Young people and small business, hispanic woman at work as fashion designer and tailor, looking at sketches of new collection in atelier

6 Ways the Fashion Industry Can Respond to Inflation in 2023

Prices are rising. Interest rates are increasing. Brands across the fashion industry have less margin due to rising prices across most categories. Since the fashion industry has long buying and merchandizing cycles, fashion businesses that take action now to address these factors will be most successful in the short- and long term.

Consider consumer spending trends, regional inflation effects, and your business model when planning the 2023 strategy for your fashion business. We’ve identified six key actions you can take to optimize your approach.

What are consumer spending trends in 2023?

Overall, consumers are spending less and selecting more value-conscious options.

  • Current Consumer Spending Trends

According to the most recent Consumer Pulse Survey, 37 percent of consumers plan to spend less on discretionary items. Seventy-four percent report trading down when they shop.

  • Risks of Ignoring Current Consumer Spending Trends

Without a clear strategy to address the current economic climate, you could negatively affect your margins and performance for years to come. Here’s what to do to optimize your fashion business for success in 2023.

How is inflation affecting various markets worldwide?

Although inflation affects the world, regional factors often affect fashion brands. Your business will need to consider its regional exposures to develop the most effective strategy for 2023.

  • Inflation in the United States

In an attempt to reduce inflation, the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates in the United States. Private sector wage increases in the US outpace those in other regions, which may indicate inflation will continue longer than in other areas.

  • Inflation in Europe

In Europe, increasing energy prices significantly affect inflation. These effects may change quickly when the results of the war in Ukraine resolve. Fashion businesses with costs in US dollars and sales in euros will also need to consider the effects of currency fluctuation.

  • Inflation in Asia

Although Asia is not experiencing inflation to the extent of other regions, economic growth is slow. Rising US interest rates and high commodity prices also affect the region’s financial health.

  • Inflation in Latin America

Some Latin American countries are experiencing little inflationary risk. Others are implementing strong monetary responses to mitigate inflation’s effects.

How is inflation affecting the fashion industry?

Inflation affects various fashion businesses in different ways. Generally, fashion businesses affected most by disposable income are experiencing the most significant impacts.

  • Effects on Luxury and Affordable Luxury Brands

Many luxury and affordable luxury brands remain relatively unaffected by current inflation. LVMH, which owns Christian Dior, Fendi, and Givenchy, reported 20% organic revenue growth in the first nine months of 2022.

  • Effects on Premium Brands

Premium brands are affected by both inflation and consumer income. Value-conscious consumers select value, off-price and private label options instead of premium brands. Higher-income consumers generally continue selecting premium brands.

  •  Effects on Value Brands

There are several opportunities for value brands as consumers become more price-conscious. Consider offering more private-label products instead of brand-name. Meet shifting consumer demands by implementing an agile product design strategy.

  •  Effects on Discount Brands

Discount brands will likely see demand increase, especially from lower-income consumers. Consider purchasing low-cost inventory from retailers experiencing economic pressure.

6 Ways Fashion Brands Can Respond to Inflation and Current Economic Conditions

Although inflation is rising and consumer spending is falling, you can take steps now to position your fashion business for success.

Strategy 1: Maximize productivity in three key areas.

As prices rise, productivity becomes increasingly important. Make sure you examine these key areas:

● Review cost bases and supply and distribution networks. Look for opportunities to increase efficiencies.

● Reduce distribution overhead. Relocate distribution centers or use third-party logistics and supply-chain-as-a-service providers.

● Define key performance indicators (KPIs) that track customer behavior so that you can respond quickly to behavioral changes.

Strategy 2: Update your assessment and category strategy.

Consumers are increasingly value-conscious. For 67 percent of customers who tried a new brand, the value was the reason they switched. Be sure to consider the following to respond to consumer behavior effectively:

● Revise assortments and review entry-level price points.

● Increase private-label offerings.

● Use data to drive decision-making. Determine where customers are price-sensitive, and develop a response.

Strategy 3: Reprice strategically.

Sweeping price increases across all categories can decrease customer trust. Consider the following targeted approaches instead:

● Offer personalized promotions and loyalty incentives.

● Reprice by customer and product segment.

● Consider absorbing some higher costs in the short term.

Strategy 4: Review discounts and promotions.

Use data to guide decisions about pricing and promotion. Be sure to utilize data for the following:

● Manage inventory surplus and margins effectively.

● Analyze perceived value.

● Determine which attributes are valuable to consumers and make decisions accordingly.

Strategy 5: Upgrade your labor model.

Review your business model to find savings opportunities for labor costs are increasing. Ensure you examine the following:

● Labor allocation and scheduling

● Employee experience

● Recruitment and talent analysis

Strategy 6: Grow internationally without additional investment.

Many online stores focus on selling only to markets in the US and Canada. Take advantage of a worldwide market and increase growth by:

● Avoid hefty shipping fees and extended shipping times with BorderGuru’s low express shipping rates.

● Eliminate hassles at customs by seamlessly calculating and paying customs and duties seamlessly in real-time at the point of sale.

● Simplify customers’ shopping experiences and increase sales with simple checkout processes, no matter the customers’ locations.

Next Steps for the Fashion Industry in 2023

Current inflation and economic uncertainty affect the fashion industry. Fashion businesses that utilize short-term strategy, flexibility, and fast decision-making will be the most successful.

Ready to explore frictionless global logistics and expand your international reach? Book a call to learn more about BorderGuru and how you can convert your international traffic into loyal customers now

Zalandomain

Zalando- Europe’s Leading Marketplace for Fashion and Lifestyle Brands

What is better than your brand reaching millions of new customers through one of Europe’s leading fashion marketplaces?

Stay and learn more about Zalando Marketplace, a leading online fashion and lifestyle platform in Europe, and how your US brand can successfully expand to Europe through Zalando.

Zalando was founded in Berlin, Germany, in 2008. It started as an online shoe store and has now become a leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle products in Europe. The company has made bold moves from the start and has never given up on its goal of reimagining the fashion market for the good of all.

Their substantial expertise in fashion, technology, and convenience has enabled them to offer their customers a wide range of brands and services tailored to their needs. This is how they reimagine fashion.

