How to Start an Online Clothing Store this 2017

 Dana Mia Kim
  Jan 16, 2017

Online business storeOnline shops are quickly becoming the most popular method of shopping for and obtaining things that customers want – after all, they aren’t required to get off their couches and drive to a store miles away just to see if the store has anything that they are looking for, with the chance of ending up disappointed. All it takes nowadays is a simple search and a few clicks to shop for anything they need, and they are guaranteed to find what they want.

This is quite applicable to fashion-related products, especially with clothes. Customers don’t want to spend hours in a mall or a boutique trying on different styles only to leave empty-handed and exhausted – thus wasting their time. Nowadays, the market makes judgments based on what exactly they want then where they can buy it, instead of the other way around. And an online business is the perfect avenue for this.

That’s why this year is the right time to start your own online clothing business. These 7 pointers will help you out:

1. Determine what type of clothes are you going to sell

This not only helps you have a basic idea on what kind of shop you will be, but also what your target market is. For example, if you are looking to sell sports-related clothes, your target market will be those who lead an active lifestyle and are looking for quality clothes that will help them feel comfortable as they move around, or those who are looking to collect ones that are connected to a certain sport, like basketball jerseys.

Knowing what kind of clothes you will be selling, as well as your target market is one of the most basic foundations of any clothing business. It helps you clearly define your shop later.

2. Source out a reliable supplier for your products

If you are making your own clothes, you may skip this step, but otherwise, you might want to find a reliable supplier that will properly get you the number of orders you need. They also need to be quick with updating you on the status of the orders you need to send out, as well as if there are any problems that must be addressed immediately. They have to have the ability to carry out the work they need to do efficiently and in the timeframe you need them to.

It’s also important that you develop a positive working relationship with them, as a good relationship with your supplier may get you deals that can lower the price of your products, which is always a plus for your shop in attracting the crowd that tends to be price-conscious, or even save on shipping costs from them or get informed on new products that you might potentially want to sell.

3. Work out these three details: competition, shop name and image, and USP

Competition: By determining who your potential competition is, you have a basic idea of where you will stand and what they are doing that can help you make your shop a success. Their strengths and weaknesses are data for you to analyze and can be used to your advantage. Make a simple competitive analysis to help you compare and contrast their methods and their levels of success in different areas such as sales and engagement.

Shop name and image: Having a unique name and image allows you to quickly step out of the crowd and be remembered instantly. Some shops that have similar names or too simple of an image may get mistaken for one another or may get forgotten easily since they blend too much with the other shops. Your shop’s image is best determined with what your target market finds attractive, as well as the latest trends with the web and graphic design.

USP: Your Unique Selling Proposition is what truly sets you apart from the crowd. It is a one-of-a -kind quality of your shop that will entice people to make transactions with you. Determine this from your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as what people want from your competition that they are not delivering. It can be free shipping, package deals, return policies, etc.

4. Have multiple contact and payment options

Not everyone will have access to the contact and payment methods you use as a default, which may potentially lose you, customers.

For contact options, consider letting people keep in touch with you through various channels such as SMS, social media messaging, and other messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. Your target market profile (which you’ve determined from point 1) will help you know what types of contact they use the most. If you are considering a website-type shop, you may also want to incorporate an in-website chat system if you are able to.

Payment options can range from bank deposits, money transfers, cash on delivery, and even online options like PayPal. It’s a good idea to keep several options open as not everyone might prefer online payment or not everyone might have immediate access to your preferred bank. Remember that your customer’s convenience matters just as much as yours.

5. Organize your shipping procedures and details

Having sketchy shipping details may give you problems that you could’ve easily avoided by setting it precisely in the first place. You can face delays, lost parcels, damages to your shipments, and even unforeseen costs that will aggravate your customers, which is something you would want to avoid happening.

Most shipping companies have websites where you can read about the details of their services, such as shipping fees based on the places or regions where they will deliver. You can also read up on reviews and testimonials online to have a better picture of how they carry out their services and if there are certain branches where the service is unsatisfactory.

6. Attract the crowd with your images and descriptions

The aesthetics you show in your shop can have an effect on your engagement and eventual sales. If you fail to attract with how you present your products, as well as fail to provide adequate descriptions and information that will convince your audience to transact with you, you won’t get any sales. The last thing your customers want is to buy and receive items that don’t fit them or are not the types of clothes they were expecting.

Whatever method of presenting your clothes you choose, it’s important to have those pictures be visually-appealing so they can attract the eyes of your potential customers. As for the descriptions, strike the balance between sales-focused and informative – you need to convince your audience to buy your clothes, but too many sales talk might come across as too pushy and will turn them away.

7. Choose the eCommerce platform best suited to your needs

With everything else planned, your last step is actually setting up your shop, and that means you need to choose the best eCommerce platform that can deliver the features and capabilities you are looking for to help you have a smoother operation. You can opt for social media, an eCommerce website, or a combination of both.

Social media is a good place to quickly get traction with your target market, but it offers limited customization options and is not actually integrated for a full shopping experience, while an eCommerce website lets you have complete control over how your shop looks and can quickly let your customers fill out an order form without having to rely on another website or manually copy-paste and edit a form.

For instance, if you plan to sell clothes online, some digital shopping platforms, allows you to combine social media with the website you’ve created with them, bringing you the advantages of both platforms – the quick traction with your intended audience and the full customization and easy ordering options.

With these pointers, setting up and starting your online clothing business will be a breeze. And while your online business might take a bit of time to get some ground with your target market, if you’ve done your part correctly, you’re sure to be bound for success either way.

How to Start an Online Clothing Store this 2017

Dana Mia Kim

Dana Kim is a former business consultant turned into an online marketer. She has worked with several industries such retail, hospitality and fitness companies which helped her to gain knowledge and experience in these fields. With six years’ experience as an online marketer, she has been helping several start-up clothing companies to establish their brands, getting them closer to their desired goals and success.

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