Q&A with Dominika Bęben [EDISONDA]: how to increase the usability of a small fashion ecommerce websites


Browsing the websites of young designers, I have noticed that they do not focus on the usability of their websites. They underestimate the importance of their web presence, which leads to many consequences, including poor positioning and, most crucially, weak sales. In order to change this state of affairs, I have decided to consult an expert from a UX agency – EDISONDA – Dominika Bęben a lecturer at GGC Fash&Tech. Dominika will give us a few pieces of advice related to taking care of the usability of one’s website and discuss the influence it has on sales.

What do young fashion designers need to do in order to start selling their clothing via their website?

First of all – research. It’s best to look through many online stores, check how we operate on them, what are the most frustrating things for us, as customers of these stores. Then you need to think what kind of customers you have: what do they like/dislike. Think how getting to know your customers may be connected with your brand’s character. Supposedly a fashion designer won’t be preparing the store himself, but it is important for him to know what he wants. A good e-store isn’t just a service prepared from a template. A good online store is like a good boutique: it has its own atmosphere, characteristics, quality and is unique.

If a fashion designer, who starts with online sale, can’t answer the above-mentioned issues, he can use professional services such as UX researcher or us designer. Furthermore, he can acquire knowledge himself: there are plenty of reports and web pages, in the Internet discussing good and bad e-commerce. It’s good to look at them in order not to repeat the mistakes someone else made and that are verified. Users are the priceless and underestimated knowledge source. Nobody will provide us with the amount of knowledge as users will. Their opinions can show us the right direction in designing our online boutique.

There are no universal solutions. You should try different possibilities, choose the ones that are the best and continuously improve your store. To sum up: you should search, browse, ask and discuss, implement, test, analyze and change. This brings success.

How important is a properly designed website for a fashion designer?

A properly designed website is like a traditional, great boutique. We will eagerly buy something in (and go back to) a boutique that has a nice atmosphere, kind personnel and in which we feel comfortable. That’s exactly what it looks like when it comes to websites. An online store is something more than a showpiece. It is a complete and elementary element of a brand’s image. That’s why designers shouldn’t ignore this task. A well designed store is the best way to say to your clients that you know and respect them. Knowing your customers, you can design your store according to their preferences – a store where they’ll feel good. By doing so you’ll show that you care and they’ll replay you with loyalty and trust. In my opinion e-commerce, which exposes products well, may defend even a weak product or at least improve its quality.

What are the most common mistakes made by websites that sell clothes?

The worst mistake made by clothing online sellers is that they perceive e-business to be completely different trade from traditional trade. In an online store (just like in a traditional boutique) the customer comes first. The customer expects good service, well exposed products and…

…yeah. The next (also frequently occurring) mistake is not listening to our customers. We’ll get the most information from the group we want to reach. They’re the most valuable source of information. Not analyzing the web page traffic is a common omission, which can cost the owner a lot. When it comes to more pragmatic matters it’s good to pay attention to the purchase path: lengthening and complicating it are very common (and costly) mistakes. Overly complex and complicated forms, which scare off customers. A particularly specific mistake made by online clothing stores is not caring about a good product presentation. It is important that a customer of an online store feels like he’s almost touching the product while choosing it – just like he is in a traditional store. Big, high-quality images, the ability to zoom-in, rotate 360 degrees and a video – these are the components of a clothing store that are very important. Still, many sellers upload tiny, single, or low-quality pictures in their stores. This is a serious mistake.

What are the 5 most important things every designer should take into account when creating a website?

When it comes to online clothing stores, it is really worth making sure that you have:

  • high-quality pictures and videos of the product. The ability to zoom-in and rotate the product 360 degrees, which allows the user to look at the product carefully. In case of clothing, this is of vital importance.
  • good product description – it would be great if a description allows to get the most interesting features of a product, the most important information pointed out and details specified, so that the user can imagine certain features of a product, which he cannot experience because of a screen barrier.
  • a detailed description of sizes: a table with sizes and the information about what size the model in the picture is wearing. A valuable information is whether the clothes stretch or not, how much do they stretch, etc.
  • clearly emphasized delivery and exchange conditions – the user must feel safe and confident, it is important for him to know that he can be wrong with the selection and that he can exchange the clothes or return it without any problem.
  • easy contact access: if a user has any doubts, he wants to solve his problem as soon as possible in order to make a purchase. In order to let him do that and ensure his comfort it’s best to give him a quick and easy access to customer service and help section.

Should everyone use the services of UX specialists when creating a website?

Yes or, at least, use the knowledge , which UX specialists share in internet, for example in their  articles . It’s a good , useful knowledge . UX specialist  have a vast knowledge about Internet users , know their needs and preferences. Just use it!

Dominika Bęben - EDISONDA

Dominika Bęben – EDISONDA I am UX Researcher in Edisonda – user experience studio . I also develop my own brand of clothing industry : Voreczky , so my experience is driven from two sides: as a ux specialist and as an aspiring fashion designer. You can contact me at dominika.beben@edisonda.pl.

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