Zalando’s strategy consists of three main elements: customers, brand partners, and infrastructure.

  • Customers: Zalando is a customer-focused company. Its platform is based on providing the best user experience by offering the maximum availability of current trendy fashion products and inspiring them with a high level of personalization, creating inclusive products suitable for every customer. They also invest heavily in suppliers, payment, and customer service to meet customer requirements.

 

  • Brand partners: As brand partners profit from Zalando’s customer base by becoming part of their platform, they provide digital and infrastructure services that make it a great business opportunity for brands to broaden their customer reach and sales growth.

 

  • Infrastructure: Zalando, as an online platform, Infrastructure is the basis for offering its service to customers and partners. They are committed to internally developed and continuously improved technological solutions and processes. Zalando’s expertise in warehousing, delivery, customer service processes, and content creation is fundamental to their business.

 

Due to its strategy and continuous improvements, Zalando has currently achieved these results:

These results show how successful it has been in the fashion and lifestyle industry in e-commerce in Europe. Proving to be one of the best options for brands that want to step up and reach millions of customers on this continent. Zalando delivers results, reliability, and commitment to the table

The app 

Technology is the key to Zalando’s growth. Having an app that meets the needs of today’s technology-savvy consumers is essential to stay competitive.

The app was launched in Germany for the first time in 2012 and the rest of the EU countries in 2014. Since then, the app has improved and offers new features as consumer needs and trends change.

Zalando’s vision is to be the first choice for all consumers’ fashion needs. Their three premises are endless choice, seamless convenience, and tailored digital experience.

Do you want your brand to succeed in the European market? Are you interested in offering your unique products, not in one or two, but in 25 EU markets?   

As can be seen, this is possible with Zalando, which has 45 million active customers in 25 European countries. For a unique user experience, it offers more than 20 local payment options, regional logistic service providers, and content and customer service in 19 languages.

Zalando offers brands endless opportunities to achieve brand awareness, customer reach, and sales growth goals. They have run more than 14,000 marketing campaigns, worked with more than 1,600 brand partners, and have a network of more than 500K influencers within Europe.

With all this, your brand will have the exposure and tools necessary to succeed in the German and European markets.

Build positive habits for a better future for fashion, the environment, and society

As a large and successful e-commerce platform, Zalando is responsible for caring about people and the environment. This means every action has positive or negative consequences, and it’s in the company’s hands to implement measures that result in a positive impact and act as a role model.

Zalando is fully committed to sustainability. Therefore, they want to nurture a better future for fashion and bring along their customers and brand partners.

In the last few years, it has taken several measures to be part of the solution towards sustainability. These are:

  • Source 100% renewable electricity and reduced emissions from their operations
  • Eliminate single-use plastic by 2023
  • Launched the sustainable flag in their Fashion Store to help customers find more sustainable items, and tripled their more sustainable fashion assortment
  • They launched their first Circularity strategy in 2021
  • Created a section for customers to purchase secondhand clothes
  • Have a team to teach their customers how to make their clothes last longer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you know more about everything Zalando has built to provide brands with the resources and customers they need to succeed in the European market… Are you excited and imagining your brand being part of this booming marketplace? 

Zalando is the answer if your US brand is ready to take the next step in international growth. Europe is an important market for the fashion and lifestyle e-commerce industry, as sales continue to grow, and this marketplace has successfully driven through it.

It is not impossible or difficult for your brand to start selling in Zalando. As BorderGuru, a member of the Otto Group, we have the perfect solution for your unique US fashion brand to enter the European market via Zalando with our Marketplace Partners Solution.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact us now!
American products in Europe

How to Expand Your Brand into Europe Successfully

The best thing about owning an online store is the ability to reach a wider audience of consumers around the world. After successfully establishing your brand and products in your local market and gaining positive customer feedback, your website may also gain traction from the global market.

So now, you may think, where and how can I expand my business? Then is probably the right time to look at expanding into Europe.

As e-commerce continues to grow in Europe, with access to up to 500 million online shoppers in 27 countries, it offers US brands a massive opportunity to grow successfully in this region.

We know that international expansion comes with challenges, and Europe is no different, as each country has its language and culture, and there is legal compliance that you must follow. Fortunately, you are in the right place, and here you will learn the benefits, how to overcome these challenges, and how BorderGuru can help you successfully expand into Europe.

The main benefits of expanding into Europe 

  • E-commerce Sales growth 

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growth of e-commerce worldwide and in Europe. After the pandemic, it continues to grow significantly, which means the online sales channel in this region is in its boom phase.

Statista estimates that European online sales are expected to reach $500 billion this year. As the use of mobile phones for shopping increases, new consumers are likely to come from this stream. Statista also conducted a survey showing that consumers in France, Spain, Ireland, and Germany buy more frequently via mobile devices than before the pandemic.

As shown in the graph below, four European countries are in the top 10 with the highest e-commerce sales in 2021.

This shows the importance of the European region for e-commerce businesses, and that it is the best time for your brand to consider being part of this growth.

  • Less-saturated markets

As mentioned above, e-commerce sales have increased in Europe recently, but the market is not yet as saturated as the US. Some countries, especially in Eastern Europe, where e-commerce has just begun to boom. This means US brands can compete and have higher chances of success.

  • Access to a Diverse Market

Expanding into Europe opens opportunities to sell to more than 500 million online shoppers in 27 countries. Online shopping in these markets has grown, and it is a market open to continuing shopping online and from countries outside the EU. It is a market looking for new, unique, and innovative brands. They see US brands as those that tick these boxes.

These enable US brands to successfully enter and develop their brand in Europe. Because EU countries are economically interconnected, brands can also decide where they want to expand first, depending on the demand for their products. From there, reaching more consumers in other EU countries is easy. So it is easy even if you first decide to enter one or two countries, if you later want to sell in other countries.

  • Single currency in EU countries

This is beneficial, as you will only deal with one currency, and the prices of your products will also be in euros. It is also easier to do a competitor’s price analysis and choose the best price for your products, as you can compare it to those in different European countries, all in Euros. In addition, it would be easier for your company to exchange Euros for USD when it receives earnings, if this is necessary.

