If you have a dream to start an online clothing business to make money online, then you are just on the right place. In this article, you will learn the step-by-step (realistic) ways to start an online clothing store.
People are making million dollars by starting an online store these days. Also, according to Statistica, online stores are worth 102.5 billion and will explode to $153 billion by 2024.
So, this industry will never die. There is a huge potential in online clothing business as this industry is increasing rapidly.
This article will give you loads of information which are written by observing after 100+ online business case studies. The information in this article are tried and tested and are not just theoretical biased approach.
Here, you will learn the complete detail from starting an online store to market and then scaling it.
Just stick to this article till the end because we are going to add tremendous amount of value from this post.
So, let’s dive right in.
- 1. Finding a Niche
- 2. Evaluate Market Viability
- 3. Profits of Starting an Online Clothing Business
- 4. Set a Budget for your Product
- 5. Outline your Business Plan
- 6. Design your Clothes like a Pro
- 7. Partner with a Manufacturer or Tie-up with Vendors
- 8. Set-up a Website or Choose an established Marketplace.
- 9. Build your Brand
- 10. Marketing for your Online Clothing Business
- 11. Expected Cost to Start an Online Clothing Business
- 12. Expected Challenges of Online Clothing Business
- 13. How to Register your Online Clothing Business?
- Some Successful Online Clothing Stores You Can Inspire From
- Final Words
1. Finding a Niche
Even if you have decided that you want to start an online clothing business, I suggest you to work on a niche. Because if you want to work for longer term you have to beat the competition to survive in the market.
There is already a lot of competition online. It doesn’t matter whether you are selling your products on Amazon or it’s your own website, competition is everywhere.
In order to survive, you have to ensure that you are highly specific and best in your industry.
THERE Case Study
Let’s take an example of an online store, “THEREYOUGO”. It’s an online clothing store which is specific in selling only Denim clothes. So, people who love Denim fabrics would love to buy products from them. They offer every cloth made from Denim only. Even you can find backpacks made from Denim.
In this way, they become highly specific in a particular field and they are getting over thousands of visitors per month.
That’s why, I highly suggest you to work on a smaller niche rather than competing with bigger brands.
Bewakoof Case Study
Another, popular example of a niche online clothing store is “bewakoof.com”. It is also working on a similar way. They are not only focusing on their product they also focus on a particular audience segment aged between 16-25.
This is another great strategy of marketing and becoming popular between youths. And today it become worth over $ 49,701 USD.
Now, you might have understood the POWER OF NICHE!"The success of your online business depends upon how you choose your niche." Click To Tweet
2. Evaluate Market Viability
The biggest mistake that a lots of beginner entrepreneurs and small business owners make is they don’t see the need in the market. They are just satisfied with their products by themselves.
This is a very wrong approach!
The very first step to selecting a product for online selling is to evaluate its marketing viability.
In simple words, you have to find out the need for your product in the market.
Wait, Wait! Before thinking anything else, I would tell you that evaluating market in this era has become a lot easier than before.
You don’t have to go outside and ask random people whether they need your product or not. Today, we have lots of free tools available online which you can use to find your product demand in the market.
1. Use Google Trends
You can use a Free Tool Google Trends, where you can find what is the demand of a particular product by comparing it others.
Google Trends is completely free and it gives nearly accurate data of any keyword volume. Just have a look here.
2. Facebook Analytics
There are few steps you should consider to evaluate market viability—
Identify your Target Audience
Conduct a Survey
Take Actions as soon as possible.
3. Profits of Starting an Online Clothing Business
Before moving further, you should also look out for the profits of starting an online clothing business.
Online Clothing Business offers a good profit margin. You can expect a profit margin of around 25-60%, if you manufacture the clothes by your factory.
But if you want to become an online retailer and buy clothes in a bulk and then you can expect a good margin between 4 to 13%.
4. Set a Budget for your Product
Now, the next step is to define a budget for your products.
