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Online shopping is the process whereby consumers directly buy goods or services from a seller in real-time, without an intermediary service, over the Internet. It is a form of electronic commerce. An online shop, eshop, e-store, Internet shop, webshop, webstore, online store, or virtual store evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or in a shopping center. The process is called business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping. When a business buys from another business, it is called business-to-business (B2B) online shopping.
A good online store is a website that is easy to navigate and browse for possible purchases. It has a product catalog that customers can use to browse the search criteria (usually a type, price, material, age, etc.), and information about the products, the sellers, and the service center. Online stores may also discuss business conditions and a Complaints Procedure.
If a shopper finds a product to purchase, clicking “send” will add the item to the shopping cart. The shopping cart collects all items to be purchased. Once a shopper is satisfied with their selections, the shopper makes a binding order and payment using a credit card or other financial arrangement. Therefore, implementing usability testing is highly important for an online store to avoid the reduce of overall performances of the online store 
In the twenty first century, online shopping has become very popular, especially with the lifestyles of businesspeople who are always busy and are looking for a convenient way to shop.
An online store may also be called an e-webstore, e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, online storefront and virtual store.
Online marketing strategies
Fashion marketing is unique because of its short cycle and is more than designing a dress. It inculcates the overall advertisement strategies that are implemented to position a product that resonate with the customer and motivates them to purchase it.
Social media strategy
If you are competing in the fashion space then you need to be smart enough to identify the latest trends and position your brand, such that people realises the fashion trend via your online store. There are a plethora of online apparel stores that have positioned their brand presence through social media. Through this effective social channel you can reach millions. Let people know about you, give them a platform to interact, engage, and talk about fashion, apparels, and clothes.
Most brands fall into the pitfall of not realising that social media is not a channel to post an image and leave. You need to be there, interact with people, makes bold suggestions and recommendations, respond to peoples queries.
When comes to fashion, you will be able to plot a linear propensity with celebrity endorsements and trending fashions. There exist hardcore fan followers who are ready to replicate what their celebrity does. Most brands are made celebrities as their brand directors. If you are a start up, and doesn’t have the budget to reach out to a renowned celebrity its fine. Instead of reaching out to global personalities, narrow down to a local personalities.
You can reach out to a beautician who has a descend list of loyal followers and can ask them to make use of your service. If he/ she is happy with what you provide then make sure that you get a testimonial from her, or ask her to do a small commercial for you. I am pretty sure to the least she will he happy to share your business entity on her social platform.
Create a Facebook Page
Facebook has evolved into a great market place, where you can find, inetract, and engage with potential buyers and sellers. When planning to start an online clothing store its a basic need that you start with a Facebook page. When creating a Facebook page make sure that you select the right template. For an online store that sells commodity of multiple variety its better to setup their page on shopping template.
Basic requirements when planning to start an online clothing store
- When planning to start an online clothing store there are few basic requirements that one need to consider.
- Online Personality of your Clothing Store
- First and foremost being an alluring online store. We all judge book by its cover. In the digital world your website/ e-commerce store becomes the first point of contact. Your virtual store acts as the digital identity of your establishment. So, thee first point of contact should convince the customers. Your web homepage should resonate the brand personality and the brand identity of your apparel store.
- USP and Brand Voice
- Highlight your USP. Be precise an clear when you detail the unique selling proposition. Your USP is the key differentiator. So make sure that its fine tuned and refined, the benefits are vividly explained. Most entities fail to identify their customer voice, make sure that you wont fall in the pitfall. Be creative, talk to you customers in the language they prefer. If your are targeting the local market, then filling your eCommerce store with keywords and jargon that doesn’t speak to the audience won’t make any sense.
- CX of your eCommerce store
- Hope you remember me mentioning about a customer centric approach. It’s true you own the establishment, but the strangers who land on your website drives your business. We all know the fact that the longer someone interacts with a system the higher the probability of a commerce.
