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10 Web Strategies to 10X Sales of your Made-to-Measure Brand

OCTOBER 05, 2021

I analyzed web strategies used by 100 made-to-measure brands in 10 countries and summarized the top ten strategies you can apply to accelerate growth in your own business.


These strategies apply regardless of your type of custom clothing business: whether you have an online store, brick & mortar, or if you are a traveling tailor, or some combination.


MTM brands and suppliers included in this article: Articles of Style, Black Lapel, Benson & Clegg, Bindle & Keep, CKC NY, J.Hilburn, Lanieri, Paolo Martorano, Proper Cloth, The Bespoke Club, The Tailory, Richard Anderson, Kutesmart (Red Collar), Scabal, Gladson, Artextile and Stylbiella.


1. Launch an online store

2. Optimize for S-M-T

3. Emphasize Virtual and Self-Service

4. Optimize your Sales Conversion Paths

5. Link your store to Instagram and Facebook Shops

6. Display Customer Testimonials

7. Grow your email list

8. Add Interactive Merchandising

9. Grow your website traffic

10. Turn your website into your star sales person



1. Launch an online store


An online store adds another channel to boost sales, and enables even more possibilities such as linking your store to Instagram shops or co-branded sites. More on these later …


To launch your online store you need at least three things: (1). a sales model, (2). digital assets, and (3). a very clear  return/exchange policy.


Four sales models are used by MTM brands online:

1. Full self-service model – customers select, customize and purchase products online. This is the most popular sales model in our study and is offered by brands like Articles of Style, Benson & Clegg, Black Lapel and CKCNY.

2. Assisted model – Brands like J.Hilburn allow customers to select products online, then find a stylist to complete the order.

3. Hybrid self-service/assisted model – customers choose products and pay online, then book an in-person or a virtual appointment to complete the order. Brands like The Tailory offers this service.

4. Existing Customers OnlyW.W. Chan offers custom suits and shirts online only for returning customers with a pattern on file. * W.W. Chan recently launched an MTO product online for new and returning customers.


Within the full self-service model, brands provide very different product offerings.


Articles of Style (AOS) is the only brand in our study of 100 MTM brands that offers an “online bespoke experience that involves fitting a basted try-on garment before a final garment is actually made.

The customer designs their garment online, creates an account and enter sex, height, weight and fit preferences. No measurements are needed. The try-on garment is then made and shipped 3-4 weeks after purchase. The customer then uploads pictures of themself wearing the try-on garment along with answers to some questions. A final garment is made based on the try-on fitting.

This sales process takes the longest since it can take 4+ weeks for the try-on garment fitting, then the final garment may take a few more weeks.

AOS promises the convenience of e-commerce along with the exactness of a bespoke fit.



Brands like Blank Label and Black Lapel offer made-to-measure online.

The customer designs the garment and enter their own measurements and complete purchase. No try-on garments are provided.

This is faster sales process where a final made-to-measure garment is delivered within about 4-5 weeks.



Benson & Clegg and CKCNY offer made-to-order (MTO).

Benson & Clegg allows the customer to choose stock size as well as enter their own jacket back length and sleeve length and delivers a finished garment.

CKCNY allows customer to choose stock size and delivers a semi-finished garment (e.g. unfinished sleeves to allow easy sleeve length adjustment)

The Assisted model


J.Hilburn requires new customers to connect with a stylist in order to guide the purchase of any custom garment.

The Hybrid self-service/Assisted model


The Tailory allows customers to purchase custom garments online, but they must book an appointment to complete the order. They capture measurements with a 3D body scanning mobile app.

Existing Customers Only model


W.W. Chan offers custom products only to returning customers with a pattern on file. They have also recently added an MTO product for all customers.

Custom product from W.W. Chan


MTO from W.W. Chan


Digital assets are a must to sell online.

For digital assets you can develop your own if you have the money and time. Brands like J.Hilburn, Poper Cloth, CKCNY and others do this.

If you don’t have the resources to invest in photo shoots, look books and other digital assets you can use digital assets from your suppliers.

