The battle between online and offline stores still rages on, although it’s fair to say that online shopping will soon take over offline shopping due to a variety of reasons. The Coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst in this shift from shopfront to a webpage, and now a multitude of companies are fighting to be the best online designer store.
Customers and producers alike have been tentative to get their stores online, as concerns that the experience of being in a curated boutique (Manhattan or elsewhere) can’t be emulated on a website. Although these concerns aren’t usually compared with the many benefits of having an online fashion boutique. Looking at the benefits of online shopping can help you to decide whether it’s right for you.
Here are some reasons why online fashion boutiques are taking over.
The Convenience Factor
When looking at any technological facet of our modern lives, a majority of the consideration is placed on the convenience that it provides. This has become such an important factor due to how busy modern life has become with work, exercise, parenting, cooking, cleaning, and the many other things that make up our contemporary routine. Online shopping provides a few conveniences which benefit both the consumer and the producer.
Shipped to your Door
As the battle against the Coronavirus rages on, the value of having goods shipped to your door continues to be highlighted. Going out during a pandemic not only risks your own health, but also the health of any friends or family you come into contact with. By ordering goods online you can reduce the necessity to go out and potentially expose yourself to the virus.
If you’re an East Coaster looking for a curated boutique, Manhattan is the place to come to see the latest and greatest in boutique fashion trends. Nowadays though, instead of having to travel to see or buy exotic styles, one can find a myriad of fashion boutiques online. This has been further enhanced by dropshipping in recent years which has allowed online stores to display wares that they can order to be made per order.
Producers and Suppliers can Cut Costs
By not having a physical store which can cost crazy amounts to purchase and maintain, producers and suppliers are able to cut costs. These savings are then passed on to the consumer, who despite having to cover shipping costs will often be paying less than they would in a physical store. This has also allowed producers to focus more on the integral elements of their art which are design and presentation, creating higher-quality fashion.
Perhaps the greatest thing about the shift to online fashion stores is that it gives an almost endless variety of different fashion styles to choose from. Whether you have a very particular style you prefer, or you’re looking for something completely new, this can allow you to explore all possible options across a variety of brands. Although this can also be a hindrance for those who are overwhelmed by choice, finding a few stores to surf between can help.
What We Hope to See in the Coming Years
While there are several strong benefits to shopping online, there are still some inconveniences that are worth considering. We hope that these can be resolved in recent years, and look forward to seeing the futuristic solutions that are born from them.
Trying Clothes On
Most people prefer trying clothes on, whether that’s in K-mart or a curated boutique, Manhattan locals are well known for spending days out together trying on different outfits. At this time, even the best online designer store struggles with this problem, as people prefer to see how they look in a garment before they purchase it.
A solution to this in the past has been to send a variety of clothes to the customer's house and to allow them to pick and choose what suits them and what doesn’t. Although this requires a lot of trust, especially when it comes to expensive brands. What we may see in the coming years is the opportunity to create an avatar of yourself online that can virtually try on the clothes at different sizes for you.
Looking at pictures online of a zoo is incomparable to the actual experience of going to a zoo in person. The same could be said for fashion boutiques, as a lot of effort is put into creating the environment which one experiences in them. Whether the experience is in speaking with staff about different styles or gaining first-hand advice from a professional stylist, even the best online designer store cannot provide such an experience, yet.
As Virtual Reality becomes mainstream, we will see more shops go completely virtual, allowing you to visit the store from the comfort of your own home. This could then be combined with the aforementioned avatar to allow you to see clothes on yourself virtually in person. These virtual stores could also have Artificially Intelligent staff or actual staff to give fashion tips.
Published by Danny Wilde