- Your virtual store needs to have a customer centric UI and UX. The digital era is often coined as the age of customer experience. Delight your customers. Most virtual stores fail to realise the fact that the poor UI (user interface) is acting as a blocker. Give your visitors a simple interface. An objective driven UI which is easy to navigate. The buyers journey is so pivotal that any inconvenience at its minuscule level can cause confusion among the customers. Confusion at this critical path will create doubts regarding the business entities authenticity, leading to higher cart abandonment.
- Develop a responsive site
- Online customers are quite impatient. They want prompt results. Develop a website which is responsive and gives quick results. The website design should be compatible with all the major Operating systems and devices.
-Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser. Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly or by searching among alternative vendors using a shopping search engine, which displays the same product’s availability and pricing at different e-retailers. As of 2016, customers can shop online using a range of different computers and devices, including desktop computers,laptops, tablet computers and smartphones.
An online shop evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a regular “bricks-and-mortar”retailer or shopping center; the process is called business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping. When an online store is set up to enable businesses to buy from another businesses, the process is called business-to-business (B2B) online shopping. A typical online store enables the customer to browse the firm’s range of products and services, view photos or images of the products, along with information about the product specifications, features and prices.
Advantages of Online Shopping :
Point-of-sale advantages include stores offering no shipping charges and free ship-to-store options. A lot of online stores do not pass on sales tax (unless required by the state) to customers, which can add up to substantial savings for those shoppers who buy primarily online.
Other advantages of shopping online include:
- The stores are almost never closed.
- Shoppers can shop in their pajamas.
- Online shoppers save on gas.
- There are no parking hassles.
- Online shoppers rarely have to deal with aggressive salespeople.
- There are no annoying crowds.
- Online shoppers do not have to wait in long lines to check out.
- Many online retailers allow shoppers to post reviews about the products that they purchased.
- There are more choices for buying refurbished products.
- Online sales representatives often receive more intensive product training than those at the local stores.
- Online sales representatives often have more flexibility in making decisions such as applying coupons, meeting competitors’ prices and expediting shipping at no extra charge.
Disadvantages of Shopping Online :
Sometimes a deal that looks great falls short of what has been advertised. Communicating dissatisfaction can be difficult online and often takes enormous patience and tenacity to achieve satisfaction. Problem-solving face-to-face with local store employees is often faster and more satisfying. Contacting the next level of management is much easier at local stores than online.
Other disadvantages of shopping online include:
- Online shoppers do not have the ability to physically inspect or try on the items being considered for purchase.
- Online shoppers sometimes lose the power to negotiate the price and payment terms that may exist in local stores.
- Items ordered online are sometimes backordered, but shoppers may not find out until weeks later. This is particularly problematic when buying gifts.
- Online shoppers do not always know if a site is a legitimate retail store and if is safe to shop.
- Restocking and shipping costs are often charged on returns.
- Online shoppers often do not have a person (or the same person) to talk to when dealing with a problem.
- It is sometimes easier to get money refunded locally when the item purchased drops in price within the guaranteed price period.
- Online shoppers do not get to take advantage of seasonal statewide tax-free shopping events.
Apart from this there are some more prons and cons in online shopping like Many online stores sell products at really low prices because of the lack of money spent on overhead. Local stores have operating costs like rent, staffing, water, heat, and air that are figured, at least partially, into the markup of the products.
On the other hand Online stores advertising free products will sometimes increase the cost of shipping so that they profit from the purchase. For example, shoppers may get three free software programs, but paying $14.95 in shipping or handling charges is higher than what would normally be charged and likely covers the cost of the three items plus shipping.
Shoppers will save money and frustration by taking the time to learn the policies of both online and local stores before making purchases. Sometimes there are hidden charges like restocking fees at some online and local stores. The restocking fee may increase the longer it takes the shopper to return an item.
Since it takes longer to ship a product back to an online store than it does to return it to a local shop, this might be the deciding factor on where to make the purchase.
The small print on return policies will sometimes state that shoppers must pay to ship products back, even when items arrive with a defect. It is also not uncommon for online stores to deduct the original cost of shipping the product from the return invoice. If a shopper is uncertain of a purchase they are making, knowing the return policy of the online store might affect their decision to shop locally instead.
