When you’re designing your lingerie ecommerce store, you’re probably most excited about the visual aspect of it. To make money though, an online lingerie boutique needs to look good and be easy to use.
Below I’ve listed 8 key features that are essential to creating a lingerie store that people will love to buy from:
A size guide
Bra fit is notoriously tricky to get right. Your online customer can’t try anything on, so give them as much information as possible to guide them towards the correct size. Not only will they be more likely to purchase, they’ll be less likely to exchange due to poor fit too!
State which country’s sizes you’re using, for example “US 8” rather than just “8”. If you can, provide specific measurements e.g. “fits 40-42” hips”. Since a 32F in one country is not necessarily the same size as a 32F in another, be clear about whether the size options are the ones on the label or ones that have been converted to the local equivalent.
And a size filter
Here’s a feature that not every online lingerie store has, but which they should do. As pretty as some of your lingerie items may be, a customer only cares about the ones that are going to fit them or whomever they’re buying for.
Clicking through to a few products only to see that none are available in your size is disheartening, a waste of the customer’s time, and can put them off browsing further. Negate this issue by allowing customers to filter by size from the start.
A return policy
For many people, buying lingerie online is daunting. Even with a clear and comprehensive size guide, they can’t be totally sure that a bra will fit them just-so, and be comfortable, until they’ve actually tried it on.
Put these doubts to rest with a clear (and clearly-visible) returns policy, which details things like which products can and can’t be sent back, and whether they’ll be offered a refund or exchange.
The key to a good returns policy is to split the risk between your business and the consumer. You don’t want to be lumbered with returned products that you can’t resell (such as hosiery with damaged packaging), but remember that the more financial risk that you put on the customer’s wallet, the more hesitant they will be to press that buy button.
Shipping costs (upfront!)
It’s natural that when a customer is making their mind up about placing an order, they want quick and easy access to the total cost. This is especially true for those ordering from abroad, since international shipping costs vary so much from one retailer to the next.
And yet, a surprising number of lingerie boutiques’ ‘Delivery’ pages only list shipping times and not prices. Customers sometimes need to fill out their email and delivery addresses to see the final price, but why make them jump through hoops? Some customers just won’t be bothered to fill out their details, others will assume that you’re not being transparent about shipping costs because they’re high!
A clear category menu
Two types of customer will visit your website – those who know what they’re looking for, and those who are just there to browse. Make sure your product categories cater to both audiences.
For customers who know what they want to find, break things down into obvious categories. There’s a trend in lingerie to group products into collections with fancy names, but if I’m on the hunt for a sexy bra, how do I know if it will be under your ‘Provocative’ category or your ‘Glamorous’ one? If you want to have themed collections then by all means do, but you still need those basic groupings of ‘Bras’, ‘Briefs’, ‘Nightwear’ and so on too.
For the customers who aren’t sure what you want, it’s imperative there’s a ‘View All’ option. You’d be surprised at how many online lingerie retailers are missing this! There are customers who don’t actually know if they’re after a bra set or a babydoll, and simply want to peruse the virtual rails until something catches their eye.
It’s tough to sell a product – especially a luxury one – to someone when they can’t actually see or touch it for themselves. Lingerie is so often about the details, such as a delicate embroidery or trim, so have large, zoom-able photos that capture what makes each item so special.
Remember to show the lingerie from different angles – at the very minimum, you need a photo of the front and one of the back! It’s also a good idea to show the lingerie on a model, especially for bras so that the customer can get an idea of the lift and shape it will give them. If you’re selling nightwear, state the model’s height so customers can gauge whether it will be the same length on them.
And excellent product descriptions
A range of high-quality photos can make browsing lingerie online almost like looking through the rails in a physical boutique… but only almost. Some things are just impossible to gather from a photo, which is why you need some well-chosen words to accompany it.
Does the fabric feel buttery-soft? Or does it shimmer and sparkle as it moves in the light? Then say so! Remember to point out practical aspects of the garment too, such as whether that moulded cup is only thinly lined or has thick, push-up padding hidden away inside.
Be sure to include the fabric content too. Especially for lingerie which is worn so close to the skin, many consumers care about the material it’s made from, so list the exact make-up of the fabric as per the garment label and highlight the positives such as a pure-cotton gusset.
A gift option
Lastly, remember that not all of your customers will be purchasing for themselves. Most brick-and-mortar lingerie boutiques offer some sort of gift wrapping option, and it’s a good idea to offer this online too. Plus, margins are low on lingerie but high on gift-boxes and tissue paper, so it can be a nice little boost to your bottom line!
At the very least, have an “is this order a gift?” checkbox at the checkout, allowing your customers to have the order shi
pped to someone else’s address without a record of the price being included in the parcel.
Is there anything else that you think no online lingerie boutique should be without? Let us know in the comments section below!
Tags: E-Commerce Marketing