Tips for Creating Inclusive Imagery That Inspires Shopping

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the era of online shopping, we really do rely on images to communicate our message of acceptance and appreciation to our customers. One way to achieve this is to let your promotional images be a literal reflection of your customers, making your imagery more relatable and allowing them to build a deeper personal connection with your product and your brand.

Often, at the corporate level, it is easy to lose sight of exactly who our customers are for each market category. It is important to regularly review sales statistics to continuously reassess your target demographic and what products are important to them. In doing so, you may recognize niche demands that have flown under the radar. In recent years, my lingerie company discovered that our imagery was not necessarily a true reflection of many of our customers and we decided to do something about it. We realized that our women’s lingerie category wasn’t just for size-2 women. In fact, it wasn’t even just for women. We had been excluding many of our customers with our imagery without even realizing it. We decided we needed more variety.

Given an increasing demand for gender-fluid pieces and androgynous looks, consider compiling a style capsule, consisting of transitional pieces styled to inspire your customers to think outside the lines. These looks can range from high-fashion chic to festival, industrial goth and everything in between. The intention is to accommodate everyone regardless of their gender, sexuality or lifestyle choices. The goal is to encourage both retailers and customers to see pieces in a new light and consider all potential styling alternatives. In doing so, you will broaden the marketability of your products while leaving a lasting positive impression on your customers, who will develop a sense of loyalty to your brand. For a consumer, it is not always just about the product itself, but more about the experience. Customers want to feel seen and understood, and for some demographics this can be a rare find that could give you, as a retailer or wholesaler, an advantage over your competitors.

In addition to gender-fluid imagery, it is important to represent a wider variety of women in your marketing photos as well. At Coquette we always strive to include curvy models in our launches, as a major portion of our sales revenue can be attributed to our plus sizes. With the growing popularity of online shopping, it is so important to have product shots on different body types to make it easier for our online shoppers to choose their size and style. It is also worth mentioning here that excessive photoshopping is not helping our online consumers establish what will work best for them. Although lingerie is about creating a fantasy, it is also about feeling confident with your own individuality. We want to encourage customers to feel sexy, regardless of what society may have traditionally deemed as “flaws.” Stretch marks are the new beauty marks and unique features surpass “conventional beauty.” This is not to say we can’t include our size-2 models too. This means we need to work to include both.

Aside from featuring a variety of body types in your imagery, it is also crucial to include as many different looks as possible. Models of different ethnicities are essential for so many customers to connect with and unfortunately this fact is often overlooked in this industry. Statistically, it is harder to measure the volume of sales attributed to each ethnicity, especially online. What we can see is that when we have images available of multiple models with varying ethnicities, we do see a spike in sales. Again, it’s about connection and relatability. The more relatable the imagery, the more consumers will connect with your brand. More consumer connections means more sales and a more positive brand image.

While extensive photo shoots may involve a significant financial investment and may prove to be time-consuming, the numbers show that they do pay off. One way for smaller companies to manage the cost is by sending product to a variety of social media influencers in exchange for content. Another option would be giving your customers some incentive to tag your company’s social media in a post of them wearing or reviewing your product. Be sure to have them consent to your company using the images on your website. One of the benefits to an online retail platform is that there is no limit to how many product images you can include, just like there is no limit to the different types of customers your product may be attracting. If in doubt when it comes to how many images you should have available, more is more. Variety is the key. An aesthetic that is eye-catching to one consumer, another one might scroll right by, so give them everything! If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what five or even 10 pictures are worth.

Tips for Creating Inclusive Imagery That Inspires Shopping by Marcus Horea originally appeared in XBIZ

Strategic Retail Merchandising Tips for Navigating Today’s Supply Chain Issues

At this point, I think it’s safe to say that everyone has experienced some form of delayed shipment since the pandemic began. Vendors are struggling with overseas logistics, ports are backed up with whatever shipments have successfully made it off the boat, and products are taking much longer to transport to the final destination.

As an owner of both a wholesale company and a retail chain, no one understands the frustration better than I do. However, there comes a time when we must accept that there are factors beyond our control, and take action to succeed with what we have. So, what is the solution here? In my opinion, the key to success in these times, whether you are an online retailer or a brick-and-mortar store, is creative merchandising.

The first thing you want to do is make sure you always order your bestsellers in bulk. In terms of lingerie, there are some pieces that we just know will sell all year long. You know what I’m talking about: black lace or sheer fabric, crotchless styles, skimpy panties and hosiery basics. We could probably flatten a cardboard box and write “For Sale” on it with a permanent marker and these items are still going to sell out. These are the items you want to place bulk orders for. Gone are the days where you can replenish orders when you’re running low on a hot item and expect your delivery to arrive shortly after. The thing is, you just can’t be sure that your wholesaler won’t sell out of that item as soon as it hits the warehouse floor. It’s important to understand that if it is selling well for you, it is probably selling well for other retailers too. Run your numbers or survey your staff to figure out what your store’s hottest sellers are and allot a significant amount of your budget to place a larger order.

