When customers buy clothes online, they create a mental image of the item they are buying based on your website’s information. If the material, colour or workmanship isn’t what they expected, they are likely be dissatisfied and may even post a damaging review. Control these issues with quality photographs and accurate descriptions. However, clients also have expectations about garment size, which can be a bit more complicated to control.
In addition to the intangible issue of customer dissatisfaction, sizing issues can directly hurt your bottom line. Processing returns is expensive – even if you charge customers for the postage, you still have to pay handling costs and spend time updating your accounting records. Some estimates claim sizing issues account for 80% of clothing returns. Consequently, if you can control sizing, you can reduce your return rate significantly and reduce your potential losses.
A size chart is a critical tool in reducing returns and managing customer expectations. Create a chart and display it prominently on your website. If sizes are consistent across your site, simply provide a link to the chart on your homepage. However, if you have a variety of items with different sizes, consider posting a size chart with each item or linked to each item so it appears as a pop-up when requested.
To create a sizing chart, measure the waist, chest, length, inseam or any other key areas of each of your items. At the top of the chart, note the size on the tag of each item. On the left side of the chart, put the measurement in question such as inseam or waist, and fill the rest of the chart with your measurements.
For example, imagine a shopper is buying a shirt and has a 90-centimetre bust measurement. The customer looks along the left side of the chart to find bust measurement, then scans the values in that row to find 90 centimetres. The customer can find the size – in this case, medium – at the top of the column with the measurement.
Many people don’t have a tape measure, but you can alleviate that issue by providing a printable tape measure.
Alternative Sizing Tools
If your clients are shopping on their phones while they are out and about, it isn’t feasible for them to stop and measure themselves. If you want them to be able to order with confidence, explore alternative sizing tools. You can embed sizing tools such as Fashion Metric into your website to help with sizing. This program asks your customers easy-to-answer questions – based on their answers, it accurately recommends the right size.
The right sizing information can help to reduce returns, but occasionally customers change their minds anyway. To minimize the cost of returns, institute a clear returns policy. Address the number of days allowed for returns and how your company processes refunds. Set policies related to trying clothing on. Specify that you cannot accept clothing that has been washed, stained, scuffed, or ironed.