Online clothing and shoe stores are among the most popular ecommerce destinations for visitors. More and more people now have experience with ordering dresses, shirts, jeans or flip-flops from a fashion webshop. However, every body is unique and tastes differ, which means that a personal approach is very important in the fashion industry.
This article discusses the challenges an online store faces in this industry. Tips are also given on how to deal with this as best as possible. Furthermore, an element that is particularly relevant to this industry is highlighted. An idea of how the impact in terms of sustainability can be improved is also presented. Finally, some practical examples are discussed.
The fashion industry faces unique challenges when it comes to converting visitors into customers.
- Personal: One of the biggest challenges is the fact that fashion is a very subjective and personal purchase. Each customer has their own individual tastes and preferences when it comes to style, fit, and color. This makes it difficult for fashion online stores to create a one-size-fits-all approach to the product offering and marketing messages used.
- Fit: Products such as clothing and shoes often require a high degree of consideration before purchasing. Customers sometimes have to try on multiple sizes or styles before finding the perfect fit, which can be difficult to replicate online. This challenge can result in large numbers of products being returned.
- Emotional: In addition, fashion purchases can be an emotional decision, influenced by trends, social norms, and personal identity. Fashion online stores must find ways to appeal to these emotional drivers and create a sense of connection with their customers.
- Price: Finally, fashion products can sometimes be quite expensive. This can make customers hesitant to purchase clothing or shoes online without being able to touch and feel the product in person.
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The tips below can help online stores in clothing and shoes to increase their conversion. Please note that not every tip applies to every webshop. For example, web shops differ in their degree of digital maturity and the budgets and employees are different for everyone. The advice is therefore to first validate these tips with AB testing before rolling them out.
- Show clear photos: Customers need to see the product from all angles to make an informed decision. Therefore, show the product from multiple angles, on a model and without a model, and zoom in on relevant details.
- Use a good size chart: Especially for a fashion online store that sells multiple brands, it can be difficult to make it clear which size will be the right one for a visitor. It is therefore advisable to work with a clear size chart. This largely corrects differences between countries, brands, types of products and genders for visitors.
- Collect a lot of product reviews: Precisely because customers cannot touch the garments, they are more dependent on others who have already done so. Product reviews can therefore be a valuable addition. Especially when it is also possible to add photos to those reviews and provide feedback on the fit, this can be a feature that makes a positive contribution to the conversion rate of a webshop in fashion and shoes. Investigate how a rapidly changing collection can be taken into account as best as possible when collecting the reviews. For example, it can help to initially focus on the permanent collection.
- Provide clear descriptions: Clothing and shoes have unique characteristics such as fabric, cut, and style. By providing clear descriptions of these features, you can prevent visitors from returning the products.
What makes clothing and shoes special compared to other industries is the focus on the materials used. After all, these have a major influence on the properties of the product. Not only do the materials determine what the product looks like, but also, for example, how it feels on the skin, how warm it keeps you, and what impact the item has on the environment. Almost all fashion web shops choose to mention the materials used on the product page. A much smaller proportion also mentions things such as how the fabric falls and feels. An emerging trend here is that sustainable brands are starting to provide complete transparency about the materials used. Asket provides 100% transparency not only about the raw materials but also about the production and transport of its items.
More and more clothing and shoe brands are also starting to offer repair services through its webshop. Especially for products in the higher segment, this service is often offered (almost) free of charge for purchased items. Patagonia is a good example of a brand that actively repairs products. By repairing clothing or shoes instead of throwing them away, the impact on the climate is significantly reduced. The number of times an item is worn will increase considerably due to the repair. The possibility of repair can also be an argument why a visitor chooses to make a purchase from such a party. This largely removes any uncertainty surrounding an expensive purchase that subsequently breaks down.
- Scout: This webshop initially shows one clear photo of the garment. Using the thumb-friendly buttons, you can click through to photos that show other sides of the skirt. It is also possible to zoom in on the photos using the magnifying glass.
- Stripe & Stare: A good size chart allows visitors to determine which size is best for them. Because sizes can differ considerably between EU, US, and UK, it can help to provide good comparisons between these sizes. The ability to switch between centimeters and inches may also help visitors find the right size.
- Asket: A large number of product reviews can help visitors find the right item for them. In addition to a high number of product reviews per product, the ability to filter and sort can also help. Visitors can then find reviews that relate to the aspects about which they want to find more information (such as fit, color, fabric, size, etc.).
- Bamford: Additional information can be found about each item in this webshop. This provides options of how you could wear the dress. They also state in text how the garment fits and which materials have been used. Finally, an explanation is also given about the washing instructions.