Women Are Buying. Just Not From You.

A few clicks away from where you sit right now, on a quiet little website, there’s a war going on. 

ModCloth can’t keep its dresses, tops, skirts, or shoes in stock. Its shoppers, probably all women, are beasts with the credit cards. They go at it hammer and tongs for everything they even think they might like. Then they post about what works for them and what doesn’t, shop some more, and start over.

“I am so excited this is back in stock! I got the medium when the smalls ran out last time, but it’s too big. … Either way, I’ll be sending the medium back and getting the small! Grab it while you can – this one usually sells out every time it’s in stock!” – Vanessa

These women openly “stalk” whatever they haven’t been able to catch yet, in their size. When that sucker gets restocked, they know: IT’S ON.

See, just because something’s in your Shopping Bag doesn’t mean it’s yours. You gotta hit those keys, sister. There are plenty more where you came from. When the day is ending in your time zone, it’s just starting in some other girl’s. She’s booting up, going to the site, checking out what’s new … and that girl is gunning for your dress.

The threat of loss is real:

Think that’s bad? Dude! The “Can’t Stop Smiling” Dress? Red with the dots up top? Sold out on the day it posted. Which was YESTERDAY.

Suck it, Great Recession.

The ModCloth shopper is persistent, too. She alters, irons, even wrestles:

“This dress is adorable! I ordered a Medium (5’9, 145lbs, 34C/D) and if fits just how I want: snug, but not too tight. … My only issue was the zipper…it gets stuck at the seams. I had to get my mom to help wrestle it shut, even though it closed easily when we just held it shut. Other than that though, it’s great.” – Samantha

By the way, ModCloth started as a two-person operation (now husband and wife, plus dog). They’re now at 140 employees and counting. Not bad for a little former-vintage retailer.  ModCloth still sells really nice vintage: not that you have the slightest chance in hell of getting your mitts on any of it.

Why? (Click on the image to view)

THAT’S why.

I’m sure there are quite a few reasons why ModCloth is doing such a monster business: they engage their shoppers very well (their Be the Buyer tab: ding ding ding!), and their blog is positively magnetic. But at its heart, there is no real mystery: ModCloth simply has the stuff women want, very much. They want it so badly they check in all the time. They want it so much they’ll wait for it, save up for it, and dive in when they find it again.

The only question, other retailers: where are you in this equation? What do you have to sell? And why aren’t women stalking your stuff as a snow leopard stalks her prey?


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