Sizes for apparel in your online shop

by Kristof Maletzke, 17.10.16



You are selling clothing in your online shop? In this article, you can learn how to help your customers with finding the right size and how to reduce your return rate in the process.

Just a few years ago, many online shoppers were afraid to buy clothing online. One of the main reasons for this: When you buy apparel in a brick-and-mortar store, you can take your time to try on the clothes and make sure that you find the right size. In online shops, this is more difficult: Here you have to rely on the data provided by manufacturers and merchants. In the worst case, you have to send back the products you bought because they did not fit.

Fortunately, the attitude of customers has changed. Nowadays it is quite normal to buy shoes, pants and jackets in an online shop. The one thing that has not changed are the returns. It still happens that customers are dissatisfied with the goods and send them back – often because they have ordered the wrong size. For online retailers, these returns are annoying: they cause not only costs, but also take up working time.

The good news is: With some simple tricks in mind for your size specifications, you can lower your return rate. Of course, there will be some work involved, but in any case it is worthwhile to implement them. They will probably make your customers more satisfied, as ordering is easier because of the detailed sizes. Customers might also be less likely to return the ordered goods. This may increase your conversion rate.

With the ePages shop software, you can simply use the variation products feature to create different sizes for a product.

Sizes for shoes in your online shop

Tips for the size specifications of your online shop

  • Complete specifications: Surprisingly, many online merchants do not list all of the size specifications of the manufacturer. For instance, many men’s shirts have not only a collar size, but also another size such as “Slim Fit” or “Custom Fit”. This information is very important for your customers.
  • Explaining the terms: Probably your customers do not know what terms like “Slim Fit” or “Custom Fit” mean. How they are defined can even differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Make sure that your customers are aware of this and advise them about these special terms. If you are not sure about their meaning, just ask the manufacturer.
  • Consider regional differences: Apparel sizes might be different from country to county. This can be especially misleading when there’s only a slight difference between sizes: A German women’s size 36 is a 38 in France and a 40 in Italy. Always choose the size that most of your customers know and are used to. If you are selling mainly in the UK, you should display UK sizes. Also, think about mentioning the country or region as well: for shoes, you could use the size “EU 42” to make clear, that this is a European size 42.
  • Offer comparison tables: Your customers should easily find comparison tables in your shop with which they can compare the sizes of different countries and regions.
  • Pictures with models: For apparel, it is always a good idea to not only show the usual product pictures but also images with models. Your customers are then able to get a better picture of how the clothing is looking on a body. Some online shops even mention the height of the model and which size she or he is wearing. Customers then can compare these stats with their own and can find the right size more easily.
  • Using videos: Short product videos may be difficult to produce, but they offer the customers an even more precise picture of the clothes they want to buy. Here you can also mention the height of the model and the size of the clothing.
  • Allowing product reviews: If you bought fashion on the web before, you might have already noticed it: Many product reviews contain information such as „It’s too small”, “The sleeves were too long” or, in the best case, “Fits just perfect”. This information is very helpful for your customers. Therefore, you should give them the opportunity to write reviews for products they bought.
  • Exact measurements: You should measure the clothing and display this information to your customers on the product pages. An example: for shirts you should mention the length of the sleeves, of the complete shirt and the back.

Are you interested in more information on how to present apparel in your shop more effectively? Then read our article How to improve apparel product pictures: more photos for more sales.

About the author


is Communications Manager at ePages.

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