November 03, 2014

Humans and ski glove sizing...

One of the most perplexing undertakings of creating an online business with products that are fitted, is sizing and more specifically, recommending which size customers should buy.

Now I started more than a year ago doing research and development, having hundreds of people try on prototype after prototype of gloves, trying to hone in on exactly proper sizing. And after more than 40 prototypes, I had complete consensus, right?

Wrong. One perplexing, if not completely accurate, reality is that customers who buy gloves online fit entirely different than average people standing right in front of you. It's as if online customer sizing conforms to the cliche, "Objects are smaller than they appear on TV..."

Everyone's hands are bigger for a purchased product than they are trying them on pre-purchase. Let me repeat that and I'll give you a moment to contemplate that, Everyone's hands are bigger for a purchased product than they are trying them on pre-purchase.

But I think we all know that: you go to try on shoes, or pants, or gloves or anything else, and the moment you get home and try them on for the 27th time, they just keep getting smaller. They don't fit.

I thought I was going to do something about this, so one day (3 days ago), I decided to fix the fundamental problem of sizing rationalization that humans have and write the greatest, most detailed sizing chart and sizing FAQ ever created in the history of these things. I was going to be honest about the production variations that sizes and models had (which every single last apparel manufacturer on the Planet Earth has) and I was going to solve the great mystery of sizing insecurity...

... And you know how that brilliant, incredibly helpful set of sizing directions turned out?

People stopped buying.

Almost every human has it in ingrained in their head what size they wear, even if you tell them and show them otherwise. Don't tell someone a Large in our product would fit better than a Medium if all they ever buy is a Medium.

I don't do that, nearly everyone who is reading this is now thinking.

Trust me, sizing of apparel makes us all crazy. So, try to remind yourself that the perfect, longest wearing, most beloved pieces of clothing we all own, started out as the pants, the shirt, the coat, the socks, the gloves that were too big, too small, strange fitting, and on and on WHEN WE FIRST BOUGHT THEM. The item of clothing that fits perfect on Day 1 never fits right in the long run...