Online shopping is overwhelming Blog graphic

Online shopping is overwhelming. Especially for clothing, when the possibilities feel like they come faster than you can sort through them, and the differences between items is small but significant. The over abundance of options and the overwhelming number of choices can often leave us feeling indecisive and frustrated. 

If we let online shopping overwhelm go on long enough we end up with a bloated closet full of clothes we don’t wear or a shallow closet with actually nothing to wear in it.

To stop the infinite scroll use a default shopping filter to make online shopping less overwhelming. 

Your default shopping filter is there to give you a less overwhelming entrance into your shopping experience.

Do you remember department stores? 

When you entered a department store your pathway was very intentionally chosen and laid out, and there was a visceral physical journey you went on. By definition your default filter was set to “whatever the shop had by the entrance.” (This was usually makeup and perfume and other impulse purchase options).

If you were looking for clothes you obviously didn’t stay looking at perfumes and makeup, but you also were not dumped straight into the clothing overwhelm. 

You were able to get your bearings. 

In online shopping that doesn’t exist as viscerally. We’re often dumped straight into the infinite scroll seconds after landing on a website. 

So we need to create our own default shopping filters to make online shopping less overwhelming.

I almost always begin my shopping by going to the sale section. I know clients who almost always go to “what’s new”. And others who almost always go to a specific department, or category of clothing, or search filter.

Some examples of using shopping filters to make online shopping less overwhelming

My default filter of “sale” serves a couple things: 

  1. I know too much about clothing pricing strategy and store turnover (it’s like watching sausage, or pecan pie get made, you never feel quite the same afterwards)
  2. I often like “weird” pieces or colors, which often are the ones that end up in the sale section
  3. It’s a very straightforward way of narrowing down my options

My client’s default filter of “what’s new” serve a couple things too: 

  1. One of their style qualities is “trendy” they value being cutting edge
  2. They shop often (though are still selective about what they buy), once clothes have made their way to general stock, they’ve probably seen it
  3. It’s a very straightforward way of narrowing down their options

A different client’s default filter of “color X, Y, or Z” serves a couple things: 

  1. They have a very tight color pallet, so if it’s not one of three colors, they don’t wear it
  2. It’s a very straightforward way of narrowing down their options

Online shopping is overwhelming, understandably

The quantity of clothing we have access to is historically unprecedented. The quantity of clothing we are able to afford is historically unprecedented. Therefore, we must have some initial shopping filtering criteria. 

Otherwise we will buy everything, and nothing at the same time. 

And end up with closets full of everything. And nothing. 

What will your initial shopping filter be? 

Some options of default shopping filters include: 

  • Sales
  • What’s new
  • Featured
  • X, Y, or Z color (this is especially good if you have a specific wardrobe color pallet)
  • A specific item
  • A specific cut or silhouette 
  • Certain fibers (this is especially good if you have skin sensitivities)
  • A price range

Or something else entirely. 

From there you can branch out – I rarely stay within the sale section and often don’t end up buying from it. Or not – the client with a strict color pallet stays within their color filter. 

The point is to have a starting point that lets you narrow down your initial overwhelm, and keep you focused.

So consider adding a default shopping filter to your online clothing shopping process, and let me know how it goes! If you have questions, ask them here.