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The growth-rate of menswear e-commerce has seen a tremendous increase over the last five years. With an average annual sales growth of 17.4% it is the fastest-growing category of online sales, outrunning sectors such as cameras and computers. This reflects a huge opportunity for those trying to grow their online menswear sales and presence.
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Coupled with the trend in men becoming increasingly interested in fashion, it all makes sense. So much so, we’re inventing terms such as ‘yummies’ (young urban males) to define them and see the popularity of #menswear skyrocketing on Instagram.

“The rise of the new male fashion consumer—and with it the emergence of lumbersexual, #menswear, and athleisure as trends—has created a huge opportunity.” – Marc Bain from qz.com

According to IbisWorld, the market for menswear e-commerce is not as saturated as it is for cameras or computers, playing a significant role in the rapid growth rate. The forecast from IbisWorld for the coming 5 years is promising further growth. This convenience calls for online menswear marketers to step-up their game. Here are our top 5 considerations:

 

1.     Know your men

A strong understanding of your consumer is vital for any successful e-commerce business. Create a persona of your ideal customer and the audience you are targeting. Where else would they shop? What magazines do they read? Where do they hang out? Social media and search trends are both very powerful in providing you with all these answers. Investigate what your target audience is interested in and base your content- and social media strategy on that.

2.     Know their women

It’s no news that women shop more than men. But a huge reason behind it is that women are a lot more likely to shop on behalf of their partners, parents and children. Demographic data from our clients shows that an average of 25% of visitors to our menswear clients’ e-commerce websites are female. So how can your menswear brand serve for men while still engaging women?

Imagine a woman walking into a store looking for a shirt for her man. What would be her biggest challenges? Most likely she will worry about the fit or his colour-and pattern preferences. This gives you an opportunity to solve these questions with relevant content.

3.      Stand out with original content

They say content is king, and we couldn’t agree more. Whether it is content that sits on your blog or content that sits on your social media, the impact can be immense: Original and engaging content on your website will get people sharing, which in turn affects your search engine rankings positively and rewards you with more traffic to your website. More traffic is also more likely to return in more sales, providing you have a satisfying user experience (more in point 5).
Evidence shows that while women are more likely to share photos, men prefer sharing videos and news. So why not research how you could best approach topics your audience is interested in from a fresh angle? Be just as innovative with your headlines because as you might expect, a captivating headline is much more likely to get people to engage with your content.

4.     Use social media to get personal

Not only is social media great for unearthing insights about your target audience, it gives your brand an excellent opportunity to connect with it. Take into account that the gender usage varies from platform to platform. Pinterest is a great example of a platform primarily used by females (80%!) and should probably be avoided if you are selling to men. Unless, of course, assisting women in their purchases for the men in their lives is part of your content strategy. However, Facebook and Twitter are more gender neutral and offer a better opportunity to genuinely connect with your audience.

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Instagram is another example of a social media platform, where the gender split is relatively equal. On top of that, is this where #menswear is trending and yummies proudly share their outfits; it is a fantastic way of showcasing your latest collection. Instagram can be any menswear brand’s best friend, especially if your audience is under 50 years old. If you are trying to reach an older male audience, opt for Facebook and LinkedIn for your marketing efforts. These are the two platforms where the user age spread is least biased.

It is easy to ignore YouTube when speaking of social media. However, YouTube’s male users spend 44% more time on the site than its female user base. So why not create some visually appealing and engaging videos? Besides, men are much more likely to share videos on other social media platforms.

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via sproutsocial

5.     Create a remarkable experience

What might put the male consumer off buying fashion online? Take that into consideration and try your best to offer a solution to the problem your target group experiences. Whether that entails difficulties navigating around your website or high delivery charges – any problem can be solved. Use surveys, exit page insights sand social media to find out how your existing and potential customers are responding to your experience. With men being more interested in gadgets than women, be sure to look into how they access your platforms and build a responsive e-commerce experience for all your visitors.

 

 

What does this mean for you as a menswear e-commerce marketer?  Be aware that the digital landscape calls for more than simply offering an appealing menswear product.  Understanding the people you are targeting is crucial. But, always keep in mind that what might define your customer’s persona offline, cannot always be in alignment with your hunches on their online behaviour. Be sure to keep track of how they use your site to offer the best experience. Would you organize getting your colleague any ticket to a rock concert as a birthday present just because they expressed an interest in the genre? We hope not! You would know finding out their artist preferences could result in much more brownie points. The beauty of e-commerce is that you can find out about your customer’s preferences. So use it wisely!

Need help with your menswear e-commerce? Drop us a line on hello@diligentcommerce.com

 

Sources:
http://qz.com/355433/mens-clothing-is-outpacing-cameras-computers-and-beer-in-growth-of-online-sales/
http://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/
http://digiday.com/platforms/demographics-youtube-5-charts/
http://www.ibisworld.co.uk/market-research/clothing-retailing.html

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