How fashion brands are demystifying consumer loyalty and engaging shoppers

With countless fashion brands available to US shoppers, consumers are becoming less attached to brands and more accustomed to switching labels and styles. Fashion brands are engaging with both new and loyal buyers to grow revenue in an increasingly competitive space and establish their place in consumers’ wardrobes.

According to a Kantar and Amazon Ads custom study of US apparel shoppers from May 2022, 69% of apparel shoppers say they are undecided about brand choice at the beginning of their shopping journey, up 30% compared to 2020. As more consumers are starting their shopping journey in a brand-agnostic state, suggesting they are open to discovering new brands, marketers must find ways to stand out among the countless fashion brands to which consumers are exposed if they are to establish brand loyalty.

“Brand loyalty is built on the long-term trust of repeat customers,” said Holly Wheeler, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing at Wrangler, who has worked with Amazon Ads since 2015. “One of the biggest challenges is understanding what trends are of fidelity changing and then turning.

“Our consumers today are looking for exceptional quality backed by authenticity, but they still want individual choice,” Wheeler continued. “Brands that can deliver reliable results and at the speed consumers demand are the brands that are winning with loyalists in this environment.”

Understand the motivations of clothing buyers

Brand loyalty doesn’t necessarily equate to brand exclusivity, and even the most loyal shoppers don’t exclusively buy clothing from a single brand. According to the same custom study by Kantar and Amazon Ads, 65% of surveyed apparel shoppers have five or more brands in their wardrobe, and 82% mix and match pieces from different brands when creating an outfit.

Consumers’ desire to take care of their clothes also influences their shopping habits. According to research by MRI Simmons, 78% of clothing shoppers say the overall look is more important than brand when shopping for fashion. For fashion labels looking to keep their place in consumers’ closets, brands may need to prioritize aesthetics over brand recognition.

“Fashion consumers are dedicated to self-curating their identity and public image through their clothing choices,” Wheeler said. “This individualized decision making is rooted in fit and style, as well as beliefs. We talk to customers continuously so we always understand what our different audiences are looking for and why.

How brands leverage audience insights to reach apparel shoppers

Even as shopper motivations and habits evolve, they are open to trying new brands. According to May 2022 research by McKinsey & Co., more consumers are switching brands now than in 2020.

One way advertisers can reach new audiences and facilitate brand discovery is by considering the lifestyles consumers are purchasing through behavioral or contextual cues.

Behavioral audiences can help brands reach relevant groups of shoppers, such as those who shop regularly or search for related products. According to Amazon Ads internal research, on average, brands that reach audiences based on behavioral and demographic signals saw a 41% increase in consideration compared to brands that leverage demographic signals alone.

Marketers can also deliver relevant ads based on what shoppers are actively browsing or demographic cues, which are refined by attributes including geography, gender, age, or household income.

“Using the right values-based messaging at the right time is key to resonating with fashion audiences,” said Spencer Lian-Thornton, head of apparel ads at Amazon Ads.

Understanding and activating these audiences allows fashion brands to reach relevant shoppers. For example, shoppers living in colder regions (an example of an audience demographic) may not be receptive to messages from a swimwear brand. However, audiences shopping for a warm tropical vacation (an example of behavioral audiences or contextual advertising) may be receptive.

Why clothing brands are adopting new advertising solutions

As Amazon Ads’ Lian-Thornton explains, “Fashion consumers could prioritize personalized curation of their clothing so brands can consider how their brand fits into shoppers’ worlds.” With fashion shoppers showing interest in brands that align with their aesthetic, digital marketers are turning to the channels these consumers are already engaged with. This means using alternative advertising solutions beyond display ads and sponsored products.

For example, interactive shopping experiences, such as Amazon Live, help shoppers view products through the wardrobes of influencers and style mavens. According to Amazon Ads research, fashion brands that sponsor live series see 69% of their sales come from new buyers.

Video ads, including streaming TV ads, also help advertisers reach relevant audiences, new customers and repeat buyers, which can further help drive sales growth. According to MRI Simmons research, 83% of apparel shoppers surveyed stream TV at least once a week. Amazon internal research shows that, on average, apparel brands that used video ads saw a 2.7x growth rate in new customers, a 2.8x growth rate in repeat customers, and a 2.2X higher sales growth than brands that did not include video ads in their strategy (and only included sponsored ads).

According to an internal Amazon Ads analysis, TV streaming ad packages that included Twitch showed, on average, 17% more new customer purchases than those that didn’t include Twitch.

“With new buyers, it’s about building trust at engaging touchpoints along their buying journey, but with returning buyers, it’s about fine-tuning strategies based on their unique needs,” said Lian- Thornton.

“With returning customers, as well as showing where they are, brands might consider showing what’s new or the future,” added Lian-Thornton. “It may be more valuable to focus on what additional items can be mixed and matched as a complement to their original purchase or take into consideration the lifestyles consumers are shopping for. Similarly, a repeat customer might also be interested in learning more about the brand’s values, sustainability improvements, or discovering a new collection.”

Sponsored by: Amazon Ads

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *