“Clothes are like
a good meal, a good movie, great pieces of music.”
– Michael Kors
We all like to dress well. The way we dress tells a lot about our personality. Then we have people among us who like to dress other people, that is- to bring the most beautiful, stylish and trendy dress to people’s doors. Those are the people who start online clothing businesses.
Starting is always intimidating, but the intensity of a new journey is all that matters. If you are passionate about how to start an online clothing store with trendy clothes but don’t understand where to start, you have landed in the right place.
I always appreciate people who have a business establishment mindset; not everyone has it. So, having your interest here is a big deal.
Now you need information and guidelines. In this article, you will have an overall idea of how you can get started, what steps you can follow, and what you need to do. Let’s begin.
What is an Online Clothing Store?
An online clothing store is a website that is dedicated to sell clothes and serve clients online. On online stores, clothing check, order placement, payment delivery, all the processes are virtual.
Is Online Clothing Store Profitable?
Yes, online apparel businesses are sure profitable. In the USA, 59% of the online shoppers bought clothing items. The demand for getting products delivered to home is escalating as the days pass by.
Online clothing stores are popular, especially websites that have trendy clothing. If you can offer dresses of good quality at an affordable price, it won’t be hard anymore to reach more clients of local and international grounds.
The stores that are listed as the best online clothing stores at present- they did not do it in a day. Countless days and nights of effort, unlimited dedication, and work, were among their many sacrifices to ensure the best product for client services. So, now this is a lot easier for businesses to connect with many clients and to become profitable.
Selling Clothes Online vs. Offline Business – Which One is Effective?
As an entrepreneur, your business needs your attention the most to boom. Whether you call it a store, or a business, or your own world- it is still your brand and going to represent you to your clients. So the effort you put behind it – is going to be valued as the output our clients receive from your store.
If you are like some people who have slight confusion- online or offline, which clothing store is better. Take a look at this to clear your head out.
|Competition||These type of business is being more competitive||Offline businesses are still required though the competition is not that much.|
|Availability||Such businesses remains open 24×7||These businesses remain open for a limited time|
|Establishment time||Don’t take much of a time or resource||Matter of a handsome amount of time, cost and other resources.|
|Operational cost||Has a minimal operational cost||The operational cost is relatively huge.|
|Maintenance||Can be maintained anywhere in the world||Maintenance need to be done from a specific place|
|Promotion and marketing||Promotional activities are lot easier in a broad ranges of areas||It takes time, money and legal authorization and the areas are limited.|
|Client interaction||It is possible to reach global clients.||Interaction with global clients is limited.|
Why Should You Start an Online/ Virtual Clothing Stores?
Let me tell you a story. I was not interested in virtual shopping a couple of years ago. People close to me always told me how convenient it was to order; they tried to persuade me how easily this could be done with just a click, but I pay less heed to that for many reasons, such as-
- Product quality
- Payment system
- Delivery and things like these
Moreover, online shopping procedures once seemed complicated to me. Then again, going shopping for every single product was not easy at all. Therefore, I thought of giving online shopping a thought.
With that thought, my first online shopping experience began with ordering a t-shirt. I checked an online clothing store, created an id, and ordered one. When I got the product in my hand, believe me, I was no less excited; instead, I felt a whole new world opened before me.
This saved me from wasting time and the cost of going out shopping, roaming from stores to stores and being frustrated on which one to choose. This is how I was converted to become an online shopper then.
Now that I think of it, being an online shopper has made me so privileged that I tend to order almost everything online. Those are-
- I got my cost and time saved. I searched some shops on my phone and found one I was looking for.
- There are precise product details online.
- I don’t feel pressured at all and the process isn’t risky at all.
- Products are available.
- My efforts and labor are properly utilized.
And now I tell people around me to shop online as it is much more comfortable for me.
These are from a shopper’s point of view. As you are going to establish your online store, I recommend you to take these into consideration. If your store is going to provide them with comfort, benefit, and the best product, you are sure to attract them more.
Before proceeding further, let me ask you first, what appeals to you the most about the online business of clothing? Is it the different types of designs people are interested in or the idea of owning a business- which one drives you? Or something else?
You can establish an online store for clothing for a number of reasons. If your reasons are strong enough to drive you start a clothing store online, you can do it-
- within low cost
- having limited risk
- get in touch with a large audience
- get access to a broad area
Hope you have made up your mind to stick to the process of being established in your own way. Without further delay, let’s get to know the steps you need to follow to start your online clothing business.
How to Open an Online Clothing Store?
