Online Shopping, what you need to know

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It seems like you can buy practically anything online these days. You can buy groceries, beauty products, kitchen appliances, supplements, tents, gym equipment etc. If you want it, you can probably find it online somewhere –  there was even an ad on Gumtree where someone was selling an emu! Today’s world is fast paced, we live busy lives where food and meal delivery services are on the increase because most Moms and business professionals are out in the workforce and don’t have time to cook for themselves or their families when they come home from work. Convenience is a word that holds so much appeal that online shopping looks like an answer to the busy woman’s prayer – and in a lot of instances it is. But what about when it comes to clothes? Is it really convenient?

Where can you buy clothes online?

There are so many clothing retailers who are online now. One option is to go straight to your faithful brand like Woolworths, Poetry or Forever New and shop their clothes directly from their website. The other option is to utilise Zando or Superbalist who stock clothes from numerous brands as well as makeup products, children’s clothes and even home decor.

Zando boasts 700 international and local brands, including names like Forever New, Levi’s and Adidas.  They offer 9 different ways to pay, including cash on delivery and eBucks. I actually once went crazy on a Zando Black Friday sale and didn’t spend a cent because I could pay using my eBucks, which was fantastic. They also offer a 14-day return policy where they will pick up the item/s free of charge within 14 days.

Superbalist offers weekend and 24-hour delivery plus 8 ways to pay. They have a huge amount of brands to pick from including Cotton On, Mango, Polo and Call It Spring. They also offer a return policy where they will pick up your return free of charge. Superbalist do a great job of creating lookbooks however these are not personalised ( The Imagepreneur offers Look Books customised to each clients Body Shape, Skin Tone and Style Personality Find out more HERE).

The Pros of Online Shopping

  1. I agree there are seemingly many pros to online shopping. The fact that you can shop any time in your Pyjamas and no makeup is a huge bonus. The idea of buying clothes without exerting any more effort than entering your credit card details is very appealing. Especially when it comes time for Christmas shopping and the thought of standing in endless lines and battling over parking spaces steals the joy of the season. Even now when it is getting colder and darker earlier, the thought of shopping while keeping warm inside definitely seems like a wise decision.

  2. There are more options online. You see everything online that the physical store has to offer and there is definitely a much wider range of sizes available online than in-store. In terms of Zando and Superbalist, many times you see clothes that you don’t see in any stores, so there are definitely more options because they source from so many brands.

  3. It is very easy to find what you are looking for. You can sort clothes into jackets or boots and then filter those results into colours, sizes or even heel height!

  4. The website photos usually show you different angles of the product and will show it on a model so you can get an idea of what it looks like. Most websites will also tell you what size the model is wearing and how tall she is so you can gauge what the clothing item would look like in terms of your measurements.  

  5. There are always sales online. Most online shops offer online exclusive sales and flash sales all the time. As I am writing this Zando is currently having 35% off selected women’s shoes until midnight. Plus they are also running a deal where if you spend R1000 you get 15% off your order. Superbalist is having  Payday Weekend specials where you can get 35% off selected shoes and clothes as well as 50% off certain Makeup products.

The Cons of Online Shopping

  1. The biggest con is the most obvious one and the most important: You just never know how something is going to fit; especially if you are ordering from a brand you do not know that well. Sizing can definitely vary between brands, so although you might order your usual size, a size larger or smaller might have actually looked better, but unless you order a range of sizes you won’t know that. Often when we go shopping with a client we will grab several sizes to see which size is actually the best fit – and sometimes the winner is a size the client would never have selected for herself.

  2. No matter how good the photos are, sometimes the colour is not quite right or the material of what you ordered is not what you thought it would be. Even though the red online looked like it matched the red in your colour swatch, when you see it in person it has the wrong undertone that did not come through on the website photos. So finding the right colours that match you can definitely be tricky. Plus, material and the way something is going to drape on you is something you can only really see and feel in person.

  3. Unfortunately some things photograph better than they look in real life. I recently became obsessed with a pair of shoes I saw online. Just yesterday I happened to see them in the store and, although they looked just as gorgeous from a distance as they did online, when I actually inspected them up close they definitely did not live up to my great expectations. They were not worth ordering and I am so glad I never actually placed the order.

  4. As convenient as it is to get the clothes delivered, sometimes the returns are a hassle. If you order from a specific store like Woolworths and you want to return something, unfortunately you have to physically go to the store to return the items, so be aware of the return policy.

  5. Refunds take longer to be processed. If you lodge a return with Zando or Superbalist, for example, only once they have picked up your parcel, the parcel has been allocated and the item inspected do they begin to lodge your refund. The whole process , once they have checked your return, can take between 5 and 10 days.

  6. Sometimes items unexpectedly run out or the stock gets delayed, which either results in your order getting cancelled and you having to wait for a refund or the delivery date gets pushed back. Although this has not happened to me often, when it comes to Black Friday orders, this can be expected so keep this in mind if you ordered something specifically for an event, it might not get delivered on time.

If you want to give online shopping a try, here are some suggestions to help make it more successful:

  1. Use online shopping if you saw something in store that you loved but they didn’t have it in your size. Often there are more sizes available online and then you can simply place your order.

  2. Use online shopping for your tried and true basics. If you know a certain brand well and stock up on some shirts each season and they are available online, then go for it. If you are confident in your order and the brand then it really is so convenient to get it delivered to you.

  3. I love using online stores to virtually browse. You can easily see what is new in and get inspiration for outfits. If I really like something then I will see if it is at a store close to me and then I can try it on in person.

  4. Hire a Personal stylist to guide you in the right direction. knowing your Body Shape, Skin Tone and Style Personality is essential when it comes to choosing your clothing online and it will save you tons of money going forward. The stylist will also be able to guide you to the right stores for your body shape and style personality. 

  5. If items are on sale and you really want something, I would suggest checking the sizing guide carefully and also perhaps buying it in 2 sizes just to be safe. With Zando and Superbalist you can always return sale items (excluding underwear) so this way you can be assured of getting a great deal and still getting your returns picked up and refunded without any hassle.

Happy online shopping!

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