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The Best Fashion Sites And What You Can Learn From Them

the-best-fashion-sites-and-what-you-can-learn-from-them

Fashion ecommerce has gone through a world of challenges and changes in recent years, with consumer behavior shifts, new technologies, the power of influencers, and market fragmentation being just a few.

But one thing hasn’t changed: the global ecommerce fashion industry is growing and is projected to hit $713 billion in 2022. Consumers are shopping for fashion online, and you can maximize an opportunity to serve them.

If you’re looking for examples of fashion brands that have mastered the art of selling online, look no further. In this guide, we’re diving into 10 examples of best fashion sites and what they do well:

Peter Sheppard: Exceptional level of service moved offline to online

Peter Sheppard Footwear has enjoyed the trust of its retail shoppers for over 40 years. Peter Sheppard himself said that “when the customer comes in, we sit her down, we take her shoes off. Our staff sit on footstools. We measure their feet. If they want to see 100 [pairs of] shoes, we do it.”

But with more people shopping online, and the pandemic forcing them to do so even more, the brand had to earn that same trust with its online store.

That’s exactly what it did with its website.

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On the site’s top left corner is an option for shoppers to “Get the perfect fit.” Clicking the link reveals a footwear sizing table for Australian, US, UK, and EU sizes. The bottom right corner features a live chat option for reaching the sales team instantly.

There’s also a link to a Contact page with other options for talking to the Peter Sheppard team. You can book an online shopping appointment and talk to a staff member over video or reach out via a free phone call, Monday to Sunday.

Finally, there’s a three-minute “How to shop online” video, showing how to order shoes from the website. This video helped increase sales by 300% during the pandemic.

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“We have learned that many of our older customers wanted to shop online, but it was educating them how to do so and building trust between our customers and customer service team,” says Chloe Bailey, Peter Sheppard’s head of ecommerce.

The ability to adapt quickly is key to the growth of Peter Sheppard’s ecommerce side. Use it to get inspiration for different ways you can create an enjoyable, store-like shopping experience.

TRUE Linkswear: Bold, mission-driven messaging

TRUE Linkswear is a manufacturer changing the game when it comes to golf shoes, making them comfortable, stylish, and high-performing.

“We wanted to build a shoe actually designed around the human foot,” says Jason Moore, President of TRUE Linkswear. “More ergonomic, more natural, providing support where you need it. A little cushion, tread, waterproofing. The things that will actually help you get through a four-, six-hour round.” 

The website showcases this right off the bat and features its bestsellers as a great starting point:

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Social proof is key here—after all, golfers need to know they’re investing in a reliable pair of shoes. Besides the star rating of each product, you don’t have to go far to find reviews from happy customers, which are featured right on the homepage. And the brand’s founders want their visitors to know this isn’t accidental. They share the  TRUE Linkswear mission right below the testimonials.

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The founders take this transparency an extra step with their Future page. On it, customers can find upcoming releases, pre-order a new pair of shoes, or ask to get notified with updates. “With this program, we’re hoping to eliminate any guesswork our customers have and provide a clear, meaningful dialogue about when new and existing products are hitting our virtual shelves,” Jason explains.

TRUE Linkswear continues to grow its cart adds, conversion rate, and user experience. Take a page out of its book: show your customers why you create the products you do and your vision for them.

Petal & Pup: Running a global fashion powerhouse

Petal & Pup is an international couture brand, but it hasn’t always been. Founded in 2014, it started as a family business and served an Australian customer base.

In time, people outside of Australia wanted in. Today, Petal & Pup ships worldwide with ease and has loyal customers in New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, the United States, and beyond.

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As you land on its website, there are two immediate indicators you’re in the right place if you want to shop internationally: the currency selector and the country indicator.

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The latter is powered by Zonos, an app that displays country-specific shopping data, like duties and taxes. It removes any doubts as to whether Petal & Pup ships internationally, and adds peace of mind regarding duties.

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This ease of shopping from abroad continues on product pages, which outline whether sizes run small, large, or true to size, so you can pick the right fit. These pages also show that worldwide shipping costs just $8.95. And if you worry you’ll need to return an item, the return policy is right there as well.

Petal & Pup makes international shopping enjoyable, and the risk minimal. It’s no wonder that within a year of launching its global efforts, Petal & Pup grew 400% YoY. International sales from more than 80 countries now represent 20% of total revenue.