Aspects to consider when expanding into Europe

  • Cultural Differences Across Europe

Before expanding into Europe, it is essential to understand that each country has its own culture and language. Once brands have an idea of the country or countries that have a demand for their products, they do their research on the local market or markets. This aspect is essential, especially when communicating your brand and products to consumers, as you want consistency in marketing, in the tailored message and positioning of your brand and products.

In this regard, it is essential to consider the following points:

  • Cultural customs
  • Local language
  • Local currency
  • Local forms of payment

With our Marketplace Partners Solution, you don’t have to worry, as we provide content localization for your product descriptions and marketing, local payment forms, and prices in local currency.

  • Customer service 

Customer satisfaction is key to the success of your brand. The two main aspects to consider are language and time zones. For US brands, it may be challenging to have a customer service team that can speak every European language and be available in the same time zone as EU customers.

For this reason, we provide customer service in the local time zone and the language of EU consumers, so that they have the best purchasing experience with your brand.

  • Legal & Tax Compliance Can Be Complex

Regarding legal compliance, it can be challenging to do so alone, as there are several requirements, such as setting up a legal entity and complying with tax authorities (IOSS number and UK VAT). These can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and expensive.

But don’t let these stop you from expanding into Europe. We make European expansion easier by providing you with tax and legal compliance, so you do not have to deal with it alone.

  • Warehousing 

Deciding the country and place to store your products securely and conveniently, and managing them alone from abroad, can be complex and expensive. We are the solution for you! By joining our Marketplace Partners Solution, you do not have to deal with warehousing as is included.

  • Logistics 

Logistics can be a make-up or breaker for your business to succeed in the EU market. This is probably one of the most challenging elements. Good infrastructure and investment are needed, and a high revenue is required. However, we have good news for you. With our Marketplace Partners Solution, you do not have to worry about logistics, as we handle everything from fulfillment, pick packing, and shipping to even returns for your products.

Expand your US brand to Europe with BorderGuru’s Marketplace Partners Solution

We are experts in the European market and help US brands successfully expand into Europe. With our Marketplace Partners Solution, you can sell your products prominently and exclusively in European lifestyle marketplaces. We provide your business with content localization, tax and legal compliance, logistics, customer service, and more in 27 countries.

Learn more below about the most popular fashion and lifestyle marketplaces in Germany and Europe:

 

Founded in 1949, Otto.de is Germany’s biggest fashion and lifestyle marketplace with:

  • Online sales of more than €11 billion
  • Over 3,400 sales partners
  • 11.5 million active customers
  • 3.6 million new customers
  • 70% of visits are via mobile devices
  • Ten orders per second

Founded in 2014, it is one of the fastest growing marketplaces in Europe, and Hamburg’s first unicorn since 2018. As one of the most significant fashion and lifestyle platforms in Europe, it has:

  • Active in 26 European markets
  • Sales over €1.17bn
  • Over 3,500 brands
  • Over 500,000 items
  • More than 45 million unique active users per month
  • More than 26 million app installs
  • Over 1000 influencer collaborations per month

It was established in 2008 as a pioneer in e-commerce, which has become one of the most innovative fashion platforms in Europe. It is a unique marketplace with a betting process, providing exclusivity and visibility to its brands.

As a leading European online platform for fashion has:

  • Presence in 23 European countries
  • Net sales of around €8 billion
  • More than 5,800 brands
  • 49 million active customers
  • 7 billion visits per year
  • More than 90% of traffic comes from mobile devices

These marketplaces will help your fashion brand reach millions of European prospects that can convert into loyal customers. They are your choice for you to tap into a market full of growth opportunities.

Contact us now to find out more about how you can get started! Do not miss the opportunities waiting for your US brand in Europe.
holiday bes option for Canada

Canada Holidays 2022 – Get your Shopify store ready for cross-border

With Holidays around the corner, your e-commerce strategy needs to be ready. In our previous blog, “6 Tips to Prepare Your E-commerce Store for Holiday Season,” you will find additional tips to be 100% prepared for it. This time, we share with you the Special Holidays you need to mark on your calendar for your business to boost sales in Canada, and how to gain additional customers potentially.

Thanksgiving 10th 

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October, so this year lands on the 10th. Like the American Thanksgiving, this holiday is to spend time with their families. As an e-commerce brand, it is essential to be ready for this memorable holiday, as the weeks before are the busiest shopping days. Take advantage of this by marketing and promoting your products to be grateful to family and friends. 

Halloween 31st   

Similarly, as the celebration in the US, it is a day when children dress up in Halloween costumes and trick or treat around their neighborhood. Others have costume parties and pumpkin carving. People expect some deals on this holiday, mainly if you sell Halloween-related products. If you want to capitalize on this holiday, be prepared with discounts and bundle deals Halloween-themed, and you can also promote by doing content over social media.  

 

 

Black Friday 25th  

This holiday comes from the US every year on the last Friday of November, on November 25th, and has become popular in Canada. Shoppers in this country love the extreme price cuts that US brands are famous for during this time. As a US brand selling to Canada, be ready operational and promotional-wise to fulfill the incredible demand during this holiday.  

Sofa Sunday 27th  

This year’s Sofa Sunday is celebrated on November 27th. It has become a holiday due to the growing use of tablet devices. The idea is that after Thanksgiving (USA) and Black Friday, shoppers recover on Buy Nothing Day (Saturday) and then be ready on Sunday to go online and scroll websites to find online bargains. US brands that ship to Canada should be prepared to use it to grow sales and get new customers.  

Cyber Monday 28th  

This day is the first Monday after Thanksgiving (USA). This day is now used to promote online shopping, and is when people redeem gift vouchers and coupons and look for special discounts and pricing. As November has three special dates that promote shopping and special deals, it is essential not to miss out on any and research each audience to market what is needed according to the target audience.  

 

Green Monday 12th  

This holiday is important for online stores, as it is the second biggest selling time before Christmas after Cyber Monday. eBay created it in 2007 after it realized that from the second Monday of December, there are only ten days for orders to arrive on time for Christmas. Be prepared, as many are waiting for this day (last minute) to purchase the best deals for Christmas gifts.   

Super Saturday 24th  

This day can be seen as more profitable for offline stores, because Christmas is the next day. That does not mean online stores cannot play around with the concept and make good sales. Since customers are unlikely to receive gifts on time for Christmas Day, online brands can focus on people who have not received a gift for themselves and create a campaign with special discounts to promote self-confidence.   

