As you know, custom tailoring is one of the professional skills that has faced challenges within the past few decades in growing customer base considering the fast-paced world that we currently live in.
It continues to be less appealing particularly to the younger generations as there are limitations on how the profession can grow its customers and compete in the global market.
However, with the abuse of the fast fashion industry, more people are moving into the bespoke and custom making space with the intention to be more deliberate in what they buy and consume.
According to the Business Research Insights, 2023, the global custom-made clothes market size was USD 51.890 billion in 2021 and the market is expected to reach USD 131.601 billion in 2030, with a growing CAGR of 10.9% during the forecast period.
As a result of the demand growing, there is an increased need for more skilled tailors who not only want to do it as a hobby but grow as a source of income. This is a great opportunity to build a flourishing business that leverages on a global customer market.
Here are 5 ways to get more customers:
Use of technology tools
In today’s world, technology is contributing greatly to businesses and the bespoke fashion business is no exception. From everyday operations to pattern making, technology continues to play a major role in making the businesses run more efficiently. Companies must invest in the best tools that will grow their business to the next level up.
Participating in the growing custom clothing global market involves you having clients from your immediate location to across the oceans. This would not be a problem if body measurements were not a vital baseline requirement in the construction of an apparel. However, apps such as the Virtual Tailor Measuring Tool has bridged the gap in solving this problem.
Most customers love convenience, saving time and their personal resources. So, finding tools that help promote these within your business only lets customers know that you care about what they care about. This is one of the best ways to market your business and grow your customer base.
Many tailor artisans and craftsmen shy away from technology tools due to lack of familiarity or uncertainty of how it may affect their skills or business. This in turn has made them lag behind in the competitive market compared to other professions that have used technology to their advantage.
As a craftsman with tremendous skills, you have the power to change your own narrative. Position yourself in a place ahead of the competitive market by not only investing in must have tools, but also nice-to-have tools that improve customer experience.
Most customers, when sorting through services to choose from, choose options that saves them time, costs, and reduces the # of inconveniences they encounter.
Clients now have options to how their body measurements are obtained outside of mandatory in-person visits. Tailors are experts in reading the body and with advanced technology tools, they are able to accurately take measurements, draft, fit and make adjustments on a client.
Furthermore, the pandemic, in recent years, has changed the face of the custom tailoring as more people became interested in contactless measuring systems. Though the pandemic is over, some customers remain interested in the contactless approach of taking measurements in which case you can have an upper hand by giving your customers a contactless option to measure them.
To efficiently provide services beyond your physical locality as a bespoke tailor, it is imperative to embrace methods that will help you satisfy your distant customers which involves the use of technology tools.
While we look into the future, it’s important to keep in mind that fashion has a beautiful history and culture that cannot be replaced by technology.
With that said, technology provides invaluable contribution to how fashion businesses are run in today’s atmosphere leading to improved customer satisfaction. More clients expect fast and convenient approaches to achieve the best outcome. This is where body measurement tool such as the virtual tailor measuring tool (OVTMT) serves as a great service to offer your customers who are not able to conveniently make in-person visits for their measurements.
Create an online outlet either a website or a link to your work
More people are getting interested in custom fitted clothing, but they don’t have access to bespoke tailors.
On the other hand, most tailors that create outfits from the scratch are limited to their immediate locality which reduces the chances of getting seen by potential customers. This is where you can benefit from having an online presence.
Creating an online outlet (catalogue) is an advantage for anyone who is interested in growing an online customer base. Even larger businesses with retail stores are getting many of their customers from online commerce due to the exposure it provides.
The thought of this may be intimidating but seeing that it provides an equal leverage for both you and the bigger brands allows you to see the opportunity it presents. There are many people who are looking for independent creators and do not want to deal with large enterprises. So, you are at an advantage and will be able to build your own loyal customers that want your services. Keep in mind that this is different from having a social media handle.
Use social media to showcase your work and grow customer base
With the popularity of many people being on social media these days, many companies are making use of this avenue to advertise and bring awareness to their products and services. It allows you to promote your brand to the right people.
But this is dicey as not all social media outlets are created equal.
You will need to know how to use them and determine which ones give you what you are looking for.
Social media such as instagram and TikTok though very popular, are becoming more convoluted as more creators jump on it. So, you will need to know how to use it to your own benefit so that it does not become a time-consuming venture.
LinkedIn does not have as many options to post pictures or videos as the other social media outlets, however it is a great platform to write contents that direct customers to your website or catalogue link.
The best approach is to pick one main social media handle because being on all the outlets can be time-wasting when compared to the rate of conversion and revenue it brings in.
Use social media to promote your personal brand. Personal brand is less about who you are, rather it is more about what you do for others. While people connect to the person behind the brand, they bring out their payment cards when they resonate with what you can do for them.
Encourage satisfied clients to spread the word or give some discounts/rewards for being an ambassador
Nothing beats a satisfied client who raves about your work. Regardless of what you say about your handiwork especially when making something from the scratch, most potential customers look to fellow past buyers to hear what they have to say about their experience working with you and the result of the end product.
Though there will be some who possibly have complaints, leverage on the satisfied customers. Encourage them to spread the word. You can do this by offering a free outfit sewing or discount codes for referrals.
Be open to review and encourage feedback
Ask your satisfied customers for review and feedback. This is particularly different from when a software app is asking for review. App review is based on experience using an app.
Review about a tailor creator is usually done within an authentic space based on work that was truly done as a handiwork of the individual. Potential customers are curious about how the communication was, what the product was like, did they deliver, shipping etc.
The review gives future customers a look into your work ethics and the satisfaction with the completed product. Most customers use the reviews to make informed decisions.
Importantly, encourage feedback. Ask the buyer how they are liking the product and if there is something they would have liked to see or experience. You will not be able to satisfy everybody, but it allows you to get firsthand feedback on how to improve your strategy that will result in increased return customers. Return customers are the crux of a successful business.
In conclusion, with the presence of the internet serving as a global market, the opportunity for tailors to get more customers online and beyond their physical vicinity is massive and very lucrative as more people are getting more intentional in their fashion style, uniqueness and veering away from mass produced items and the general standard measurements.
Since the bespoke and custom making industry faces some challenges that stunts the ability to expand as a business, you have the upper hand to resolve them through the use of body measurement technology system, online exposure, social media outlets, reviews and feedback. This, as a result, helps more customers who are interested in bespoke clothing to have better access to a wider variety of tailors while tailors have access to more customers across the global market.
Custom Made Clothes Market Size, Share, Growth, And Industry Analysis By Type (Coat, Skirt, Pants, Shirt, Denim and Others)’, Business Research Insights, 2 October 2023. By Application (Online and Offline) Regional Forecast, 2023 To 2030. Accessed 5 January 2024, https://www.businessresearchinsights.com/market-reports/custom-made-clothes-market-101188