How designer Meghan Fabulous is building her direct online business


For 25 years, Meghan Noland has put her exuberant personality into designing boldly patterned dresses and voluminous jewelry. Now that she’s promoting her new Meghan Fabulous brand, she’s getting used to communicating her eye-catching fashion sense through social media and a new, more powerful ecommerce site.

Blogger Sara Buckley from @nottheworstmom wears a Meghan Fabulous dress.

Noland received a lot of help in her social media introduction from blogger Sara Buckley, herself no shrinking violet, whose Instagram feed @nottheworstmom entertains 140,000 followers with comments such as: “I never wanted to murder a teenager before you have one. “

Buckley bought a Meghan Fabulous dress and wore it to her brother’s wedding, then posted pictures of her on her blog. “The traffic to our website has increased by 90%,” says Noland. “All moms wanted it.

Once Noland and her business partner Steve Dunlap figured out the traffic was coming from the tagged photo on Buckley’s Instagram feed, they reached out to her and set up a photoshoot in the blogger’s home town of Buckley, Las Vegas. wearing other Meghan Fabulous items.

“We did this awesome photoshoot, mum / house goddess,” says Noland. “She is round, plus size, has a great personality. It is his attitude that sells the clothes. While there was no noticeable increase in sales of Buckley’s modeled black watercolor LilyPad maxi dress, traffic to MeghanFabulous.com increased by 80% after the campaign, according to Dunlap.

Noland says she tries to make all of her photoshoots captivating, using models of various races and body types and photographing them in quirky sets, whether in a laundromat, garage, or nightclub. “We’re not just photographing a model on a white background,” she says.

Over the past two weeks, the brand has started running ads on social media Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, as well as Google’s ad network, using some of these eye-catching photos. This campaign increased traffic to the website tenfold, according to Dunlap. “Social is definitely the best choice for DTC [direct to consumer], but compelling and visually interesting images are key! ” he says.

Turning social media fans into online shoppers

Noland and Dunlap hope these striking images and intensified online advertising translate into more sales after the June redesign of MeghanFabulous.com on e-commerce software from Shopify Inc.

Shopify technology will allow the brand to sell an item featured on MeghanFabulous.com directly to Meghan Fabulous’s Facebook page, where it has 6,000 followers, and, once Instagram rolls out its Buy Now feature in beta , on her Instagram feed where she has more. more than 89,000 subscribers.

Previously, according to Dunlap, they could post articles on these social networks and refer buyers to the website, but now consumers can buy directly through social apps. Additionally, Shopify provides details of where consumers have purchased and allows the clothing retailer to accept Apple Pay and other fast payment options for purchases.

Meghan Noland, Founder, and Steve Dunlap, CEO, Meghan Inc.

Meghan Noland, Founder, and Steve Dunlap, CEO, Meghan Inc.

The Shopify rollout was the latest step in a 2-year technology upgrade project led by Dunlap, who carries the title of CEO of Meghan Inc., which today generates over 90% of its revenue from accounts from big like Nordstrom Inc. and fashion boutiques. . Noland is president and “creative visionary”. Nordstrom is # 18 in the 2020 Top 1000 for Digital Commerce 360.

Dunlap was semi-retired after playing leading roles at several fintech companies when he and Noland fell in love. At first, says Noland, “he gave me tips on weekends.” But then he started attending meetings with clients and gradually got more involved. He quickly realized that a top priority was to automate a business that operated largely through handwritten commands and Excel spreadsheets.

Prior to moving to the Shopify platform, Dunlap had installed an enterprise resource system from Cin7 to track orders and inventory from vendor to customer. The retailer has also deployed ShipStation software to route orders to the most efficient delivery service.

Today, when Meghan Inc. receives orders from wholesale or online accounts, the system can automatically notify suppliers, place orders for materials and labor time, and track cost of goods sold and status. orders, says Dunlap.

“Now that everything is in place, we can move faster,” he says.

Direct sales diversify revenue and strengthen ties with customers

The increase in direct-to-consumer sales will provide Meghan Inc. with several benefits, according to Dunlap. It will provide another source of income aside from its department store and boutique sales, and will also help introduce the brand to new retail customers who see Meghan Fabulous’s designs on social media.

“We’ve seen social media definitely driving wholesale sales,” says Dunlap. “Retailers saw our ads and they were like, ‘Maybe I should sell this in my store.’ And they contact us.

Meghan Fabulous Photoshoot

A Meghan Fabulous photoshoot.

Additionally, direct selling through MeghanFabulous.com puts the brand in direct contact with buyers, providing more customer information than the company would get when its products are purchased in retail stores.

And the online chain will protect Meghan Inc. in the event that physical stores are forced to close again due to the coronavirus or another pandemic. Dunlap says the company’s revenue fell 92% in April from a year earlier, with most of its retail customers’ stores closed.

“Online shoppers have also stopped shopping, at least for dresses,” says Dunlap. “Women didn’t buy dresses to sit on the couch and watch TV.”

Merchandise segmentation by channel

Now that the company’s technological foundations are in place, Dunlap and Noland intend to grow. This includes the introduction this fall of a new Bohemian line of high-end dresses, tunics and kimonos that will retail for between $ 400 and $ 3,000. Dresses in Meghan LA’s current line typically range between $ 100 and $ 130.

While the brand does not currently sell on Amazon.com Inc., it will likely do so before a long time, Dunlap says. “I would much prefer to sell this person on our own website, but Amazon is Amazon,” he says. “Their reach is going to be over there. “

They also plan to produce items exclusively for MeghanFabulous.com and provide loyal customers with quick access to new styles.

“I want every customer to feel special,” says Noland. “All online orders come wrapped in special tissue paper and there is always a freebie with every purchase. When they open their order, it feels like Christmas.

She also wants her customers to feel special when they wear her designs. “I want people to understand that every time you wear a Meghan piece, when you walk into a room, everyone will compliment you,” she says. “It’s not for the wallflower.”

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