An estimated 79% of Americans now do at least some (if not most) of their shopping online. If you're not selling your products online, you're missing out on a huge market.
Starting a clothing store online is a great way to expand your entrepreneurial endeavors in 2022. However, that doesn't mean that it will be smooth sailing or that you should launch your business without making a plan.
So, what should you be thinking about before you start a company that sells clothing online?
Read on for our guide to starting an online business selling clothing.
Do you know what type of clothing you want to sell? There are so many online clothing stores that filling a niche is one of the best ways to generate business.
Your niche doesn't just speak to who will buy your clothing (ie men vs women). It also speaks to the style or type of clothing you'll sell as well as the price point you'll set.
Once you have an idea of what niche you want to fill, it's time to do some market research. Can you identify your competition? Who is selling products that fulfill similar needs and desires that your products will fulfill?
Market research gives you a better sense of how to do things differently, perhaps by providing more affordable prices, a higher quality of products, or a slightly different approach to style. It can also give you a better sense of what to do--and not do. What seems to generate success for your competition and what seems to hold them back?
A business plan is a comprehensive document that details everything from your company name to your financial projections. Having a business plan is an important part of getting any licensing you may need, securing investors, and keeping your company on track to meet necessary goals.
In fact, many of the considerations we're listing here will play an important part in your business plan. This is where you'll get into the nitty-gritty about your products, financials, target market, and beyond.
How do you intend to stock your store? Nowadays, there are several different approaches to selling clothing online, ranging from homemade pieces to newly manufactured pieces to upcycled thrift store finds.
Until you know where you will source your products from, you may want to hold off on investing in other parts of your online business. Make sure that you secure any partnerships with a supplier or stockpile an inventory of handmade or thrifted pieces before you try to launch a website. Otherwise, you may wind up with a ton of frustrated customers who are pre-ordering products you don't yet have!
Branding materials are key when you're starting an online-only business. Customers won't get that in-person experience, so you'll need to give them a little more online charm and charisma to win them over. Use social media to start marketing your business and building relationships with your customers.
Your long-term goal should always be to grow and scale your online clothing business. We have the tools to make that growth attainable and to help you every step of the way.
Tons of new online clothing shops start out on websites that already exist. These vast online marketplaces have convenience going for them, but they often don't allow online businesses to reach their full potential. Whether or not you sell some items on an existing online marketplace, we advise that you build your own e-commerce website, as well.
If you don't know how to build an e-commerce website, you're not alone. Once again, we offer the tools and expertise to help you build and launch a beautiful, professional, sustainable online clothing store in no time.
Just like you want to secure a plan for sourcing your products, you should also secure a plan for shipping your products. Will you ship them directly from a third-party manufacturer or will you ship them, yourself?
If you choose the latter, make sure that you find well-priced packaging and mailing options as well as a place to store your inventory. In the first few months, it may be simple enough to individually send off a package here and there. However, when business picks up, you're going to want to find a streamlined method for fulfilling orders.
Two-thirds of new businesses survive the first two years. About half survive the first five. These new business statistics are revealing about what it takes to start a business.
Don't start a new business selling clothing online because you think it will be easy or won't take much work. If you want to turn a real profit and keep your business up and running for years to come, it's going to take hard work, consistency, and a real plan. If you can answer every question in our guide to starting an online business, we're happy to say that you're ready!
If you're thinking about starting a clothing store online, there's a lot to consider, first. Use our guide to get a sense of the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself before diving in. The more thorough your plan is, the better you're setting yourself up for success.
Can BitBranding help you take your career goals into your own hands and build your e-commerce website? If you want to learn more about our services or get started on a project, contact us today.
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