The reality of today’s business world is that a lot of businesses will take flight from the internet before it gets a ground store. Another thing is the fact that even those with ground stores now operate online businesses, too, because the power of online shoppers cannot be underestimated.
However, what this has caused is an oversaturated market with people looking to break in and not knowing how to do it, especially in the fashion market. According to Statista, the worth of the global online fashion market was $533 billion in 2018, with a growth prediction of $872 billion by 2023.
There are certain mistakes that people make when they are breaking into the online market, and this can be a clog in the wheel of their growth. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, the benefits of selling online cannot be over-emphasized, especially if you have all the steps right. But before we move to the steps on how to start an online store, let us go through the benefits of starting an online clothing store.
Benefits of starting an online clothing store
People are very active on the internet these days, and in the last two years, because of covid, this activity increased by over 70%. What these figures mean is that the internet has inadvertently become the best place to start and grow a business, especially a fashion business. Here are some of the benefits of starting an online clothing store.
You have a global reach
Thanks to a constantly erratic-yet-well-tailored algorithm, it is relatively easy to trend in the US while creating content from Europe. Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have made it possible for anyone to reach anywhere with the use of targeted keywords and hashtags.
If done right (which we will show you in the steps later), you can stay in the comfort of your home in Michigan and have a client in Australia making an order for your clothes.
This reach is not over-exaggerated; with 20 million followers on Instagram, Fashion nova records a 600% growth rate each year with customers all over the world. While using a big brand as Fashion nova sounds like a reach, know that they started small, as you would too. Selling clothes online gives you a global reach that you may not get from your corner store.
Saves you the extra money
Operational costs are no joke, and they can shut down a business with speed. The major goal of every business owner is to reduce operational costs, save time and increase revenue. However, with a shop on the ground, you will not be able to reduce operational costs. As a new business owner, you cannot deal with operational costs when you have not even started making profits.
When you run an online clothes store, the only thing you may have to pay for is the internet and maybe other accessories to aid your branding. Some of the things you spend on starting an online business are one-off expenses, and in some cases, you spend nothing at all as what you have may just be enough.
You deliver your products faster
For some people who run an online fashion store, they have vendors in every part of the world. So, instead of shipping an outfit from a warehouse in America and spending so much time on delivery, ship it to them from their country or somewhere closer.
If you had an offline store and had to ship from your house directly, you may begin to lose customers, as they will find someone who ships faster. Note that this benefit only works for the dropshipping business model.
There are many more benefits of starting an online clothing store, but let us leave it at these three for now as we move to the seven steps on how to start a clothing store online.
Seven steps on how to start an online clothing store
Like we said earlier, if done right, your online store can begin to rake in money for you, notwithstanding the strength of your capital when you started. This is why we have curated seven important steps you should consider if you are looking to start an online clothing store. Here are these steps:
Select a niche
Everything, everywhere, all at once was great as a film; it is not great as a business idea. Every fashion niche comes with its own challenges, vendors, hacks, and successes. Instead of putting yourself in the position where you have to deal with the challenges of too many niches at the same time, find your niche and work at fixing the challenges there when they come.
It doesn’t even matter what business you are venturing into; finding a niche is top on the list of how to start an online store for any business. Look at all the available fashion niches and see which one you think you can handle with ease, Do your research and launch into that one. Even your favorite big fashion online stores have a niche; rarely should you be able to buy everything from a fashion store that is not Amazon.
Select the products
There are different products under niches, and while you can sell everything at the same time, you should always start with a few just to get your feet on the ground. What do we mean? For instance, if your niche is footwear, are you selling sneakers or boots? If your niche is unisex wear, are you selling just t-shirts or T-shirts and sweatpants?
The idea of selecting your product is so that you can determine what product you are getting, who you are buying from, and how you build your customer base. Once you have figured out one product well enough to have a solid customer base for it, you can then move on to other products. You have to be good at one thing first before launching into ten things.
In choosing a product, you must understand that the market is moving at a rather swift pace, and a product that is in fashion now may not be tomorrow. Do proper research and see what products will most likely stand the test of time and may only require upgrades or redesigning.
Select a business model
Now we are getting into the thick of things. Your business model is the next step in how to start a clothing store online, and this is because there are different business models. The most popular model for small online businesses is dropshipping. Dropshipping is simply putting up pictures of clothes for sale and getting customers, then buying from the owner and reselling. Dropshipping is just one of the models.
There is the private label model, which involves buying wholesale and selling under your own name. Private label is not the easiest business model, but it has its benefits. We also have a custom business model which involves sewing or designing the clothes by yourself and selling them. Finally, we have the print-on-demand model, which involves putting your logo or designs on a blank cloth and selling it as yours.
Looking at all of these models, which one suits your passion, plan, and capital better? The answer to this question is the business model you should start with.
Create a plan
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are starting; you need a plan. Your plan does not have to be fortune 100 good from the get-go. However, when you keep going over your plan, again and again, doing market research and coming back to adjust your plan to what is obtainable, you are headed for success.
Something that must never be missing from your plan is the numbers; you must include all the numbers you intend to work with, including the price of your products and possible profits.
Select an eCommerce solution to create your online store
The next step is getting the right eCommerce solution to help you kickstart your website, provide branding solutions, and give you a marketing edge. You do not need to scour through the internet looking for the right eCommerce solution when you can use Ecomitize.
Ecomitize will help you grow your business and your website. They have had an impressive success rate over the years, working with big brands like Nintendo, Gordon’s, and Warner’s. Your online clothing business will do much better when Ecomitize is your Ecommerce solution.
Launch your online store
After creating your online store and uploading your goods, the next big thing is the launch. Now, you must understand that your launch will make or break your business, and you may never get a second chance at a launch. There are strategies that you must use to launch your online store, and one of them is creating ads. You have to decide where you want to gain attention and what social media channel will work for you, then create an ad on these social media channels.
Work on driving traffic to you
We are finally at the last step of how to start a clothing store online, and that is attracting traffic to your page. You cannot underestimate the power of good traffic, and that is why you must focus on it. There are different ways in which you can drag traffic to your online store, and you must be ready to explore more than one of these ways. The most important way you can attract traffic is by site optimization, which Ecomitize will already have helped you with in step 5, which is why it is important to use an eCommerce solution.
You can start an online clothing store, do not let anyone take that belief away from you. However, while the process seems easy, staying committed to the success of the project is not a walk in the park.
There are too many moving parts involved, and that is why you must make the process easier for yourself by following the steps that we have listed above. Again, your best bet at winning at your online fashion store is taking advantage of the services provided by Ecomitize.