Friday, October 26, 2007

Clothing Website Experience









Case Study:
HIZwear.com

Idea Wanted: Enhance the website experience

Challenge: Give customers a more involved experience at the website without cluttering its simple, effective design.

Background: Three friends decided to turn their passion into a business. Six months later they had HIZWear.com, a site that sells inspirational, scriptural-based t-shirts for women. Now that's a niche!

Advice: Here's a website that has a great lesson for small business owners: You don't have to be complicated and flashy to be effective. HIZwear is a simple website that sells what it sells without overburdening the visitor. Our advice is to give visitors a chance to connect a little more with the website in ways other than buying a shirt.

Ideas:

  1. The “Our Story” portion is good; it's an honest, personal story that reveals something interesting about the business. However it appears to all run together. It might be a little easier to read if it were broken into some paragraphs. That may make it necessary to do a little editing, but it would also make it more readable. Also, when you have several paragraphs in a story, use subheadlines to break it up and keep the reader interested.
  2. To make the site more personal; under the “3 Girlz Picture” include a caption identifying who is whom. The picture is great, because it shows that HIZwear is not a corportation, just three friends following their call from God.
  3. To create a future customer base, include a link for visitors to sign up to be notified when a new t-shirt is released. Releasing a couple of new models every two months or so, will keep customers involved and coming back for more. For example, in November, release some long-sleeve T's and send an announcement to the email list that winter models are now available.
  4. Create a suggestion box and let visitors suggest new t-shirt ideas. There may be some inappropriate suggestions but this idea would also create repeat traffic and build a community of believers who are hungry for ways to express their faith. Plus, the suggestions will probably yield some pretty good ideas.
  5. Consider putting men’s models right next to the female shirts for a hiz & herz package. It would be perfect timing for Christmas shopping.
  6. Add the signature to the website: Clothed in the Word of God. We love the signature, but only learned about it in email exchanges with one of the owners, Leisa Gay. It appears nowhere on the website. Add it just the below logo (which we also like).

The Lesson: When you have a product that fundamentally speaks to your customer's life values, you have to give them an opportunity to connect emotionally with you. Give customers the opportunity to be part of your company by engaging them and soliciting feedback. Create a community of customers who share common beliefs and you will foster word of mouth and customer loyalty.

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For small business marketing advice, see our other blog: The Marketing Spot

1 comment:

bisamp said...

I hear what you’re saying about the strength of word of mouth within a specific community. My brother in-law showed me a website a couple of days ago that does this very effectively.

It’s an online outdoor clothing/equipment company called “SteepAndCheap”. He’s a snowboarder and he sent me the website link because he thought I would find the site interesting (I’m a skier). Coincidentally he also found out about the link from another snowboarding friend of his.

The premise of the website: only 1 product is placed for sale (for a 40%+ discount) until it is sold. Once sold, that item and sale price is gone forever. Great for creating an impulse purchase.

I should say that I’m in no way associated with the company, but I found it so effective that I ended up purchasing a jacket the first day I visited.

Ron Suarez