Despite being a digital strategist, I’m not good at shopping online – especially when it comes to clothes. I’m a woman of normal size and shape, but no matter how much I want to experience and enjoy the convenience of online shopping, too many questions stop me from hitting the “buy” button: What if it doesn’t fit? Is it really that colour? Will it fall above or below my knees? $10 for postage? You’ve got to be kidding!

But as a digital strategist, I would recommend e-commerce to every fashion label. Here’s why… people buy clothes online

My co-workers at Sense are a case in point. Packages arrive daily, and a lunchtime trip to the post office to return something is almost as common.

Beyond Sense, the numbers say it all. In the last Neilson Australian Online Consumer report, 33% of respondents said they’d purchased clothes or shoes online in the past six months (up from 24% in the previous period).

Harnessing this revenue should be a no-brainer for Australian retailers.

Due Diligence

The term for window shopping in French does not translate to window shopping. In fact, it translates as “Licking the Windows” which is an apt description of e-commerce when you consider how online shoppers seek and consume detail:

  • Sizing details
  • Fabric details
  • Details about care instructions
  • Details about what goes with…
  • Price and discount details (I regularly add things to a shopping cart, just to see what the total would be)
  • Not to mention detailed photos from every angle – and even zoom detail
  • “Shareability”

We are more likely to share a specific item we’re interested in purchasing on social media. Social Media plugins can make it easy to ask a friend; “Do you think these shoes go with that handbag I bought?”

Their entire social circle can now share something that used to happen in-store between girlfriends. And e-commerce facilitates this with simplicity and speed.

Who is doing it well?

I’ve been a fan of Veronika Maine for years. But their website has always been a disappointing experience. Styled shots of their clothing range worn by models in weird poses, with no product details. Really, it’s just a look book and very much a dead-end user experience.

But when they launched their online store recently, they made excellent use of social media and eDMs to promote the launch with details, including:

  • Particular items (this top)
  • Particular categories (these tops)
  • Particular groups (this top goes with these other things)
  • Offers and sales
  • The e-commerce functionality allows Veronika Maine to create a more meaningful website destination than their home page, by offering customers the detail they crave.

And as for me…

  • Have I spent hours on the Veronika Maine online store since it launched? Yes.
  • Have I added several hundred dollars of clothing to my shopping cart? Yes.
  • Have I devoured every detail of the fabric, size, care, etc? Yes.
  • Have I purchased online? No.
  • But I have run into David Jones on my lunch break to try on something that I saw online.

And did I buy it?
You bet.

This post originally appeared on Sense