So you have made the decision to start a clothing store online. When you consider that online clothing retailers make up one of e-commerce’s most popular niches — which is worth over $500 billion — it’s no surprise you want a piece of the pie.
While the financial rewards are abundant, it’s not simply a case of setting up a website, sending out a few ads, and generating a profit. The online clothing sector is a bustling and highly competitive environment.
To get off on the right foot, here are five important tips for running a successful online clothing store:
Decide on a Niche
As much as you might want to run a clothing business that covers all bases, it simply isn’t feasible. Due to this, you need to settle on a niche for your store. The more specific you are when choosing this niche, the easier it is to identify and single out specific customers. In addition, there will be less competition when appealing to your target market.
When doing this, remember:
- Have passion for the niche you select
- Research to see if the niche is profitable
- Ask whether you can add value to what is currently on the market
- Stand out by being as unique as possible
Decide on a memorable name
You need to decide on a name that is going to not only be memorable but is actually available. While to some, this might seem like one of the least important steps in running your business, it can make the difference between your business being a success and it not. You need to make sure that this isn’t too complicated, so carefully spend time thinking about a name that considers the clothing industry you are, the niche you have chosen and what people are likely to Google when looking for clothes.
Top Tip: Have a list of around 10 different names, as sometimes it is not possible to trademark your name because it is already taken. Therefore, it is best to have options.
Decide on Products
Once you have chosen a niche, it’s a case of determining which products to stock on your online store. When you consider there’s a near endless selection of clothing and apparel picks available, you will find various options that fall under your niche. T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, joggers — there’s something for every fashion-based business.
With that said, you should treat the amount of choices with caution. It can be easy to go a little crazy, decide to cover too many products, and dilute your business brand. Start off small and gradually branch into other relevant product lines as your company grows.
Select a Business Model
When it’s time to set up your website, one of the main aspects to focus on is the business model. What does this mean? Well there are four main models when it comes to setting up an online clothing store:
- Private label
- Custom cut-and-sew
- Print on demand
Custom cut-and-sew generally offer the greater freedom when it comes to crafting your own clothing. Yet print on demand also features many different possibilities, and the same can be said for dropshipping — in its own way. In fact, if you go with Ali Express for dropshipping, you could select from thousands upon thousands of relevant, readymade clothing products.
As for which is best, this is down to your company’s needs. When software specialist Oberlo compared print on demand vs Ali Express dropshipping, they decided the latter was the best bet in most cases.
Promote, Promote, Promote
Last, but certainly not least, it’s imperative you have a strong marketing strategy in place for your online clothing outlet. You could have the best products and the slickest website, but this means nothing if nobody actually sees what you’re offering.
As clothing is such a visual product, utilizing the likes of Instagram and Twitter is a given. However, social media is only the start. SEO, email marketing, guerilla marketing, collaborations, leaflets — this is only a small example of how you can get the word out about your online clothing store.
If you want to be able to see success with your online clothing store, start by following the above five points. Not only will this ensure that your business is appealing to the right market, but it will make your business memorable and, above all, visible online, so you can start to make a profit.
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