Of course, the real challenge lies in the dreaded seasonal items. Seasonal items are obviously important to carry, as we rely on them to keep retail spaces looking fresh, but when they come in late, we could have a tough time selling them because they look out of place in the store. We are feeling this now with the aftermath of Christmas. But here is the good news: many of those holiday items can be re-merchandised to work for Valentine’s Day or could even convert into one of those year-round bestsellers discussed above.

On our wholesale side, I can’t even count how many times we have moved styles, sometimes even whole collections, from our Holiday line to our Main line. We even reshot some of the styles this past couple of weeks so that they would have a Valentine’s feel to them. For this strategy to succeed, from a wholesale perspective, we need to re-market these pieces with fresh images for our retailers, portraying a more versatile theme. For example, if a red lace bra set is shot on a model wearing a Santa hat, our retailers see it as a Christmas item. They merchandise it for the holiday season and the end customer can’t visualize it any other way. When the season is over, if the retailer has no updated image to accompany the item, it gets tossed in a box in the back room for the next eight months. But it’s a red bra set. It should be a best-selling staple! For this reason, we like to provide our retailers with a variety of images, some of which are holiday-specific and some of which are not.

Unfortunately, not every wholesaler has the means to provide multiple images and not every retailer is able to organize a costly, time-consuming photoshoot. Luckily, there are still other ways to re-merchandize. For online retailers, you obviously do need an image so do your best to neutralize the one you have. If you have a graphic designer on staff, have them remove the festive background. For those who don’t have a graphic designer, there are apps out there now that do a pretty decent job at background blurring or removal. If the model is wearing a Santa hat, crop her head off. Online shoppers love a detailed closeup anyway. Next, you want to organize your items in a way that creates a story. Consider capsule trends to do this and add new themed graphics along the sides and banners.

For brick-and-mortar retailers, we suggest removing the images altogether and let the products sell themselves. Not only can you create a story here, but you get to create a full experience. Window displays are the obvious place to start. If you are transforming that red lace bra set from Christmas to Valentine’s Day, drape sexy sheer fabric around your windows and add all the gimmicks, battery-powered candles and a mix of red and pink faux flowers as an example of how to create a mood. Then take it a step further in your own way. If you are re-merchandising sparkly black or silver styles that you ordered for New Year’s Eve into Valentine’s Day pieces, black and silver heart-shaped helium balloons tied to the center of a display are a cost-effective way to set a scene. Also keep in mind that scents and music play a part in overall customer experience. Moving a winter piece into summer? Try a tropical scent and reggaetón music in your store. It might seem silly, but it works.

Of course, there will be the odd piece that gets left behind in all this. Sure, the red velvet with the white marabou will just have to wait until next year, but you will be surprised at the versatility of your existing stock once you start analyzing it. Most importantly, try to remember that even the Amazons and Walmarts of the world are dealing with supply chain issues, so your customer is desperately looking to you to get creative for them.

Strategic Retail Merchandising Tips for Navigating Today’s Supply Chain Issues by Marcus Horea originally appeared in XBIZ

Flamenco Frills by Coquette

Flaminco

These flirty little numbers are ultra flattering, true-to-size (I can fit in the One Size X!) and will add the right amount of spicy heat to a cold winter night.


Flamenco Frills Teddy

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Show a little shoulder! This off shoulder teddy is an effortless piece for layering, and features stretch lace, a snap crotch and lace trimmed leg holes.

 

Flamenco Frills Crop Top

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Care to crop? This crop top is the ultimate layering item over or under your favorite outerwear.

Featuring stretch mesh, wide straps, and a full coverage back.

 

Flamenco Frills Babydoll & Thong

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Dance the night away! Off shoulder seductive lace and mesh make this babydoll shine. Includes matching thong.

A Very Coquette Christmas

Christmas

Coquette’s holiday collection of Christmas lingerie includes seductive pieces for your bedroom holiday rendezvous – no matter your size.


Kissable Santa Teddy & G-String

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2 Piece Mesh bustier with faux fur trim along cups and front hem, and bow detail with pom poms.

Includes matching G-string. Stockings not included.

 

Letters To Santa Velvet Teddy

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Velvet is the epitome of luxury in this festive teddy. The bell sleeves are trimmed in faux fur, and black lace trim and a removable black velvet belt complete this look.  Features a snap crotch and removable straps.

 

Letters To Santa Lace Babydoll & G-String

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Beautiful stretch lace will capture the heart of whoever you are meeting under the mistletoe in this cheerful babydoll set. Featuring a figure-flattering wide belt with front hook closure, and ribbon ties with pom-poms. Includes matching g-string.

 

Letters To Santa Unwrap Me Crotchless Panty

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Wrap me up! Be the ultimate present in this hunter green velvet crotchless panty with elastic straps featuring a contrasting red ribbon trim and front bow.

 

Stretch Velvet Peplum Bustier

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Stretch velvet peplum bustier with laminated foam padded underwire cups, faux fur trim and velvet elastic belt with a rhinestone buckle. Features adjustable straps, removable garters and hook & eye back closure.

