Welcome to Part II of our Six Month Sales Report, which reports on the sales of all bottoms during our first six months of business. Part I reported on the sales of all tops (binders, soft bras, and underwire bras). Please note that the graphs and statistics are reporting on units sold.
A Quick Note on the Importance of Conversion Rates
I seriously thought about whether or not I wanted to publish statistics for bottoms, because there was a strong discrepancy between the following:
- Most popular sizes
- Page Views (or, what's getting looked at)
- What sells at full price (arguably the most important metric)
- Sell-through rate (or, how quickly it sells -- second most important metric)
- What was shared on social media (which often correlates to page views)
(With Tops, there was a stronger correlation between these variables.)
When there is a strong discrepancy between what seems to be popular (what gets looked at/shared on social media) vs. what actually sells vs. what will then sell when on sale, it makes me want to dig harder into the statistics, because - to me - that is an indication that something is going wrong on my end of the sales process.
Case in point: the Binding Brief by FYI by Dani Read.
This is a luxury, super-niche item at a luxury price point. It is spectacularly popular to look at: this brief fascinates people. The Binding Brief product page accounts for over 5% of all total page views on the Bluestockings website over the last six months. Given the amount of traffic we’ve seen due to press at ABC, The Guardian, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Lucky Magazine, the amount of traffic we've had is substantial.
However, what was the conversion rate of those page views? (Or, how many people who visited the page actually bought?)
.0002%. (To my mind, this low conversion rate is explained by the luxury price point -- far higher than the average item here at the store.)
Compare this to the Princess Short by Curvy Kate, which has a conversion rate of 1.6% -- much higher than most products. However, the shorts generally only sell when on sale.
As you can see, there are many factors to take into account.
The goal of any store owner is to find highly converting products that have high sell-through rates at full price. A failure to sell spells failure for your business.
Finding #1: Core Sizes Sell -- but the sell-through rate for plus sizes is very strong
This is one of those charts that comes with a caveat. Though S-L sizes (predictably) make up the vast majority of sales, numerically, the "outlying" sizes - especially XL and 2X - have an extraordinarily high sell-through rate. What does this mean? It means that they sell at full price, and they sell quickly. Which means that I re-order those items from designers. And often re-order. Again and again.
While plus sizes in bras are not fast nor particularly strong sellers at this point in time here at Bluestockings, "in between" and plus size underthings (XL and 2X) positively fly off the proverbial shelves. So even though they make up a small percentage of unit sales (as this graph shows), they are actually a very strong seller. (Subtext: I'll continue to bring in new options.) And I could not be happier about that.
Finding #2: Boxers Rule
People are hungry for boxers - particularly boxers that are cut well for a cis woman's body. This was evident when I was doing market research pre-launch, and it continues to show up on customer surveys. Y'all want more boxer options!
Boxers and boxer briefs are, hands down, the bestselling category of bottoms, coming in at 41%.
The classic bikini brief came in the #2 spot, with boyshorts rounding out the top three.
A brief note on what was not popular (no pun intended): matching sets, particularly where underwear was above $30 (which is almost always the case for mid-range brands like Curvy Kate and Claudette). Though there have been many requests from people, especially full busted and plus size, for more matching sets, very, very few matching briefs sell.
Finding #3: Full Coverage is in, thongs are out (but you knew that)
Boxers, boxer briefs, bikini briefs, boy shorts, hipsters, and high waisted briefs all have one thing in common: full coverage.
Thongs have definitely fallen by the wayside. I'll still bring in a few, because devout thong wearers are devout, but as you can see from the graph, full coverage rules here at Bluestockings.
Top 5 Bestsellers: Bottoms
Here are your top five bestsellers.
Winning by a landslide is the Foxers Lace Boxer, available from XS-2X. Charcoal was the bestselling color, followed closely by Black.
1. A multitude of factors come into play that affect sales, but with Bottoms, the discrepancies between what appears to be item popularity + realized sales merits more investigation into my own inventory selection and customer priorities.
2. I didn't do a graph for this, but there is definitely a different price cap on different styles of underwear. Customers do not want to pay much for bikini briefs, boyshorts, and hipsters, and are more likely to buy those items on sale, whereas they are willing to pay full price for boxers and boxer briefs (in part, I believe, because of their relative scarcity).
3. More coverage > less coverage
What did you think? Did you see any surprises? Any categories that you wish were more popular? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. Did you miss Part I? Read it here!