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5 Problems Faced By Online Fashion Retailers (And How to Solve Them)


Are you hoping to open your very own online fashion retail outlet?

2021 is THE year for online fashion, and there’s been an explosion of businesses who are finding their feet online and are making an impact where it matters the most.

Challenges and Failures

If this is the year you are considering trying to make your business succeed online, then you would do well to understand the psychology of buying and what makes customers trust a brand.

Online fashion retailers especially face many problems right now, but with the right knowledge and a sturdy plan in place, these problems needn’t be big problems, and what doesn’t sink your business will make it stronger from the perspective of investment.

Here are five problems that online fashion retailers are likely to face as they work through the maze of selling online and how you can overcome those challenges to make your business a success.

A High Returns Rate Due to Sizing Issues

The fashion eCommerce return rate is surprisingly high, and most of this has to do with ill-fitting clothing that just isn’t the size that the customers thought they were or doesn’t match the product description as seen online.

This is especially problematic in women’s clothing, where numbers go up as the clothes get bigger, but the numbers don’t necessarily correlate across different stores.

You’ll need to combat this one way or another, whether by installing a size solution that uses data to predict accurate size recommendations for customers or having a very visible size display on each of your items.

Preferably, do both.

Different Screens Showing Different Colours

Everyone remembers the vital photo of ‘that dress’ and how it split the internet depending on colour.

The problem with the dress was actually twofold. Firstly, it depended on the screen you were looking at it on, and secondly, it was an odd colour combination that interfered with some people who suffered from colour blindness.

There’s not a lot you can do to combat the second problem, but as for the first one you can try to get some photos of your garments in-situ, like a lifestyle photography option. This will allow customers to see them in different lighting setups to see what colour they think it really is!

Building Authority Through Good SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has to be the thorn in the side of so many online retailers across practically every industry.

Google announced at I/O this year that there will be big changes in the way it handles shopping searches from users, and especially how it handles offering them the best deals from across the internet. While this is good news for customers, it might make brands a little nervous.

The solution? The SEO world is still waiting to see exactly what the announcements mean, but for now, the best option is to fill out as much detail as possible about your products on your Google My Business profile and to ensure that you have your very own custom and high-quality photographs for your products, even if you’re not the only one selling that particular product.

Competing With High Street Retailers

The switch to online shopping  exploded when the coronavirus pandemic hit and countries across the world were forced to close their borders and lose their high streets amid local and nationwide lockdowns.

This was really bad news for highstreet-only stores, but stores that had an online presence saw a massive boom in sales.

As lockdowns get lifted in different parts of the world with varying degrees of strictness –  retailers face the problem of competing with high street stores again.

The advice here is to just keep improving your online offering, be individual and casual, and make sure you utilise social media as a way to show off your products in their best light.

Changing Attitudes to Fashion and Choice

A big change we’re seeing in the fashion world is the changes in attitudes towards fashion for so many brands and their audiences.

It’s not enough anymore for brands to just churn out fast fashion items and ignore the real cost to the planet or to the people working on them; now, their customers are demanding some accountability.

Fixing this isn’t just an overnight job, and it will take proper sourcing and fully traceable supply chains in order to be completely open with your audience, but the data suggests that it really is worth it in the long run.

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