in an efficient and cost-effective way. Change the way you do business for the better—request a demo today!

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