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May 22, 2023

Why personalization is the key to success in UK online fashion retail

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An image of Malin Ericson, CRO Specialist at aim'n

Amber Denwood

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The fashion industry has always been about individuality and expression, but in recent years, personalization has become a driving force behind its success. This is particularly true in fashion E-commerce and even more specifically in UK fashion E-commerce.

With an apparel market that brings in a revenue of just under 55 billion pounds, the UK fashion industry is constantly growing and evolving. And, as the European leader in B2C E-commerce turnover, nowhere is this more prominent than in the UK fashion E-commerce market. 

In this blog post, we explore the huge growth in UK fashion E-commerce, why personalization is so important in the world of UK online fashion, and how AI innovators are leading the way in delivering unique and personalized online shopping experiences for customers.

Examining the UK fashion E-commerce growth

The general UK E-commerce growth unsurprisingly saw a huge spike during the COVID pandemic. Amazon UK, for example, saw sales rise by 82% during 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels.

And, UK online fashion was not an exception to this trend. Fashion accounts for 34% of the total E-commerce market in the UK, and during the pandemic, online shopping accounted for 55% of total fashion sales. While this share of online sales in fashion dropped after the pandemic, it is now seeing growth again and is expected to continue to steadily grow over the coming years.

What does this mean for UK fashion brands?

The short and simple answer here is that UK fashion brands need to be seriously investing in and improving their E-commerce game.

Not valuing, updating, and staying competitive with online retailers means you are seriously at risk of becoming outdated and left behind. Taking a store that had a strong focus on brick and mortar, such as Debenhams, shows how true this is, as when consumers moved to focus online, they quickly fell behind.

Why is personalization key for UK online fashion retailers?

As more and more fashion retailers turn to E-commerce, the level of competition increases. And, with fashion giants such as Boohoo and ASOS offering low prices and super-fast service, it is more important than ever to offer something your customers can’t get elsewhere, to avoid the risk of losing out.

Personalized online shopping experiences are one of the most effective ways to do this, with hugely valuable results. From increased customer loyalty and engagement to higher sales and a higher customer lifetime value, it is a strategy to put in place which pays off in more ways than one. 

These personalized experiences show your customer you deeply understand their wants and needs, and meet them perfectly. 

What types of personalization are available to UK fashion E-commerce brands?

Personalization is available at every point in the online shopping experience, from customer acquisition to post-purchase. 

The following are three of the most crucial moments in which UK fashion E-commerce brands can leverage personalization.

  1. Personalized advertisement 

Personalized ads are already widely used online. Some of the best opportunities are found on Instagram and TikTok, as the user base for these social media platforms within the UK are huge, TikTok alone has 3.7 million active users in the UK. 

These social media platforms collect vast amounts of data on their users, such as their interests, demographics, and browsing history. Fashion retailers can use this data to create ads that are tailored to their specific audience. For example, a brand can target users who have previously engaged with their content, or who have shown an interest in similar products before. By using personalized ads, UK fashion brands can increase their chances of reaching the right people with the right message, resulting in higher engagement and ultimately, more sales.

On Instagram, UK fashion brands can use personalized ads in various formats, such as photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads. These ads appear in a user's feed, story, or explore page, and can be customized based on the audience's behaviors. Similarly, TikTok offers a range of ad formats, including in-feed ads, sponsored hashtags, and branded effects. UK fashion brands can use these formats to create engaging and entertaining content that resonates with their target audience. By using personalized ads on these platforms, UK fashion brands can build brand awareness, drive traffic to their website, and ultimately, boost sales.

  1. Personalized online shopping experience

Personalizing the actual online shopping experience on your fashion E-commerce website is one of the best ways to improve customer retention, engagement, and average order value. 

Your website can be tailored to individual users anywhere from personalized search results to product recommendations, meaning shoppers are accessing a unique experience all across your site. There are different levels of onsite personalization available, each of which will provide a different level of experience. 

Ultimately, the more tailored you get with your experience, the more likely your customer is to purchase the items they’re seeing.

  1. Personalized post-purchase emails

Post-purchase emails are an excellent way to engage with a customer. They benefit from not feeling spammy or forceful, as a customer is already expecting the email!

These emails are sent after a customer has made a purchase and can be tailored to their specific interests and preferences. For example, retailers can use data from the customer's purchase history to recommend complementary products, and loyalty programs, or offer exclusive discounts to encourage repeat purchases, or offer personalized styling advice. 

By using personalized post-purchase emails, UK fashion brands can not only improve the customer experience but also increase the chances of repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth.

Next, we look at some of the key AI innovators in the UK fashion industry, such as Depict AI, and how they are using cutting-edge technology to deliver personalisation at scale. We explore case studies and success stories from these companies, highlighting the impact that personalisation has had on their businesses.

How can UK online fashion retailers get started with personalization?

There’s several ways to tackle these challenges, as there’s several different methods of personalization. A good paid social executive, for example, is key to nailing personalized advertisement on social platforms.

For onsite personalization, it would require a huge team and time to get it right manually. However, an excellent solution to this is using a personalization engine. A personalization engine integrates with your E-commerce platform and uses data and algorithms to deliver personalized experiences to users.

There are certainly personalization engines available for UK fashion E-commerce businesses, such as Depict, who can help you get started with personalization quickly and easily.

Sound interesting? Get in touch today to see how we can help.

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