You should not be intimidated by the prospect of starting your own online fashion store. There is a lot of potential online business within the fashion industry to cash in on, with the market hitting $759 billion in 2021 and forecasts that it could reach $1 trillion by 2025.
This post is for you if you’re new to eCommerce or want to add fashion and apparel to your budding online business portfolio in 2021.
Choose Your Online Clothing Niche
Before you can choose your products, you must first decide the apparel or clothing niche you wish to offer in. Choosing your niche means that you choose products and build your entire clothing line business plan around the type of potential customers you want to appeal to, and that you are eventually able to position your store in a unique way.
The trick is to be really particular and truly drill down into your niche, as this will allow you to discover and promote to your potential buyers more simply. This will also help you create your product list to appeal to your unique target market, allowing you to minimize your competition and boost your chances of long-term customer loyalty.
Determine Your Business Plan
Any big or small business needs a well-thought-out plan, and a strong business plan goes much beyond “sell items, make money.”
Choosing a business model is an important component of establishing an online retail company plan. Clothing can be sold in a variety of methods, so think about how you’ll get started and what model will allow you to develop the most quickly without draining your financial account.
There are four common options in the ecommerce clothing retail world:
Dropshipping is undoubtedly the most straightforward business model. Dropshippers are simply middlemen; when an item is ordered, the dropshipper orders from a third-party company for direct delivery to the customer. Many dropshippers collaborate with sites such as Alibaba and Wish to gain access to low-cost products that may be resold at a profit.
There is little capital required to start a dropshipping firm because there is no inventory to keep on hand or the requirement to spend money on orders ahead of consumer activity. However, as a dropshipper, it might be difficult to separate from the crowd because most products are not distinctive and can be obtained from other suppliers.
2. Private Label Clothing
Private label clothing companies work with established manufacturers to create one-of-a-kind items to sell under their own label. These products are usually not designed in-house, but rather designed, produced, and branded by a third party for individual sale.
Private label apparel demands a larger cost because it necessitates finding a dependable manufacturing partner and paying an additional fee for branding. This method, on the other hand, allows for greater batch size and sample flexibility, allowing stores to evaluate products and fine-tune strategy without breaking the bank.
3. Custom Cut and Sew
As the name implies, custom cut and sew refers to businesses that develop and market their own products. This can be an expensive undertaking that necessitates a considerable investment in materials and manufacturing space, but it may be the best opportunity to build a really unique brand.
Some custom cut and sew businesses manufacture all of their garments in-house, while others outsource to plants located outside of the country. This type of online clothes store may necessitate greater financing and a thorough understanding of design ideas.
4. Print on Demand
A print-on-demand business prints or edits pre-existing clothes in response to customer requests. This can be a one-of-a-kind process (for example, creating company logos) or based on a pre-selected set of designs. When a customer places an order, you or a third-party printer will produce the items as requested.
Aside from t-shirts, jeans, and other apparel on which designs can be transferred, a print-on-demand business has no ready-to-sell inventory. Overhead can be quite low for stores that use a third-party printer.
Find Your Domain Name
Your domain name should be consistent with your company name, as well as your long-term business goals and available items. Choose a domain name that is logical, easy to remember, and simple to reach. Short names are always preferable to long names, and names with multiple repeating letters or letter sequences can lead prospective buyers astray on the internet.
Keep the following suggestions in mind while selecting a domain name:
1. Pick a Scalable Name
Your business may not be in the same state when you start as it will be later. As a result, you need a name that will allow for future expansion.
For example, if your original business concept is just focused on selling rain boots, and your domain name reflects that, it will seem out of place when you grow to selling all types of footwear. Consider both your immediate demands and your long-term objectives.
2. Avoid Difficult-To-Spell Names
If your customers can’t spell your domain name, they’ll have trouble discovering it or sharing it with others. Stick to simple words or well-known phrases to prevent luring prospective buyers into the arms of your competitors.
3. Be Distinct
Because there are so many brands in the retail arena, you must ensure that your domain name relates to your brand and your business without being mistaken with the competitors. It might be difficult to achieve a balance between clever and scalable while remaining distinctive, but finding the correct solution can actually benefit your organization.
Create Your Online Clothing Store
The first thing you’ll require is a domain name. We recommend purchasing this separately as soon as you have a core idea. After you’ve created your range and built your site, double-check that the domain is still available.
You can also purchase your domain through eCommerce platforms like Shopify or WordPress.
After that, you’ll need to decide on a platform and then a theme (or vice versa). When it comes to setting up your store, this is one of the most crucial considerations you’ll have to make.
Because the design and usability of your website are just as important as the goods you’re selling and shouldn’t be rushed. The following are the most popular eCommerce website and store builders:
If you don’t have the funds to employ designers or the time to learn WordPress, we recommend Wix or Shopify as online shop builders. These guides are a fantastic place to start if you need additional help choosing an eCommerce platform or online store builder to launch your apparel business.