Christmas 25th  

This day is for enjoying with family and give gifting. Most people do not pay attention to anything else, as it’s a special day to celebrate with your loved ones and spend quality time with them. This is not a shopping day, so relax and enjoy. 

Boxing Day 26 – 31 

Boxing day is on the 26th, but it has become a week of special discounts. Many businesses selling to Canadian shoppers offer special discounts and prices. This is the start of winter sales, and it is no longer about buying Christmas gifts, but buying for upcoming year occasions. Also, for things consumers could not buy before or during Christmas and waited for these deals.   

New Year’s Day 1st  

This holiday is for celebrating the New Year with your loved ones, whether with family or friends. After this day, you can promote the New Year for the next two weeks with marketing campaigns such as “New Year wardrobe,” “Gym clothes for your new goals,” and suitcases such as “New Year, new adventures.” It’s about aspirations and goals. Start the year with solid sales by knowing what your target market is interested in, and creating the need and want for them to have your products.  

 

Are you ready to take on the Canadian market? As important as marketing, offering an excellent international shipping experience is also essential; this is your lucky day! We are BorderGuru, a cross-border solution that can help convert your existing traffic into actual customers. We will make it easy for you to ship your products to Canada, so that you only focus on branding and selling your product. 

  

Contact us now! And start to boost your sales this holiday season!   

 

 

Australia_BorderGuru

Australia: Cross-border selling opportunity for US brands

Australia is an important trade partner for the United States. Of the total imports, China is the most significant (29%), followed by the US (11%) and Japan (6.3%). The same applies to cross-border online sales, as shown in the following graph. The US is second with a share of 28%, putting it ahead of the UK and behind China. 

In 2021, it remained similar in terms of the top countries where Australians bought the most online, China with 30.1%, the USA with 22.5% and New Zealand with 4.7%. This means that the US continues to be a strong player in cross-border e-commerce in Australia, allowing US brands to enter the Australian market successfully.  

For this reason, we are discussing different market & economy overviews, digital overviews, e-commerce outlook, and how BorderGuru can help your brand expand into a country full of opportunities for your fashion Shopify store to increase international sales.  

Population & economy overview 

Australia has a population of 26.14 million. The most populous cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. The median age is 37.5 years, and the largest age group in percentage is people between 25 and 54 years (41.15%), as can be seen in the image below: 

 

The official language is English, and the currency is the Australian dollar. The exchange rate is approx. 1 USD = 1.38 AUD.   

Regarding the economy, Australia ranks 13th among the largest economies in the world. With a GDP per capita of $51,885 and a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of $ 1.31 trillion. Australia’s economy has become stronger after the pandemic, and GDP is expected to grow by 6.6%  by the end of 2022. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Australia would move up one place to be the 12th largest economy in 2023. 

Digital Overview 

Australia is a very digital market like Canada, as our previous blog, Canada: Cross-Border Selling Opportunity for US Brands,” shows. Australia has many Internet users. As seen in the image below, 90% of the population, just under 5% of Canada, has access to the Internet. It is also essential to be aware of the percentage of mobile Internet users, as it accounts for more than 50% of the population. Your website must provide a mobile-optimized experience, and the content must be suitable for mobile phones to further capitalize on this market.   

Regarding social media, there were 21.45 million users in January 2022, representing 82.7 percent of the total population; this is many users who can become potential customers for your brand. The following image shows the number of users per social network. With this information and knowing your specific target market, you can get an idea of where it is best to promote your brand to attract Australian consumers and increase your sales.   

According to Statista, in 2021, the most popular online activities of adult Internet users in Australia were e-mail 98%, web browsing 96%, banking 92%, watching videos 90%, access to news 85% and online shopping 85%. This means that shopping is one of the top online activities as e-commerce sales continue to grow. As we will see next, “E-commerce Outlook.” 

E-commerce outlook 

As e-commerce sales are on the rise worldwide, Australia is in the same boat as online sales increased by 15% in 2021. The same year, Australia’s online sales totaled 31 billion US dollars, placing it ahead of Russia and Canada.   

According to Australia Post’s E-commerce Industry Report, online purchase frequency increased by 112% in 2021, from 1.6 million in 2019 to 3.4 million. Over 80% of Australian households made online purchases in the same year.   

In 2021, the top 5 categories purchased through e-commerce (local and foreign brands) were fashion products (72%), groceries (54%), takeaways (54%), beauty (45%) and electronics (43%).   

Not only are Australians buying more online vs offline, but they also buy more from foreign brands. In 2021, cross-border purchases increased more than domestic purchases, 5.32%, compared to 4.07%. And the top categories of cross-border e-commerce were: 

 

                                                

As seen at the beginning of this blog, the US is a strong player in cross-border e-commerce in Australia, after China is one of the countries where Australians buy the most products. This shows that more US brands in the trendy categories will successfully enter this market. 

Here are the top reasons Australians continue to buy online after the pandemic. This information comes from the Interactive Advertising Bureau Australia (IAB). 

  • Convenience – 76% 
  • Free delivery – 50% 
  • Lower prices – 45% 
  • Discounts – 37% 
  • More product options 33% 
  • Fast shipping – 26% 
  • Finding certain products/ brands – 25% 
  • Products only sold online – 25% 
  • Safety (avoid public places) – 20% 
  • Free returns – 13% 
  • Find new brands – 11% 
  • Reviews from other customers – 10% 

It is essential to be aware of these reasons, so you can provide the products and experience that the Australian market wants and expects from online stores. 

How can your brand expand to Australia without hurdles?  

BorderGuru can help your Shopify store to achieve a smooth and successful expansion into Australia by providing you with a full cross-border service, from legal compliance and competitive shipping costs to customs-clear orders. Process all international orders like any other domestic sale without investment or changes in your daily operations. Offer your customers the best online shopping and shipping experience. With BorderGuru, your customers will never have to deal with additional fees at delivery time. 

 Are you ready for the next step of your international expansion? Contact us now and start your global journey with us.   

holiday seasons main1.jpg

6 Tips to Prepare Your E-commerce Store for Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year! Can you believe it? Time to prepare for the Holiday Season.

