Every so often I revisit this topic, because I know some fabulous plus clothiers read this blog and a)I know they’re hoping I’ll talk about this once in awhile and b)it really suits my purposes too because doing some of the following things makes not just my shopping but my blogging experience a lot easier.
So here are my suggestions to those selling plus size clothing online:
- Have some web commerce going on. Even if it’s just one item.
I know that’s actually kind of a toughie; I’m working on web commerce for my own business and it’s taking forever. My suggestion is to go ahead and borrow one of the premade solutions until you can set up your own, or simply to have some limited items and then just let it be known that you have other items available in your brick and mortar shop. I’m also looking at larger shops here, like Cato Fashions and Dots – they have a web presence, and they would both absolutely benefit from an ecommerce operation.
- Have a “what’s new” section.
I look over shops a LOT, and when something strikes me as interesting, I remember it pretty darned well. Save me some time and pique my interest by keeping a regularly updated “new” section.
- Make sure that “what’s new” is actually new.
There are a few shops that have “new” categories dating back as far as two years. While I understand that it’s hard to produce constant new stuff, especially when your team of designers consists of just you, try to keep it up to date. It’s OK to only have one or two items in your new section, and it’s also OK to have a little sign that says “nothing new – check this out!”
- Have an email list.
I can’t emphasize this enough. You don’t even need to run specials, just announce when you’ve got something new. It makes my life as both blogger and shopper so much easier.
- Use your email list with sound judgment.
There are a fair number of businesses who overuse their mailing lists. I understand why; you do get a certain amount of response from your fans. Still, if you issue mailings more than once every two weeks, you start triggering spam filters or start getting added to spam filters. Use some judgment, and make sure that what you release really is both relevant and news to your customers.
- Make it easy to link to your size charts.
If I have trouble finding a size chart, I’m less likely to buy. For instance, Target buries its size charts for plus sizes. It’s infuriating.
- Make sure your size charts are absolutely clear and have the most specific measurements possible.
I’m thinking not just of size measurements in clothing – which should have the full circumference, not just the measurement laying flat, but shoe sizes as well. Widths on boots should have very specific details about inches and measurements, as well as shoe lengths and width across the foot. The better the details prior to order, the fewer returns to process later.
I get that some of this may be hard to do right away, and some of it might just not work. But if you can, try it – it will make my work as a blogger and my finds as a shopper so much easier. This is my absolute non-scientific opinion, but I contend that the leading cause of plus size clothing business failures is the simple lack of promotion. Plus size buyers are out there, but most have no idea how many options are really available to them. It’s up to the stores to create ways for these buyers to see them and come back to them without inundating them. The above ideas are just a few simple, and common ways to do this.
Looking for some mailing lists to help your shopping? Find them on Fat Chic Clothing Search..