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Should You Resist or Embrace Shopping Online?

Shopping Isn’t What It Used to Be

Two things never change: One, there’s always change, and two, the young are the first to embrace change. They are the first to adopt new technology and follow new trends. The older we are, the slower we are to accept change. Like it or not, shopping online is one of those technology-driven trends.

The younger you are, the more likely you are to prefer it over brick-and-mortar shopping. Research shows the percentages of physical store shoppers dramatically drops for the youngest age group in the market:

  • Baby Boomers (54 – 72 year-olds) at 31.9%
  • Gen X (39 – 53 year-olds) at 27.5%
  • Millennials (24 – 38 year-olds) at 31.04%
  • Gen Z (4-23 year-olds) at 9.6%

Wow, only 9.6% of Gen Z’ers shop in physical stores.

I can tell you first hand my 15-year-old has no interest in physical store shopping. He buys food online, clothes, birthday gifts, basically everything. He does not understand the need to hold a book and flip through its pages. He doesn’t need to touch fabrics. That is so old school.

Even with the older age groups, the percentages of physical store shoppers is below one third.

Clearly, online shopping is one of those changes that’s here to stay. According to the Harvard Business Review, no industry is failing faster than retail!

The 125-year-old Sears—once the world’s largest retailer—filed for bankruptcy. And we have major chains shutting their stores all across the country: Macy’s, Sears, Toys ‘R’ Us, Kmart, Kohl’s, The Limited, and Barnes & Noble to name a few.

On the flip side, e-commerce grew 22% in 2019 and it’s not slowing down.

Do You Still Want to See, Touch, and Try Before You Buy?

So what do you do if you’re one of those hold-outs? One of those in the dwindling percentage that prefers brick-and-mortar stores?

Personally, I’m a fan of online shopping. I rely heavily on it when shopping for myself and my clients. My advice is for you to consider the advantages of online shopping:

We have more success. When I am looking for a specific type of clothing item for myself or a client, I can search for the size, favorite brand, color and style. I can search not just in one store but across all stores. I have a much higher likelihood of finding exactly what I want. If you live on the East Coast and the only store that has what you want is on the West Coast? No problem!


We have more options. Small brands compete with big brands online, and that brings innovation to the market. For example, I have a client with hard-to-fit feet. In the past this would have mean’t taking her on a tiresome shopping expedition, going from store to store in search of the brand and style that would work for her. Now with online shopping, we are able to buy many brands, have them shipped, try them on all in the comfort of her home, and return what doesn’t suit her. Even better, I found a company that can custom make shoes to fit her feet in any style or color she wants! How awesome is that?

We get the best price. Once I find what I am looking for, I do an Internet-wide search to check if it’s available anywhere else for less. I’m always frugal, and if I’m shopping for a client, she saves money.

We get it faster. When you consider how much time it takes to schedule a shopping day and go around to multiple physical stores, you just can’t beat online delivery times. And don’t worry—that no longer means underpaid, overworked staff are running around a warehouse to serve you. It also doesn’t necessarily mean more carbon emissions as things are delivered. Amazon is on the leading edge of package delivery systems—they expect to use drones to deliver 75%-90% of their packages in North America by the 2019 holiday shopping season.

We get better customer service. In physical stores we experience the broad spectrum of human interactions with service personnel: those in good moods and bad moods, those with pleasant personalities and not-so-pleasant personalities. With online shopping, automation is taking over much of this role. It is expected that 85% of all customer interactions will be handled online without the need of a human by 2020. Automation is efficient and responsive. It never gets irritated with you, so you can stay calm, too. Yes, automation means a loss of a job for some, but it presents new opportunities for others. Technological advances have always changed the way humans work, and historically we have adapted. I believe this is another opportunity for those of us willing to change.

