12 Questions You Must Ask Before Buying Your Next Sports Bra Online

12/02/2020

Greatly increase your chance of success when buying your next sports bra online with these 12 expert questions.

Why You Might Buy a Sports Bra Online

  •  Your local store has a very poor range. Many stores have limited floor space and stocking a large range of brands, styles and sizes just isn’t possible.
  • You just don’t have the time to head to your local (or not) store. We’re all time poor after all!
  • The teenage boy working at your local store just doesn’t know sports bras. All jokes aside this was my experience at Rebel!
  • You just want the convenience of shopping in your own time, without feeling pressure and want to try on in the comfort of your own home.
  • Your local hardware store is the only place in town that stocks sports bras. I feel for regional women. In many towns this really is the only option. OMG! Great for cross selling a circular saw!

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and purchase your next sports bra online.

Good on you. There are many fantastic websites out there that will help you find your perfect sports bra. But remember; not all websites are created equal and navigating them can become a bit of a nightmare.

But worry not, help is at hand. I’ve put together an 12-point checklist that will make your buying experience easier and worry free.

Read on and answer these 12 questions to find the absolute best website out there…..

Before we start

I have created a template for you to use as you work though my list.

There is nothing worse than jumping around the internet from site to site only to completely lose track of who offers what. Have a pen and my template at your side to quickly jot down notes as you go. You’ll never forget again and can easily navigate back to the site of your final choice!

It’s simple to use and it’s entirely up to you how you fill it out. I recommend filling out as per the fictitious example I have inserted. Make a quick note under the relevant column and then give a mark out of 10 below. Tally all marks up at right and hey presto; you’ll easily see the best out there!

Bit too complicated? Simply fill in the columns most important to you and ignore the rest. Maybe you don’t care about an online fitting room. Simple; leave it blank.

Online Retailer Template

#1 – Is the Website Secure?

The most important straight out of the box!

In this day and age this is an important one. We need to be sure our information is protected if we choose to do business with a website.

So how do we check all is good?

The easiest way to do this is to type the website URL (address) in the search bar and hit enter. As the website loads you should see a little ‘lock’ symbol (or similar) to the left of the website address.

If it’s there your good to go. If not, then stay away!

You will find nearly all Aussie websites will be protected but it pays to check. If you are still not sure (some websites can look very professional) then contact them and ask. Let them convince you that all is secure. Any reputable website will be happy to do this.

Is the website secure? Yes / No? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#2 – Do They Have a Good Range of Brands, Styles and Sizes?

The world of sports bras is a complex one, primarily driven by our varying sizes.

There are dozens of brands our there offering a myriad of styles in sizes ranging from a 6 – 30 back and an A-L cup and just about every combination in between.

Add to this the range of varying features provided by sports bras. Do you like your sports bra wirefree, underwired, padded or racerback. Maybe you want a padded, wirefree, racerback bra?

If you do you are going to want a site that has a large range of brands, styles and sizes to cover every possible variation. After all this is about you and getting what you want without compromise!

Do they have a good range of brands, styles and size? Yes / No? How many? Make a note in your template and put a mark out of 10 under.

#3 – Does the Website Have a Good Range of Payment Options?

No point finding a great website with everything you need if it’s then difficult to make payment. Or even worse you need to jump through a heap of hoops just to make your purchase.

As a minimum a good website should offer secure payment by credit card (both Visa and Mastercard) and PayPal.

A bonus would be a site that offers payment using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or something similar. That said most of these are connected to our credit or debit cards anyway so not a must.

If you’re a big fan of the ‘buy now, pay later’ trend in online shopping then a suitable website will offer this option. The two biggest players in Australia are Afterpay and Zippay. You will need to set up an account to use these services (a pretty straight forward process).

What are the range of payment options? Poor, OK, great? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#4 – Is There Great Content? Do They Know What They Are Talking About?

Buying a sports bra can be quite a task. There is so much to know and understand. After all knowledge is buying power!

