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Fashionably Obstructed: The Problem With Many Online Clothing Retailers

Shopping online for clothing is risky business since you can’t touch or try anything on. It never ceases to amaze me though that most clothing retailers know this and still go to great lengths to prevent their customers from seeing their clothing based on their site design and pictures.

That’s like buying a car, filling it with dirt and seeds and growing weeds out of the sunroof.

The worst offenders are businesses who seem to think that they are awesome. These are the niche trendy fashion lines and retailers of club wear. We are all in agreement that fashion is about selling an image. The problem arises when the mechanism for delivering the facts to the customer are nothing but smoke and mirrors showcasing how “cool” the website’s models look on camera.

No one cares at all how cool a shop owner’s friends look. That’s awesome for them that they seem to only accept pretty people as friends, but this tells me nothing about the vital statistics of the merchandise being sold and it’s real world use.

When a customer comes to a fashion retail website, they want to know:

– What are the measurements of the piece?

– What does the stitching and fabric look like? Is this made of thin fabric that will fall apart? Does it stretch? Is it soft?

– Do you have a line drawing of how the piece is cut so the customer can extrapolate how it would fit on them, or at the very least on a person who is standing normally and not with an arched back? It’s about your customer, not “look at me I’m cool”.

– Do you have a good return policy if it doesn’t fit?

Fashion is represented so poorly on the internet that I haven’t found many places that I would buy from simply because I have no idea what I’d get in the mail from them. It is a shame that such a tough field to succeed in is being made unnecessarily tougher by some of the people who hope to market their designs.

If you own an online clothing store, what have you done to make your customer’s experience better? Are there any innovative tricks that people should know about that you have found work well?

1 Comment

  1. Getmysize.com is a new website that lets users create a body profile with specific measurements. These measurements include upper arm length, leg length, torso and foot length and width. Businesses and individuals who wish to sell their clothing on Getmysize.com will be able to add clothing with measurements that match up with the body profile. It will definately help anyone find the right size the first time, and it’s free to use.

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