Every fashion brand starts somewhere. And every fashion brand, at its core, has key products that separate it from the rest. However, as fashion has got “faster” and demand has increased, a lot of innovation and flexibility is required for fashion brands and their key products to stay relevant.
What is popular today might not be the flavour of the month later on. Nevertheless, there is a difference between seasonality, trends, and key products. We’ll be focusing on why every fashion brand needs key products and how this may mean different things to different fashion brands.
The fashion brand needs key products and eCommerce (briefly)
Fashion eCommerce is one of the largest online industries that continues to grow at a rapid scale. Being in the industry and managing a wide variety of clients in the fashion eCommerce space, we’ve become accustomed to seeing how they all are desperate to stand out from the crowd. We’ve also gained enough experience to offer them guidance. For this reason, it’s clear fashion brands need key products that reflect their uniqueness and variety in a highly saturated and competitive market.
The reason why a fashion brand needs key products
The key…to key products is that having them will often increase a fashion brand’s customer retention and generate up to 80% of their revenue.
Certain lines for fashion brands are considered as flow lines. What this means is that lots of fashion companies will have all season lines and some brands will call this a key line or product. These are products that fashion brands sell all year round and aren’t geared to one season.
Occasionally, these lines are seasonal such as an autumn-winter dress or a summer print dress. Even if not all year, they are in stock for extended periods and normally fit into a fashion brand’s best seller collection.
These products can generate up to 80% of sales in certain retailers that we have worked in. Therefore, they contribute heavily to the success of a fashion brand.
Key products represent what the customer knows and is familiar with. Whether it’s that shape or that fit that they love, a certain colour or style. People are creatures of habit and if they find an item of clothing they connect with, they’ll often want similar or the same pieces. Often a customer will buy it again and again, whether it be a new print, new colour, or even that their old favourite dress needs updating. The reasons are countless, but due to that purchase behaviour it can often inform what a key product is.
Many fashion brands will buy bigger volumes of their key lines. Therefore, being in stock of a key line at all times will give you the potential to grow sales on these lines and scale.
What type of products could be a key line?
From experience, we have identified a number of key products that usually work well for fashion brands. There is no right or wrong answer. More often than not, how much a fashion brand sells of something determines the key product. However, there are still a few key lines and products that traditionally sell better than others:
- Both men’s and women’s skinny jeans in basic colours
- Little black dress
- Dresses – in certain shapes
- Black Leggings
- Tee shirts – white or black
- Black handbag
- White shirt for men
There are many more and even if your brand doesn’t have the above we have often found that brands with lines that are consistent throughout the year will find their top 10 lines.
We work with a brand whose top 10 lines out of nearly 100 lines generated 50% of the brand sales last month and most of those are key lines.
In conclusion, the reason fashion brands need key products is revenue, customer retention and consistency. Even a fashion brand, while constantly adapting to trends, needs a certain set of key products that are evergreen. This also helps to lower costs as they can buy key products in bulk. They also need products that their loyal customers know they can always rely on them to have. And, rely on them to have different styles so it won’t look like they’re wearing the same thing every day.