Get inspired for your global commerce efforts. Remove any worries for your international customers by putting the right information, like countries you ship to, shipping costs, and return options front and center.

Peepers: The coach on the shopping journey

Peepers sells different types of glasses, including readers, blue light, progressives, and sunglasses. Buying eyewear online is a challenge, but it’s one that Peepers decided to solve.

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One of the most prominent options on Peepers’ homepage is the Perfect Pair Finder—a questionnaire that asks about shapes and features you want in your glasses, and suggests a few options based on your answers.

“The fun part about it is, based on these answers the customers are giving us, especially if they do attach their email address, we’ll start to do more personalization around the emails that we send, the experience on the website, especially because we do launch new products all the time,” explains Josh Hart, Peepers’ Ecommerce and Operations Director. “So if we know a customer loved this product and we’re launching something similar, we can deliver that in a personalized way to them.” 

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Once you click on a pair of glasses you like, you can then see photos of them from different angles and of a model wearing them. Even better: you can see how they look on your face, thanks to the virtual try-on option that uses your camera or a photo you uploaded.

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Adding a pair of glasses to the cart triggers a customized checkout. Customers see recommended products based on what’s in their cart, like eyeglass cases and cleaning kits.

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All of this helped Peepers grow its organic traffic conversion rates by 25% and its average order value (AOV), which is now at $55, by 15%. With about three purchases per customer, this makes its customer lifetime value roughly $165.

What do your customers need to make a confident decision that a product is right for them? How can your website coach them on the way? Use Peepers’ strategy as inspiration to support your website visitors on their shopping journey.

Pura Vida Bracelets: Mastering every channel its customers use

Pura Vida Bracelets sells accessories and is known for providing a steady, working wage to artisans around the world. Over 800 of these artisans handmake all of Pura Vida’s bracelets. The business started in 2010 and has since become an exceptional ecommerce growth story.

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Pura Vida has been ahead of the game with marketing channels like social media and email. The latest channel behind its explosive growth is SMS. It drove more than $1.2 million in sales over the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend.

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“Once you implement a proper strategy—such as figuring out the mix between SMS and MMS, deciding if someone in-house runs it, and what types of messages you want to send—it’s crazy to see how well it works,” says Griffin Thall, co-founder and CEO of Pura Vida Bracelets. “There are a lot of things we can still do to optimize it even further, but overall, SMS is my favorite channel.”

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Pura Vida’s customers receive personalized emails, come back to their abandoned carts 26% of the time, and often become repeat customers through Pura Vida Club, a subscription service.

All of this helped Pura Vida grow its revenue 50% YoY and serve its customers where and when they most want it to. Make this your nudge to learn which channels your customers spend time on and how you can show up for them in a meaningful way.

Jack Rogers: Noticing and adjusting to customer demand

Jack Rogers is a shoes and accessories brand that was founded in 1960. Its products are sold in high-end stores like Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus, but its online presence has been growing steadily for a while.

What makes Jack Rogers unique is its dedication to listen to customer demand and respond timely. Its team used business analysis automation to discover an unexpected increase in demand for a product, which allowed it to adjust its marketing efforts quickly.

“We didn’t expect to see interest in this particular product category so early in the season, but thanks to Outlier (an automated business analysis tool), we were able to adjust our email marketing campaigns in real time to take advantage of the interest, resulting in increased sales,” explains Megan Petersen, former Director of Ecommerce at Jack Rogers.

None of this would matter if the shopping experience wasn’t enjoyable and smooth. From fit notes and easy size and color selection to plenty of product images, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

There’s also the custom monogramming service, which lets customers choose everything from style and element color to the letters they want to add to their sandals—all without reaching out to sales reps or customer service.

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Having the right systems in place gave Jack Rogers a 69% increase in revenue and a 30% increase in conversions. This emphasizes the importance of investing in tools that help you track customer demand and make changes based on it easily.

“It’s the direct result of our ability to make changes, manage promotions, and run experiments quickly,” says Anna Aviram, VP of Digital Marketing and Ecommerce at Jack Rogers.

Rebecca Minkoff: Bringing products to life with 3D and AR

Rebecca Minkoff is a designer handbag brand obsessed with innovation. It already pioneered in-store innovations like self-checkout options and smart mirrors, and didn’t hesitate to create the same experience online.