As an e-commerce brand, preparing for one of the best sales times of the year is essential. The holiday season begins with Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and the New Year. However, don’t forget other important holidays from other countries, such as Boxing Day or Wisemen Day, and after Christmas sales, such as January sales.

Since many dates are now considered essential holidays for online shops, it can be overwhelming, so brands need to start planning now. Avoid panicking and instead become shoppers’ go-to for gifts.

Consider these six tips for a successful holiday season. Trust us; they will help you stay calm and competitive, and even turn new and current customers into loyal ones.

1- Don’t undervalue the power of sales on other holidays around the world

As important as it is to consider US holidays, which are also celebrated in other countries, such as Christmas and New Year. Other holidays could be regarded as necessary, depending on where your customers are.

For example, suppose your customers are in Mexico or Spain. In that case, it is important to consider Wisemen Day (Dia de Reyes), as it is a memorable holiday where children receive surprise gifts (similar to Santa’s gifts), which your business can capitalize on. Similarly, if your customers are in the UK, Boxing Day is a date to mark as special to increase your revenue.

So don’t forget to research to maximize sales during the holiday season!

2- Prepare for incoming traffic

As the holiday season approaches, consumers start looking for gifts, which translates into increased sales and inventory needs. So, to keep your customers happy, consider the following:

  • Check inventory:

Consider your most sold and popular products and plan to have a higher number of items in stock than you usually do. Collaborate with your marketing and demand planning team to have as much information as possible to help you forecast and make informed decisions rather than guessing.

  • E-commerce fulfillment: 

As sales increase, so does the fulfillment of orders. This means you should be prepared to have sufficient resources, personnel and packaging materials to complete all sales. Remember, it’s essential to keep customers happy. Try to avoid mistakes by planning as much as possible.

Also, do not forget about the after-sale experience. Since many products are bought as gifts, prepared for exchanges and returns in January, the customer experience is the key to re-purchases. Better to be prepared than to lose customers.

  • Website reliability: 

It is common for people to buy at the last minute, and systems can become saturated. To avoid an unpleasant experience for your customers, test your site and ensure your site’s infrastructure is ready for high demand. Remember that page load speed matters for revenue, avoiding cart abandonment.

3- Enhance Customer Experience

This is one of the most important aspects to consider, as it can turn into a purchase or unfinished transaction. From the moment your home page is displayed on the customer’s device, it is the first impression they get from your brand. Make sure your homepage shows what your customers are looking for. This means your bestsellers, discounts, search bar and menu so they can easily navigate through your site. If your site is complex to navigate, you risk users will not find what they need and will look elsewhere.

4- Ensure maximum transparency in the shipping experience

For online brands, the shipping experience is essential, and during the holidays, you can encounter problems that affect the ability to deliver orders on time, which can upset customers. Since delays cannot be avoided this season, you should be ready to communicate this clearly to customers.

Customers also appreciate tracking their orders and getting notifications to be informed. They take this aspect as an excellent customer service experience. As BorderGuru, we can help you provide an excellent shipping experience, as we offer whole track and trace transparency and competitive shipping prices.

You can also try to avoid additional delays with our service, as we calculate all taxes and duties in real-time at checkout and provide your customers with customs-cleared orders. So, you and your customers do not have to worry about extra delays and fees.

5- Optimize your online shop’s marketing

At this time of the year, the more you can advertise your products, the better, as consumers actively seek items to gift and wear at holiday parties. Ultimately, if you do not showcase your products, people will never know about them.

Some of the things you can do to optimize your marketing efforts are:

  • Find out where your target market spends the most online
  • Take the time to prepare the design and copy of your ads
  • Use your social media pages to post organic content
  • Collaborate with influencers who resonate with your target audience

6- Special offers

Special offers are a must during the holiday season, so please do not forget to consider this. As these are special days for many, consumers will appreciate the nice touches on this. This can differentiate you from competitors.

To optimize the results of these special offers, you can create a feeling of urgency by offering them for a limited period, and you can change them as you see fit.

Some ideas for special offers are:

  • Discounted prices
  • Buy one, get one free or at a discounted price
  • Purchase a certain amount, and you get a free gift
  • Gift-themed stickers adding your brand name
  • Include a personalized message depending on the holiday (Halloween, Christmas)
  • Free branded goodies as a thank you

This year’s holiday season is expected to be particularly special for businesses and consumers, as they want to celebrate as closely as before the pandemic. This is the time for your online shop to shine, despite the logistical challenges associated with a busy sales season.

Remember to plan this properly, so that you can achieve positive results. Also, to stay in customers’ minds, so they come back to you and even recommend your brand to others.

BorderGuru can help you successfully reach all your customers around the world. Offer your customers an easy and convenient shipping experience with our cross-border solution. We calculate all taxes and duties in real time and handle them for you. We provide your customers with customs-cleared orders and competitive shipping prices. This gives them less worrying and more time to enjoy their holidays with their special people.

Let us help you succeed in this holiday season! Contact us now and be fully ready to bring happiness to your customers.

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ABOUT YOU- The Most Inspiring Online Fashion Shop in Europe

Are you a US fashion brand looking to grow internationally? This is your lucky day. 

Stay and learn more about the fastest growing fashion marketplace in Europe; AboutYou.

AboutYou was founded in Hamburg, Germany, in 2014. It is a member of the Otto Group a global retail and services group with a clear focus on innovation and digital transformation. AboutYou as a fashion technology company with a solid and savvy team, the aim is to digitalize the classic shopping stroll by creating an inspiring, personalized and unique shopping experience on the smartphone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vision was to create the first online destination where brands could showcase their products inspiringly, so that consumers could find and be inspired by relevant products that fit their style, regardless of the screen size, in addition to offering the most personalized fashion online shop.

AboutYou has achieved this goal of transforming how people buy fashion online, and has built a multi-award-winning app. Customers can find thousands of inspirational and versatile designs from over 3,500 brands on its website and the app.

Imagine having the opportunity to sell your designs not only in Germany, but also in other 25 European countries?

