It is no wonder that Nigeria as the largest economy of the continent is leading the way in the growth of e-commerce with more than 65 percent of the country’s internet users who have at some point shopped online. The most popular items for online shopping are digital goods (47 percent), but they are followed by adult clothing, footwear and accessories (39 percent). With so many people buying clothes online, one would think that they are very proficient in doing so. However, clothes are the trickiest things to shop, since you need to be sure about the size, quality and fit, and majority of people still prefers to try on a clothing piece in a brick and mortar boutique, before making the purchase (even though that can mean a higher price).
Buy from the Designers and Brands that You Are Used to
Different brands of clothes can fit people differently, and although the sizing is the same on paper, there can be some incoherencies that can seem irrelevant at the first glance, but can make or break how a dress suits you. That is why it is better to buy clothes from the designers and brands you are normally wearing. If you, however, decide to try out a new brand, it would be wise not to buy more than one or two pieces, because you will want to try them out first. Placing a big order only comes after you are sure how that particular brand fits you.
Know Your Size before Buying
Knowing your size is always essential when buying clothes, unless you are shopping some one-size-fits-all pieces. When shopping online, it seems difficult to get the size right, especially if you are ordering clothes from foreign markets (USA, China, UK, etc.) but it is possible. The safest way to go is to get some accurate measures of your body, to get an idea of your size beyond ‘medium’, ‘large’ and ‘small’. After you have the measures of important areas (waist, hips, chest, etc.) you can go to the retailer’s website and check for sizing charts.
Do Your Physical Testing at a Local Boutique
If even after all of this you are not sure about your size or about how some piece of clothing will suit you, you can go to a local boutique selling this brand, try it on and see if you want to buy or not. This is especially useful when you want to buy clothes for kids. In the online realm you can find cheap children clothing, both on Nigerian and international websites, but it can be difficult to determine the size and the quality of some clothes based on an image you see on a screen.
Buy a Few Samples First
Sure, doing a bulk order can be cheaper with all the perks offered by the retailers and it can save you on delivery costs, but only if you are sure you really want, need and suit the clothes you are ordering. If you are not sure about the fit, size, quality and comfort of clothes you intend to buy online, it is better to buy a few samples before. Fortunately, many online merchants offer the possibility of returns and refunds if you do not like them.
Consider the Acquisition Cost
At the first glance some price can look incredibly low, but once you add other purchase costs it can skyrocket. Check the delivery costs, taxes customs, etc. before you decide if it still makes sense to order online. Some e-commerce websites, for instance, offer the possibility to mark the option ‘free shipping’ while browsing for clothes, and that can make your search a lot easier.
As you see, buying clothes online in Nigeria, is not any more difficult than in any other country. You just need to think some things through and be well informed.
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