How the Big Boys Sell Apparel and Accessories Online

| February 17, 2011 | Reply

[tweetmeme]Shopping clothes and accessories for buyers often means finding clothes that flatter, fit that and suitable for the intended use or occasion. The top apparel e-commerce sellers use a number of tools and design techniques to convey this clothes buying experience to customers online.

The big boys design their websites to create the ambience and mood for shopping. They make it easy for buyers to see and evaluate the clothes with the quality and size of their photos. In addition, they offer detailed product information that allows buyers to know the materials and size of the product. They also offer ways to engage the customers more, giving them advice and information on the products.

So how do they do it? Let’s look at how some of the top retailers in the apparel market: = the premier destination for high-end designers, the site offers excellent photography, clean layout and loads of product details

  • Uncluttered home page showing a single fashion magazine quality photo
  • Ample information in the product pages, including details of the clothes, shoes and other products
  • Provides the zoom capability to allow customers to see the details of the items
  • Various views of the items front, back and side
  • Various sizing guides, such as American, European, women’s, among others
  • For out of stock products, information on when the item will be available
  • Navigation to next or previous product in the item gallery, without returning to the category page – this high end retailer recently redesigned their website, and one of the biggest changes is their goal to foster community building. Here are the key features of their website:

  • Streamlined navigation structure, with three top level categories: Department, Brand, and Conversation
  • Improved search functionality that offers the option of narrowing the search by category, color, price and brand.
  • Community section where they feature various looks from customers, get fashion advice from “Miss Nordstrom” and share videos, photos and solicit comments in the “Style Forum”
  • As an arbiter of fashion, customers can easily shop for the items comprising the hottest fashion trends.
  • Offers the option of “Complete this look” by providing suggestions of other apparel and shoes that will work with the outfit = the site of the high end fashion designer Kate Spade

  • Handbag photos mimic the in-store experience
  • Photos that will allow the customer to see the item’s look, feel and size with zoom capabilities and how the item looks on a model
  • With its news section, the site showcases the brand’s position among its fashion conscious audience, such as publication of short stories it commissioned of women writers = focuses on making the soon-to-be brides focused on getting down the aisle in style

  • Offers a live chat feature that allows customers to ask and learn more about the products. However, they don’t offer the live chat to all pages, but only to pages that yield the highest conversion.

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Category: Business Strategy, Ecommerce

About the Author ()

Isabel Isidro is a small business owner who writes about her experiences in starting and running a business. She is the co-founder of and also runs

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