Stockings, panty and accessories sold separately.

Coquette Thigh Highs

Coquette

So simple yet so sexy, thigh highs add that special touch of secret glamour to any outfit, including your favorite bedroom lingerie ensemble.

These styles by Coquette are all available in both One Size and Queen, and while I’m just showcasing basic black today for the sake of simplicity, styles may be available in other colors (click on any image to see the choices on HolidayProducts.com.)


Coquette Thigh High Sheer Stockings

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Sheer thigh high stockings. Includes 1 Pair.

 

Coquette Thigh High Sheer Lace Top Stockings

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Sheer thigh high stockings with lace top. Includes One Pair.

 

Coquette Thigh High Fishnet Lace Top Stockings

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Fishnet thigh high stockings with lace top. Includes 1 Pair.

 

Coquette Thigh High Sheer Stay Up Stockings

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Sheer thigh high stay up stockings with silicone grip lace top. Includes 1 Pair.

 

Coquette Thigh High Sheer Back Seam Stockings

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Sheer back seam thigh high stockings. Includes 1 Pair.

 

Coquette Thigh High Sheer Scalloped Lace Stocking

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Sheer thigh high stockings with scalloped lace silicone grip tops and center back seams with bows. Includes 1 Pair.

Coquette Kissable

Kissables

Coquette Kissable is a boxed line of lingerie in one size and extra large sizes directed to people who want to include simple, cute, and flirty pieces in their lingerie collection.

Corsets, babydolls, and even role playing costumes are included in the Kissable collection.

Here are some styles available in both One-Size and Queen (OSX)


Starburst Rhinestone Babydoll

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Mesh Babydoll with underwire cups featuring starburst rhinestone detail.

The 2 Piece set includes a matching mesh G-string.

 

Stretch Floral Print Lace Dress

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Stretch floral print lace dress with center front satin bow, gathered cap sleeves and center back hook & eye closure with keyhole back.

Panty not included.

 

Stretch Lace Tank Top Dress

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Red stretch lace tank top dress with gathers at bust.

Panty not included.

 

Criss-Cross Straps Baby Doll

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Gathered mesh babydoll with criss-cross straps, front underbust band with bow and contrasting hem.

2 Piece set includes matching G-string.

 

Stretch Lace Corset & G-String 4-Piece Set

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All over stretch lace corset with binding detail, gathered lace hem, center front hook & eye closure and adjustable straps.

This 4 piece set includes a matching G-string, stretch lace leg garter and wrist cuffs with satin bows.

 

Mesh Scalloped Lace Bustier & G-String

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Mesh bustier with binding detail and scalloped lace on cups and hem. Bustier features center back hook & eye closure, center front bow with rhinestone and adjustable straps.

2 Piece set includes matching G-string.

 

Mesh Knit Cupless Babydoll & G-String

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Mesh and knit cupless babydoll with satin tie up bust, ribbon trimmed hem and adjustable straps.

2 Piece set includes matching G-string.

 

Mesh Halter Baby Doll & G-String

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Mesh babydoll with scalloped lace halter top.

2 Piece set includes matching G-string.

Coquette – Now at Holiday!

Coquette
Founded in 1979 in Canada, Coquette is an international designer and distributor of lingerie.
Since then, the family owned company has delivered high quality collections that contain diverse styles and a wide range of sizing while consistently captivating a realistic feminine appeal.
It all started with a pair of crotchless panties. It was in a small one bedroom apartment equipped with a single sewing machine where Catherine and Peter Horea created their first garment. They marketed and sold the panties to neighboring stores in the Kitchener/Waterloo area in Ontario, Canada. From that day forward, the strong collaborative partnership between Peter and Catherine, her inspirational eye for design and his entrepreneurial spirit has been the driving force to making this family business an international success.
Here are some of their styles designed for retailers to display on a hanger, all available in sizes to fit every body, from small to 3x/4x.


Stretch Knit & Fishnet Bustier

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Stretch knit and fishnet paneled boned bustier with powernet lining, padded underwire cups and front hook & eye closure. Features elasticized waist and hem with wide removable garters and straps with back ring detail.
 

Lace & Satin Baby Doll & G-String

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Rigid eyelash lace and satin underwire padded demi cup babydoll with adjustable straps and center back keyhole with hook & eye closure. Babydoll features removable satin ribbon belt and includes a matching g-string.
 

Microfiber Lace Boned Bustier

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Microfiber and scalloped stretch lace boned bustier with padded underwire cups, powernet lining and lace up the back. Features removable straps and garters, front now and size hook & eye closure.
Stockings not included.
 

Microfiber Lace Baby Doll & G-String

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Microfiber and scalloped stretch lace asymmetrical babydoll with lightly padded cups, adjustable straps and elasticized waist with removable bow. Includes matching thong with lace waist and front bow.
 

Mesh Powernet Sleeveless Corset Top

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Polkadot mesh and powernet sleeveless corset top with scalloped stretch lace panels and boning up to underbust elastic.
Features back hook & eye closure, back neck button and loop closure and adjustable garters.