As the biggest market in the EU, Germany offers consumers keen to shop online and from foreign brands due to benefits like a wider range of products available, convenience, and better service. Also, marketplaces and smartphones are the most popular ways to shop online. Germany is a great market to start your expansion journey into Europe. Learn more about it in our blog Germany – The Biggest Online Market in Europe

With AboutYou, all this becomes possible, as it is active in Germany and other 25 European markets. With 45 million unique active users per month, more than 26 million app installs and more than 1,000 influencer collaborations, your brand will have all the exposure and tools to succeed in Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AboutYou is the ideal marketplace for US fashion brands. Its target market is the young generation willing to be part of not only its current success of it, but also of what the future might bring. This fashion marketplace stays current with the trends, needs and wants of consumers, and works further into the future.

 

 

Everything this marketplace does, they do it with passion, innovation and excellence, always thinking ahead and with an open mind to learn and improve for their customers. It is the same effort they put into brands so that they can succeed and work towards the same goal that focuses on their customers, who are supported in expressing themselves through unique fashion. The AboutYou team is also consistent with personalization, inspiration and mobile shopping.

With the experts in fashion e-commerce, you can be sure that your brand and collection designs are in great hands. As already mentioned, your brand will also have the highest market exposure. AboutYou works with many of the most successful European influencers and models awarded each year in the ABOUTYOU AWARDS EUROPE, which means your brand has the exposure needed to shine.

 

 

And what would an innovative brand be without being environmentally and socially responsible? 

AboutYou strongly supports sustainability, and some of the actions that have taken are:

  • One of the first companies to receive verification for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Brand and Retail Module
  • The use of eco-friendly boxes and poly mailers 80% recycling material and fewer prints.
  • Increase transparency through new shop features, which label sustainable products and show all criteria and certificates
  • Increase the number of sustainable brands and products in their portfolio
  • Continuation of the AboutYou Vintage Wardrobe – A space where festival and event visitors can rent secondhand clothing for free and learn more about used garments and the concept of circularity

If you are a US fashion brand committed to sustainability and want to make changes to impact the environment positively, you are definitely in the right place! As AboutYou is a marketplace acting in the present for a better future and constantly looking for improvements. They want more sustainable fashion brands to be part of their sustainable project and serve the high demand that these fashion products currently have, as Europeans have become more environmentally aware. They are supporting and loving brands that are transparent about their actions and bring a positive impact to the table.

You can learn more about sustainable fashion in Europe and the German online fashion market in our previous blogs “Sustainable Fashion Industry in Europe” 

 

This is the best time for your brand to expand its international footprint in the European market.

How can you be part of AboutYou?   

All you need to do is contact us now. BorderGuru, as a member of the Otto Group, has the Marketplace Partners Solution, which allows US fashion brands to be part of AboutYou and other exclusive marketplaces to expand into the European market. We provide brands with tools to expand into these marketplaces efficiently, allowing them to succeed.

Our solution provides businesses with localized services, tax and legal compliance, customer service, warehousing, and logistics that eliminate all complexities of international growth.

Don’t wait anymore and grow your brand successfully in the European market!

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Sustainable Fashion Industry in Europe

In recent years, sustainable fashion has become an important topic for brands, the government, and society. The fashion industry dramatically impacts the environment, with its carbon footprint accounting for more than 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As climate change issues become more visible, current and new, brands in this sector are encouraged to be more transparent with their fabrics, production, disposal, and working conditions.    

Regarding global revenue, Eco-fashion is now a $6.35 billion industry while growing from $1 billion ten years ago. It is also expected to increase to $8.25 billion in 2023. As for the number of sustainable clothing items in 2018 grew by 508%, from 58,144 SKUs in 2016 to 353,817 SKUs in 2018. The world’s leading markets, measured by sold SKUs, are the US, Germany, the UK, France, China, and Italy.   

This growth has to do with younger generations being more aware of fashion brands’ environment and social impact. According to a survey conducted in the UK and Germany by Mckinsey & Company, during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers began to change their consumption behavior. The main findings were that 57% of 2,000 respondents had made significant lifestyle changes to reduce their environmental impact, and 60% had recycled and purchased products in environmentally friendly packaging. Other vital measures included buying more durable items, keeping items that already have for longer, and repairing items to prolong use. 

As can be seen, there is already a demand for sustainable fashion products, and companies have a job to do in this regard. However, to continue to raise awareness of sustainable practices and take action on this issue, we must first understand what sustainable fashion is, its issues, and its importance.   

Several definitions cover the same elements. Here we present the following three:  

According to the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Sustainable fashion consists of local sourcing and production, transparency across the supply chain, traceability of work processes and raw materials, environmentally friendly raw materials, safe working conditions, and fair wages.   

Sustainability in the context of fashion refers to the environmental impact of the production (production, processing, and production of raw materials), the wear and care of (use), and the disposal of clothing (end of use).  

According to several fashion experts, the most accepted definition: Sustainable fashion is an all-encompassing term that includes products, processes, activities, and actors (government, brands, consumers) aiming to achieve a carbon-neutral fashion industry based on equality, social justice, animal welfare, and ecological integrity.   

It is also important to recognize and be aware of the main issues that impact our planet. Bearing in mind that we all play a role, companies and consumers.  

  • Water consumption and contamination: high levels used in the production of clothing and when washing our clothes  
  • Energy emissions: high use of energy in the production of synthetic fabrics and the washing, drying, and ironing of our clothes  
  • Chemical usage: contaminating when using fertilizers and pesticides in the production of raw materials like cotton 
  • Waste creation: High levels of textiles incinerated or sent to landfill 

Why is it important? 

Now that we have set the definition and know the impact of fashion on our planet, we need to understand the importance of sustainable fashion and why we need it.  

Besides environmental issues, as mentioned in the previous definitions, sustainability also has to do with ethical working conditions, such as child labor, fair wages, and safe working space.   

Here we present the top 5 reasons that tackle environmental and working conditions.  

  • Creates Less Waste: By creating long-lasting products, it reduces the amount of waste. This can also be done by recycling and donating clothes.  
  • Ensure Fair Wages & Proper Working Conditions: By prioritizing fair wages and safe working conditions for all employees rather than prioritizing volume of production and spending. 
  • Reduces CO2 & Other Greenhouse Gases Emission: By using biodegradable materials from natural or recycled fabrics, reducing carbon footprint and the amount of energy used and other resources. 
  • Saves Water: By setting policies to have a budget on the use of water for production and prioritizing the use of textiles that require little to no water during the production phase, such as linen, hemp, and organic cotton.  
  • Saves Animal Lives: Using leather and fur alternatives to save animals from exploitation and preserve the ecosystem’s balance.  

