You’re browsing online and have found something you like (need). You’re giddy with excitement and your heart is thumping in anticipation of having the gorgeous piece of clothing delivered to your door but your brain is swirling with a flood of questions. Will it fit? What size am I? What if I don’t like it?…. you know where I’m coming from don’t you?
I NEVER actually shopped online until two years ago when illness forced me to. I was stuck at home going through cancer treatment and my body shape was rapidly changing (getting bigger), my self- esteem was shaky and I wasn’t receiving great service when I did manage to get to the shops.
Having worked in fashion retail for 20 plus years and yes it’s true I LOVE to shop. I get a kick out of touching and feeling garments…did I tell you I love to shop? So why then am I an online shopping convert? Well online shopping can be done anywhere, anytime…in your pyjamas, on the bus, watching your kids play sport, you can do it before the kids wake up or while your significant other is sleeping.
Presents parcels are delivered to your door and they usually come beautifully wrapped with a personalized note.
Online shopping can come with pitfalls though and you need to know a thing or two so here’s some of my top tips to help make your online shopping experience a good one.
KNOW YOUR MEASUREMENTS. We all know how much sizing varies in regular stores and it’s the same for online stores so arm yourself with a measuring tape, strip down to your underwear (or get nude if that takes your fancy) and get to know your body. You are who you are (so accept who you are right now today) but getting your numbers right is going to ensure you get the most flattering fit and look smoking hot.
Size is just a number but get the wrong number and you’ll look and feel uncomfortable, if you get the right number for you then you’ll look and feel fabulous.
ZOOM IN. I always like to zoom in and get a close up look of a fabric to see the texture and colour. Look for things like zips and waistbands, where pockets or ties sit. Are the sleeves loose or is there a button closure, are there side splits, what’s the rear view really like? Look at the height and size of the model and where hemlines and leg lengths sit on her.
If you are 5ft and she is 6ft there’s going to be a difference. Look at the detail in prints, sometimes prints look fabulous from a distance but get up close and you might cringe. On the flipside sometimes I’ve zoomed in and been sold on the detailing I’ve seen.
CHECK THE RETURNS POLICY. We all know that sinking feeling when we try something on and it just isn’t right. We want to feel amazing in our clothes and not get stuck with something that will hang in the back of our wardrobe so always check the returns policy. You need to know if the online store will return for wrong sizing or faulty items and whether there is a time limit for returns or any postage charges to you.
Check the retailer has solid contact details like a shop front, address, or phone details. If you are unsure of their policy call the company first.
MAKE USE OF TABS. You can narrow down your search and save time by clicking on a specific item category. Don’t forget to check out the sale section as there’s usually great bargains. There’s also the sizing and care tabs near items and sometimes a review tab, customer reviews can be very helpful but don’t always take them as gospel.
SUBSCRIBE. Sign up to receive emails, most companies are respectful and won’t spam your inbox but subscribing can pay off BIG time for you. Specials, sales, birthday vouchers, VIP events and coupon codes are all something you want and these come via e-mail. Some sites also send out blog updates or newsletters so hand over your e-mail. A good tip is to create an e-mail account purely for your shopping subscriptions.
PLAY NICE. You’ve all seen it when people fly into a rage and let their thoughts spill out via a key board…those nasty online rants. Yeah it’s so ugly (shudder). I always like to give a company an opportunity to rectify a problem, remember this is someone’s livelihood and most people don’t go out of their way to give poor service, mistakes happen. If you can’t get satisfaction via email then phone them. Be fair, use your manners and you’re more likely to have a problem resolved but nasty venomous rants will get you absolutely nowhere.
Companies also love to receive good feedback ( let’s face it we all do), so if you’re happy with the service then send some love their way and drop them a line or post a nice review on their site.
CHECK THE DETAILS. Always check your payment details and confirmation details, I like to screen shot mine (snap a photo on Ipad or mobile), shopping late at night can mean tired eyes so sometimes you can make mistakes. You usually receive a confirmation email of payment or a dispatch notice and sometimes even a tracking number. Don’t forget to factor in shipping costs, sometimes shipping is free over a certain spend amount or there may be a small charge. Either way when I take into consideration getting dressed, driving to a shop and dealing with crowds, the shipping cost is soooo worth it. You can’t put a price on being able to shop in your pyjamas, in bed… with a cuppa.
PACE YOURSELF. It’s pretty easy to get carried away popping items in your cart, there’s so many pretties online but before you know it you take a peek at your running total and realize you might need to take a second mortgage out on the house. Slow down Nelly, before you press ‘purchase’ ask yourself if you really need that same dress in all the colours of the rainbow…well do you?
If there’s a wish list in the tab section then add the pieces to that or fill your shopping cart and then re-asses. Ask yourself will your intended items work back with what’s in your wardrobe? Will they be versatile? Are they easy to care for? Are they appropriate for the season? Will it really flatter your figure or are you envisioning yourself as the model on the site? I sometimes get confused and think I’m her LOL. Don’t be too hasty and regret your purchases, remember you work hard for your dollars so make your wardrobe work hard for you.
So there you have it a solid guide for shopping online. It doesn’t need to be scary and please don’t feel intimidated.
Til next time,