Purchasing clothing online can be one of the most hazardous experiences for both supplier and for consumer and the reason for this is perhaps most exemplified by a cinematic legend. Winston Groom’s character Forrest Gump once said “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”. Buying clothing online is exactly the same, you really never know what you are going to get. This is particularly true if the buyer has no previous experience or knowledge of the brand they are contemplating buying which can be problematic to say the least. best replica supreme jacket has some nice tips on this.
Why is buying clothing online so troublesome?
Clothing is one of those commodities open to interpretation about sizing and the “fit” of the garment for example in the USA the waist sizes are usually attributed to the waist of the body of the wearer while in the UK the waist size of the clothing refers to the garments dimensions and not the person’s body. You can see where this may cause problems straight away when buying trousers or jeans. One question is the brand American, English or European?
Do consumers bother to ask themselves that question?
Of course not and why would they? Consumers want solutions not obstacles they want their requirements met with as little fuss as possible. Consumers are not concerned with the intricacies of the way clothing is engineered and to what specification. In Germany large online catalogue brands like Neckermann and Otto have actually built multi-million Euro buildings to handle their customers returned goods. The German culture is to buy three sizes of each clothing product, try them on and keep the best fitting whilst returning the other two products back to the catalogue company. This is cultural and engrained to the point businesses account for this and evolve based upon this methodology.
Large brands in the UK have also started practice this measure and utilise on-site warehouses the size of aircraft hangers to store and re-sort the returns back into for sales areas. This has become much more prevalent thanks to the sharp increase in online purchasing. It could be easy construed that if the large multinational brands in the clothing industry cannot secure higher conversion of sales and less returns. What hope then have the smaller players got to make sure they are not over loaded or worse still their cash flow is impeded? Speaking from the perspective of a workwear clothing supplier we have often encountered online shoppers who are very quick to send products back which they say don’t fit. Taking out the returns for faults from the equation as this would be a separate issue, returns sent back because of the leg length or the waist sizes being “wrong” are very common reasons. We don’t blame the customers as the vast majority are genuinely victim to brands interpretations of sizing and perhaps the large brands have spoiled them a little by allowing returns sent back for any reason. For smaller businesses though this can essentially put the problem and the cost back on to that business. Some people believe this is simply a cost of running an online business but there are ways to minimise the exposure to these costs and problems. We have all tried on clothing in shops and stores which just didn’t quite look right even though they were designated our size. If you cannot physically see the goods and try them on before buying then it’s simple logic to expect a greater level of returns and the large brands have written this contingency into their pricing structure to cope with the higher percentages of returns.