Benefits of entering the global fashion market via social media
By 2023, the global eCommerce fashion market is expected to grow to $872bn. As a fashion retailer, advertising in new territories via social media will allow you to take part in this global market by:
- Adding new revenue streams to achieve your sales goals
- Finding opportunities where you are uniquely positioned to fill a specific fashion gap in a market abroad
- Gaining sales from that market before your competitors, or benefitting from the momentum your competitors have already created in that country
Tip: Monitor where your competitors are expanding in order to act quickly and take a share of the market as well.
There are additional reasons why advertising your products internationally through your social media channels is a good business move.
Cart abandonment rates in the fashion eCommerce sector actually decreased in 2021 and the average order value increased. This could be due to the general public now being more comfortable buying online as they may have made first-time purchases during the pandemic as a necessity.
Convenience of in-app shopping
Social media companies like Meta have realized the profitability of selling and advertising via social media. They’ve worked over the years to make it as convenient as possible for both shoppers and retailers through features like shoppable posts and in-app purchasing.
Built-in social proof
People also use social media apps for product research, giving you easy, organic access to your target audience. Shoppers are also more comfortable going through with a purchase when they can see product reviews. Your social media accounts hold a large potential for showcasing authentic social proof through things like comments on your posts and customer-created content.
In the fashion sector, we see that more traffic comes from mobile devices while more sales come from desktop devices. Advertising on social media platforms allows you to blend the benefits of mobile and desktop shopping through a strong omnichannel marketing strategy. You can first target your ideal customers while they’re browsing on their mobiles, and then retarget them when they’re sitting down at their desktop.
Building a global social media advertising campaign strategy will help you expand to other countries at scale bringing in more revenue sources while decreasing your cost per click and increasing your return on ad spend.
Creating an international social media strategy
There are 7 key areas you should focus on when creating your international social media advertising strategy. The more planning done before campaigns launch in new countries, the better results your campaigns will yield.
- Country selection: What countries and languages will you target?
- Channel selection: Which social media channels will you use to expand with?
- Ad campaigns: Do your images, copy, and other creatives match the culture of where you’re expanding to?
- Payment methods: Will you be able to accept the common payment methods from these new markets?
- Shipment and fulfillment: Will you be able to send your products to these countries without extreme shipping costs that will hinder sales?
- Back-end and operations: Will your website and team be able to keep up with the new traffic and sales?
- Optimization: How will you track and measure your results to scale efficiently in the future?
Where should you expand to?
Before choosing which countries to expand to, conduct research on where your target demographic spends the most time online, how online shoppers find your brand organically, and where they are located. This is often possible through the analytics of the social media accounts you currently run.
Consider only expanding to English-speaking countries, or only targeting people abroad who use English as their primary language when possible to cut down on the work needed to launch. Similarly, you can branch out to countries you share borders with first if you also share cultural similarities.
Always backup your choices with data to predict success as accurately as possible.
Translating product feeds and landing pages
Some questions to consider when expanding to new markets are:
- Will you localize your website and product feeds?
- Do you have a big enough audience to create a new social media account per country or per territory?
- Will you localize your ads or keep them in English?
The answer to these questions depend on your resources, the amount of sales acquired from these new countries, and who you are targeting.
Location targeting for top social media channels
These are the 5 most popular social media platforms for selling apparel and accessories online. Here’s how you can get the most out of each channel to reach your brand’s goals.
A Facebook study showed that about 60% of users in the US were connected to at least one business abroad.
It’s possible to target shoppers almost anywhere in the world with Facebook so it’s important to have a strategy to identify the most beneficial markets for your business. There are two suggested methods for finding countries with the highest potential:
- Top down: Start with non-specific campaigns in several countries at the same time. Once you’ve had time to collect enough data, take a look at your results and rank the countries from highest performing to lowest. Then create the next phase of your campaigns based on this analysis.
- Bottom up: Start with research to determine which countries hold the most potential both market attractiveness and how much effort it will take to earn sales there. Then choose a few factors that are most important to your campaigns (for example, languages spoken or shipping costs) and weigh each factor so the total is 100%. After that you can rank each country from your original list based on these factors to determine where to sell first.
