Five Ways To Improve Plus Size Lingerie Sales For Your Retail Business
Posted by admin on Monday, November 18, 2013
“Today I’m giving out some tips to help retailers connect with plus size customers – just in time for holiday lingerie marketing season!”
Holly Jackson is a online copywriter and lingerie columnist. She can be found blogging at her website http://www.thefullfiguredchest.com or on working on her goal of filling up an entire closet with lingerie on Twitter @fullfigurechest.
Whenever people ask me about marketing to plus size women, my usual answer is that it’s complicated. On the whole, plus size shoppers are a sensitive bunch. Everyone has a story about a store that treated them like less than a person due to their size or told them that there weren’t any fashionable items made for them, which often makes women reluctant to try new stores or brands. Plus size women are much more likely to buy from a store that seems plus size friendly, which can be hard to convey through store displays or over the internet. Today I’m giving out some tips to help retailers connect with plus size customers – just in time for holiday lingerie marketing season!
1. Use plus size images for plus size inventory.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s one of the biggest issues I see when I work with online retailers. Images are important to customers for two reasons: it helps them picture themselves in the lingerie and also makes a statement about your business. Even if the corset you’re advertising comes in both plus sizes and regular sizes, putting up the non-plus size picture for both listings means that your customer is assuming that you don’t cater to them or that you don’t want their business.
This extends to things like in-store displays. Featuring a new seasonal line? Mix up your pictures so they show size diversity. Make sure you’re using a set of diverse images that is front and center – if a plus size customer walks by, they need to see that you carry a range of sizes to be encouraged to come in.
2. Make friends with plus size bloggers.
Bloggers are driving more website traffic than ever and lingerie bloggers are thriving. If you’re promoting your plus size offerings online, try contacting bloggers to see if they’ll review a piece. Many bloggers take fantastic pictures that will help you promote your business while showing your lingerie on someone who is not a model. It’s an easy way to advertise your customer service and your inventory, all while gaining new fans and followers from the blogger in question.
A note on working with bloggers in any size range – make sure that you’re available to answer size questions in conjunction with sample offers. Bloggers want to find items that will fit and look great to show your business in the best possible light, so make sure you’re available to help them find the right fit for them.
Jennifer of Magnifique Lingerie is a fan of this strategy. “We have promoted lingerie that included plus sizes before and that was by having a blogger review our lingerie. It was a great way to have people of all sizes read about lingerie that was not just about the model wearing it.” she says.
3. Be supportive, but don’t make assumptions.
Michelle of Karnation Lingerie has one rule – “Never make an assumption about a customer when they walk in the door.” she says. Instead of steering customers to one section of the store, fitters should ask what type of item someone is looking for and then ask for the size they normally wear. “No one wants to feel judged, which is how women feel when you drag them off to the plus size only section right away.” says Michelle. Make sure you’re focusing on fulfilling the customer’s desires rather than categorizing them by size.
Many plus size women are terrified of being treated like a problematic size range rather than like a person, so make sure that your store or online content is welcoming and body positive. Show pictures of diverse size ranges in trendy and fashionable items and make it clear that you run a business that caters to everyone.
4. Help plus size customers expand their horizons.
Erica at A Sophisticated Pair is an expert at helping plus size customers feel comfortable in her store. “Our plus size customers are some of our best customers!” says Erica. “They come to us frustrated not only by how mainstream stores do not carry a range of sizes but also by how they are often treated as second class shoppers because of their size. As a former plus size woman myself, I can recall the feelings of shame and disappointment which accompanied many of my shopping trips. At our store, we focus on promoting body positivity and on not making women feel bad about themselves or how they look.