Opening a store- that is, being an owner is bliss for many new entrepreneurs. They put their enthusiasm, vigor, dedication, and everything into the business to thrive.
The problem is -as time passes, that positivity also diminishes. I found these issues among some people. They struggle to keep track of their target. Therefore, I recommend you to have a blueprint of the plan even before the start.
- Think of your driving factors, how strong are those to motivate you.
- Think of your resources, do you have a backup plan if you have faced any scarcity of resources.
- Think of your skills, are those compatible to start your online store; don’t be disheartened if they aren’t. You can always hire someone.
As a rising entrepreneur, you can avoid being like them by following some steps. These are not obligatory; you can add or extract your own ways by keeping these as your basic guideline.
Take a look at the steps to start an online clothing store of your own.
Step-1: Choose Your Online Clothing Store Niche
Working with different clothing photographers of the world, I came across some clothing designers. Meeting with them was something I always take pride in; do you ask why? Because I learned something new. Successful business owners set their target keeping their passion in focus.
I am not suggesting you go for what you think you should do, rather what attracts you. For example, a lot of male entrepreneurs are comfortable working with female clothing; the same goes for female entrepreneurs. The clothing business has a lot of options to choose from. So, don’t limit yourself- rather, pursue the dream that interests you most.
Step-2: Identify Your Target Audience
Let’s say- you are interested in setting up a bridal gown store. Therefore, who will be your targeted customers? Yes, the prospective brides and their families!!
Analyzing demographic audiences is a vital part of any business. Their age, preference, lifestyle, earning- all these are relevant to your work. So, do your researching part well. So that when you are done, you will find the information that will help you harmonize well with your customer’s needs and demands.
Step-3: Develop a Business Plan
There is a saying, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish’. Action without a plan won’t lead you anywhere. So plan beforehand. With these following questions listed below, you will find a way how can you plan, take a peek at these-
- Where can I get started?
- How much money do I need?
- What are the pieces of equipment I need to set up?
- Can I do it alone, or do I need an employee or partner?
- What did my competitors do while setting out?
- How can I promote my store?
- What marketing and selling strategy can I follow?
- How can I reach my targeted customers?
- Do I have plan B or plan C if plan A doesn’t work well?
My point is, without planning, you will be kept in the dark when a particular situation arises, and you will find it difficult to handle it. Therefore, you must have a proper vision of the road you are going to walk, no matter how thorny the road might get in the future. That’s why having a proper plan is important.
By answering the questions above, you will be able to form a basic plan. Then give it a deep thought; hopefully, you will have a proper plan on your own.
Step-4: Find Your Domain Name
The importance of a domain name for an online business is immeasurable. If you want to bring credibility to your online existence- have a domain name.
Choosing the right name for your online business is a must. The name should be easy for anyone to remember yet unique and relatable enough to demonstrate your business.
I suggest you not be impulsive with names; take your time to think of significant names. When any ideas pop up in your mind, take a couple of days to comprehend how much meaning this particular name will carry. If this part worries you that much, that means you are close to finding the best name for your business.
Step-5: Select Your Ecommerce Platform
It is well-accepted that the success of a business begins with finding the best eCommerce platform. An eCommerce platform allows businessmen to perform all commercial activities, manage websites, conduct marketing and selling operations over the internet. So, you can understand the grave importance of finding the suitable one.
There are plenty of platforms available in the market, for example- Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, Weebly, Volusion, etc. The best one according to your preferences will depend on a number of factors like- your targeted customers, their age, their earnings, etc. Hence, I would suggest you check the features through the free trial (if it is available), decide the one that suits your needs.
Step-6: Customize Your Ecommerce Store
Here comes the customization part. You have your chosen template from the designated eCommerce platform and your domain name listed. So, it’s time for you to organize your store, that is- customize it the way you intend to.
The purpose of customizing is to personalize your way of working and creating liaison with your potential clients. This part is easy to use. How can you customize it? You can-
- Shift your sections
- Change color
- add new pages
- create a blog section
- Include social media and so on.
Also, make sure to follow these as well-
- Be specific with your “About Us/ Contact Us” page
- Optimize SEO-friendly activities to store more traffic
- Provide easier payment gateways and delivery system
Make sure to check the phone and pc version after any adjustments you make. Thus, you will find complications which may not be apparent while customizing but visible after changes. These may impede navigating your clients. Checking beforehand will help you comprehend and act with that.
Step-7: List Your Clothing Products
When your customization is done, now it’s time to list your clothes. You have checked online shopping websites. You are already aware of how they display such products.
