According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2022, Muslims spent US$295 billion on fashion in 2021, an increase of 5.7% from US$279 billion in 2021. Experts expect a 6.0% growth in 2022 to US$313 billion and spending to reach US$375 billion in 2025 at a 4-year CAGR of 6.1%.
As expected, modest fashion continues to become more mainstream every year. The Global Modest Clothing Market for 2022 Report, which explorers the modest clothing market from different aspects including market share, investment, and growth, identified the following brands as top players globally:
- Hennes and Mauritz AB (H&M)
- Marks and Spencer (M&S)
- House of Fraser
- Dolce and Gabbana
- Tommy Hilfiger
- Donna Karan Company (DKNY)
Riding the Social Media Wave to Boost Your Modest Fashion Brand
Social media has been a key factor in the rise of modest fashion. Designers, hijabi influencers, and brand owners used social media to make their mark.
“They were able to provide what the mainstream fashion industry was not giving them (modest fashion businesses) and the modest wearer. This inspired and helped many other young people who were following them. More and more people started sharing their modest styles on social media and it became a buzz that changed the view of modest fashion.”
Source: Islamic Fashion and Design Council
Social media continues to impact the rise of modest fashion and we take a look at how you can use it to grow your modest clothing business.
Stay Ahead of Modest Fashion Trends Powered by Social Media
The world of fashion as a whole has changed since the advent of social media. Consumers increasingly dictate trends rather than brands. This was a key factor in the rise of modest fashion.
Social media today leads Muslim consumers to adopt and move on from modest fashion trends very quickly, and to appease your modest clothing customers, you must keep up with the forecasts.
“Social media is a powerful platform for sharing and purchasing new trends, with 84% of shoppers consulting at least one social media platform before making a purchase.”
Identify and Work With Relevant Influencers
Not so long ago, the gatekeepers of the mainstream fashion industry used to be fashion magazine editors, reputable designers, and established retailers. Just ten years ago, magazines were still considered the owners of fashion inspiration and new seasonal must-haves. That changed really fast after the launch of Instagram in 2010.
So far 40 billion images have been on Instagram, with 1.393 billion monthly active users. The impact of these images is enormous. This is especially true when those images are shared by influencers.
“Considering its visual nature and its highly engaged users, it’s no surprise that Instagram influences purchase decisions. In fact, Instagram helps 80% of consumers to decide whether or not to buy something. And 46% have bought a product or service after seeing it on Instagram.”
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Of course, other social media platforms like TikTok, Pinterest, and YouTube are equally as important.
As you already know, brands work closely with influencers to drive those sales. Given the fact that social media was a key factor in the rise of the modest fashion industry, your modest fashion brand would do well to identify relevant influencers to work with.
Keep in mind that having a social media presence is not enough. You need a strategy to build audiences and convert them into paying customers.
The most popular method of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, search engine advertising, is among the best strategies for fashion advertising on the web.
“Search ads offer fast sales and a very good return-on-ad-spend (or ROAS). According to Google, data suggests as much as $2 ROI for every $1 that’s spent. Fashion PPC advertising can help increase brand awareness by as much as 80%, and clicks that come through ads have a 1.5x greater conversion rate than just organic traffic.”
Source: Radd Interactive
Both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising use the same model for paid search ads – and combined, they account for 95% of all search traffic (Google accounts for more than 88%).
Social Media Ads
Despite having the best modest fashion social media strategy, you are still not going to reach every single person who follows your accounts. For instance, “the average organic Facebook Page post sees just 0.07% engagement”.
Social media platforms are becoming more and more paid-ads-oriented and it is worth it for your modest fashion brands to invest in advertising across the different platforms where your audience is already hanging out.
Whether you decide to advertise to Muslim audiences on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other platform, there are some basic elements to keep in mind.
For instance, Facebook is by far the most popular platform for paid social and its targeting includes among many things:
- Lookalike audiences
Combining your paid social and social commerce (selling products directly through social media platforms) can be a very powerful strategy for your modest clothing business.
Google and Bing Shopping
Google and Bing Shopping are marketplaces that offer paid effective advertising options for you if you are a modest clothing store, retailer, or modest fashion brand. Modest fashion shoppers are able to filter and sort results based on price, brand, size, color, and more.
To get your products to appear in Google Shopping, your Muslim clothing brand or online store must import product data into a free Merchant Center account, or for Bing campaigns, use a Microsoft Merchant Center account (MMC).
Shopping ads are known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on Google. They use product data instead of keywords – to rank ads. The results are primarily based on search query relevance.
Shopping ads generate revenue directly from Google/Bing search pages. This lowers the barriers to conversion for many shoppers.
They will help you promote brand recognition when competing against other dominant modest fashion brands.
Defining Your Online Modest Clothing Business
Identify Your Niche
Start by deciding which apparel or clothing niche you want to sell in. Doing so ensures you create your whole modest clothing line business plan around the persona you want to appeal to and position your online store in a unique way.
An awesome example of this is Texas-based designer Subhi Taha’s very specific “urban wear designs for Muslim men” niche approach. After all, modest clothing is equally emphasized for men too.
“Most people don’t associate men with modesty – it’s still, unfortunately, seen more as a feminine quality to ‘cover up’. But I certainly see that changing, especially within the male Muslim community. It was actually seeing the female Muslim fashion bloggers on social media share their modest style that inspired me to do so myself as a Muslim guy.” – Subhi Taha
Image Source: GQ Middle East
Choose a Business Model
Your modest online clothing store can be built around one of several online clothing business models. Once your niche is determined and you know which products you will be selling, you can choose a model.
There are four types of business models that your modest online clothing can fall into:
- Custom cut-and-sew
- Private label
*Shariah-compliant only under special circumstances
You should consider each of the online business models based on your modest fashion store objective, your budget, and your ability to hire a team.
Growing Your Online Modest Clothing Business
Here is a rapid-fire list of tactics and tools you may need to grow your online modest fashion eCommerce business:
Ace Your Customer Service
- Offer easy and smooth deliveries/returns
- Offer a wide range of payment methods
Put Your Email to Work
- Send personalized offers and discounts
- Send reminders for abandoned shopping carts
Solicit Customer Reviews
- Ask for feedback and act upon it
- Deal with negative reviews with positivity
- Feature customer reviews for each product
Harness the Power of Sustainability
- Use sustainable transportation
- Use sustainable packaging
Configure Your Site Search for Success
- Use autocomplete
- Enable search for other content like delivery information
- Enable image search
Use Social Commerce Tools*
- Use Snapchat augmented reality shopping so customers can test-drive products virtually
- Use on-(social media) platform shops like Instagram shops
*Explained further on: Social Commerce Tools Your Muslim Brand Should Consider Using