Another point to consider is how repairs are handled on the products being purchased. It might be easier to return a faulty product to the local store for repair, rather than going through the trouble and expense of shipping it back to an online store.
Reading the customer service policies online and at local stores should provide shoppers with clear answers on all fees and guarantees. If a store’s policies are vague and employees seem uninformed, shoppers may want to shop elsewhere.
Features of Online Apparel and Merchandise:
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Visual Merchandising Tips for retail Space :
Retail locations depend on the success of visual merchandising. Visual merchandising gets customers in stores with window displays.
Great visual merchandising also keeps consumers in the store long enough to make a purchase. How are today’s successful stores and pop-up shops making the most of retail space? Take a look at these 7 visual merchandising tips that make the most out of your retail space:
1. Ignite the Imagination with Product Grouping
Products grouped together can put a customer’s imagination to work. A store window can group together items by use, price, size, type, or by color scheme. For example, group together a heavy winter jacket, a pair of snow boots, a knit cap, and a sled. The sled would make window shoppers pause to look twice. Try replacing the sled with something more offbeat like a surfboard.
This is not one the most innovative new visual merchandising tips, but it still proves successful. Product grouping is enticing because it shows instead of tells by igniting consumers’ imaginations. They’ll be likely drawn to further explore the store for the products grouped in the display. Shopify suggests using the rule of three. ( In creating displays, most visual merchandisers will often refer to the rule of three, which means that when creating a product display, try to work in sets of three. Based on how you’re arranging your products, you’ll want to have three of them side by side instead of just one. For example, if you were arranging things by height, you’d have items that were short, medium, and tall.
Our eyes are most likely to keep moving when we’re looking at something asymmetrical because when we see some symmetrical or balanced, they stop dead in their track. The Rule of Three will keep your customers’ attention longer on your product displays.)
when creating a grouped products. The rule of three entails arranging items in groups of three to create balance and symmetry.
2. Engage with All the Senses
Although visual merchandising focuses heavily on aesthetics–hence its name–directives can also capitalize on the opportunity to engage with all the senses. How will customers feel when walking into the store? Where are those feelings driven from? Business 2 Community points out that customers browsing a site’s online products can only observe with their eyes. But when they enter a store they engage with all five senses.
- Hearing – Music affects how customers interact in a store. Try a playlist with a slower, softer beat to lessen customers’ pace as they mill around the store floor.
- Sight – Use visual cues (lighting, color, balance) to direct a customer’s attention to specific products and displays.
- Touch – In-store consumers have the ability to touch and feel textures. Avoid putting items out of arm’s reach and put them in the line of sight.
- Smell – The sense of smell is more strongly associated with memory and connects with shoppers on an emotional level. According to Ad Age, scent has the strongest impact when it comes to enhancing consumer behavior. There are even companies that engineer scents to put customers in the right frame of mind.
- Taste – If you’re selling food or drink products, create a sample table of seasonal favorites.
3. Support with Signage
Signage informs consumers of sales and promotions. It also directs people to different areas of the store. Where do you want them to head? If the store is clearing out low inventory products, usher them that way.
Signage also supports grouped products. For instance, announce a recently published cookbook with a large store sign. Group the same cookbook with one of its popular recipe ingredients.
Create signs that are short and to the point. They should be easy to read and match to the store’s theme. Promotional signage isn’t the only type of signage support. Signage supports clearly defined store departments or areas with larger than life images of products at work. It serves as a visual opportunity to lend to a store’s unique brand identity.
4. Create Hierarchy
Contrasting heights and depths grab customer interest. Varying heights can fuel interaction among shoppers and products. For instance, fan out items on tables at hip level.
Put baskets can on the floor and fill them with items easy to sort through. Large lights can hang from the ceiling in precarious manners. Position props or plants can on high podiums. And racks can be strategically placed.
From the ground up there is room for the eye to wander and pique interest. Use the pyramid principle(“Pyramid Principle,” where if you have one item at the top, and all other items “one step down,” it forces the eye to look at the focal point and then work its way down.) if you’re struggling with creating a visual hierarchy. The pyramid principle makes items look like they are cascading in the line of vision.
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