Gone are the days of dressing babies in anything mis-matched, unfashionable or simply in what hand-me-downs you could get from your next-door neighbour. Nowadays, baby clothing purchases are meticulously thought out. Questions such as, ‘Will my baby’s faux-fur trimmed coat colour-match the cushions on my sofa when I take my all-important photo for Instagram?’, and ‘Can I get trainers in the same shade as their matching Nike tracksuit?’ are certainly something our parents wouldn’t have considered two decades ago. However, with the increased pressures of social media and the influx of the super-mum celebrity culture, there has been a definitive shift in the purchasing habits of baby clothing.
So this got us thinking, it’s common knowledge that digital marketing has revolutionised the fashion industry but, has this revolution had just as much of an impact on the baby retail industry? We had a look into how digital marketing has changed the baby clothing industry…
Mummy bloggers hold a lot of power
Mummy bloggers play a big factor as the ‘influencers’ of the baby clothing industry. Many marketers see this opportunity and send a mummy blogger a gift of their clothing item and ask them to review it to their public audience. This is a great way to turn the mummy blogger’s fan following into potential customers for their business. The influencer doesn’t even need to be a blogger, just anyone online who has a big fan base. For example, YouTubers or even influencers who have a big following on individual platforms like Pinterest or Instagram.
A brick and mortar store isn’t necessary
Traditional brick and mortar stores aren’t needed to sell online, and the fashion industry in general has proven that having a physical store just isn’t enough nowadays. For baby retailing brands, having a strong digital presence is needed to avoid following the footsteps of brands such as Mothercare and Mamas and Papas. Whilst in the past, they may have been the preferred brands of choice for Baby Boomers and Generation X, the Millennials and now Generation Y parents have adapted to the online space and are utilising the many new options for purchasing baby clothing.
Digital allows for niche
Baby clothing marketers can seek PR recognition in unique places such as pregnancy magazines. Currently, there are thousands of niche blogs and digital magazines that have a huge audience reach of adults nearing or in parenthood. Marketers are taking advantage of this niche space, with both paid advertising and PR, to get their brand featured in these spaces. Paid advertising should be on all baby retail marketers agendas and by implementing into that you’ll reap many benefits with an influx of sales and revenue. And with the unique ability to target a range of audiences through paid social and paid search, the possibilities of reaching your business’ ideal target audience is made more attainable.
Customers of retailers now want a multi-channel, personal and easy to use brand experience at every stage possible, and this becomes especially important with shopping for baby clothing. The ability to create a unique and personal experience is now fully possible with digital marketing methods. Conversion rate optimisation is a great way of analysing how to improve your customers’ conversion journey. Biometrics and hotjar testing, combined with Google Analytics for data gathering, really allows marketers to understand the emotions and actions that are driving their conversion rates. There are also multiple A/B testing tools to help you to discover what is working for your customers. Being able to target customers by their location, gender, interests and many more aspects means your brand should be taking advantage of these opportunities when it comes to personalisation.
A Ton More Variety
The digital world means that customers don’t need to rely on the one business closest to them that sells baby clothes they don’t like. A whole new range of buying opportunities for baby clothes has opened up by purchasing online and the ability to buy products from international companies. This variety means that as more choice is readily available, brands can decipher and tailor their products to specific groups of people and sell products at a variety of suitable price ranges.
Having international competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing for your brand. Being digital allows baby clothing brands to tap into international markets and sell their products to thousands more customers abroad. The global market is in demand for UK baby business products and the Asian market in particular has shown a growth of 250% over five years with sales of more than $75 billion for baby retail. With the accessibility to build your brand awareness with marketing through paid advertising, organic growth and PR, there are multiple ways to branch out to international customers.
Following The Trends
Parents love to dress their children in trendy clothes. Especially the ones they see their favourite celebrities and influencers dressing their child in on social media. This has even sprouted a luxury baby market which, according to Bloomberg, is estimated to have generated over $10.6 million in sales. However, your business doesn’t need to always sell pricey items to appear luxury. Having an optimised marketing strategy can help you appeal to that market of parents without having to go and change your entire clothing line. Carefully constructed photography and videography creative content in ads, as well as the design of your website, allows brands to appeal to a luxury market.
Social Media Communities
A brand has established a strong online presence once they have garnered an online community. Whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or any other social media platform, establishing loyalty and brand engagement is the best way for baby retail companies to excel in their marketing strategies. This also helps with word of mouth marketing, when loyal parents of your products recommend your clothing to friends and family. A clear, cohesive and concise marketing plan for your social media postings can help achieve this, but don’t forget to engage back with your customers to create a community.
Overall, it’s clear to see how the baby retail industry has benefited with thanks to digital marketing. In the future, perhaps we’ll see inventions of baby virtual influencers from brands who hold power of their own or perhaps the industry will adopt gender neutral marketing. Either way, your brand needs to be constantly evolving with its digital marketing strategy to stand out in the saturated market and generate more sales in your baby clothing business. Find out how Return can help your business by getting in touch, we’d love to hear from you!