Shopping online gives people new opportunities as they look for apparel. Instead of going to stores during business hours, people can visit websites whenever they prefer. They can also spend as much time as needed to decide between the various styles, sizes, and colors — all without getting bothered by overbearing salespeople. The online experience has a huge impact on people’s satisfaction. How can you create a fashion website that shoppers will appreciate and return to?
Add Appropriate Visuals
One of the downsides of online shopping is that people can’t touch the apparel before buying it. That limitation makes it harder to determine specifics such as a sweater’s thickness or the sleekness of a silk shirt.
However, pictures give shoppers the next best thing by providing them with details text-based descriptions can’t. They also encourage consumers to think about how they could wear the pieces and get inspired about creating various looks by combining items.
Consider how to create a fashion website that features rotating imagery depending on variables such as seasons, holidays, or trendy colors.
Shoppers will also like it if they have additional context to help them understand how likely it is that pieces they love will look similarly on them. One popular method is to provide details such as a model’s height. Then, people can take that information, compare it to their measurements and get a better idea of whether a specific piece will look how they expect.
When taking pictures for the site, think about how to make them more user-friendly. Adding functionality to allow people to zoom in or see the piece from multiple angles helps recreate the in-person shopping experience.
Another helpful feature is an embedded “share” button that lets people show images of specific pieces to their friends. Consumers often need additional opinions when shopping for clothes. Providing a seamless way to get them should increase the time people spend at the fashion website.
Create a Fashion Website With a Great Checkout Experience
People expect convenience from online shopping. It’s best if the website is easy to use from start to finish. That means working hard to make the checkout process as smooth and quick as possible.
An eye-opening study indicated not enough company decision-makers prioritize that aspect when planning their websites. A 2023 study found checkout-related frustrations have caused 40% of consumers in the United States to think more carefully about their purchases. More specifically, they’ve reconsidered them altogether or removed some items from their carts. Those are both problematic actions because they could negatively affect the company’s profits.
Another important takeaway was that 33% disliked having to log in or create accounts to go through the checkout process. An easy way around that is to build the website with a guest checkout option or allow people to log in with credentials from other services, such as Google.
People can also create a fashion website with a fantastic checkout process by removing requests for all non-essential information. Although it’s potentially helpful for a company to know a shopper’s birthdate or their communication preferences, asking for those details slows down the overall checkout process. Making those fields optional allows people to fill them out if they have time or skip over them if they prefer maximum efficiency.
Look at Other Websites for Inspiration
The fashion e-commerce market is doing well and growing. Statistics project its worldwide value to reach $821 billion in 2023 and get to $1,222 billion by 2027. That strongly highlights why it’s worthwhile to create a fashion website people will love.
The active market means people don’t have to go far to find design and content examples of what’s working well. They can start by analyzing the most popular fashion sites. Examining aspects such as the navigation menu, graphics, color, mobile functionality, and purchasing process can show people which approaches they can take.
It’s also useful to find websites that get noticed by design professionals. One such online destination allows people to order items with one click on a social media photo. That’s a great way to catch shoppers’ attention while reducing friction that could discourage them from purchasing.
Consider creating a list of what the website does well and where room for improvement exists. Doing that will help you focus on some broad themes and review where to pool your resources.
Let Users Generate Some Content
Another fantastic way to create a fashion website that stands out is to let users provide feedback about the things they buy. A 2023 study revealed 56% of people always read clothing reviews when shopping for apparel online. Consumers also pay attention to the number of reviews per item.
Many websites have moderation policies that prevent user reviews from immediately appearing. However, those overseeing this user content should consider whether they have the resources to manually check the content before it goes live.
Although it’s necessary and valuable to create a fashion website that will keep users coming back, user-generated content can also span to social media pages. Then, the social media content could encourage people to visit the website, too.
One possibility is to have people take pictures of themselves wearing recent purchases and using specific hashtags. Then, others see the kind of clothing they can get from the website and what it looks like on real consumers.
You could also encourage people to create short YouTube videos of them unboxing the clothes. That approach works particularly well if the e-commerce website has eye-catching and thoughtfully designed packaging.
Some shoppers will respond best to user-generated content that allows them to give their thoughts with minimal time spent. For example, the people running an apparel website could prompt consumers to provide the top three things they think of when the brand comes to mind. Site representatives might then use the input to create a word cloud or similar graphic to offer snapshots of user feelings.
Make the Website Mobile-Friendly
Mobile device users accounted for just over 53% of overall web traffic as of September 2023. That doesn’t mean people should overlook visitors who use their computers to access a site. However, the statistic emphasizes why it makes sense to create a fashion website that looks great on mobile phones and tablets.
Pay attention to aspects such as navigation buttons or links, search bar access, and checkout functionality. Realize, too, that some people have data limits on their mobile internet plans. They’ll appreciate it if the site images load quickly and don’t eat up their allotments.
Designing a website for desktop computers and assuming it’ll look great and function well on mobile devices is too short-sighted. People must plan for extra testing time across devices. Otherwise, they’ll likely encounter problems that extend the development timeline or lead to feedback from disappointed site visitors.
Be Open to Feedback
The suggestions here represent many best practices that will get people on the right track while creating fashion websites. However, it’s vital that they also listen to user feedback before and after the site goes online. People will almost certainly have some ideas the web development team and others didn’t previously consider. Current and potential shoppers will also appreciate that the people behind the website truly care about what they have to say and are willing to implement changes.