Updated: Apr 25, 2019
So, you have decided to start your own online clothing store. It’s no surprise why: with online clothing stores being an $80 billion-a-year industry, it’s by far one of the most popular eCommerce niches. This is so popular and start-up costs can be relatively low if you begin with something easy like T-shirts. Let’s tackle the different ways on how to start and build the successful online clothing store.
1. Decide what clothing products you want to sell
Every business has a target audience, so make sure to do your homework and decide on a niche. The better you know your customers and what they like, the better your chances of creating products they want. You’re going to dedicate a lot of time into your store, so make sure it’s something you really want to pursue.
2. Product pricing
At the most basic level, we all understand this concept. If you sell cheaper items, more people are likely to purchase, but your Average Order Value will be smaller. If you sell more expensive items, less people are likely to purchase, but your Average Order Value will be larger. Also, the appearance of your clothing plays a role. A cheaply made shirt that looks fancy may have a higher perceived value than a beautifully made simple shirt. Most customers have no idea how much time, money or effort actually goes into making a particular garment.Your branding can influence how your product is perceived, as well. A classy logo and high-end brand positioning will lead to a higher perceived value than discount brand positioning. So, consider your brand and your competitor’s pricing when finalising your own pricing strategy. Also, it’s important to incorporate the cost of running your business, (and some profit!) into your clothing prices as well. Otherwise, it will be difficult to sustain your business over time.
3. Be sure to create a business plan
After deciding what products to sell, the next major decision you need to make is how do you want to pursue this. Do you want a drop shipping store or a tailor-made cut-sew store. Knowing the several options to create your brand will let you determine the cost, difficulty, and time you’re investing in the process. These options include:
This option is the easiest option for starting your own clothing business. This involves design or logo printing on a blank apparel. However, the biggest drawback of this business model is the low-profit margins and lack of competition because of the standard wholesale clothing material used. The printing could produce high-quality printed apparels efficiently and in a rapid way It’s a cost-effective choice for printing small orders.
Custom sew and cut
In this method, you’re doing everything from designs, patterns, sourcing fabrics and other materials, to full production run. Customizing your own clothing line in terms of cutting and sewing requires an intensive process to start and maintain. This could increase potential value and increased margin from your customers, but it includes very high start-up costs.
Dropshipping clothing is a great way to start an ecommerce business without a huge investment in inventory. It’s a hands-off approach with lucrative profits – when you do it right. Basically, dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that removes the middle man from the fulfillment process. When a customer orders an item of clothing, your supplier will pick, package, and ship the item to that customer. The products are stored at the supplier’s warehouse and you don’t handle the products at all. Dropshipping has gained popularity in last few years and there are many online stores built on dropshipping model and are incredibly successful.
4. Build an online store
Now comes the fun part : Creating your online store. The first thing you will need is a domain. You can buy it from sites like Godaddy or namecheap. Alternatively, you can buy your domain directly through eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, WordPress or Wix.
Next you need to decide on the platform. Shopify, Wordpress, Wix are quite popular choices for building theme based e-commerce sites. Another important part of setting up your store that deserves special mention is your product pages. Online shoppers only have product photos and pages by which to judge the quality and details of your products, so make sure that they are of good quality – even when you’re dropshipping. Next, You can either setup payment gateway or have the option COD for the products you are selling.
5. Promote and grow your brand
One of the most popular (and least expensive) ways to reach potential and existing customers is through social media. You can showcase your products on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and encourage customer comments, reviews, and sharing, Also you can advertise specials, sales, and any upcoming events on these platforms.
Also, consider email marketing. This is an easy way to send special offers right to your customers’ inboxes. If you use an automated email marketing solution, it’s even easier to reach a large number of customers with little effort.