Elements to consider as a sustainable fashion brand    

Quality functionality: Fabrics in sustainable clothing should ensure comfort, softness, and non-irritability. They must be durable, easy to clean and take care of.    

 Material: The most critical factor is that materials must be produced using non-chemical treatments. Materials can range from organic to sustainable cellulose.   

Design: Concerning design, it is essential to attract consumers to sustainable clothing. Designers and developers can control over 80% of the environmental impact of a product. Some examples of alternative design techniques that can facilitate recycling and have a lower negative impact on the environment are: 

  • Waterless dying techniques 
  • Digital fabric printing 
  • Use pure fibers 
  • use natural dyes 

 Labeling: In general, the label should cover the following topics: 

  • General care and warnings  
  • Washing  
  • Drying  
  • Ironing  
  • professional textile care or dry-cleaning 

Sustainable fashion brands need to consider the instructions they describe on these topics, as they should encourage consumers to follow them to reduce the negative impact they could have on the planet.    

Packaging: Packaging is not only about considering the impact on the planet but also about being cost-effective to be sustainable for the earth and businesses. Using less packaging and/or biodegradable packing materials, as well as recycling old materials, are actions that should be taken to contribute to sustainability.    

Now, where are the most significant opportunities for US Sustainable fashion brands?  

According to research by us.npeal.com, after reviewing 64 countries to find out where the most green-savvy shoppers live. It has been revealed that the US is the top country for sustainable shopping. North America is second in terms of monthly searchers by continent.   

Number of sustainable fashion searches per continent  

Apart from Europe being the number 1, ten of the top 20 countries worldwide are in Europe. The UK, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and France are in the Top 5.    

Top Ten European Countries for Sustainable Shopping 

In Europe, environmental concerns and commitment to more sustainable lifestyles are more widespread among consumers, retailers, businesses, government, and non-governmental organizations. As a result, Europe is one of the most exciting markets in the world for sustainable apparel. In most EU countries, consumers, as mentioned above, are interested in sustainable fashion brands and expect companies to be responsible for social and environmental issues. The most trending topics around sustainable apparel include consumer education, fashion sharing, vegan clothing, transparency, standardization, and natural dyes.  

Germany is one of the markets with immense potential for sustainable US brands. This market is not only more conscious of sustainable products, but also 90% of the clothes Germans buy are from non-EU countries, and the US is a significant trade partner. In terms of sustainable fashion, spending on fair-trade textiles increased by 66% (129 million euros) in 2017 over 2016.   

Which measures has the EU taken to promote sustainable fashion?   

In recent years, the EU has imposed more policies on several industries to reduce its negative impact on the planet. Some measures the EU has taken include cutting back on the production and use of plastic products, increasing the production of electric cars, finding new ways to produce energy, and reducing the use of energy and water. Now is the time to develop new policies to promote sustainability within the fashion industry.  

Recently, the EU has unveiled a proposal to increase sustainability and reduce the consumption of fast-fashion products. This decision was made because clothing accounts for 81% of EU textile consumption, and fast-fashion products have built a culture of “take, make, break and throw away,” contributing to unsustainable practices and taking its toll on the environment. 

Under the new rules proposed by the European Union, products must be longer-lasting and easier to repair. Products sold in the EU would be developed on a sustainability scale, demonstrating their environmental impact, durability, and ease of repair. This initiative aims to boost the market for sustainable textiles and prevent companies from misleading consumers with false environmental claims or greenwashing. 

Under this strategy, manufacturers must ensure their clothes are environmentally friendly and hard-wearing. To contribute to this initiative, consumers will also receive more helpful information on how to reuse, repair, and recycle their clothes.   

Government support for continued growing demand and increased growth give US sustainable fashion brands a higher chance of entering the EU and having a fair chance of success within this industry. This is a good time for US sustainable brands to become part of this growing sector, as it is new and still underdeveloped, so there is room for learning and improvements to penetrate the EU market. 

What best way to expand into Europe as a US sustainable fashion brand?   

There are 27 countries within the EU, and it can be complex to simultaneously serve many countries with diverse cultures and languages. Germany is, therefore, the best market for US sustainable fashion brands to enter the European market. As already mentioned, the market is already interested in environmentally friendly products and recycling and is one of the largest markets in the EU.   

Fashion is the number one category sold online in Germany. Therefore, the best way to enter the EU market and start selling is through the most popular German fashion marketplaces. Three of the best marketplaces in the fashion segment in Germany’s top 10 are Otto, Zalando and Aboutyou. 

These fashion marketplaces are not only the best in this segment but also the best for sustainable fashion brands. They are interested and committed to contributing to sustainability and taking measures to be part of the solution in reducing the fashion industry’s impact on the planet. 

OTTO  

The Otto Group is Germany’s biggest fashion and lifestyle marketplace, with more than €11 billion in online sales and over 3,400 brands.   

Otto is committed to sustainability and has taken measures to reduce its impact on the planet. Some measures include searching for alternative packaging, such as 100% recyclable polybags, recycling bags, and recycled cardboard. There is also an initiative to encourage consumers to donate by offering free shipping from the consumer’s address to Hermes Parcel Shop and a voting system where consumers can choose their preferred charity institution.   

They also have a code of ethics that brands should follow, which goes along with EU regulations to encourage brands and consumers to improve sustainability. For example, sustainable raw materials like cotton and wood from certified forestry are used.  

About You 

Founded in 2014, it is Europe’s fastest-growing fashion e-tailer and part of the OTTO Group. It is considered a unicorn with more than US$1 billion. Since 2020, About You has expanded to 23 countries in the EU with over 2,000 brands, including exclusive collaboration collections with designers.

