ONLINE RESORT WEAR RETAILER AIMS TO BOOST CUSTOMERS' COMFORT LEVELS
The 'forgotten demographic', women aged over 35, looking for stylish yet age-appropriate resort wear, is abundantly accommodated at a Melbourne-based retail website. Aiming to befriend –not just sell to – customers is its winning MO and the site's owner relishes the opportunity to build a sisterhood of sorts.
Not every woman feels comfortable walking into a store, removing her clothes and viewing herself from four different angles in the mirror in poor lighting. Nor do all women have the time or the stores nearby. For those women, there is Sequins and Sand, an online retailer specialising in resort wear for mature women. For Anita McLachlan, the site's owner, the priority is to make women feel comfortable about their bodies in resort wear, swimwear and so on.
According to a 2009 "Motherhood Study" of some 4,500 Australian and NZ mothers undertaken by Dr Angela Huntsman, a dismal 10% said they are happy with the way they look and their level of fitness. Coupled with the pressures of getting into a cossie, it would seem like a recipe for anxiety.
Online shopping – the invisible fitting room
Anita also wants women to feel comfortable about the online buying process. "I'm aware that many women are still not comfortable buying over the Internet," Anita said, "but we're really aiming to change that. Based on our own research, we've found that once women do make their first purchase from Sequins and Sand, they don't want to go back to that confronting, awkward experience of trying resort wear and swimwear on in an actual shop." Puting their money where their mouth is, this online store offers Free Returns. It's a service that's been on offer for years now because they recognise that buying on line can be tricky. "It simply takes the stress and guesswork out knowing that if it's not right, if it can be returned." says Anita and Sequins and Sand will pick up the postage tab.
The Sequins and Sand website offers assistance on how to put great summer looks together. Anita explains that some girls are adept at bringing all their pieces together whilst others need a helping hand. "That's why we have 'Get The Look', where many kaftans are teamed with common summer basics and accessorised to show how effortless it is to dress for the beach and then the bar. Summer means relaxing and that means keeping things simple and effortless. Resort wear for us is about versatility. A kaftan or beach dress that can be quickly layered and embellished keeps things simple and effortless...the secret to living a great summer."
Hand-picked for fit, plus plenty of advice
Sequins and Sand also assists women in solving body shape problems, with products on offer from sizes 10 to 26, cuts and designs to flatter all bodies; the most popular sizes being 16-20 plus sizes. And to further assist, the website includes a blog containing articles that aim to educate and inform readers in their purchasing decisions, and also in their choices of resort wear and swimwear. Titles include "How to Love Your Body in Plus Size Swimwear", "Beachwear for Big Bellies: 3 Simple Tips for Finding the Right Bathers "and "Luxury Travel Wear: Travel in Comfort, Arrive in Style".
An end to the frustration
Anita sees Sequins and Sand as the answer for women who are seeking an end to the frustration of shopping for swimwear and resort wear. Her experience has shown that the most common complaint from women over 35 is that these wardrobe items are often too frumpy, or too skimpy. Further, they either have to shop in chain stores or surf stores, neither of which is directed towards mature women looking for a stylish alternative to the 'seen on everyone' garments.
"We aim to be a friend to our customers, kind of like a girlfriend you take shopping with you so that you get sincere help without the hard sell," Anita said. "Whether our customers are looking for a simple kaftan for the beach or an entire resort wear wardrobe for an upcoming holiday, we're happy to help via phone or email."
Sequins and Sand is a retail website and blog offering resort wear and swimwear for women in the 35+ age bracket. It also acts as a helpful resource with articles on fashion, dressing for body type and how to put together a versatile summer wardrobe.
Sequins and Sand
P: 1300 996 256