The catalog market has long been an important component of clothing sales. Long before the internet, families were mailing away for staple items from department store catalogs and specialty items from niche-market catalog retailers. That market share has increased with the advent of internet sales, as physical stores have added an online component and other retailers have opened online-only shops. Since customers cannot try the clothing on before making a purchase, they are increasingly relying on reviews from other customers in order to make an informed decision. Shoppers want to feel sure that the clothing they order will meet their expectations before they place an order. Uncertainty can kill online clothing sales. Therefore, online retailers must do everything they can to promote reviews if they want to stay in business.
Why Are Customer Reviews So Critical to Online Sales?
Think of customer reviews as a proxy for an in-person inspection of the merchandise. Potential customers cannot reach through the screen to get a feel for the quality of the products, the fit, and the feel of the clothing, especially if they have never shopped at that store before. Detailed reviews from other customers can provide that type of information, and their level of satisfaction builds trust and confidence in the brand.
Consider these statistics concerning e-commerce: as many as 90% of customers read reviews before making an online purchase, 27.5% of online shoppers will not purchase from a new brand because of a lack of trust, and 41.5% of shoppers will not buy a product that lacks reviews. But, for products that have customer reviews, shoppers will spend as much as 31% more on a product that has excellent reviews. So, customers are hesitant to buy anything that has not yet been reviewed, but will pay more for products that have good reviews. Clearly, these reviews can be both a barrier to overcome and a powerful tool for retailers with an online presence.
One niche market that heavily relies on customer reviews is the online undergarment industry. Many people prefer to buy their “unmentionables” online, hoping to keep private things private. The challenge for the customer is to determine whether the product meets their standards in terms of sizing, fit, and quality, without being able to look at it. Companies that provide reviews from existing customers can provide that information, and studies show that as many as 88% of prospective customers trust those reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. The challenge for online retailers is to generate as many reviews as possible, because customers put more faith in a product that has dozens of more ratings and reviews than a product with just a handful.
Joe Snyder is one online retailer of fashionable underthings that has seized the power of online reviews. This company specializes in male underwear, offering bikinis, briefs, jockstraps, thongs, trunks, and boy shorts for men, as well as a limited collection of bikinis for ladies. Joe Snyder reviews available on eKomi.com give some insight into their product. One reviewer states that, “The garments for women which I wear are very comfortable and sexy, I only wish that their [sic] were more color selection.” Another states that Joe Snyder underwear collection for men is “Stylish and plenty of styles! Quality is excellent!” Another Joe Snyder thong review comments that “…everything is perfect!” Other reviews indicate the speed of shipping– “super fast delivery!” and excellent customer service when problems do arise. In a market saturated with a number of online providers, reviews like these help Joe Snyder to stand out.
How Can Online Retailers Generate Reviews?
Because online reviews are so critical to online clothing sales, retailers need to do everything they can to generate a large number of reviews from legitimate customers. More and more websites are signifying that their reviews are from verified customers, which builds another layer of trust for prospective customers. What can retailers do to increase their number of reviews?
One solution lies with eKomi.com, a company committed to helping your business increase the total number of reviews from customers who have actually purchased and used your product or services. To start, we solicit reviews via email from current customers after they make a purchase. Many customers are willing to leave a review, but need that extra push to make it happen. We then pool the reviews on eKomi.com, so that customers can see them in one location. This makes it easy for customers to find information on businesses without having to scavenge the internet for authentic reviews. Based on these ratings and reviews, we award your business a seal of approval, giving potential customers a feel for your business at a glance.
Don’t let customer uncertainty affect your sales– give your consumer base the information they need with verified reviews from eKomi.com.