Kutesmart (Red Collar), Gladson, Scabal, Artextile, Stylbiella and other suppliers provide high quality look books and fabric swatches that you can use to launch an online collection quickly and inexpensively.


The Bespoke Club uses digital assets from suppliers for their online store.


Their online collection features product images and fabric swatches from Kutesmart (Red Collar) and Stylbiella.


Stylbiella Look Book image:


Kutesmart (Red Collar) Look Book image:





2. Optimize for S-M-T


S-M-T is short for Speed, Mobile and Transparency.


Your website must be fast (visitors will leave if a page takes longer than a few seconds to load), mobile responsive (52% of visitors will view your website on mobile), and transparent (if people cannot find answers easily on your website they will go elsewhere).


J.Hilburn is the only brand with a perfect 100/100 grade on all performance categories needed to drive sales (out of 100 brands we analyzed).

Access the full report of 100 MTM brands here.


When it comes to transparency, your website should clearly present the information visitors care about in a way that is easy to find.


Bindle & Keep‘s website has a very simple navigation with “Pricing & Packages” as the second menu option. This way visitors can know right away if it’s in their budget or not…



3. Emphasize Virtual and Self-Service


Fitting appointments have evolved since COVID-19, with most brands now offering virtual consultations to place an order or just to learn about the brand.


Lanieri offers virtual video consultation to place orders remotely with the help of a stylist.


Go beyond virtual video consultations and create virtual, self-service experiences around fittings as well.


Brands like Articles of Style and Proper Cloth offered virtual self-service experiences before the COVID-19 pandemic. Other brands like Blank Label also provide this type of service.


Blank Label‘s self-service, virtual fitting experience is called “Fit Assessment”:

Customers can log in anytime around their schedule which makes this process very convenient and streamlines the process for Blank Label.



Articles of Style‘s virtual try-on fitting is another self-service experience that is convenient and streamlines the process.



In all these cases, the customer has the convenience of performing these actions on their schedule, then submit the information required to continue the order.

This helps dealing with customers in different timezones or just removing the extra complication of trying to add one more thing to your calendar.

In the end you will have a much more scalable model and be able to drive sales exponentially.



4. Optimize your Sales Conversion Paths


Your website must efficiently convert every visitor either to a customer (purchase online or “book appointment”) or a lead (subscribe to your email list).


Studies show that around 2% of website visitors are ready to buy so it is important to convert the 98% to leads in order to nurture them to purchase in the future.


Most made-to-measure brand’s websites focus on the 2% and the conversion path is a 2-step process:

1. Prospect visits website

2. Get prospect to “BOOK APPOINTMENT”


This sales conversion path will not work in most cases (at least not the 98% who are not ready to buy).


Since most visitors are not ready to buy, give them control over their own site experience with multiple paths that educate, engage and seamlessly move them further down your sales funnel.


One critical part of your sales conversion is “The Product Page”.


This page must be your “best sales person” convincing the customer to complete the purchase.

The page must handle objections, pull any emotional triggers and help rationalize the sale in the customer’s mind.


Articles of Style’s product page is a good example.

The product page is carefully designed to maximize sales conversion.

Potential sales objections are addressed. It includes …

a tutorial video showing how to do try-on fitting

positive customer reviews

reminder of how it works

the craftsmanship

fabric details

an option to skip customizations and just “Order Now” with AOS’ recommended designs without having to customize the whole garment yourself.



5. Link your store to Instagram and Facebook Shops


If you have an online catalog (e-commerce) then you can link the online catalog to facebook / instagram shops and tag posts to sell right on instagram or facebook, or by referring back to your website to complete the transaction.


According to a FACEBOOK CASE STUDY, Laura Dover, the Global Digital Communication Manager at Barbour, says “… our sales from Instagram have increased by 42% and traffic to our website from Instagram is up 98%.


CKCNY allows people to discover their products seamlessly in Instagram posts and then shop products on their website.



Eligible accounts can add Instagram checkout (instead of referring back to your website) however consider the following for this option:

The fee is 5% per shipment

You don’t get customer data (except order and shipping information)

You cannot collect emails

Instagram controls customer notifications instead of your brand


CKCNY completes the transaction on their website (instead of using Instagram checkout). They collect emails, and can nurture leads that did not purchase now to buy in the future.


