Your passion is clothes, and you’re keen to earn an income from doing what you love. Well done! Entrepreneurs agree when you do what you love it’s not a job but a fulfilling and rewarding vocation. Therefore how do you get your clothing line visible to your desired audience?
Technology may not be your thing, but don’t let it hold you back from achieving your goal of selling your clothes online. Getting your clothing business up and running could be challenging without the proper guidance, however, so let’s go through the steps that can make on how to start a clothing business online including:
- what are you selling?
- Business plan
- Online assets
Find Your Preferred Clothing Niche
What do you plan to sell? Your own clothing line or products you’ve sourced from other suppliers?
To avoid low interest in your own clothing line, extend it to include clothes your target market wants. There’s a massive chance that many customers may dislike your fashion choices, and it might not be worth the risk of going all-in with just your own brand.
So, how do you find the right clothing niche to attract more customers to your store? Well, it’s simple: market research.
Several free or paid resources could prove helpful towards identifying a market that best suits you. You can rely on other sources for your market research or get the market information yourself. But if you’re on a slim budget, it makes no sense to buy costly secondary data – conduct the research yourself.
Search for specific items using Google Trends to know what is gaining more popularity across markets. Plus, use Facebook Analytics to understand potential customer interests, likes, behaviors, or current target market.
While you may have already worked out, you need to create a new niche to avoid direct having direct competitors inevitably. You’ll be sharing the same target market; therefore, you’ll need to study competitors. Conduct competitor analysis by visiting their store, visiting their online assets, and analyzing customer reviews.
With this intel, you can create solutions that attract customers to your store and avoid making the same errors they’re making. You won’t get it right immediately, and your business will have teething problems, so make sure you set up a robust customer service process to accept and manage feedback and complaints.
Market research never ends as you will always need to know what your customers want and how you can meet their needs. What’s popular today may not have a market tomorrow. If change scares you – work on how you can overcome your fear of it. Change is exciting as it presents new challenges and rewards when you deliver what your customers want time and time again.
Map Out Your Business Model
Opening a clothing store without mapping out your business model is risky. Some business successes from entrepreneurs winging it with detailed business plans. However, it’s your investment money, and you’ll want to use it wisely and ensure it’s going on the right infrastructure, partnerships and marketing. A detailed business model doesn’t need to be a novel; however, it should show vital information about:
- Your market i.e. products, competitors, brand identity, assets
- Financial forecasting including investment, sales revenue, expenses etc
- Marketing and sales plan
There are a lot articles on setting up clothing stores online so put in relevant keywords and read as much as you can. Knowledge is power!
Source Your Products
You don’t have to know much about how clothes you sell are made to succeed as a clothing store owner. However, it pays to be discerning about the manufacturing process to avoid red flags like poor labor conditions in factories.
Avoid obvious dropshipping mistakes to secure competetent and reliable suppliers.
Create an Online Store (and Your Brand)
You can rely on any eCommerce platform to get your own online store. When working with a small budget, it’s wiser to rely on online builders to get your store running.
Many platforms make it easy to build your eCommerce store, brand image and marketing.
Attract Traffic to Your Clothing Store
Your clothing store is online; however, you can mix up your marketing to include digital and offline. Banners and billboards are used all the time to promote online stores and print and TV advertising. Taking your marketing online should consist of Search and PPC, plus influencer marketing is one of the most practical ways to attract customers to any online business. For example, you can secure the services of a micro-influencer to drive your clothing store’s popularity on social media.
Also, you can use other forms of digital marketing to put your products in front of more eyes than ever before.
Email marketing to reach out to existing customers is low cost and high reward and guest blogging and posting on social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Your audience may be on another social media site like TikTok, so you’ll need to know which social networks your online clothing store needs an active presence on.
The fashion industry is ever-evolving and your clothing store may require more than a few frequent tweaks to succeed. Check for any trends tied to the clothes you’re offering and jump in on trends proven to attract more profit.
Also, it makes sense to venture into a new market with a track-record of attracting a better ROI.
You’re sure to have much to learn while learning how to start a clothing business. What matters is that you set achievable goals and avoid taking unnecessary or risky steps at expansion.
Work on your distribution, funding, and market appeal; and it will be easy to start a profitable clothing business hassle-free!