Probably, you must not have too much money to start an online store. Therefore, you have to set a tight budget in order to generate some results.
Firstly, you need to decide whether your clothes would be manufactured by you or you would like to tie-up with someone else.
Let’s say, you decide to manufacture them by yourself. If it costs you $5 to manufacture your product, you can sell it at a double price online means at $10. This process is called Keystone Markup, means to double the price.
But I would suggest to tie-up with cloth vendors who are already selling it. Because if you are a beginner entrepreneur then all your focus must be on selling products, making revenue and generating profitability.
All you have to do is to package the products under your brand name and sell it online.
You probably might have seen labels on some products “Manufactured By” and “Marketed By”.
These terms clearly defines that the manufacturer is not the person who is also selling that product. Because these two things are totally different from each other.
Most of the times it happens with small business owners that they try to do everything by themselves.
This is super wrong approach!
As a beginner, your first priority must be generating profits from your business otherwise you would run out of cash.
5. Outline your Business Plan
After setting a minimum budget, then you need to plan your business model. For this, you need to ask these questions to yourself-
- What is the profit revenue model for this business?
- Who will work as a team member in my company?
- What particular problem am I solving?
- What are your business future goals?
Once you answer to these questions, now you can initiate your business.
Most importantly, you have to keep tracking your progress and goals in order to achieve the maximum results.
6. Design your Clothes like a Pro
You can also skip this step if you do not like to manufacture the clothes by yourself. However, if you are a designer by heart, you can design your clothes by yourself.
Keep your notebook always with yourself— Because you never know when your creativity will strike.
Quality over Quantity— make sure that clothing is a super-competitive niche. So, to compete and survive in this business, you need to stand out from he crowd.
So, don’t compromise with the quality of the clothes, try to design your clothes in such a way so that people would fall in love at first sight.
Remember, these points to obtain good customer satisfaction.
7. Partner with a Manufacturer or Tie-up with Vendors
Finding a good manufacturer is difficult. But thanks to this era, because now you can easily find everything on the internet. There are already some manufacturers online who sell clothes and apparels at a good wholesale rate.
If you belong to US, there is an online platform called Handshake, where you can buy good quality clothes at good rate.
You can also search some local cloth manufacturers on Google.
8. Set-up a Website or Choose an established Marketplace.
Next step is to set-up your online store.
Now, there are two ways to set-up your store— either you create your own website or sell on a marketplace like Amazon.
Both ways has some advantages & disadvantages.
Creating your Own Website
Now, what is Shopify and WordPress?
These are the CMS platforms where anyone can start their online store under there brand names. You don’t need to learn coding to create a website, these platforms will work for you.
Shopify is specifically known for starting e-commerce stores or drop-shipping. WooCommerce WordPress is also CMS platform which is used to create e-commerce websites.
If you use these platforms then you must know some technicalities. But for the longer run having your own website could be profitable.
You just need a hosting for WordPress which you can buy as low as $1.39/month from Hostinger.
Alternatively, for Shopify you need to pay only $29/month and your online store will start to run. It also gives a 14-day free trial after then you have to pay.
So, starting your own website is a good choice.
Recommended Read: Hostinger Review India In 2021: Secret Of Getting 10X Speed!
Selling on Marketplaces like Amazon or eBay.
These platforms would also support you for selling your own products. You can also run ads there so that it will rank higher in the search results.
It is totally up to you whether you want to create your own website or want to sell on these platforms. If you have enough time to manage both, you can also sell clothes on both of these platforms.
If you wish you can register from here on Amazon.
9. Build your Brand
Once you have finalise everything, it’s time to think about your brand. Your brand must have a consistent colour, logo, font, design, etc.
But designing everything seems intimidating at first. If you don’t want to hire a professional designer, you can also use some online tools to make it work for you.
There are some Shopify tools for branding any online business—
10. Marketing for your Online Clothing Business
The most important thing about any business is— Marketing! Yes, because all your effort go waste without marketing.