List Your Products
You’re ready to post your products for sale once you’ve constructed the framework of your site. This isn’t as easy as it sounds; nevertheless, how well you display your products, the quality of your descriptions, and even the navigation of your ecommerce page can all have a direct impact on your sales.
Product descriptions may appear commonplace, but quality content may make a significant difference. Product descriptions are the primary driver of SEO for ecommerce sites: if your descriptions aren’t robust and don’t make the best use of keywords, you won’t appear in search engine results.
Product descriptions are also quite crucial in informing clients about what you have to offer and why they should buy from you.
Use vivid, high-quality language to construct an image for buyers while writing product descriptions. Because shoppers are unable to visually inspect your products, product descriptions are the next best thing. Consider the kinds of details you search for when making
online purchases and use it as a starting point for creating content that wows.
Around 20% of potential transactions are canceled due to a lack of information about things sold online, so make sure your descriptions are accurate.
Product display should entirely match product descriptions, offering a way to illustrate and tell customers what to expect. A single shot will not suffice; modern ecommerce customers want to see things from all perspectives, up close and from a distance, in order to make an informed decision.
Clothing should be photographed on models if possible, or on mannequins when this is not practicable. When feasible, photos should be of excellent quality and include fabrics, front, back, and side features, as well as styling possibilities.
Don’t just pull out your iPhone and take some images; photographs should always be professional. When your website appears amateurish, customers may conclude that your products are also amateurish.
The navigation of a website is crucial to generating revenue. Going through the effort of finding the proper products can be highly overwhelming when a site user is entirely overloaded by menus, dropdowns, and navigation options.
Maintain a clean, basic, and easy-to-use navigation system, regardless of how many products or categories you sell. User experience is critical to customer satisfaction; 79% of web users think that a bad experience on one site will encourage them to look for another that meets their expectations.
Checking out is an important aspect of making money; after all, if your customers don’t complete a transaction, you won’t earn anything. The checkout procedure may appear to be an afterthought, yet a poor point of sale is a major cause of cart abandonment.
If the checkout procedure is overly difficult, an estimated 21% of customers will leave the purchase. Furthermore, 23 percent of consumers will abandon a basket if checking out requires an account, so include a guest checkout option in your procedure as well.
To make your checkout as quick and painless as possible:
- Make it simple for guests to check out.
- When possible, accept auto-filled inputs, such as payment card information saved in Chrome.
- Accept gift cards, credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, and PayPal as well as other payment methods.
- Instead of forcing them to tap “Next” again, keep everything on one screen.
When clients need information quickly, a search is the best method to get it. Make sure your search tool is functional and simple to use to reduce the irritation faced by clients who simply want to learn more about you or your items. Far too many websites have clumsy, difficult, or ineffective search capabilities, which ruins the user experience.
Publish and Market Your Clothing Store
Your store is up and running, your product descriptions and photographs are fantastic, and your landing page is well-optimized, but where are your customers? The greatest approach to get them to you in an ecommerce marketplace is to employ excellent marketing. These three essential items are the impetus you’ll need to get your shop up and running.
Social Media Marketing
One of the most important strategies for launching a new business is to use social media. In general, marketing requires a starting point — you can’t send emails to an address book that doesn’t exist, for example — but the promotional power of social media may help you strike the ground running by getting your message to your target audience.
Sponsored and promoted posts can be quite effective, especially when careful consideration is given to how these posts are used to reach out to certain audiences. Around 27% of web users admit to discovering new products and services through social media advertising, thus using promotional postings to increase your profile and attract new customers is a very realistic technique.
Once you’ve laid the groundwork and amassed a sizable fan and friend base, your social media posts can accomplish everything from entertaining customers with quizzes and contests to publicizing future promotions. Social media marketing has a lot to offer as an easy, low-cost way to foster community.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to target customers, delivering significant value at a low cost (email marketing has an average ROI of $42 per dollar spent). Email messages introduce your brand to new customers and, over time, keep your current customers returning. Promotions are one of the most effective ways to get recipients to open emails; 72% of consumers will open an email if it contains a discount.
Effective email marketing extends beyond regular commercial emails. Cart abandonment emails, for example, are a popular strategy for completing transactions, converting approximately 9% of customers who would otherwise have wasted their time on your site. There are numerous avenues you may take with emails to address many of your marketing goals, so don’t let a strategy focused solely on the essentials cause you to miss the forest for the trees.
Do you want your customers to be able to find you on the internet? You want excellent content marketing. Everything you put on the internet, from product descriptions to blog posts, should relate to your company’s general objective. Strong content is also at the heart of SEO, so the more you can do to create high-quality writing that includes the proper keywords and phrases, the better.
When it comes to finding new products and services, Google is expected to be used by 49% of customers. With the appropriate approach to content, you can ensure that your name appears near the top of the list.
Starting a business of any kind is a major risk, but the online fashion sales market is a terrific place to be. Starting a fashion store can be a simple recipe for success, thanks to rising trends and a plethora of business models that allow for flexibility at a minimal cost. There has never been a better moment to bring your clothes store aspirations to life when backed by the ideal ecommerce platform and a solid business plan.