Everybody loves getting something new, after all, we don’t call it retail therapy for nothing. New clothes, new shoes, new handbag… even the smallest purchase can put a smile on our faces and a spring in our step. For many of us, shopping used to be confined to an occasional day off or the weekends, as work and family commitments prevented us from getting time to browse the high street. Today, however, online shopping has opened up all kinds of doors, giving us opportunities for browsing and shopping like never before.
If you live in a tiny village out in the country, you probably also have to drive or travel for a fair way before you reach your nearest town or city. For country dwellers, online shopping is something of a lifesaver, with groceries, gifts, clothes and accessories now delivered direct to your door. Whilst food shopping online has become an almost overnight success, people remain a little wary of doing their clothes shopping online, as they can’t try on or see the items before they buy. However, most retailers offer excellent returns policies and if you are looking for something custom-made then designers today use female mannequins and tailor’s dummies to produce made-to-measure clothing.
Whilst many online retailers use professional models to showcase their clothing ranges, there are also some extremely realistic female mannequins around, so you can get a good idea of what the clothes will look like before you buy.
Get The Right Look
It can be quite easy to get carried away when you are clothes shopping online, as just a few clicks will let you purchase a whole basketful of items and you would probably be more circumspect if you were out at the shops. Remember to take into account your own personal style and be realistic about what will and won’t suit you. Most websites will have size and measurement guides so you can get the right fit and don’t forget, sizes vary from place to place. It is also a good idea to check out the delivery and return options. If you have to pay through the nose for delivery it may be just as cheap to pay the parking fee or bus fare and go to the store to make your purchase. Some places offer free delivery over a certain amount, so if you are planning to buy a few items then try to group them so you are eligible. Look at how long you have to return the product and how to go about it, so if it is not a good fit or doesn’t suit you then you won’t be losing any money.
Using realistic female mannequins gives clothes makers a good idea of your sizes, but again, make sure you find out how to return your items for alteration if necessary.
In addition the retailers are using the internet to drive people into their stores is by using their websites to advertise promotions that are only available in-store. Such promotions may be offered on completion of an online purchase and will make the customer think about visiting the actual store to make further purchases.
It is vital that traditional retailers work with the online part of their business, rather than seeing themselves as being in competition with it. It is clear that while the future may lie with online retailing, traditional shopping cannot yet be consigned to history but can work hand in hand with what lies ahead.
Anna Mathews has worked as a seamstress and clothes designer for over 20 years. She regularly writes and blogs on a number of related topics and has recently written several pieces about the use of realistic female mannequins as an aid to online shopping.