Whether you are a fashion retailer, clothing designer, seamstress or someone who needs to get rid of some used threads, finding a way to sell clothing online can be a challenge. Should you start a business sell clothes online through a marketplace like Etsy or eBay? Can you build your own ecommerce store? How will you proceed with payments? There is so much to think about, however, it doesn’t have to be that overwhelming.
Just like creating a garment, there are a few steps you need to follow to ensure a long-lasting, functional, and beautiful online clothing business.
Let’s break down how to start your own online clothing store.
Step 1: Find Inspiration
Brainstorm. It doesn’t matter whether it is by yourself or in a group with creative friends, this will help you establish a strong foundation from which to build your brand and launch an online clothing store with a long term future.
- Fashion audience: Who is your ideal customer? Who will your style cater to? What will your clothing represent? Consider researching top-trend, popular, and high-selling items for your audience. Determining the age of your customers can be a helpful way to find your specific niche.
- Business strategy: Why do you want to know how to start a clothing business online? Why is it important to you? Before you move forward, these are important questions to ask yourself. Keep the answers in mind.
- Consult with fashion influencers: It is one thing to search for fashion articles and another to interview fashion influencers about how they want to interact with a clothing business.
Step 2: Brainstorm Which Product to Sell
It is important to focus on the product. Learning how to start an online clothing business is not enough. You also need to learn the pros and cons of operating in a clothing business in a straightforward and efficient way.
Compare different brands to see what makes them popular. Pay attention to trends, as well as, the materials used in creating their products.
Here are a few tips for choosing products when starting a clothing store:
- It is not a popularity contest: You need to be unique in order to stand out. After all, clothing is a competitive market. You’ll want to create a more focused niche for your clothing business.
- Focus on your interest: Take what inspires you most about clothing and use then when starting your business. Don’t hesitate to take inspiration from other influencers.
- Choose your fashion focus: Choose whether you want your store to focus on a specific type of clothing or different items.
- Plan for online clothing store success: Can you prevent your clothing store from failing? I know it is hard to think about this, but it is important to do so. What could happen to cause a catastrophe in your company and how can you be prepared?
As you learn how to start a clothing business online, you will want to find ways to stay ahead of the curve.
Step 3: Design or Source Your Products
Now that you have an idea of what kind of products you want to sell, it is time to design or source those products.
If you want to create your products, you need to work on your skills. Whether you love sewing, knitting or crocheting, this is a great opportunity to use your creativity. Don’t worry if your first items aren’t perfect. The practice is the best way to improve your skillset.
Not interested in hand-made clothing? No problem. You can still start your clothing business. You can consider dropshipping service provider or connecting with a screen-printing company and add your designs to hoodies, t-shirts, etc.
Step 4: Get The Word Out
If you want to run a successful online clothing store, you need to find ways to attract customers. What will spur the attention of your potential customers?
- Social media: Social media platforms have become an important component of marketing and you can use it to get more eyes on your store.
- Fashion on Instagram: Instagram is one of the best platforms to start promoting your store. It is a photo-based platform and provides a way to display the products. If there is a new product you want to promote, post a photo on Instagram.
- Present your personal style: If you are looking for a blog format to promote your products, Tumblr is a great option.
- Paid advertising: Facebook Advertising and Google Adwords are helpful ways to reach new customers. This can be a great opportunity to get the word out about sales and local events.
Step 5: Set Up Your Finances
Learning how to responsibly divide your resources is tricky but at the same time, a valuable and rewarding skill.
- Determine inventory minimus: The key to launching a successful business is having enough inventory to meet customer demands.
- Quantity over quality: When starting, it is best to sell in small quantities to get an idea of where the sales lead you. It is important to get insight into the growth of your company.
Step 6: Manage Your Inventory
Inventory is a vital component of your business’s success. Overstocked and your resources are impacted. Understock and frustrated buyers won’t be able to get their products. Have the right person to handle inventory.
Step 7: Build an Online Store that Stands Out
Even the most beautiful items will fail to convert visitors if they are sold in a poorly designed store.
You want everything in your store to be easy for the visitor to navigate. Your store should be easy-to-use and stylish. From well-organized product categories to secure checkout, there are so many details to keep in mind.
Now that you are familiar with the steps to starting and running an online clothing store, you are ready to get started.