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The online challenge was bringing products to life when customers can’t touch them or see them up close. Sarah Sheldon, Senior Director of Global Ecommerce and Digital at Rebecca Minkoff, emphasized the importance of giving options online that make up for that.

That’s how the company landed on tools like 3D and augmented reality (AR). The 3D view gives customers the full picture of every part of a handbag, including texture, structure, and shape.

AR allows customers on mobile to virtually place the handbag in front of them. This helps them see what the bag would look like in their home environment from every side and angle.

These advanced online shopping features brought massive results. Shoppers who interacted with a 3D model were 44% more likely to add it to their cart and 27% more likely to place an order than those that hadn’t. Viewing a product in AR increased the likelihood to place an order by 65%.

Would your customers benefit from the look and feel of your product online?

LeSportsac: Creating an omnichannel shopping journey

LeSportsac, a US bag and lifestyle brand, prides itself on a cohesive, clean website. It’s enjoyable to browse and easy to shop from. LeSportsac’s website reflects the look and feel of its in-store experience:

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It hasn’t always been that way. The team wanted to give an enjoyable shopping experience and communicate what the brand stood for across all channels but struggled to do so with the ecommerce platform it used.

Everything changed with Shopify Plus. From customer segmentation and personalization to a smooth look on all devices—and even shopping from Instagram—everything on the site now looks, feels, and works seamlessly.

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“There’s a very strong cohesion in all aspects of our branding now, from store to advertising to the website. There’s no word in the dictionary to describe how completely different it is,” says Mallory Rosen, LeSportsac’s Ecommerce Manager.

The impact? Growth in units per order, average order value (AOV), conversion rate, and ecommerce sales. It pays off to make it easy for customers to browse and buy regardless of the channel they’re on, online or off, and to move between them seamlessly.

Pangaia: Staying true to the mission while rapidly growing

Pangaia is an ethical clothing brand—one that skyrocketed to enormous success despite only launching in 2019. It uses sustainable, recyclable elements and smart technology with a mission to save the environment.

So far, the brand has raised and donated over $100,000 for causes like wildlife protection, racial justice, and biodiversity.

This is infused in its website in many places, including the sticky bar at the top and its product names and descriptions:

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Pangaia launched an activewear collection made of plants instead of plastic, and makes sure product pages outline the positive impact of what it calls climate-positive products:

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Fast growth can often distract from these important climate initiatives, but the team at Pangaia didn’t let this happen. They used Shopify Plus apps and Shopify Flow to easily onboard new staff, publish regular content, and nail their order management, even in busiest times.

Pangaia’s ecommerce efforts brought in $75 million while growing staff by 12 times. It proved it’s possible to make an impact with your company’s mission without sacrificing growth.

“We’re able to dip in and include things like personalization and localization, and play with content templates without having to pay for development work or go through vendor selection processes,” says Taylor Dean, Digital Director at Pangaia.

Hawkers: The power of FOMO and collaborations

Hawkers is a sunglasses company disrupting the industry. It sells affordable, fashionable sunglasses worldwide—thousands of them daily, in fact.

Hawkers’ website screams confidence and a bold attitude:

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A couple of things make Hawkers stand out.

First is the Daily Offers tab at the top (with a clever red dot to imply unseen updates or notifications). This page shows the best deals of the day—often with discounts of 50%—and updates regularly, inducing the fear of missing out (FOMO). The page features plenty of filters for easy navigation.

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On top of that, Hawkers regularly partners with influential names to promote a limited edition product line. This includes Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly, MotoGP racer Alex Rins, luxury lifestyle brand BALR, and even a Netflix series, Jaguar.

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Hawkers seems to be very selective about who it partners with, but once the collaboration is on, it becomes the key driver of organic content and paid ads.

The team knows what works on social and what doesn’t. Pablo Sanchez, one of the founders, explains the brand has “launched a lot of trial campaigns, and we would carry out some reverse engineering based on the results. We tried to find out how the Facebook algorithm worked, depending on the variability of the results.”

Over the years, this led to Hawkers’ expansion from five to 65 employees and scaling to 10,000+ daily orders. The right platform choice made it easy. If it works for your product type, consider long-term collaborations as a marketing approach. The right fit could take your business to the next level.

Get ahead of the fashion curve

These websites show you what’s possible with your fashion website. It’s about more than traffic and conversions; it’s about running a smooth operation behind the scenes while making customers feel great throughout their shopping journey.

This originally appeared on Shopify Plus and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.