The fundamental thing here is do they know what they are talking about. Or are they just a seller who doesn’t really know their product and they’ve just chucked it online hoping you will happen by and buy it?

Each bra should have an in-depth description and ideally a fitter’s review or video giving their take.

A site with blogs is also good. Someone who really knows sports bras will have a comprehensive blog page. Read away and learn as much as you can to help you find your perfect sports bra.

What other content do they have? Brand pages? Specialty pages. The more relevant content the better.

So, do they know sports bras? Yes / No? How much relevant content does the website contain? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#5 – Is There An Online Fitting Room?

One of the most important aspects of buying a sports bra is finding the perfect fit.

The selected website should have a dedicated online fitting room or similar. A place with everything you need to determine your size and how to check if your purchase is the right fit.

The more information the better here as the more you know the better your chance of successfully finding the right sports bra for you.

The best online ‘fitting rooms’ have a ‘slider’ style Bra size calculator that after finding your size can then

Take you directly to all items that are that size. Oh, so easy!

 Having good brand specific sizing information is also important as unfortunately not all sizes are created equal (how good would that be). Sizing does vary between brands so understanding the brand specific differences is important.

Is there an online fitting room? Yes / No? How comprehensive is it? Put a mark out of 10 under.

 #6 – Is the Site Easy to Navigate?

You will find as a rule that the more specialised the site the easy it will be to navigate the world of sports bras.

Big ‘sell everything’ sites are convenient, but this convenience comes at a compromise; you need to dig (often deep) to find what you are looking for.

More specialist sites will take you straight to where you want to be; sports bras. But even within the sports bra world we want to be able to easily navigate further.

Can you easily find sports bras that suit running? Or maybe yoga. Can you easily find racerback sports bras or underwired ones? What about specialty sports bra? Maybe you’re after a maternity sports bra or perhaps a mastectomy one.

A good website will take you quickly and easily to a range of sports bras that suit your requirements. Most often through the use of drop-down menus.

Is the site easy to navigate? Yes / No? If so, how easy? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#7 – Is There Good Search Functionality and Filtering?

It’s not much good landing on the flashiest website out there if you can’t find anything!

Websites should be simple and easy to navigate through dropdown menu’s, internal links and other navigation tools.

If you know what you are after you should be able to find it quickly. Looking for a high impact sports bra? Does the website have a category for that? After a Running bra? Is there a dedicated running bra section?

If you’re not entirely sure or just want to drill down further, then good filtering is a must.

Websites with a range of filtering options (usually down the left-hand side on a desktop) offer the most chose in quickly refining down to the bras that suit you.

Filter by back and cup size (12 D), then by colour (black), then by impact (high impact), then by features (racerback, wirefree) and finally by price ($50-$80) and you should get only bras that fit those criteria for you to choose from. Wow and wow!

Is there good search functionality and filtering? Yes / No? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#8 – Are They Easy to Get in Touch With?

Being online it is often difficult to get in touch with someone. You often need to get past the robot for a chance to chat with a human!

We need to know there is someone we can get in touch with, in case we want more info or just want to find out the status of our order.

In the modern world of ecommerce apparently livechat is number one, email number two and phone number three.

Does the website offer these? Are there options beyond this? Do they have a physical address you can visit if you live in the area?

 Just remember you don’t need everything, but you do want to know you can chat with a person if need be.

Are they easy to get in touch with? Yes / No? How many contact options? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#9 – Do They Offer Free Delivery and Free Returns? (no hidden fees)

 A lot of websites tout free delivery and free returns but beware the fine print!

Pretty much all require you to spend over a certain amount to qualify. The question here is how much? This generally ranges from $50 to up to $200 and different amounts in between.

Postage costs aren’t cheap so obviously you want the lower end so seek out websites offering closer to the $50 mark.

Even more important you want to be able to return your bra for free if it doesn’t fit. Women’s clothing is notorious for the size variations between brands and sports bras can take this to the next level so you want to buy safe in the knowledge you can return it free of charge if you are not happy.

