You’ve Got Male: How to Pick the Best E-Commerce Site For You

You’ve Got Male is a bi-weekly column by FASHIONOTES’ contributor Justin Singh that explores the latest trends in digital fashion and lifestyle from a male perspective. For more information on Justin’s work, be sure to follow him on Twitter for the latest updates: @justindsingh

“You had me at hello”
“I fell in love at first sight”
“I knew from the moment I met you”

Before I induce your gag reflexes any further, I should inform you that these are phrases that are subconsciously relatable to the bond one holds to their favorite websites, specifically towards the sites that are giving back tangible love.  Without beginning the lecture on ‘the importance of first impressions’, I ask “did you know that you found your most beloved e-commerce site the minute you laid eyes on it?”

Not all e-comm sites are born a swan, some begin as an ugly duckling that we learn to love.  After all it is quality and personality, otherwise known as content, that holds longevity in a relationship.  If your fashion cravings keep you magnetically attached and loyal to a couple of specific sites than you’ve found a partner (or two) that hold the qualities that meet your needs.

We as a society have come a long way since the days of spending hours in our favorite shops trying on each item of clothing as if we didn’t have an event to attend that evening.  Our lives today have suddenly changed and are now comprised of more tasks that demand more time, which leaves us with having to prioritize our wants versus our needs by allotting time wisely to each of our daily tasks.  Between work, relationships, social lives, keeping fit and eating right … when we can, we struggle with finding the time to look good doing all of the above.  From that, the inception and evolution of e-comm sites have naturally become a part of our routine.

With site after site to choose from there are only a few that make the short list of successful.
If you’ve yet to be able to sustain a long enough relationship with a site allowing you to call it your e-comm(on) law, I suggest a few qualities to consider before jumping into a site that can you leave you feeling like you just had another one night stand.  Here’s what to look for when you’re in the market to commit:

 

An easy to navigate site is important for you to be able to find what you want when you want.
Look for a drop down list that has categorized items such as accessories, blouses, t shirts, and so on.  Test out the search field and see if it picks up on your key words.  If you tried a few key words and your t-shirt search continues to pull up a dress shirt option, on to the next.  Let’s face it, if you had all day you would get yourself to the physical store to shop.


Look for a site that keeps it simple.  The products on the page should not compete with the site design.  Your eyes should focus on that lace top that you continuously contemplate to purchase (you can never have too many), rather than the overwhelmingly loud and colourful background page.


While browsing, be sure that there are alternate views of the product with the ability to zoom in.  Loading the additional views should be fast with next to no wait time.


Before spending your time finding the perfect outfit, give the checkout process a trial run.  The last thing you want is to abandon the cart you spent precious time filling due to a complicated check out process.  While in this stage, be aware of where the tax is calculated along with the cost of shipping.  It is common for sites to offer a free shipping incentive in exchange for you to spend a certain dollar amount.  Don’t get caught going off your budget by not accounting for tax and shipping!


Life is good when your new found love knows what you want.  Having a suggestion section of what you may like is a bonus feature which will eventually save you plenty of searching time.

E-Commerce sites are here to stay, which leaves you with two options; learn to love them or prepare to fall behind. An example of user friendly e-comm sites that are changing our way of shopping … in a good way:

MR. PORTER

GILT MANUAL

KARMA LOOP