For the last year we have been deeply involved in the apparel eCommerce space. We have seen it change dramatically in many ways however we have also seen some things stagnate. One of the most positive changes over the last five years has been apparel retailers and brands putting an increased focus on their online user experience. Companies like Nike, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and many others are trying to sett a new standard for how shoppers buy clothes online. Still there are some major issues holding back the online apparel eCommerce for us all:
Here’s an example of a size chart on the Eton of Sweden chart for a $280 sport shirt:
As you can see from the above size chart, the shopper first has to know their neck and chest size, which sure, if you’re buying a $280 sport shirt or dress shirt then you'd probably know. However how will the sleeves fit? Is the waist going to be the right size? None of these questions are answered leaving a shopper to wonder if they’ll buy a jacket that fits great in the chest but nowhere else. Spending $1,000 to buy many different sizes also doesn’t make any sense.
So what does the shopper do in this situation? They typically hit the back button and say, “well next time I’m in a store I’ll have to try it on” which in many cases means they won’t buy.
The apparel eCommerce market is expected to reach $54.2B this year (Source – Internet Retailer) in the US alone and is quickly becoming the top eCommerce market second only to consumer electronics. That being said, apparel is growing faster online and is expected to grow at a rate of 17.2% through 2017.
Since 2010 apparel eCommerce has seen hockey-stick levels of growth however the biggest growth is yet to come. In 2016 only about 15% of consumers are expected to buy clothing online which means the vast majority of people (85%) are buying clothes in physical stores. Digging a bit deeper nearly 40% of consumers buy clothing in-store every week vs. just 27% who do the same online (Source – Business News Daily). What is the reason why online still lags in the apparel space? It all comes down to consumer issues around determining fit and sizing.
We are living in exciting times, but looking at the data it’s clear these are still the early days for apparel eCommerce. The real challenge for retailers is the rapid adoption of mobile devices by consumers and the impact this has on the shopping experience. Couple this with confusion around fit and no real sizing standardization and there’s a lot of room for growth. Retailers that embrace this change are already seeing it pay off.
The big question to ask yourself as a brand is what are you doing to make it easier for shoppers to understand what fits them? Solving the “fit problem” is top-of-mind for just about everyone that sells clothes online, the question is who can get a solution implemented faster, because those who do will take market-share away from those who don’t.
In our pursuit in helping our designers within The Row, we are asking all of you to consider making size charts for potential buyers on Gent Row. If you need help making one, Contact Us Here and we will surely help you create a size chart that hopefully see even better payoffs than before. Despite what many will say, in this case, " size does matter " !
As Always, Thanks For Reading
Always Best In Style,
Contributing Author: Bold Metrics
For fashion branded ecommerce businesses, the shipped package represents the most direct touch point and connection with the customer, it also happens to be one of the most under-utilized marketing opportunities for our merchants.
When was the last time you really thought about your packaging and unboxing experience? For many online retailers, the answer is usually never. Packaging in ecommerce came out of necessity for protecting the most important thing, the product that the customer ordered. However, as ecommerce evolves and as consumer habits shift, delivering a complete brand experience extends beyond the product itself and transcends into the whole experience.
In this post, you’re going to learn exactly how important a branded unboxing experience is along with all the tools and resources you need to deliver a remarkable experience to your customers that they’ll want to share with all their friends and family.
Let’s find out how.
What Is a Branded Packing Experience?
Simply put, a branded packaging experience is a thoughtful selection of packaging and shipping materials as well as the deliberate presentation of your products. Its purpose is to provide additional value for your customer as well as your business through the ability to create a memorable and sharable experience.
In ecommerce versus physical retail, merchants have less touch points to impress and wow customers with so it’s important to utilize every touch point you do have to create a branded experience that sets you apart from competitors as well as one that creates a memorable experience for your customers.
TrunkClub is one such company that has taken the customer unboxing experience seriously. To start, instead of choosing a standard box sealed with clear packaging tape, they opted for a custom printed box with a handle that resembles a trunk, closely matching and accentuating their brand.
From the moment a trunk from TrunkClub arrives at your doorstep, you know you're in for a great experience and one you probably can't wait to crack open.
Inside the trunk, the contents are thoughtfully laid out to create a presentation and experience when opened. To further build a custom branded experience for their customers, all orders include a handwritten card from a personal stylist explaining the selection of products. It truly makes you feel part of something special and exclusive.
It’s clear that a lot of effort goes into the unboxing experience to make the customer feel excited and delighted, but let's look at why TrunkClub goes to such extraordinary lengths to create this experience for customers.
Why Is a Branded Packaging Experience Important?
A big part of building a long-term, sustainable brand is bringing customer back time and time again. It's been covered many times in our newsletters and now here on our blog. It’s almost always less expensive to get a current customer to purchase again than it is to always find new customers.
In research we found that 52 percent of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant that delivers premium packaging.
In that same study, it is found that nearly 4 in 10 consumers would share an image of a delivery via social media if it came in a unique package.
"The value of premium packaging extends far beyond the customer experience into residual marketing effects. The experience goes beyond the online order to when the customer actually opens the beautifully wrapped package and shares that experience across social networks. That act of online and social recommendations drives loyalty from your customers and promotes brand awareness." - Maria Haggerty, CEO of Dotcom Distribution
Fundamentally, people like sharing great experiences. Going back to our TrunkClub example, if you do a search for "TrunkClub Unboxing” on Google, you’ll find thousands of blog posts, images and videos. Each one of those pieces of content were created by a customer, further helping TrunkClub get their name out there to more people, along with valuable back links to help improve their SEO.
Ways For You To Improve Your Customer's Brand Experience
Concluding the Branding Experience
Creating a memorable experience that leaves your customers delighted with an experience they will want to share can help build your brand be the competitive edge your business needs to not only get repeat business but also to attract new customers. Andy Dunn, the founder of Bonobos says it best:
“At the end of the day, you’re not building an e-commerce company, you’re building a brand that has e-commerce as its core distribution channel.”
Take the next few days to reassess your packaging. Consider how much you’re currently spending, your average order size and profit margins and assess what you can do to deliver a better experience to your customers that compels them to come back and share their experience.
Thanks For Reading
founder / GentRow.com
contributing author: Richard Lazazzera