A woman walks into a dress shop. And there’s no punch line here – there could be. She could be from that famous nudist colony. Or she could be a man – cross dressing. But none of those. She is in the shop and the sales person offers help as salespeople are likely to do – unless you really need the help. But the woman rejects help. No thank you. She’s just browsing.
She proceeds to check out the merchandise. Analyzing the fabrics. Holding up dresses against her body while checking herself out in the mirror. Does the color, the style, the fabric all suit her? Should she go with such a bold print? Is the neck too low or the hemline too high – for the office? And what other pieces go with it? She’ll try it on and a few other things before deciding.
So what if she’s browsing in an online store? The digital shopping experience is different for all the previously mentioned ways. Buying clothes online is not like buying books or digital cameras. It’s not like buying a car where you look at the list of features. Eighteen inch zipper – check. V-neck – check. Sleeves – check – unless you’re Michelle Obama of the famous bare arms.
As online clothing retailers work to overcome these disadvantages, several sites are adding razzle-dazzle to entice the customer. A French shopping site attracts and retains customers with visual search technology. It’s in French so non-speakers can’t do much more than recognize the word décolleté. But when browsers click on an item, the site offers an experience of sorts. They suggest items that go together. In the future the site hopes to offer the ability to reference fashion photos while shopping.
Other e-tailers are also jazzing up their sites to hang on to customers. Nike has updated its customizing features. Visitors can design their own sneakers and clothes. Adding streaming video is another popular option because people stay longer at a site with this feature. And when they spend more time at a site, they’re more likely to buy.Razzle dazzle wins every time.