Online shopping offers a convenient way of getting what you need and want without the need to step out of your home. From groceries and home-cooked meals to clothing and furniture, you can now purchase almost any item with just a few mouse clicks. You don’t have to go out to do your shopping whenever you run out of supplies or purchase new clothes and other items. When you shop online, the things you buy will arrive at your doorstep.
This form of shopping has become more exciting and favorable with lots of buy now pay later shops offering discounts and other perks nowadays.
But with most entrepreneurs going online, you may find it challenging to choose which shop to purchase clothing and other fashion items. Shopping for and buying clothes online is pleasurable, but it can be a waste of your resources and frustrating when your order arrives, and it does not fit.
To avoid that scenario, here is a step-by-step guide to buying apparel online to ensure that you purchase the clothing and shoes that best fit you.
Step 1: Know your measurements
Though you can try clothes on in an actual fitting room, you can’t do this when shopping online. Thus, you must know your measurements well in advance. Have a record of your hip, waist, chest, inseam, and other relevant measurements, and keep your notes within reach to easily compare what’s on record with the store size chart.
Measuring the garments you often use is another way of getting the precise measurements of the clothes you buy. Ensure that these dimensions are accurate.
Step 2: Create a list of what you want to buy
Before going through different online shops, you need to have a list of what garments to purchase. You should know what’s already in your wardrobe.
You can look at different style blogs to get some insights about what you may need to add to update your closet. Some sites provide a list of new trendy outfits so you can create a shortlist of garments to check out.
Step 3: Set a budget
For every piece of clothing you wish to buy, you must decide how much you are willing to spend. Assign an acceptable price range for every item you want so you can come up with an overall total. Read through your list and determine your priorities, especially if the sum you get is beyond your financial capabilities.
If you are looking to buy a wedding dress, for instance, you need to have an idea of how much it costs today. Customized wedding dresses for sale in Dubai and across the world will be a bit costlier, but rest assured that it will be made to your liking. Don’t forget to include expenses for your shoes and other accessories, too.
As for dresses and blouses for occasional use, you would want to get ones that are classic and timeless. These garments are worth spending extra money on since you will be using them on just about any occasion.
Step 4: Check out quality brands
Sticking with brands known for their quality products is among the easiest ways of ensuring that you’ll be getting excellent fashion items. Unbranded items may be cheaper, but take extra caution when purchasing these items because it might be unsatisfactory.
You can take advantage of sales discounts from reputable fashion brands by subscribing to their websites or official or authorized online stores. This way, you can be notified of any upcoming promotions. Who knows, you may even get your favorite garments at the lowest possible prices.
Step 5: Check the size charts
Just because you are a size seven at one merchant does not necessarily mean that you’ll have the same size with products of other retailers. This is why you must always check the size chart that comes with each item you wish to buy before adding them to your online shopping cart. Compare your measurements with these sizes to determine which size best fits you. Remember also that EU sizes are different from US sizes, so make sure to look at the correct figures.
If you are stuck between two sizes, it would be best to go for the larger size. Most clothes shrink after being laundered.
Step 6: Research the material
The garment fabric will give you an idea of how it looks and feels. Like incorrect size, nothing is more frustrating than receiving an item and finding out that it feels like sandpaper. Being aware of the different types of fabrics is a huge help when shopping for apparel online.
You can also check your closet and find the garments you love most and those that feel uncomfortable and itchy. Take note of their fabric content and use this as a reference when buying online.
Step 7: Check site guidelines
Online shopping sites provide guidelines, so buyers know what to expect. These include their return policy, shipping information, and payment options.
Online fashion stores allow returns within a specific timeframe. Always check this before placing an order in case you have to return anything.
On the other hand, the shipping page will give you detailed information on how the items will get to you. Also, it can include shipping costs and other fees related to your purchase. For instance, bulky or heavy items may entail additional charges depending on your location.
The site’s payment system will detail all acceptable payment options available to you. Common methods include debit/credit card and PayPal payments. But it would be beneficial for you to purchase from buy now pay later fashion shops wherein you can split your purchase over four payments with no interest. You get to enjoy your new garment right away by just paying 25 per cent of its cost at the time of purchase.
Step 8: Read customer reviews
Customer reviews and comments will give you an idea of the quality of the item you want to buy. Look for feedback regarding the garment fit, size, and quality. This valuable piece of information will help determine if the item is likely to fit you or you have to go a size down or up.
Reading reviews will help you decide if the online store you are buying from is customer-friendly. Most probably, shoppers will give feedback about their shopping experience. Any negative comments about the online store’s products and or services must be considered a red flag.
Step 9: Place your order
When everything looks agreeable to you, place your order, select your preferred payment option, and wait for your orders to arrive.
Online shopping offers a lot of benefits but has potential drawbacks, too. Use this guide the next time you buy garments online, and you will surely be satisfied with your purchase.
Anuscha Iqbal is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spotii, a tech-enabled payments platform where anyone in the UAE can Shop Now and Pay Later with absolutely zero interest or cost. The company’s mission is to empower a generation to enjoy more today what they will love forever through technology, trust and inclusion.