H&M E-Commerce Is Here! But Why the Long Wait?

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H&M. Photo: H&M

You can finally buy H&M merchandise online! No more elbowing your way through crowded stores, pawing through piles of skinny jeans to find your size, and waiting in line for the dressing room behind that weird-smelling girl who has decided to try on at least a dozen different versions of the same lacy tank top. There's nothing like real shopping to make you appreciate e-commerce, is there?

H&M's e-commerce site — which looks the same as their old one, just with an added shopping component — went live this morning, and so far they've avoided any snafus like sudden crashes due to increased traffic. Their process is straightforward, and standard — there's a $5.95 flat-rate shipping fee, and you can return merchandise within 30 days. 

But why did it take H&M so long to tap into the U.S. online market? Eager customers have been disappointed twice before when tentative e-commerce launch plans were postponed. Marybeth Schmitt, an H&M spokesperson, explained their timing to the Cut today: "Our goal was never to be first or the fastest. We want to grow in a controlled way," she said. Citing their highly profitable brick-and-mortar business, she said that their first priority was opening over 300 stores across the U.S. over the past thirteen years.

Indeed, in the world of online shopping, it's more important to do something right than to do it first. Schmitt assures us that all of the in-store merchandise will be included online, as well as some additional items: "H&M Online will also carry the home collection, which will be initially sold exclusively online in the U.S.," she says. Presumably, this also means that all of H&M's collaborations — the forthcoming Isabel Marant collection, for example — will also be available online, which is exciting.

Meanwhile, they're offering contests and special prices during their launch ($10 pants and blazers! $5 dresses), so the site is definitely worth a look. Take a gander, here.