August 7, 2013

Starting an Ecommerce website for fashion?

In most cases, the technical requirements of your Ecommerce platform will be slightly different to online retailers selling hardware, Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) or other, standardardized items.

Whilst any decent ecommerce platform is fully customizable nowadays, it does’nt hurt to have an idea about the technical requirements and capabilities your chosen platform should have.

Here, we have summarised the 4 most common features that we have found to be helpful in online shops selling clothes and fashion wear:

1. Product variants

Depending on the type of fashion wear you plan to sell, each garment is most likely to have certain variants that it comes in. Most common of these are :  Size and Colour.  For more bespoke items, this can increase to Fabric, Length, Embroidery type and so on.  Even if your current product line isn’t extensive enough to warrant multiple product variants, it’s a good idea to know that your chosen ecommerce platform is fully scalable so you don’t need to upgrade to something better, should your product line diversify. Of Course, make sure your website developers know what the product variants are going to be before they begin the design process, so these can be accounted for, during the design phase. This may seem obvious but on more than one occasion, we have had clients come to us looking to get their fashion ecommerce website re-built due to their current platform not being fully scalable.

2. Quick view

Quick view is a feature most commonly found in new ecommerce websites and is a great tool to help users save time and enhance the shopping experience.  Without requiring the user to go into the individual product page to get all the details, this can give them an overview of the products. Try it out here

3.  Product zoom

It’s a good idea to choose a platform that supports HD level zoom as not all systems offer this. Being able to show the intricacies of the clothes, stitching details and so on can help increase conversions by 3-4% in our experience.  Also, the zoom should ideally, be dynamic, i.e., user shouldn’t have to click a + or – or “zoom” button. Simply, placing the cursor over the image should produce the magnified image.


4. Up-selling and Cross selling tools

Finally, make sure your ecommerce platform is equipped to enable tools to help you upsell. Supplementing your individual product pages with ‘You may also be interested in’ or ‘You can wear this with…’ will not only help increase your average order value but also helps users by offering useful suggestions. You can try this feature here.


The above list isn’t exhaustive and if you are selling garments that are fully bespoke, there’s a chance you’ll require something fully purpose built. However, getting an idea about the technical requirements and the most likely features you’ll need in your online shop can help you choose a scalable platform that can grow with your needs.

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About Shirish Agarwal

Shirish Agarwal is the founder of Flow20 and looks after the PPC and SEO side of things. Shirish also regularly contributes to leading digital marketing publications such as Hubspot, SEMRush, Wordstream and Outbrain. Connect with him on LinkedIn.