We can shop more ethically. Have you seen my Ethical Ensembles™ Encyclopedia? I am a huge advocate for understanding who made our clothes and how they were made. Sadly, the fashion industry is a major contributor to modern slave labor. Much of our clothing is made in factories under sub-human conditions by women and children who are paid well below a living wage. These same clothes are made with dyes that pollute the planet and fabrics that overload our landfills. Please download my Ethical Ensembles™ Encyclopedia so you can learn everything you need to know about the clothes you buy and the stores you buy them from!

Shopping tips

Are You Persuaded Yet?

As a professional shopper, I embrace online shopping.

  • It allows me to shop whenever I want from the comfort of my home.
  • It enables me to find virtually anything I need to buy.
  • It gives me the opportunity to buy with confidence that my choice is the most economical and the most ethical.
Let’s Hear From You

What do you love about online shopping? What is still holding you back?

I’d love to get your thoughts on the topic in the Comment section below.

Stay Tuned

In my next blog, I’ll cover tips and techniques for getting the best experience from online shopping. If you’re not converted yet, maybe my next blog will nudge you to the other side. If you’re already converted, you might learn something that will make you love online shopping even more.

Black Friday Sales: Make Your Plan To Shop And Save

See below for Cyber Monday tips also

Need some tips on how to make Black Friday/Cyber Monday work for you?! I know, it’s sheer madness.  I know, most of you don’t even love to shop when there are NO crowds … but… what about the deals?! Those you truly do love, right? I have some helpful tips below on how to capitalize on those sales, even without leaving the comfort of your own home! 

According to the National Retail Federation, roughly 174 million people visited retail stores or shopped online on Thanksgiving weekend in 2017, an increase of 151 million from the year before. The average shopper spent nearly $335 during the four-day period, with about 75% of the total specifically earmarked for gifts.  But that’s not what I’m going to talk about.

Let’s make it about you!  How can you use this time of discount shopping to enhance your personal wardrobe? If you know me, you know I love deals, too. Yes, I pay retail for some items that I absolutely love, but more often than not, I shop end of season sales and consignment shops. Why pay retail if you can get the same item at a lower price!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, most retailers offer exceptional shopping deals that are difficult or impossible to find any other day of the year. That’s absolutely true. Thanks to extended hours and Thanksgiving evening blitzes at many retailers, it’s easier than ever to score great Black Friday deals without encountering crippling crowds or stress. In many cases, it’s no longer necessary to even leave the house.  

If you prefer to shop in person check here for your favorite store’s hours.

Here are some free Black Friday shopping Apps you may want to consider as well…

  • Shopular: A location-enabled app that automatically serves you with relevant deals when you approach your favorite stores. Since it’s pretty much effortless to use, it’s a great product to bring to the mall when you plan to hit multiple retail locations. Plus, it has a built-in rebate feature that returns up to 25% off select purchases.
  • Flipp: Aggregates flyers and coupons from hundreds of retailers. It lets you upload personalized shopping lists too – perfect for Black Friday. Upload your retail loyalty cards to earn points or rebates on Black Friday buys.
  • The Coupons App:  Another flyer-and-coupon aggregator.
  • TheBlackFriday App: TheBlackFriday’s app is the most narrowly tailored to Black Friday deals. If you’re looking for an app exclusively for the occasion, this is your pick. It does include deals that fall outside the traditional Black Friday window too.
  • PriceGrabber is a price comparison app that allows you to instantly compare prices at top retailers.

So, what about Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday 2017 had online sales of $6.6 billion, smashing the previous year’s record. It was the biggest digital shopping day ever!

I am a fan of online shopping and indeed believe this is the future! Although you can shop online for Black Friday there are some deals on Cyber Monday that are even better.

