UK Fashion Retailers' Channels Guide
We’ve compiled a list of 10 online channels that are beneficial for fashion retailers to expand to. They’re split into 3 categories:
- Fashion-focused channels
- Social media channels
For each channel, we’ll provide a brief summary that will give you a better idea if it's a good fit for your business.
These channels host eCommerce retailers and their products and allow shoppers to be presented with a wide variety of options. Merchants can create an account and start selling right away. Typically, the better quality your listings are, the more engagement you will get on the site.
Amazon is now the most popular online shopping channel in the UK and has an eCommerce market share of over 30%. Also noteworthy, about 86% of residents in the UK say they’ve shopped using Amazon.
And while you can buy almost anything at all on Amazon, it’s also by far the most popular place online for consumers to buy fashion items in the UK.
Because of the different fulfillment options Amazon offers, it can be a convenient option for retailers with a lot of products who are looking to automate their processes and ship to customers more quickly. Winning the 'Buy box' is paramount to successfully selling on Amazon, so it's worth taking the time to fully optimize your listings.
Home of handmade, original, and vintage products, Etsy is the place shoppers go to find unique items. The UK hosts 30% of Etsy sellers, making it the leading country outside of the US.
It’s a great opportunity for retailers selling more niche products. Clothing, bags, purses, and jewelry rank among the most popular items sold on the site. Reviews are prominent on the product pages, so building a strong connection with your customers will go a long way when it comes to gaining new clients.
Fruugo is a marketplace that was founded in the UK. They’ve made it easy for retailers to expand internationally by offering translated website pages and showing products in a wide range of currencies.
Their ‘Clothing & Accessories’ department is divided into 9 main categories and each one break down further into more specific categories:
- Jewelry & Watches
- Luggage & Bags
- Active, Leisure & Uniforms
- Handbags & Wallets
- Baby, Toddler & Maternity
- Cool Weather Accessories
Idealo lets shoppers compare prices between different brands. Once they find the item they’re looking for, Idealo sends them to the product’s page on that specific brand's website so they can complete the purchase.
Because shoppers are comparing the same products and looking for the best value, it's important to have a competitive pricing strategy to get ahead of other retailers.
These channels are fashion specific and require an application to start selling on them.
Fashiola offers their shoppers a wide range of clothing and accessories from “exclusive luxury fashion to classic designer labels” to “affordable favorites”. Their editors curate the website but also allow users to create their own filters to find exactly what they want.
If you’re interested in selling on Fashiola, fill in their “Contact Us” form.
Shop Style has a network of over 1,400 retailers and brands, both new and established. Their sophisticated search technology helps shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for as well as discover new products.
You can apply to sell with them through their website here.
Social media channels
These channels allow you to sell through the social media platforms your brand might already be on. They often allow shoppers to make purchases without leaving the platform, making it a great opportunity for retailers to sell and advertise on.
Facebook is a logical place to start for fashion retailers looking to expand where they’re selling. It’s still widely used by people, relatively easy to target and retarget customers, and can fit seamlessly into your branding, especially if you’re already posting there.
In 2021, Facebook Shops had over 250 million monthly visitors and continues to attract customers. Reasons for this could include that shoppers can read reviews, browse your products, and get to know you better as a brand all in one easy-to-browse place.
Taking advantage of Facebook ads can also increase your sales, as is seen in this Michael Kors case study.
If you’re selling on Facebook, Instagram almost certainly a must when it comes to channel expansion. You need a Facebook business account to set up an Instagram shop, and integrating the two is a quick process.
Benefits of selling on Instagram include:
- Shoppable posts
- In-app checkout
- A dedicated shopping tab where you can get discovered
- Intuitive mobile interface for on-the-go shoppers
Over the years, Pinterest has evolved from simply a source of inspiration to a place where shoppers can directly acquire the full looks they love. Pinterest has shown a growing focus in this area through resources like their ‘Merchant Help Portal’ that includes helpful guides for selling.
97% of top Pinterest searches are unbranded, meaning that it’s a site ripe with opportunities for brand discovery.
Beneficial features of the site for fashion retailers include:
- Shoppable pins
- A highly visual layout
- Customer-created pins with your items left as reviews
- An algorithm that pushes your pins to interested shoppers
According to Snapchat, about 390 million people use the app every day, and it reaches up to 75% of millennials and Gen Z.
A big focus of theirs over the years has been incorporating VR and retail. They provide a platform for brands to create filters that let users experiment virtually with how products will look on them. For example, if you sell sunglasses, those interested in your product can see how specific frames look on them.
By Q4 of 2021, TikTok reached 1 billion users. While it started off as a platform used almost exclusively by Gen Z, it has now expanded in popularity across all ages.
In the UK, the average TikTok user watches about 26 hours of content on the app each month. This has even surpassed the amount of time people spend watching videos on YouTube.
And according to Sprout Social, about 30% of Gen Z users prefer using TikTok for product research.
Since its surge in popularity, TikTok has taken the opportunity to expand its potential for retailers through TikTok Shop. It enables merchants to sell their products through videos, live streaming, and by using the product showcase tab.
You can sign up for TikTok Shop here.
Multi-channel marketing strategies
Creating a multi-channel strategy means expanding to the right online channels for your brand. One of the benefits of selling fashion items like clothing and accessories online is that you open up the chances of more people coming into contact with your products.
You don’t need to sell everywhere, but by selecting additional channels strategically you can put purchase intent at the center of your plans and in turn, make more sales.