We have spent a lot of time over the years working with custom clothiers. For those who have visited a custom clothier in-person you know that it’s a pretty detailed process, you hand-pick your fabrics, spend 10 – 15 minutes getting measured, and then wait 4-6 weeks for your clothes to arrive. Custom clothiers still have some of that magic left from a time when the world was different, they’re all about relationships and building strong bonds with their customers.

Here’s the problem.

The world has changed and unfortunately for many custom clothiers, the first thing that a potential customer sees is their website, not their storefront, and certainly not them, the owners of the business who make all the magic happen. Here’s an example of one of my favorite custom clothiers in Austin, they have been in business for over 30 years, make incredible garments, and are honestly some of the nicest people on the planet…but here’s what their website looks like:

austin-tailor

This is the first impression over 80% of their potential customers see. Yes, when they first started having a good sign in front was key to being found, as was being well-positioned in the yellow pages. Today, a good website is critical to making a good first impression.

So what’s the impact?

The reality is that for many people, looking at an old website that doesn’t convey the quality of what the business can do means shoppers will vie towards newer businesses with better websites. Here’s a great example, Knot Standard which recently opened a store in Austin.

knot-standard-austin

Which one looks like they’ll make a better suit for you? Now I’m not saying one is better than the other, in fact I think both make great suits. What I am saying is that one clearly demonstrates to someone that they produce high-quality clothing, the other leaves a lot to the imagination.

While you might not sell custom clothing online, that doesn’t mean your website has to look like it was designed in the 90’s. The world is changing and now, more than ever before, potential customers are looking online to decide whether or not to visit you in-person. The question is, what kind of first impression do you want to make?

Photo Credit: ara_shimoon via Compfight cc

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