After that, back up your choices with data and market knowledge to ensure profitability. Facebook (now Meta) provides retailers with resources to accomplish this.
Pro tip: Start with small experiments when entering a new market. For example, create a campaign centered around pre-orders to gauge where your new customers are coming from and how big the potential sales will be.
Then your team will be ready to create a functional plan for cross-border selling logistics.
If you decide to advertise in languages other than English, Facebook offers tools for automatic translations for popular ad placements, such as:
- Facebook feeds
- Facebook and messenger stories
- Facebook In-Stream videos
Ways to target new international customers with Meta
- Meta Pixel
- Global targeting
- Multi-country lookalikes
- Machine learning
Tip: Use lifestyle images to increase conversion rates by 137%
Creating Dynamic Ads using lifestyle images rather than static images of your products can increase your conversion rate. This will allow you to scale your ads, and at the same time show fresh images to online shoppers so that your campaigns never suffer from ad fatigue.
Check out this case study to see how it’s done.
Since Meta purchased Instagram, the two are linked for advertising. When you create an ad on Facebook, you can have it automatically published on Instagram as well so your efforts with planning Facebook ads can take you even further.
Benefits of international advertising with Instagram:
- More fashion focused
- Shoppable posts and stories
- Your demographic may use Instagram over Facebook
- Easily advertise with influencers
Instagram also allows for automatic ad translations for the following placements:
- On the feed
- The Explore page
Tip: Retarget shoppers with Dynamic Ads
Target your potential customers with shoppable posts, and then retarget them with Dynamic Ads on Instagram. That way you can show them carousel posts on their feed of items they’ve already interacted with from your store, left in their shopping cart, or even items related to purchases they’ve made with you in the past.
As of 2022, Pinterest averages at about 430 million active monthly users, many of which are ready to make a purchase.
The targeting options with Pinterest ads allows you to narrow down who will see your ads. Helpful targeting options for fashion retailers include:
- Demographics (location, gender, age, etc.)
- Keywords (Example: women’s fashion)
- Interests (Example: streetwear)
You can target whole counties, or get more specific with regions and postal codes.
For a complete guide on selling with Pinterest, check out our article: How to Sell on Pinterest Successfully
Snapchat sees over 332 million active users daily worldwide. Take advantage of the global popularity of mobile shopping with these supported (and unique) ad types:
- Single image
- Lenses (using augmented reality)
- Story Ads
- Product Catalog Ads
Snapchat has around 70 targetable countries and by using Advanced Create you can upload locations by criteria like country, postal code, and regions.
Tip: Optimizing product feeds
Optimizing your product data for Snapchat with a feed marketing solution like DataFeedWatch can help you scale your revenue by 86% while having a 10x increase in ROAS. Check out this case study to see how it’s done.
TikTok has exploded in popularity in recent years, and has increased its user base from about 291 million to 655 million from 2019 to 2021, and is therefore worth considering as an advertising channel for brands.
Location and ad targeting
You can target TikTok users by location and language as well as interests and behaviors. All of these criteria can help you center on users who are interested in fashion and also let you keep your ads in English without having to localize them.
Once you narrow down where you want to target, you can use the two types of behavioral targeting that allow you to show your ads to users based on the actions they’ve taken on the app. They are:
- Actions related to videos they’ve watched
This option allows you to target users based on the types of videos they’ve watched all the way through, liked, commented on, and/or shared. This is helpful for reaching potential shoppers who have shown an interest in fashion-related content.
- Who users are following and what profile pages they have visited
This option allows you to target users based on the types of creators they’ve followed and engaged with. If you know of any fashion content creators, or creators who are already interested in your products then you can reach viewers who are interested in the same things.
6 best practices for cross-border selling via social media
- Have a strong omnichannel strategy/presence across all social media profiles, especially if you have different profiles for different countries/languages.
- Integrate your ad creatives with your social media posts.
- Use lifestyle images and videos that fit with the aesthetic your target audience identifies with.
- Consider influencer marketing and the use of affiliate channels.
- “Always be testing” to find what works best.
- Plan on scaling your campaigns rather than starting too big without concrete success in the new market.