Here’s some Success thru Style tips:

  • Amazon Fashion: Black Friday: 50% off select Denim, including styles from J.Crew, DL1961 and True Religion; up to 50% off select Calvin Klein Underwear, and more!
  • The Lucky Brand – Black Friday up to 50% off entire store; Cyber Monday Deal: up to 60% off entire site.
  • Guess – Black Friday: Up to 50% off the entire store.
  • Toms – Black Friday & Cyber Monday: 30% off in-store and online from November 21-27
  • 7 For All Mankind – From Nov. 22-27, save 40%
  • Lord & Taylor – Extra 40% off clearance the week of Nov. 20-25 and 25% off site-wide and free shipping on Cyber Monday
  • Nordstrom – From Nov. 20-26, save 60% off select sale items in stores and online
  • Nordstrom Rack and Hautelook – will announce new deals every day Nov 19 – 26.
  • Saks Off Fifth – From Nov. 20-26 50% off all coats, men’s & women’s cashmere, designer jeans, boots, hats gloves, and scarves
  • Cole Haan – From Nov. 18-24, 50% off select boots, bags, and outerwear plus 30% off everything else.
  • Bloomingdales, Saks, Neiman Marcus and other high end stores are not saying WHAT will be onside but they are HAVING a sale so you will have to check online when the day arrives.

The bottom-line is the Thanksgiving weekend has deals that are not a scam.  They are real deals on real things that you need in your wardrobe. Yes, it’s also a great time to do your holiday shopping.  But don’t forget the numero uno in your life (or should be) – YOU.

Review your wardrobe.  What do you truly need or want that will make you feel powerful, confident and beautiful this holiday season and beyond? Now go forth and get those items — on sale! You’re worth it!

p.s. Stay tuned for the Success thru Style Black Friday special! 

First Vlog: “What’s Your Why?”

 

Why I’m Passionate about being an Image Consultant.  My Why. 

WANT MORE PERSONAL STYLE TRICKS, FASHION TIPS, AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

 

11 Spring Styles for 2015 You Might Already Have in Your Closet

W151_038The headlines are screaming about spring fashion. The stores are filled with the new spring styles. Have they gotten your attention yet?

I recommend starting each new season by educating yourself on the trends, then check out your closet for things you may have from a time past that you may be able to revitalize.

Next, make a list of things you can easily add to your wardrobe that will spruce up your look, provide you with a current, youthful image while staying within your budget. Being mindful of the trends, and of the clothes and accessories you already own will allow you to shop and dress with intention, saving you time, money and allowing you to look your personal best.

Here are some items that are trending now that you may already own:

1. Obi belt. This Asian inspired simple belt looks great wrapped around a fine-gauged cotton or silk dress. A great look to show off your waist.

2. Small bucket bag. If you held onto your smaller bags when the big bag trend came

3. Clutch. Clutch bags are great for nighttime outfits. Clutch bags that are leather and not too bedazzled are perfect for daytime outfits when you don’t need to carry so much with you on the scene, you may have some bags that are currently in style.

4. Fringed items. Ankle boots, booties, handbags, and clothing come with fringe benefits this spring season.

5. Small silk scarves for a neckline accent. Remember the small scarves that flight attendants wore around their necks in the ‘70s? That style is back and is perfect when worn with open necked shirts.

6. Mid-calf skirts. This length, ostensibly gone for good in the 1980s, is back.

7. Bohemian long skirts or dresses. Anything long and flowy is back in high fashion.

8. Peasant tops. Loose fitting tops are a great alternative to the cropped tops that are being shown this season. If you kept any loose-fitting peasant tops from years back, they’ll be perfect over flared pants.

9. Stripes.They aren’t for everyone but if you love them, pull them out and you will fit right in. Look for vertical stripes which will do wonders to elongate your frame.

10. Shirt dresses. This was a classic style that had a long shelf life before it was pulled. It’s back again and looking modern, not stuffy.

11. Denim skirts. Denim is fashion’s best friend this season. Fabric technology has advanced, however. If your denim skirt is as stiff as cardboard, you may enjoy the softer fabric choices that are available now.

A word of caution: be sure you know the fashion before you resurrect your clothes of yesteryear.

