Summer is officially here. But before your shoppers can splash in the pool or lounge on the beach, there is one necessary item of attire that must be purchased – a bathing suit.
Is there anything quite like bathing suit shopping? Or should I say, is there anything quite like purchasing undergarments to wear in public in front of friends, their husbands and their children?
Traditionally, beachgoers could look forward to the following shopping experience:
1. Drive to the store.
2. Locate the ever-disorganized bathing suit selection.
3. Find a print and pattern that isn’t revolting.
4. Rifle through racks for the correct size.
5. Head to the fluorescent-lit dressing room walled with multiple, full-length mirrors.
6. Try it on. Hate it and deeply regret not sticking to those lose-weight-get-in-shape New Year’s resolutions.
7. Exhaust all options at that store.
8. Repeat the entire process, losing hours (and a good portion of self-esteem) in the black hole of bathing suit shopping.
Could someone please bring me a mai tai? I’m having anxiety just thinking about this.
Luckily, we live in the era of online shopping. Smart and thoughtful online retailers have the opportunity to transform the bathing suit buying experience into something that feels like a vacation. Here’s how:
1. Showcase your summer selections with editorial-style landing pages. You can create an entire poolside look – hat, sunglasses, bag, skirt, sandals and bathing suit – and drive potential shoppers directly to the tailored landing page by using dedicated URLs in email campaigns, social media posts or pay-per-click advertising.
2. Guide visitors to the perfect suit with a product finder that feels like a personal shopper. By asking a series of questions, you can lead shoppers to a great selection based on budget, style and even body type. For instance, one shopper might want a bikini under $80 to show off her athletic frame while another might want a one piece that will make her look 10 pounds slimmer regardless of the cost. Either way, your shoppers will appreciate your expert guidance.
3. One swimsuit definitely does not fit all. Make sizing simple and boost buying confidence by including measurement guidelines. Taking Shape does this right with an easy-to-understand sizing chart on its website tsplus14.com.au.
4. At a minimum, visitors should be able to search by style, color and size. But make sure they can also easily see what’s in stock along with ratings and reviews. No point in falling in love with a suit that’s not available in your size, and a rave review (“I look so good in this thing it’s all I wear!”) can help seal the deal.
5. Save the day with in-store pick up. As an online retailer with brick-and-mortar locations, giving shoppers the ability to shop online and find the item at the nearest location is a serious convenience, especially for those who may have delayed shopping until the day before the big swim party.
Let your shoppers save the mai tais for the beach by giving them a bathing suit buying experience that’s truly relaxing!