E-Commerce Knocks On Gentlemans’ Closets

The e-commerce marketplace for men remains undefined. A swarm of websites has emerged, offering a multitude of collection pieces. Statistics have proven for years that men despise entering a store to purchase clothing. As a result, hubs such as Mr. Porter and Gilt Groupe flourish by providing esteemed labels at lower price points.  Gilt Groupe has built a microsite, segmenting even more exclusive men’s fashion named Park & Bond.  A former Ebay executive is entering the market with a new concept named Trunk Club, where shoppers receive a booty of goods, choose their favorites, and return the rest.  Aldo, the Italian shoe designer, also rolled out a new microsite dubbed Mr. B’s Gentleman’s Boutique.  The collection, unlike the other purveyors, showcases original leather-crafted products, ranging from bags to footwear. Felt Boots, Park & Bond

It is clear that men have far more channels to survey available products. Marketers, nevertheless, are still trying to solve the dilemma of drumming up sales figures. Ricardo Poupada of AskMen.com believes that a brand has to add a little more.  “With deals targeting men, the smart money is moving beyond product discounts to deals that offer novel experiences, with a focus on quality.”

As a man who places a high quotient on sartorial matters, I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Poupada’s sentiment.  I scour all types of forums to identify, locate, and purchase goods.  I not only want to find exclusive products, but also durable ones that will last over time.  They become part of my personality, telling the world of my life experiences upon first glance.

Men live for discovery.  They also want to stand out amongst their peers. Creators of men’s products should heed these tidbits for 2012.  E-commerce merchants have built outstanding user experiences online.  Many more need to connect offline for the hearts and wallets of men.

Abdul Fattah Ismail is an interactive marketing specialist with expertise across a range of online strategies. He lives in New York and is an MBA graduate in Marketing Management from St. John’s University. He has contributed articles for Blueliner Marketing and Talent Zoo.