As fashion trends continue to change, we see more and more consumers turning to online shopping and e-commerce. When searching for best-cost products, many fashion gurus turn to SHEIN. Let’s talk about why.
What is Shein?
Founded in 2008, the brand’s original name, SheInside, SHEIN (pronounced “she-in”) is known as an international B2C fast fashion e-commerce company. The company specializes in women’s wear, but also offers men’s apparel, children’s clothes, as well as a variety of accessories, shoes, bags and other fashion items. They now also offer beauty and personal care items as well as pet supplies. The fashion business of Shein clothing is so extensive that it covers more than 240 regions.
Why has SHEIN become so popular?
Entering the scene as a global online retailer in recent years, Shein has exploded as far as the industry goes due to the large variety of high both inexpensive and stylish clothing options. Like any other fast-fashion brand, Shein’s claim to fame is no surprise. The brand loyalty lies solely in the nature of TikTok itself. From the very beginning Shein has built its platform by tapping into micro-trends, unlike other fast-fashion brands who draw their inspiration from the style of celebrities and designers.
- Low prices compared to most of the online retail marketplaces
- New and updated products get added to the Shein women clothing store, every day
- The Shein online marketplace offers a great amount of styles in numerous categories
- Easy return and refund facilities
- Unlike other online shopping agents, SHEIN provides an extensive size range
- Only fashion market place which provides international shipping for all customers around the world.
- One-stop fashion shop for every category of fashion apparel.
- Products designed daily to keep up with the latest fashion on the market
The real question is: why hasn’t Shein failed? Historically, Shein has used unethical practices. They have survived numerous scandals and continuously work to undercut the already low prices of other fast-fashion brands. Fairly recently, SHEIN has been accused of selling swastika necklaces, among other things, and SHEIN was even forced to settle with the state of California over accusations of shipping toxic materials in their handbags.T If you think about it, the standards and practices of SHEIN actually contradict the Gen-Z values. Other cons include:
- Though Shein promises and strives hard to provide the best quality in its products, lower prices are prone to come with a lower level of quality.
- Shein being an international company, struggles to provide returns and refunds and/or warn of longer waiting times because of the some national banks and co-operative banks used
- Shein has an unfortunate reputation of delayed shipping sometimes due to adverse weather conditions
- Some products provide discomfort to most of the women customers, due to the lack of expensive materials used in production.
- As the languages offered by the customer service are of a higher level, for consumers that might not be fluent in English, this creates a service barrier and makes it harder to build connections with your customers. For example, there are reports of this problem occurring frequently at Shein India, as the local language there is Hindi, which the executives do not speak.
- Though SHEIN promises to provide sizes that fit all shapes and sizes, the products have a reputation of not fitting well or being delivered in completely the wrong size. My one and only has been for swimwear and bathing suit cover-ups. I was happy with half of my purchase which ended up being the cover-ups. As for the swimsuits, I ordered a size small as I do most of my products and when I put on one of my bikinis I literally felt like 10 pounds of garbage in a 5 pound bag, to put it into perspective for you. The price of the product is definitely reflected in the quality of the product. Due to the fact that SHEIN works fast to meet current and upcoming trends, it is no surprise that the quality might not live up to the expectations of consumers, but by that point, a new trend is already on the rise.
Recently SHEIN has launched pop-up stores in several major cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. However they are usually strictly an online retailer. As of right now, SHEIN has no plans of permanent brick-and-mortar stores. Due to their international online presence, regardless of where you live, you should be able to access Shein’s website. With websites supporting the United States, Spain, France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Australia and the Middle East, Shein ships from one of its many globally positioned warehouses. The SHEIN brand ships to over 220 countries and regions worldwide. Shein has also partnered with other online merchants, from which you can purchase their products, including Amazon and AliExpress. A recent scandal in June of 2020 has resulted in the permanent ban of SHEIN’s mobile app in India.
Reviews, reviews, reviews.
The first thing you should do is take a look at the sizing chart of the product you’re considering purchasing… then ALWAYS check the reviews. Reviews with photos or videos I find to be the most helpful as everyone’s bodies are different. In reviews, you’ll see that customers share their measurements and the fit quality. This should provide you some insight about trueness to size, the durability, and the fabric content.
Be on the lookout for FAKE REVIEWS.
Like other online merchants, Shein has fallen victim to fake reviews. Double check that the reviews are legitimate, (unless you really think that the dress Kylie Jenner was just caught wearing in a photo shoot, just so happens to be a low-cost dress from SHEIN). The reviews that are detailed and happen to include pictures will be your best friend in your product search and consideration.
Maintain your expectations
An item’s quality can never be guaranteed until it has been seen in person. It’s like comparing a name-brand handbag to a knock off one you find in Chinatown. The quality will be lacking although from the outside it seems to be perfect. I recommend also maintaining your expectations when looking into delivery times. I have personally purchased multiple items with the expectation that it would arrive the day before or of my event and each time I was disappointed due to circumstances beyond my control that affect shipping times. Luckily, SHEIN’s orders are usually shipped by China Post and fulfilled by USPS for standard shipping and FedEx for express shipping, using their factories all over the world. Don’t forget that standard shipping takes about 2-3 weeks and express takes about 1-2 weeks. The most important thing to remember is that these timeframes DO NOT include the time required for order processing—which Shein says can take anywhere from 1-3 days. Keep in mind that this order processing period may also be affected. This could be related to issues with customs, weather conditions, and the list goes on. Although it is nice to be pleasantly surprised with an early delivery, I recommend being safe rather than sorry.
As you know by now, the clothes and products offered by SHEIN are already heavily discounted. However, there is a shipping fee of $3.99 for standard shipping when orders are under $49. SHEIN also charges $12.90 for express shipping. From time to time, SHEIN will offer promotions for free shipping, as well as offer markdowns that make up for the shipping charge. SHEIN offers discount codes for special events (like brand anniversaries) and holidays. They also send discount codes via email after registering for an account on their website. Although some of these codes seem to be eligible, it is important to keep in mind the fine print and the notion that fake promo codes are posted online every day. If you are planning on making a rather large purchase, know that bulk orders might be subject to additional customs fees which can really impact your final total.
3 Fun Facts about SHEIN
- SHEIN replaced Amazon as the most frequently downloaded iOS and Android shopping app in the USA, according to the data of App Annie и Sensor Tower
- Any Instagram user with 36,000 or more followers can get up to 6 free pieces of clothing from SHEIN (as long as they use the products for promotional purposes advertising a 15% discount code on their profile for their followers to use).
- Due to high standards of photography on SHEIN, only 1 of 100 photographers that apply for the job on SHEIN is hired. The photographers hired must photograph using American and European-styles rather than TaoBao-styled.
SHEIN.COM Total Visits September 2021
SHEIN Top 5 Traffic Ranking by Country as of September 2021
United States 39.61% (-12.78%)
Brazil 6.80% ( +0.79%)
Italy 6.77% (-13.81%)
France 5.79% (-18.00%)
Canada 5.36% (-16.13%)
(Traffic to shein.com by Country)