Purchasing apparel online is a bit like rolling virtual dice. Unless a consumer has previously tried on the item, he or she is taking a gamble that it will be a flattering fit – or will even fit at all. Combine this risk with the fear of complicated and time-consuming return procedures and many shoppers are likely to walk away – as in abandon the site. This is where designers can really impress.
That's because there are a few, simple, yet effective ways of adding a layer of sophistication to product pages, which have no-to-low-cost elements that companies can implement today.
CustomInk is an online source for custom apparel that not only offers customers a fun, easy and powerful online design tool to create one-of-a-kind T-shirts, sweaters, tanks and more, but also expert artists to review every design for sizing, contrast, layering issues, etc. Its “Sizing Line-Up” is really what we’re writing home about though. When selected, shoppers can see how the item fits on people of different heights, weights, measurements and even genders. This particularly comes in handy for consumers who are charge of group ordering a custom product for whole group.
Nearly any online merchant can implement this on the cheap. For those with direct access to merchandise, they may be able to coax their staff, friends, family and/or neighbors, into providing their measurements, trying on the product and allowing a few snapshots. If this sounds like too much of a stretch (it would be here at Website Magazine), extend your model search to people who will take a fair price for their efforts (e.g. Craigslist) and make sure they sign a model’s release form, which can be found on the Web.
Companies with the resources to take and publish one product image, have the resources to take and publish two, three, four, 10… When it comes to providing consumers with the confidence they need to purchase an item online, pictures can really be a game changer. A shopper will never complain that there are too many pictures. For those companies who need a bit more help, consider using one of these product-viewing solutions for merchants.
Consumers are overwhelmingly more confident about a purchase when they watch a product video. 6pm.com, for example, offers product videos that not only show the product in action (e.g. a model walking in flip flops), but also has a “host” describe the product. Check out these 10 tips for overnight Web video superstardom to get started.
Pssttt - Web enterprises are also using a variety of tricks of the trade to show consumers how a product will look and feel, even on their body type, to increase conversions, decrease returns and provide additional purchasing confidence. Some are turning to virtual fitting rooms from providers like Metail, My Virtual Model and Fits.me (to name a few), which are terrific options that even show as high as 30 percent decrease in returns.