Also CKCNY has live chat on their website which allows them more flexibility to engage a lead at the time of purchase to help close the sale.




6. Display Customer Testimonials


94% of consumers report that positive customer reviews make them more likely to use a business.


Display customer reviews or testimonials to maximize sales.


Proper Cloth automatically display a rating out of 5 for each shirt below based on customer reviews. They then promote customer favorites while at the same time building credibility and removing sales friction. 



7. Grow your email list


This is an important strategy since only about 2% of visitors will make a purchase now.


The email list allows you to engage prospects on a more personal level to get them to buy later.


MTM brands use various approaches to capture emails – from popup subscribe form, exit intent popups, to regular subscribe forms.


Paolo Martorano:


Richard Anderson:




Articles of Style:



8. Add Interactive Merchandising


J.Hilburn merchandises their product page differently from other MTM brands in our study by presenting full looks as opposed to only one product per product page.


In addition, J.Hilburn provides an interactive and engaging look book using magazine publishing platform ISSUU.

You can view looks, zoom in on product details, download pdf version of the look book to take with you and click any look to purchase it.




  • Collections – don’t name collections by year/season if you will not create collections each season. Some brands have their “latest” collections as old as 2012 listed on their website.
  • Look books – you can place still images online or use a service like ISSUU like J.Hilburn. The service has a free version as well.


9. Grow your website traffic


You need traffic to your website in order to sell (whether from online sales or appointment bookings to visit your store or meetup)


Most MTM brands in our study focus on organic traffic rather than paid advertising.


Below are the ten MTM brands with the most organic traffic. Several are well established, well funded brands. However you also see two boot strap brands Black Lapel and Proper Cloth who have quickly ascended to the top ten spot.


Getting good traffic does not have to be expensive. You have to focus on activities that drive traffic over time – SEO, content marketing, back links, and other strategies.




10. Turn your website into your star sales person


Your website covers all parts of the sales funnel.


It must educate, prospect and engage visitors at the top of the funnel. It must move those visitors down the funnel – collect their information to deepen the relationship, send them content (emails, etc), and finally close sales: either book appointment or complete the sale online.


In addition the website needs to build its “network” by linking with other online storefronts such as Instagram or Facebook Shops,  or co-branded websites.




Your web strategy must be part of an overall marketing and sales strategy that includes other areas such as email marketing.


Email marketing will be needed to target the 98% of your website visitors who do not make a purchase. Read our article here to see how made-to-measure brands use email marketing today.


From shopping cart reminders, to nurture sequences to nudge prospects purchase in the future.


Implement the following strategies as “quick wins” to increase sales for your made-to-measure brand:

Improve your website performance

Focus on selling to 98% of the visitors to your site (not just to 2%)

focus on engagement (not just sales) to entice the 98%

entice them to give their information

focus on automated nurture campaigns to get them to buy later

Incorporate virtual and self-service experiences

Be transparent

Integrate across social (e.g. instagram shop), email (e.g. Mailchimp) and CRM (e.g. HubSpot)

Automate backend processes


Good luck!



Which of these web strategies stood out the most to you? … Let me know in the comments

Thanks for reading The Custom Times – blog articles about the business and economics of custom apparel.

I believe that better market insight will help you grow your business faster and more profitably.

Our articles include in-depth, well-researched information from the global custom apparel industry, along with useful tools that you can apply to your own business.

  • Learn how fellow MTM and bespoke brands are executing strategies such as email, e-commerce, and content across sales funnels to drive business growth.
  • Get original market data and statistics based on our research of hundreds of MTM brands globally.


If you want to truly grow your business rather than feeling stuck juggling orders between multiple systems, then these articles are for you.


It takes a team of 5 and countless hours to research and produce these articles.

If you found value, I ask two things:

  1. Leave a comment below about what you will apply to your business
  2. Let me know other topics you would like us to research and write about.

Thank you,

Tyrone Whittle, founder, The Custom Times


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