An Insight into How Magento is Supporting Fashion & Lifestyle eCommerce Stores

Author: Myk Baxter

As the world’s leading eCommerce platform, Magento makes up a huge market share across the majority of online retail sectors. Playing current host to 250,000 live stories, they’re also the leading platform for the IR1000 & IR250.

Fashion and lifestyle are some of Magento’s biggest focal sectors, & it’s not deniable that they’re the leader in this too. You may recognise some of the names below, those of whom are some of the biggest brands that currently use the Magento eCommerce platform (whether it be their Enterprise or Community Edition). 

  • Pretty Little Thing 
  • Kurt Geiger
  • Paul Smith
  • Christian Louboutin 
  • Barbour

From the above, you’ll notice that Magento is truly the space where retail giants find safety & security and has merchants at every level (with Pretty Little Thing even turning over millions of pounds a month). Naturally, Magento 2 is geared even more towards this sector, with its features granting users a greater, seamless omnichannel journey & an easier content facility. 

In this article today I’ll be discussing why these brands are choosing to use Magento over alternative platforms (for example, Shopify Plus & the Salesforce Commerce Clouds) and the features that have been valuable to them – with a main focus on the Magento Enterprise feature-set. 

Granting a Scalable Platform 

Magento’s clientele features a number of merchants who are turning over more than 1 billion dollars pounds & who see significant peaks around seasonal trading periods (such as Black Friday Weekend) marketing & and new collections. & the platform has the experience needed to help them continue their great reign in the sectors. 

Magento 2’s Visual Merchandising Capabilities 

In comparison to some other global stores, visual merchandising makes up a fundamental part of larger fashion and lifestyle stores’ marketing requirements. This is is due to the fact that they aren’t able to rely on other rule-based merchandising features because of the need to represent trends, and showcase ranges & combinations of products at a single time. It’s a factor that should always be considered when heading into a replatforming project. 

Powered by technology purchased from OnTop, Magento 2’s updated visual merchandising capabilities allow a reliable & stronger service than its previous version. 

It also allows merchandisers to create rules based on their product attributes, saving them a lot of time in comparison to if they were to use another competitor. 

Magento Bluefoot/Advanced CMS (Content Management)

In short, the Bluefoot CMS grants the ability of widget-based content management, & has a drag & drop interface to help enhance the quality of pages and blocks created and managed by Magento. This is a great solution to reducing the overhead for merchandisers. 

The software can be used to singularly manage blocks featured on different types of content & CMS pages, as well as a blog. 

Strong & relevant lifestyle-led agencies & integrators

A significant factor in Magento is their level of strong partners from across the globe – including those that have a specific focus on the fashion/lifestyle factors & who have experience in building/maintaining stores with high performance. Such as; 

  • Ampersand (Harvey Nichols, Made.com)
  • Inviga (Boohoo Group, Molton Brown, Reiss)
  • Limesharp (Paul Smith, Jo Loves, Me+Em)
  • Diligent Commerce (Boodles, Wrangler, Lee, Amanda Wakley) 

Looking at the above, it’s clear that the Magento partner ecosystem is strong against any other platform, which puts them at an advantage. Besides their development strengths, the above have great creative skills & experience, which are incredibly important to those brands in the fashion and lifestyle space – even if they have an external design partner or an in-house design team. 

Handling Complex Product Types

For those merchants wishing to sell products further than just parent and children items, Magento supports 7 native product types. These are:

  • Simple product
  • Configurable product
  • Bundled product
  • Grouped product
  • Downloadable product
  • Virtual product
  • Gift card

Being able to effectively manage simple & configurable products is a huge priority for fashion, due to stocking lots of colour, size & style variations which they would want to display as a configurable product. Magento provides them with the ability to manage both these, & simple products individually as well as their merchandising. Something that other platforms overlook. 

Grouped products and bundled products also come in useful should you wish to sell items together or sell higher quantities of items – which I believe are two really under-utilised features that could be used to upsell. Gift cards also play a significant role for fashion brands & Magento’s implementation allows for these to be implemented easily (including for partial redemption & balance against account, etc)

Implementing rule-based product promotions

Magento’s rule-based product recommendation is another great feature – granting merchants the ability to create rules for cross-sells, up-sells & related product blocks using their product attributes. For example, you could create an up-sell product rule within the same parent category between a certain price point or promote other items against another. This can be really valuable if you have a larger catalogue.

Some other useful Magento features include: 

Customer Segmentation – the ability to segment customers based on purchasing behaviour to customise promotions/or their user experience. 

Hosting Private Sales – to grant individual, or groups of customers access to certain sales or categories. For example, to introduce VIP products to a limited number of customers. 

Existing relevant third-party modules & integrations – with an unrivalled list of third-party support, they can help you reduce costs and make managing certain things easier. These include: 

  • Payment gateway (such as Stripe, Worldpay etc)
  • CMS (WordPress, Drupal etc)
  • Point of sale system (Cybertill, Barclaycard, Vend etc)

Strong multi-store functionality (for wholesale, international & multi-brand eCommerce) – allowing you to use a website, store/or storeview for each entity, that allows different levels of adaptability (for example, you would use a separate site for your multi-warehouse but a storeview if dealing in multiple currencies). You can also change the scope of certain attributes (e.g. cost) so you can manage your data at either level. 

In conclusion

From the above, we’ve identified that Magento is leading the way in eCommerce for the fashion and lifestyle sectors and its native feature set makes it perfect for both mid-level and large stores. Its extendability and scalability are one of the platforms’ biggest selling platforms, especially for those merchants with big seasonal action. 

If you’d like to learn more about Magento & how it could support your business, contact me today. 

Thanks for reading,

Myk Baxter, eCommerce Consultant