How will you tell people that your business exists?
Your business success rate also depends on how you market it. If you want to start an online business, the marketing is must.
Let’s imagine, you own an offline store which is located somewhere, so, people in that locality will definitely come even if you don’t do any marketing.
But if you are online, then you have to show that your online business exists on the internet. I would recommend you to choose digital marketing for this.
Now, again, digital marketing is a broader field, you can’t do everything by yourself.
In this case, either you can hire a marketing agency or market by yourself.
For clothing business, you can choose social media marketing. Because some social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest you can directly target your right customer to sell clothes online.
There are some features on Facebook which you can use to target your customer on basis of their age, demographics, geographic locations, behaviours, etc.
This strategy will definitely generate some results.
And in this way, you can leverage social media for getting better results than traditional marketing.
11. Expected Cost to Start an Online Clothing Business
The expected cost to start an online business depends on the number products you buy or manufacture. Moreover, it also depends on the number of team members you hire.
Apart from that, you would need a hosting for your website which would cost you not more than $30/month.
It means that you can start your online business with minimum $80/month (depends on the quality of clothes) if you buy at least 20 clothes on a wholesale price.
For selling on Amazon you have to pay $0.99 per item sold. Additionally, Amazon also takes 2% commission on every sale you make.
Rest is all depends on your marketing budget and buying/manufacturing the products.
12. Expected Challenges of Online Clothing Business
While starting an online clothing business seems fun, there are also some challenges faced by beginner entrepreneurs.
Before starting an online clothing store, you must also consider looking for these challenges—
1. Finding the right product to sell
This is the most common problem you find when starting an online clothing business. Although, you should look out for the best quality product in order to grow your online business.
Because most of the times, some e-commerce store show something and deliver something else. But if you want to build a trust in your audiences’ mind, you must overwhelm or exceed their expectataions.
2. Capturing Quality Leads
It happens due to lack of trust, lack of knowledge, or lack of interest.
You must capture only those leads who are ready to purchase.
3. Customer Retention
This is the most significant part of any online business to grow and scale in the longer run.
Customers who buy frequently will decide you customer retention.
Your customer will buy more from you, if they like your product in their first purchase. So, I would highly recommend to exceed their expectations if you want to grow.
4. Choosing the Right Team
Sometimes, it’s neither the fault of your product nor your business. The fault could be in your team.
For instance, if you got an order and if your team deliver it very late, that customer would never buy from again.
So, choosing a good team also plays a big role in the success of any business.
These are some challenges you may face while starting an online clothing business. If you make a proper system and processes for these situations, then you may overcome such troubles and you can also grow at a better rate.
13. How to Register your Online Clothing Business?
Now, the final step is to register your online clothing business. To register your online business in US, you need to get an LLC.
You can follow the below steps to register—
- Register your entity name
- Now, Register your “Doing Business As” (DBA) name
- Then, Register your business as a legal entity
- Register your business with the IRS and state tax authorities.
- Register for the appropriate licenses and permits
Learn about registration in detail from here.
Some Successful Online Clothing Stores You Can Inspire From
Now, it’s time for some motivation. I know in the starting it seems impossible to start and grow your online business like big brands.
But there are some examples of successful online clothing stores from which you can take inspirations and grow like them.
So, here are few examples—
This Australian Fashion company has been established in 2007 and now it has become one of the popular online stores in Australia.
Founded by two sisters Natalia Suesskow and Daniella Dionyssiou, has set an example for new entrepreneurs.
This e-commerce brand is established in 2010 by Michael Preysman and Jesse Farmer. Its headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company was started with a big vision, to meet the fashion goals of common people.
Now, by this time you might got some ideas on how to start an online clothing business. Remember, that even if you make your business plan full-proof, you still face challenges to run your company.
But don’t disheartened because if you have decided something then you have to achieve it. No matter what comes in front of you, you will become successful if your will power is strong.
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