Many retailers who focus on clothing and accessories for women find that it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete in today’s market. There are an increasing number of retailers available both off-line and online who are also clamoring for the same customers. As a result, many retailers will focus on the “average” size for women and will overlook the niche sizes, such as what petite women need. Doing so can really harm your business, however, because offering women who are looking for something specific can benefit you in a number of different ways.
In today’s market, it is not only important for you to be found by customers that are looking for what you have to offer, you need to retain those customers for life. Of course, customer loyalty is nothing new but today, it is becoming increasingly important in the retail business. If petite women are looking beyond your retail location to other locations who are offering them what they want, you are likely to lose their business. Offering the niche market what they desire, even if it means stocking additional products, will help to increase the loyalty of your customers and keep them coming back for more.
In a similar way, catering to a niche market may also help you to expand your line in additional directions as well (Source: “Tall to petite: Why does the British high street do ‘niche’ fashion sizes so well?”, The Guardia). That is due to the fact that the women who are shopping for petite clothing are also going to need accessories, such as jewelry, shoes and handbags. When they are shopping at your location, regardless of whether it is online or off-line, you will find that the amount that you are making per customer increases substantially when you cater to a niche market. That is especially the case when you offer complementary accessories which work right along with the niche.
Most retailers consider niche sizing to be problematic in the United States, but it is actually more of a global problem than most people realize. According to an interview with Anna Christina Rau, the owner of a petite lingerie website that is based in Germany, women in that country are having similar problems. Just like women in the United States, they deal with body image and they struggle to find clothing that fits their body properly. This is especially seen in shopping for petite bra sizes. In Germany, the most popular sizes for customers who shop on that niche lingerie website are 34AAA, 36AAA and 36AA.
The average size for a woman may change from time to time and, as a retailer, you may find success in catering to those average sizes. Be sure that you don’t overlook the niche sizes, however, and offer the petite woman what she needs as well. In doing so, you are providing a necessary boost for your business which will increase customer acquisition and loyalty. Although you will be marketing to a smaller market in those niche sizes, they combine to make a very powerful force in keeping your business growing for the long term.
“Tall to petite: Why does the British high street do ‘niche’ fashion sizes so well?”, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2014/apr/16/tall-petite-british-high-street-niche-fashion-sizes