One of the biggest challenges with apparel eCommerce is creating an experience that customers truly love. For the last 100+ years shopping has been an experience and retailers and brands have not held back to provide exceptional retail experiences. Walk into an Armani store and you expect a certain experience, replicating that online is hard on it’s own, add the fact that a majority of people will view your eCommerce store on a mobile device, and it gets harder.
As a company with deep roots in the custom clothing space we are always looking at Custom Clothiers that nailed it online. Let’s be honest – custom clothing is a more complex experience than ready-to-wear. Making it easy and effortless to shop, while still providing a fully customizable product is more of an art than a science. For custom clothiers thinking about expanding online, here are three great examples of user experience done right:
Pacific Issue is taking a different approach to custom, focusing on fabrics that are fun and different, while still including some of the standard “dress shirts” that custom clothiers are known for. Rather than asking their customers to measure themselves they have a simple five question process that doesn’t require a single measurement, making life much easier for the shopper.
One UX element here that might seem small but makes a big difference is the buttons for selecting your height. Having a simple option like this vs. having to enter it in manually saves time, time saved means more shoppers that answer the questions. By making the entire process clear and seamless to the shopper Pacific Issue is able to take the pain out of the measurement process and get customers into the shirt selection process as quickly as possible.
Based in Boston, Blank Label has been a leader in innovation and design in the custom clothing space. They have done a great job over the years of continuing to refine their site with a consistent focus on ease-of-use and clear strong messaging. Like Pacific Issue Blank Label has also taken the pain out of the measurement process:
Proper Cloth, based in NYC, uses something they call “Smart Sizes” to skip the physical measurement process. They have done a great job of drawing attention to this with a clear call to action and button that stands-out on the background. “Get Started” is a great way to make it clear to visitors that this is the path they should follow, which means you’re driving customers down the exact funnel you want them to follow.
One of the places where Proper Cloth really nailed the user experience is in their fabric selection process. While you can quickly pick from a selection of swatches, clicking on a fabric brings you to a page with 6-8 photos of the fabric. There’s even an option to order a fabric sample to get a feel for it before you buy. In short, Proper Cloth is doing a great job of getting the shopper as deep in the process as they want to be, easy for the casual shopper, but with a lot to offer the typical customer looking for a more high-touch, customized experience.
If you are thinking of taking your custom clothing business online these three examples should help guide your thinking. Three critical questions to ask yourself before launching your eCommerce store are:
- How can you keep the process easy for the shopper? (i.e. can they buy right-away or do they need to take another step)
- Are you making the buttons stand out that follow your ideal customer flow (i.e. the main action button stands out on the page)
- Are shipping times and next-steps clearly communicated?
Now it’s your turn, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share your site or ask a question about how to make sure your store stands out online.