Necessary Features of eCommerce Clothing Online Store
Online clothing stores are steadily gaining popularity. As of 2018, eCommerce revenue from fashion in the U.S. alone rose to over $100 billion per year. This increase in annual revenue shows no signs of slowing down. Put simply; to enter the field, it’s important to know the must-have features for a successful online clothing store.
In this article, we’ll cover all the essential elements for your eCommerce clothing site. We’ll look at how to bring in more visitors, boost conversions, and strengthen your reputation as a trustworthy brand.
One feature of a successful site is simple navigation. Visitors need to be able to see what you have to offer and move easily from interest to purchase. You’ll want the site clean and without unnecessary complications.
Ensure that choices are simple with easily recognizable call-to-action buttons. Top categories should be visible on the homepage, alongside featured products and sales. Special offers and catalogs or newsletters should be offered here as well.
Once a visitor clicks on a category, they should be directed to a page that features a listing of all the top selling items in that range. It’s best to offer search features and filters for style and pricing so a customer can find what they want without spending hours searching. Below you can see the examples from Cox&Cox and Abercrombie&Fitch that simplified users’ browsing experience:
Finally, make sure to provide a listing at the bottom of each page (i.e., footer), including contact information, the sitemap, and links to other details that may interest the visitors.
Overall, keep things streamlined and make it simple for visitors to find any products or information they’d like to see.
The first thing that a customer sees when they visit your site is the image. And this is more important with fashion than other sites. It’s the look that sells that clothing. So it’s essential to use the highest resolution photos you can include on the site without slowing down the load time.
The tactfully-placed video is a great opportunity to show off a line and pique interest in a product or range. Long story short, a photo will sell your products better than a thousand words of content, and it leaves the site looking cleaner and more appealing.
Social media is a great way to showcase your products. It generates more traffic and brings in new leads. But, for a fashion store, not all social media channels are created equal. Since the visual appeal of fashion products is the most powerful selling point, a photo-driven social media like Instagram is the ideal channel for reaching new customers.
One great example of Instagram used expertly for an online fashion store is Topshop. In their Instagram account, each product and post is labeled with the hashtag: #TOPSHOPSTYLE. So, anyone who wants to check out new products or share hot looks can enter this hashtag and instantly find their entire range of apparel.
A well-crafted Instagram account and hashtag can multiply your profits in a fraction of the time needed for other methods. Plus, social media accounts won’t cost a dime. You can’t beat free advertising based on your customers’ preferences.
One way to expand interest is to provide an option to view other similar products. For example, a visitor likes the look of a certain garment, but it isn’t exactly what they’re after. They could spend valuable time scouring the site for something else that fits their needs. But, if you feature a slideshow of related items beneath a given product, they can find something similar after just a few minutes of looking.
Sometimes, it’s the whole outfit that sells the look. ASOS has made use of this with their “Buy the Look” feature and “You Might Also Like” where in the first case, you can see what was used in the outfit and if you want something similar, the second option will display other related products.
Instead of just buying the featured top, a visitor can add the rest of the outfit to their cart. The customers are made happy and you get a chance to boost sales.
The key to getting conversions is to make it easy for customers to buy. And, different customers will prefer different forms of payment. So, be sure your website is set up so that customers can pay the way they want. PayPal is a given these days. It’s become one of the easiest online payment methods.
But you don’t want to stop there. Authorize.Net and Google Checkout are also great options to include. But let’s explore some other important payment options.
Accepting Checks Online
With so much going digital, it could be easy to forget about the importance of checks. But some shoppers are more traditional. Checks have been around for years, and they’re a trusted form of payment. If a customer is just beginning to move into online shopping, they often feel more comfortable when they can use a tried and true way to pay. Set up your site so that it can accept checks, and you keep contact with an important portion of your demographic.
PayPal allows your customers to link their checking account to it, so they can pay online by check. There is one simple step: you need to select PayPal at checkout, log in, then pay.
Sometimes we are interested in a product but just can’t swing the full price with just one payment method. There are two choices. They can either wait until they can manage the purchase with a single payment method or you let them split the payment. Most purchases, particularly in the world of fashion, are impulse buys, at least somewhat. With waiting time, the interest might fade. With split payments, a buyer can pay part with one payment method and part with another.
For example, they may pay $50 with PayPal and $50 with a credit card to fund a full $100 purchase. This lets them buy right now, meaning less lost sales and higher conversions. At Abercrombie, you can use two cards and select the amount of money, you want to pay from one and another debit or credit card.
Credit Card Payment
Even with all the digital payment methods included, you’ll still want to make sure your site can process credit and debit cards. These payment options are just as trustworthy as checks, if not more so. Plus, they are nearly universal. Credit or debit cards are standard for anyone with a bank account. Make sure to include processing for these methods to keep from losing sales.
Shipping is a major consideration for eCommerce sites. High shipping rates or low delivery times mean fewer conversions. If your customer has questions about how much shipping will cost or how long it will take, this is another barrier to the purchase.
Clearly mark shipping options, timing, and prices on the checkout page. Detailed information leads to more conversions and less abandoned carts. It is important to make clear and simple checkout with all the kinds of shipping available, so that customer can choose the one at his/her preference. Also, don’t forget to include the “Edit” shipping method button and options for filling out the billing information. Simplicity and clean design is the key to success.
Fast delivery is essential. A fashion site is banking on impulse purchases. Visitors buy because they want they want the product now. If you make express shipping standard, customers will be excited to receive their product quickly. Another great option is to provide expedited shipping on purchases over a certain amount. This encourages customers to buy a few more things just to make sure they can receive their order without delay. Plus, it boosts the perceived value, showing your consumers that you appreciate their business.
Free shipping is one of the best tips for a fashion eCommerce site. When you advertise no shipping costs, visitors will be more comfortable adding to their order, knowing that they won’t be facing hidden costs. In such a competitive industry, the better value you provide, the more likely you are to generate more traffic and increase customer loyalty.