Free returns = big tick! That said beware of hidden extra’s. Online stores often charge a ‘restocking fee’ or ‘handling fee’. Simply a tricky way of charging for returns.

Look for honesty here. Free returns should be exactly that; FREE!

 #10 – Are They Price Competitive? 

Price isn’t everything but it sure helps.

Unless a website offers a price match guarantee unfortunately there isn’t any way to avoid a lot of finger work on this one.

That said as you trawl you will get a feel for which websites are well priced. Some websites have a lot of items marked as below RRP. A lot don’t. Take notice as you search, and you will be heading in the right direction.

That said please don’t buy something that is not suitable for you just because it is ‘cheap’. This is the ultimate false economy as you run down the road holding your breasts due to the pain inflicted from your new poor supporting sports bra!

Are they price competitive? Poor, average, good? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#11 – What Are Other Customers Saying?

 A very easy way to tell if an online business is worth shopping with is to check out what other customers are saying.

Do a quick Google of their business name and read the Google reviews. These reviews will tell you a lot about the business, their customer service and the experience other shoppers have had with them.

Product Review is also a good source of trusted reviews.

I like to read a few of the best ‘5-star’ reviews and a few of the worst reviews. Everything needs balance and this is a good way to quickly check the good, the bad and the downright ugly!

Make a note of their average star rating in your template. Put a mark out of 10 under it.

 #12 – Do They Give Back to the Community?

I’ve thrown this one in here as it’s my personal favourite. Does the business give back?

It’s a matter of personal choice if you put this one in here as the company you purchase from has to align to your own personal values.

For me, I believe the way the world does business needs to change. Businesses cannot continue to relentlessly pursue profits for their owners and shareholders. Businesses need to consider their place within the community and their responsibility to that community.

At the end of the day you need a new sports bra so why not buy from a company that gives back!

Do they give back to the community? Yes / No? If so, how giving are they? Put a mark out of 10 under.

Conclusion

You might find this all a bit OTT but in the search for the perfect online company to buy your sports bra from a little homework goes a long way. And once you find the right one, you’re done and can shop with them for life!

Let’s recap my 12 questions you must ask (and get an answer for) before buying a sports bra online:

#1 – Is the Website Secure?

Is the website secure? Yes / No? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#2 – Do They Have a Good Range of Brands, Styles and Sizes?

Do they have a good range of brands, styles and size? Yes / No? How many? Make a note in your template and put a mark out of 10 under.

#3 – Does the Website Have a Good Range of Payment Options?

What are the range of payment options? Poor, OK, great? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#4 – Is There Great Content? Do They Know What They Are Talking About?

So, do they know sports bras? Yes / No? How much relevant content does the website contain? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#5 – Is There An Online Fitting Room?

Is there an online fitting room? Yes / No? How comprehensive is it? Put a mark out of 10 under.

 #6 – Is the Site Easy to Navigate?

Is the site easy to navigate? Yes / No? If so, how easy? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#7 – Is There Good Search Functionality and Filtering?

Is there good search functionality and filtering? Yes / No? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#8 – Are They Easy to Get in Touch With?

Are they easy to get in touch with? Yes / No? How many contact options? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#9 – Do They Offer Free Delivery and Free Returns? (no hidden fees)

Look for honesty here. Free returns should be exactly that; FREE!

 #10 – Are They Price Competitive? 

Are they price competitive? Poor, average, good? Put a mark out of 10 under.

#11 – What Are Other Customers Saying?

 Make a note of their average star rating in your template. Put a mark out of 10 under it.

 #12 – Do They Give Back to the Community?

Do they give back to the community? Yes / No? If so, how giving are they? Put a mark out of 10 under.

So there you go. Everything you need to know (and more!) to help you find the perfect online store for your next sports bra purchase.

Happy Shopping

Amy

p.s. It would be interesting to see how Sports Bras Direct ranked. I have a feeling very well indeed. Perhaps even number 1!

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