Creative Talk With Taylor Boutique
As an online retailer, whether NZ or Global, you need to have a strong online presence, search marketing and SEO sorted. We ask Taylor Boutique about how the digital world has changed the face of retail for them.
Q. As a New Zealand designer / retailer, you now have to have a strong online presence. You recently hired an online manager, is this an integral role for your business?
These days this role has become an integral part of our business.
Q. Shopping online has become hugely popular and is continuously progressing – particularly in the fashion industry. How does this affect the way you reach your customers?
At our level of the industry we need to work hard to make online shopping work. The statistics are showing that while online fashion shopping is increasing – online fashion shopping from New Zealand based stores is in a decline, as New Zealander's often aspire to overseas brands that they read about in global media. We look at targeting the northern hemisphere – but our seasonal difference is always a challenge as well.
Another challenge is representing the true product. Our beautiful high level, exclusive fabrications may not translate in photography. The touch and feel of the fabric will always sell a garment so we need to try and replicate that in the representation of the garment online.
Social media is also a relatively new platform that has quickly become an integral part of our marketing strategy. We need to deliver all our brand messages through social media as well as in store.
Q. In a digitally dominated world, do you think that online retail sites will replace the need for physical stores?
I feel the two will settle and work together, I do not believe in the high fashion area it can be sold purely online. The touch, feel and fit of a garment will always be important to discerning shoppers where quality is important.
Online, can you tell a well photoshopped polyester top from a silk designer one? You see colour and shape – but fit and feel is not easily displayed by photography. This means your brand identity must be very strong so your customers know they will always be purchasing high quality garments from you.
One of our biggest challenges in online is showing our customers the high level of fabrication we use, as well as the quality of the manufacture. Online you are only able to use photography and a description. You can’t touch and feel the fabric or feel the flow, drape or fit of a garment and our customers still seek that.
Q. Where are Taylor’s customers engaging online, via website, app or social media?
We get the best engagement on our website, people go searching for us by name. Our social media is also an important platform, but we find it’s more about building awareness of the brand and telling the ‘taylor’ story.
Q. Do you think you can do too much social media?
Yes I do, especially as people are wanting an experience. Too many posts and activity, it’s like dealing with a pushy sales person. We try and create compelling content that our readers will be interested in, not just posting for the sake of posting.
Q. Did you do, and do you now do any print advertising?
Yes we still do, a lot less than in our early years, but there is still a place for it.
Q. As a New Zealand designer, how do you feel about people buying clothes online offshore?
This is part of life, there has been a tsumani of “global” brands that are now available here.
Q. Do you collaborate with graphic designers / other designers?
We do not collaborate as such, we employ a graphics company that do our graphic feel and we have a graphics graduate on staff.
Q. Do you see a merge happening between graphic / digital and fashion designers in the future – or are they better to keep to their own individual disciplines?
I think the two will hold hands very nicely.
Q. What’s your creative outlook for 2015?
Individuality will always remain strong, and I always believe that creating your own identity is so important.