 AboutYou strongly supports sustainability, and some actions it has taken are: 

  • The use of eco-friendly boxes and poly mailers 80% recycling material and fewer prints.   
  • Increase transparency through new shop features, which label sustainable products and show all criteria and certificates 
  • Increase the number of sustainable brands and products in their portfolio 
  • Strengthen their sustainability criteria for used materials, processing methods and working conditions
  • Integration & launch of the product category “Second Love” for quality checked second-hand items in the About You Shop that can be purchased with their known customer benefits, such as free shipping and returns  
  • Continuation of the ABOUT YOU Vintage Wardrobe – A space where festival and event visitors can rent second-hand clothing for free and learn more about used garments and the concept of circularity 

Zalando 

Established in 2008, Zalando is the most prominent fashion e-commerce marketplace in Europe. It’s available in 23 countries and sells over 4,500 different brands, with net sales of €8 billion. Zalando is a unique marketplace with a betting process, providing exclusivity and visibility to its brands. 

Zalando has been taking several measures to be part of the solution towards sustainability in terms of the planet, product and people; some of these are:  

  • Source 100% renewable electricity and reduced emissions from our operations 
  • Eliminate by 2023 single-used plastic 
  • Launched the sustainable flag in their Fashion Store to help customers find more sustainable items and tripled their more sustainable fashion assortment 
  • Their private label Zign has been fully dedicated to sustainability since the summer of 2020. 
  • They launched their first Circularity strategy in 2021. 
  • Make it easier for customers to reuse and resell their clothes. 

How can US sustainable fashion brands be part of these Marketplaces?  

Our Marketplace Partners solution allows US fashion businesses to be part of these exclusive marketplaces. We provide brands with tools to expand into these marketplaces efficiently, allowing them to succeed. Our solution provides businesses with localized services, such as tax and legal compliance, customer service, warehousing, logistics, and more. BorderGuru eliminates all complexities that come with international growth.    

Don’t wait anymore. Contact us now and learn how your brand can succeed in the European Market! 

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Plus-Size Fashion – A Plus-Size Market in Europe

The global plus-size market has gained momentum in the last couple of years, to the point that in 2019 it was valued at $480.9 Billion and is projected to reach $696.7 billion by 2027. This market is expected to show an incremental revenue opportunity of $215.8 billion from 2019 to 2027. 

The US has set the bar high when successfully serving this market. Although some European retailers offer plus-size clothing, there is still room for more brands in the market and US plus-size fashion retailers could be vital to fulfilling the growing demand.  

The average size of women in Europe is UK 14 – UK 16 (US 10 – US 12) in countries like Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Despite this being the standard, plus-size women have difficulties finding clothes that fit their style needs. Today, plus-size women look for fashionable and modern items easily accessible. US brands know this and have created trendy plus-size clothing by considering the consumers’ desires. 

Why is the plus-size fashion market continuing to grow?  

One of the main reasons for the continued growth of plus-size clothing is the body positivity movement.  

The body positivity movement started as a trend in 2012, and several industries, including fashion, became a part of it. Two brands that created powerful campaigns were Dove and Aerie and from that, more brands started paying attention and stepping into it.  

This movement first started in the 1960s in the US due to the challenges and health risks overweight women faced when fitting into the standardized body types. Nowadays, this movement aims to promote healthy habits and support and celebrate all body shapes.   

Promotional campaigns like Dove, Aerie, Vogue, Elle, and Glamour magazines, plus-size celebrities such as Adele, and models like Iskra, and Ashley Graham, have driven demand for the plus-size clothing market.  

European women are also getting into this movement, and many do not want to get thinner. They are confident in their bodies and do not necessarily want to change them. This means they are looking for brands that meet their size and style needs and encourage women to be themselves. 

US brands are recognized for mastering the plus-size market, giving them a competitive advantage in entering the European market and having higher chances of selling successfully.  

What is the best channel for US plus-size clothing brands to expand into Europe? 

In the last few years, e-commerce has become a primary sales channel, and after the pandemic, online fashion retailers have won significant market shares in Europe. The leading causes of this were sanitary regulations and lockdowns, creating the need to consume products online. 

According to the European Commission, the digital sales share increased from 62% in 2015 to 72% in 2020, showing that clothes, shoes, and accessories were the most popular purchased products in the European Union.  Now, after the pandemic started, the fashion segment is projected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2025) of 14.50%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$365.9 billion by 2025. This indicates that online sales are in continued growth, as consumers are now more used to buying online due to convenience and a more extensive selection of products.

This growth has also made marketplaces the customer’s go-to place to buy apparel and the home for fashion brands to sell their products due to their already high brand awareness and recognition.  The top 6 apparel import markets in the EU are Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland. Germany is the largest importer of apparel products in the EU, with a total import value of €30.2 billion, making it an excellent opportunity for US plus-size fashion brands to enter the European market.   

Germany is the largest market within the EU; it is home to the largest and most popular fashion and lifestyle marketplaces, such as Otto, About You, Sheego and Zalando. They collectively have net sales of €18 billion, making it possible to help boost the sales of foreign brands in Europe.   

Otto

Founded in 1949, the OTTO Group is one of the largest eCommerce companies in the world, with online sales of more than €11 billion and over 3,400 sale partners. Otto.de is Germany`s most significant fashion and lifestyle marketplace. 

About you

Founded in 2014, it is Europe’s fastest-growing fashion e-tailer and part of the OTTO Group. It is considered a unicorn with a value of more than US$1 billion. Since 2020, About You has expanded to 23 countries in the EU with over 2,000 brands, including exclusive collaboration collections with designers.

Zalando

Established in 2008, Zalando is the most prominent fashion e-commerce marketplace in Europe. It’s available in 23 countries across Europe and sells over 4,500 different brands, with net sales of €8 billion. Zalando is a unique marketplace with a betting process, providing exclusivity and visibility to its brands. 

How can US plus-size clothing brands be part of this booming trend?  

We know that expanding into a new country can come with some complexities. Here is where we can provide help to businesses. 

We, as BorderGuru, have a solution called Marketplace Partners, which provides brands with tools to expand their business in the growing European marketplaces efficiently. Our solution offers brands localized services, such as tax and legal compliance, localized customer service, warehousing, logistics, and much more, eliminating all complexities of international growth.    

Plus-size clothing is a promising sector within the fashion industry, suggesting that there is still so much space and many opportunities for brands to expand and new ones to enter.  

Be a part of this ever-growing sector in Europe! Contact us now and get a free international growth assessment for your business today!