Thursday, 14 March 2013

5 Tips to Shopping Designer-Retailer Collaborations ONLINE

My last experience shopping a designer retailer collaboration was completely different from anything prior because it was, well…online. I managed to stay up until the wee hours of the morning by…I can’t believe I’m admitting this…watching the extra features of the third Lord of the Rings trilogy and it just so happened that when the dvd ended, the Prabal Gurung for Target collection had launched online...which consequently meant that I wasn't going to bed anytime soon.  

I thought this would be a good opportunity to write about my online shopping experience and share five tips that I have learnt from shopping this collaboration online. But before I begin, I want to start with a small disclaimer. There are a couple of risks when shopping online:

1)   There is a chance the website may crash given the high volume of visitors; and
2)   Not everything from the collection will be available online so there is no way to know which items won’t be online before hand.

With that in mind, let's get started...

1)  Launch Time? 

A popular question for those who are planning to purchase online rather than in store; Unforutnaely, you’re not likely going to find an answer in advance… the stores are being sneaky for good reason (note: the infamous website crash during the Missoni Target collaboration). So, here are my insights: This year, the Prabal Gurung collection launched just before 2am EST. Last year, the Jason Wu for Target collaboration, launched between 3-4am EST (best guesstimate).  If you are planning on purchasing online, the wee hours of the morning seem to be your best bet, but you won’t know for sure until it happens.

2) Make an account before hand

If you are new to the retailer, make sure to create a customer account in advance. Don’t forget to add your address and credit card information so you can check out quickly. This is probably a good time to read the shipping and return policy as well. If you don’t already follow the retailer on social media, I would recommend it so you can get updates about the collaboration in real time as you approach the launch. Also, platforms like Twitter and Facebook will notify you when the collection has launched without having to refresh the retailer’s website over and over again.

3) Do your research

Knowing the collection and prices before hand is critical in highly publicized collaborations. I always make a list of my “must have” items before I purchase and try to stick to the list as much as possible.  I wrote about this tip in more detail in my previous Tips and Tricks post here.

4) Be fast!

This is not the time to diddle daddle. The research you do prior to the launch will be key to ensuring you make it to the check out page before someone else checks out with the items in your cart before you do. If you feel like there is anything that you may have overlooked in your previous research, purchase the “must have” items first and then go back and start adding items that you missed the first time around to make sure you make it out with at least some items from the collection.

5)   Order in multiple sizes 

I don’t usually do this when I order online during my regular shopping routine but I think it is incredibly important during retailer designer collections for a couple of reasons: 1) Items sell out quickly 2) They have limited inventory. I recommend ordering your regular size and one size up and or down. It’s hard to predict sizes online, especially for a new collection when sizes can vary from the typical sizes of the retailer or even between the pieces in the collection itself. Once they arrive, you can try them on and return the clothing hassle free and, believe me, there will be a ton of people who will be thankful you did! 

Fortunately, I had a lot of success with this experience and I managed to get almost everything I wanted on my must have list. However, I suggest going to a large store in a popular location after attempting to purchase items online in order to maximize the variety of items available to you. Best of luck!

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Photo Credit: Target

1 comment:

cmichellestyles said...

I love these looks!