Know what image you wish to project and which styles are right for your body silhouette. Need help? Attend my Socialize with Style event February 21 at 11:00 AM. The topic: What’s In Style for Spring – and How to Know What Styles are Right for You. You should have received an invitation. If you haven’t, let me know.

WANT MORE TIPS, TRICKS AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

7 Shopping Tips to Create your Best Image on a Budget

7 budget shopping tips wardrobe clothingYou know your professional and personal success largely depends on your overall image.  You’ve heard the statistic that people judge us in the first 10 to 30 seconds they see us and it has everything to do with how we package ourselves.

Maybe you’re daunted by the idea of spending mega bucks on a new wardrobe. The following 7 tips will show you how to acquire an amazing wardrobe without breaking the bank. 

First, know what image you wish to project and how to dress your body, then jump in with both feet following these strategies:

1)      Shop Off-Season.  That means now!  It is the end of January and what’s in the stores?  Spring clothes.  Buy now for the rest of the winter season.  Buy that new coat, winter dress, or the beautiful designer boots and statement pieces you’ve been eyeing – the cost of which may be hard to justify!  You can get it now for 40%, 50% in some cases 70% off.  The selection may be limited but there are “finds” out there.  Here’s a tip: many major high-end stores allow you to pre-order sale items up to 13 days before they go on sale, even over the phone.  What’s your favorite store?  Ask your personal shopper or get to know a sales associate who will tip you off when the sale is about to occur.  You’ve missed it this time around but keep that advice in mind for fall shopping (June or July).

2)      Shop Sample Sales.  Direct sales companies like W by Worth, have sample sales twice a year.  The merchandise from these companies is sold in a private individual basis from samples.  It’s a terrific way to shop during the season and at the end of the dual fall/winter and spring/summer seasons; the samples are available for purchase at up to 50% off.  There is often new inventory leftover as well, which can be ordered at a discount.

3)      Shop Outlets. Premium Outlet Stores have risen in popularity and they are everywhere.  They used to carry leftover inventory that didn’t sell.  Now clothes are made for the outlets.  They are commonly a lower quality product but if you stick with the designer outlets you are getting a great quality product at a reduced price.  If you really want a deal, see #1 above and shop the outlets off-season where their already low prices are marked down.

4)      Check Prices on Amazon.  Download the Amazon Shopping App and check out the items you want before buying.  You can often save 20% or more by purchasing online.

5)      Consignment Shops.  They are fun, they are great for the environment, it is basically recycling clothes and you can get some great finds at amazing pricing.  In a future blog, I am planning a DC Metro Area consignment shop review.  But for now, I say do it.  Here’s the caveat emptor:  you will find a lot of outdated clothing in consignment shops and the proprietors are not usually fashion savvy, so take a personal shopper with you if you don’t know what’s in style or shop for classic timeless pieces.  In addition to your local consignment stores, check out www.realreal.com, an online designer consignment shop.  Look for those really special statement pieces at huge discounts.

6)      Shop on Specific Days.  Did you know you can actually save on specific items by shopping on certain days of the week?  You can, according to Shopittome.com, a San Francisco company that analyzes more than 750,000 sales items a year from more than 200 online retailers.  By running averages, the company found the following patterns:

  • Mondays: Shoppers can save nearly 50% on men’s and women’s dress pants, and about 55% on sunglasses.
  • Tuesdays: Expect to save more than 40% on men’s apparel.
  • Wednesdays: Shoppers save about 40% on shoes and children’s clothes.
  • Thursdays: Save 36% on handbags.
  • Fridays: Pay 42% less for jewelry, belts and scarves.
  • Saturdays: Lingerie can be found at 37% off and jackets/outerwear at 51% off.
  • Sundays: Swimsuits at 52% off.

7)      Use this app.  Check this out… Shop it to Me, www.shopittome.com, the same company mentioned above has a terrific website where you can identify your favorite designers and items of interest, tell them your size and you will start to get daily emails on items on sale in your size by your favorite designers.  How cool is that!

WANT MORE TIPS, TRICKS AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!