We can both admit, the Internet makes shopping faster, easier, and way more accessible. In 2021, the global e-commerce fashion industry was valued at 668 billion dollars. And there are currently 9.1 million online retailers worldwide. Online shopping is a massive industry and it opens up a whole world of options to us, no matter where we live. But it can also make shopping online incredibly overwhelming.
So in this episode, I’m sharing my not-so-secret strategies to shop more effectively online.
Make a Pinterest Plan
I’m a Pinterest super fan because it’s the #1 free resource for effective wardrobe planning. So you’re going to want to have an account setup before you start this first strategy.
You can search for outfit inspiration by any number or combination of criteria including, but not limited to color, occasion, style, size, age appropriateness, lifestyle, and anything else you can think of. Plus, it’s way more accommodating with general search terms than the great abyss of Google.
Next, you’re going to want to create a new Pinterest board for your Style Mood Board. Pin all the looks you’re loving right now onto this board so you can start getting a better sense of your preferred aesthetic, take a bird’s eye view on what might be missing from your current wardrobe, and source products directly from the pinned outfits you love.
Start your search
Once you’ve found some looks or individual items you love on Pinterest, you can narrow down your search criteria ─whether on Google or your favorite online retailers─ to more specific terms.
Having a solid game plan of what you actually want and need will streamline your online shopping experience tenfold. Remember what I say, building a wardrobe you LOVE comes down to shopping with intention. This step of the process will help you do just that.
Flatter your figure
When you’re looking at clothing online, it’s important to think about how pieces will translate to your body. One question I encourage you to ask is: “What does this item accentuate?“
Check out all the product images (ideally displayed on an actual human) and take note of the first place your eye goes. Is this an area of your body you want to highlight? Do a quick comparison with the current faves in your closet and trust your judgment on this one.
Next, make sure you confirm your measurements. If the online store provides you with a size guide, take your current measurements or measure your favorite pieces of clothing and double check! You want to choose the size that fits to your largest measurement. It’s much easier to have something taken in than let out by a tailor. And I promise it’s worth the extra few minutes to do this.
If shipping and returns are free, don’t hesitate to order 2 sizes so you can see which fits best.
Beat buyer’s remorse
I’ve seen more than enough negative retailer reviews to know people don’t always read the return policies before buying. So make sure you check store policies before you commit to making any purchases.
Whenever possible, read the reviews to confirm the quality and fit before you buy. See whether other shoppers recommend sizing up or down.
If it’s a store you’re not familiar with, I highly recommend doing a quick search for retailer reviews as well. Unfortunately, there are some shady and scammy companies out there so please confirm you’re buying from a legit source that will send you what you ordered in a timely manner.
Extra ways to save
I always do a quick promo code search before I hit the “buy now” button! There’s a good chance the store you’re shopping from might have a 10-20% off coupon you can easily apply to your order. You can often enter your email address or subscribe to text updates for an exclusive deal as well. If it’s not a store you want to keep tabs on, simply unsubscribe later.
Want to avoid return fees? Shop online from stores that are local to you. This way, you can avoid hefty shipping costs and return any pieces that don’t work for you directly to the store.
If you don’t hit the order minimum to qualify for free shipping, reach out to a few local friends and see if anyone else wants to go in on an order. You might only want to purchase one top, but if your bestie needs a pair of pants it could push your cumulative total over the edge for free delivery. Talk about a win/win!
Finally, remember to stick to your budget and fill in the gaps on your shopping list first. A “good deal” isn’t that if it’s not a versatile piece or needed item in your wardrobe.