Start-Up Independent Online Kidswear Business

(8 Posts)
chocolatelover88 Mon 21-Mar-16 10:39:26

Hi guys,

I'm in the process of setting up a new online kidswear boutique and need your help with a few things! Firstly, I was wondering how you all shop for your LOs. Secondly, who are your favourite kids retailers and why? Who does online kidswear the best?

I'm a parent and have used many online retailers in recent years, but haven't quite received the right kind of service yet. I don't feel like they really understand what parents are looking for, and so I feel there is a nice little gap in the market.

Some key questions:

1. Do you shop online together with your kids?
2. Do you browse for items they will like, or buy things they have asked for?
3. Is fashion or practicality more important to you?
4. Do you look for great value and multi-buys?
5. Is it useful to read kids styling tips online?
6. Do you prefer 'own-brands' to branded clothing (Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, etc)?

Thank you!!! grin

mouldycheesefan Mon 21-Mar-16 10:57:42

I personally am not convinced that there is a much of a gap in the market, most clothing retailers have on line now.

I am not sure you are asking the right questions!

The key things for me, not mentioned in your questions, are free delivery, free returns and fast delivery. However I will pay for delivery e.g next if I need it quickly and the charge with next is under £4 and it would cost me that to drive there.
So I think logistics are massively important for any on line business and that is the key children for any on line retailer,

Sizing is also key when you can't try it on before you buy, consistency in sizing so child isn't age 9 in one item and age 10 in another. I usually buy a couple sizes so the free returns is important.

Online styling tips would put me off.
I tend to buy online from next, John Lewis, Boden.
Not the same shops as I buy from in person.
Practicality is more important to me than fashion, and to my kids actually.
Multi buys for basics e.g pjs, t shirts
Would never buy shoes on line.
Do have some Ralph Lauren things for the kids but not bought online

Good luck with your business, you may have a great product but you need fantastic logistics to make it work

EdithWeston Mon 21-Mar-16 11:09:05

1. Do you shop online together with your kids?

I prefer to shop in-store though we sometimes do look at websites.

2. Do you browse for items they will like, or buy things they have asked for?

I buy what they need, ideally in a style we both like

3. Is fashion or practicality more important to you?

Practicality. You don't specify what age DC you want this to be about, because I think there are significant differences between various age groups and it all changes with puberty.

4. Do you look for great value and multi-buys?

Yes. I buy all basics in supermarkets

5. Is it useful to read kids styling tips online?

No.

6. Do you prefer 'own-brands' to branded clothing (Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, etc)?

I have never bought any of the labels you specify.

Agree completely with mouldycheesefan about logistics/returns. I still get the catalogue from Landsend (easier to browse real pages) and have found their customer service to be excellent. Getting through to a real person on the phone is import at to me.

chocolatelover88 Tue 29-Mar-16 10:21:09

Thanks guys for your replies!

I have another question...

I plan to stock more 'technical' clothing items too, like water-resistant jackets and supportive shoes (with specialist sockliners and anti-shock soles).

How much 'technical' information would you need to see listed in a product description and/or bullet points for these items? Particularly when buying sportswear, outdoor jackets and trainers for activewear?

Do you need technical features explained in the product description/bullets so that you understand the benefits and what kind of activity the item best suits (ie. running, football, outdoor walking)? Would this make your online shopping experience easier, as with online you lack the ability to ask a store associate for advice?

Thanks!

EdithWeston Tue 29-Mar-16 10:29:47

Oh, that varies such a lot. I have one very sporty DC and buy a fair amount of clothes and shoes which (probably) fit your description of technical.

Yes, you need good product description and these are things I research online for particular features. And really could do with better descriptions on some sites (clear statement of whether it's a neutral sole, for example, not 'our XXX type sole as I haven't a clue what that means and it's a faff to go hunting to find out).

And general shops do not necessarily have staff who know their stock well enough to understand the differences let alone recommend (John Lewis, I'm glaring at you for the time one person tried to sell a Velcro fastening trainer when we were after a neutral sole lace up suitable for named activity).

So we tend to end up at more specialist sports shop where the staff know their stuff. And that is where buying in person after trying on comes into its own, as small differences to how things feel make a difference.

chocolatelover88 Tue 29-Mar-16 12:30:03

Thank you for your speedy response!

I plan to simplify these 'specialist' features by putting them into context. For example, how anti-shock soles take the impact from his knees as he runs, etc. Would this help?

HopefulHamster Tue 29-Mar-16 13:03:01

My kids are 5.5 and 18 months.

1. Do you shop online together with your kids?

No. I occasionally will show my son a top and say 'do you like this' though. Kids are tricky. Lets face it, most parents buy for their tastes early on because the kids are too little to have an opinion. You get a few years where you can buy cutesy things for them but then even at age five they can start saying clothes are too babyish.

2. Do you browse for items they will like, or buy things they have asked for?
I buy things they need, things I like, and things I hope they will like smile

Some brands claim they design for kids (was reading about this the other day somewhere) but they tend to be quite expensive brands and really it's still the parents choosing the clothes and making a fashion statement.

3. Is fashion or practicality more important to you?
It depends what you mean in terms of practicality. A basic t-shirt after all doesn't need to be practical. I do like buying water-proof coats over Peppa Pig ones though!

Again, by fashion do you mean high-end brands, or trendy tees from a supermarket that will be fashionable for one season?

I prefer to buy funky, colourful tees etc that will also survive playtime and meals.

4. Do you look for great value and multi-buys?
I look for sale bargains, but I know it's hard to make good quality, ethical clothes cheaply, so not necessarily super cheap clothes. But I'm still on a budget!

5. Is it useful to read kids styling tips online?
No, little kids don't need them and bigger kids will have their own ideas.

6. Do you prefer 'own-brands' to branded clothing (Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, etc)?
I don't buy classic fashion designer brands. What is an own-brand? Supermarket stuff only?

I buy some supermarket clothes (Sainsburys and Morrisons are decent), but my favourite purchases are from brands like Polarn o Pyret or other quirky scandi brands.

--

Favourite retailer:
Juicytots - ace brands, free delivery, usually next-day delivery, great service, bonus points can be collected.

Notes: It's really hard to be successful in this market. There was one recently (happy rainbow or something like that) that came up with lots of brightly coloured cute clothes and had gone within a few months. It's very competitive. I'm a member of some scandi FB groups and we all share who the best retailers are on there, search for deals, make recommendations etc. There's a lot of kidswear boutiques. Some of them are members of the same groups and even ask for advice on what brands to stock next etc.

Zoomtothespoon Mon 09-May-16 21:44:45

. Do you shop online together with your kids?

No

2. Do you browse for items they will like, or buy things they have asked for?

For my son yes as he is 6 but for my daughter no, as she is 1

3. Is fashion or practicality more important to you?

Practicality definitly for my son but I do like traditional clothes for my daughter, as long as she can walk, play and climb without restriction then I'm happy

4. Do you look for great value and multi-buys?

No

5. Is it useful to read kids styling tips online?

Not once have I ever read childrens styling tips online. Wasn't even aware there were them!

6. Do you prefer 'own-brands' to branded clothing (Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, etc)?

It depends on the look and quality of the item. I recently purchased an item by Rachel Riley for £79 and the quality of the material and craftmanship in comparison to a £54 smocked and embroided dress, bloomers and headband from pretty originals was unbelievable. I was so annoyed that I had effectively paid for the name when the quality of the RR romper was so poor

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