The general aspect for showing clothing is to hire a model who will pose for the dresses. If not, use a mannequin. Ghost mannequin effect is another popular style for clothing online; try this out as well.
Put supreme quality images well-written descriptions of your product on the website. These are the most important for your viewers. Online shopping does not serve them by checking products by touching. For getting quality professional-looking images, you can outsource photo editing services.
Step-8: Choose a Price Point for Your Items
After listing your product, choose your price point for them. Pricing too low will raise doubt about the quality of the product. Conversely, pricing too high will scare the customers. While pricing them, take your cost, competition and market, your desired profit margin, and other factors into consideration.
Step-9: Launch a Marketing Campaign
Your online store is ready to go. Now invite your potential clients. Let them know what your store is about and what you are offering. To do that, launch campaigns on online platforms. And social media is the most appropriate platform for this.
Make sure to be active in your online presence activity. You can try to optimize SEO for your site, google ads, social media advertisements, and so on. I will recommend you to hire experts for efficient promotion if you are not sure how to do it.
Step-10: Start Selling Clothes Online
You have properly utilized different online platforms and introduced your shop to people. So, your store is ready to serve. Now, wait for your customers to reach you out and prepare to deliver the cloth to their destinations.
Best Practices for Selling Clothes Online
Best practices are followed in all businesses for a number of good reasons, and those are best for sure. These practices will vary depending on the type of business; however, some basics are appropriate for both online and offline businesses. Such as-
- Have concrete plan
They say, “Well planned is half done.” So have a proper plan from the get go how you want to keep going on, what should be your marketing strategy, executive and selling policy, etc.
- Customize your store simple
The simpler, the better- goes without saying. If you find a place very entangled to reach- how persistent would you be to reach there? Your target should be to attract potential clients to your store, not to drive them away, so have it simple.
- Have an easy navigation
Make sure your clients find the navigation easy. Your clients can be swift in surfing; then again, there can be those who are not much adept at online shopping- keeping both sides in mind, have this function as easy as possible.
- Use high-quality image and description
I saw some sites, opened a store with a couple of images here and there -and that’s all! I don’t think doing these will do any actual help. If you are being serious here, do post high-quality images of your current products, which are your clothes along with some formal description.
- Include your social media presence
By this time, if you have social media accounts, don’t forget to add those with your site; this will help anyone to reach you and make your existence believable. If you don’t have an account, I recommend you open one.
- Set your objective
I believe having a target-oriented mindset should be another practice. Many people try establishing one on a whim or without any certain goal and later end up blaming their luck!
When you have a transparent goal in your mind, you will be able to go for the road you will take accordingly, and with utmost dedication, you will reach your target.
- Pay attention to your customers
In physical stores, you encounter a lot of customers at a time and interact with them- but online, once at a time. Try paying heed to all of them, don’t let them feel ignored. For online stores, there is no alternative to communication.
- Be responsive, engaging, and updated
Make sure you are updating your site every once in a while and promoting offers and other facilities for ordering, intending to engage your clients. When you do so, it helps you reach your customers and market your product more effectively.
Successful Online Clothing Stores to Follow
Take a look at some of the online clothing stores of different platforms-
Example of Shopify stores:
Millk is an online kidswear store. Fusing a bohemian vibe with soft and versatility in design and fabrics, the store designs clothing for babies. The site is very simple yet elegantly decorated with different items, which gives users a soothing feeling to roam in different pages.
BAN.DO is a lifestyle brand of jumpsuits, activewear, tees, and more. The website has a vibrant feel with different colors and is easy to navigate among pages.
Example of Bigcommerce stores:
A site for sportswear. With the outlook, it pretty much gives a casual vibe for users. The site is easy to navigate and is being updated regularly with new products, offers, special deals, which will catch the eye of viewers easily.
Revelry is an online store for bridesmaid dresses that is customized, trendy and affordable. Their site is being operated by BigCommerce. This has made it easy for them to connect with their clients as this site is implementing cutting-edge features.
Example of Weebly stores:
Raquel Orozco is another online fashion brand with a physical location in Mexico. This professional-looking site has blended elegance and trend and shows how dominating an e-commerce platform can be!
Starting an online clothing store FAQs
Q: How much does it cost to start an online clothing store?
The cost of starting an online clothing business of clothing is variable, just like any regular business. Though there are a lot of things that a physical existence of a business requires, the online does not count; even so, the countable factors are no less important.
We approximated all those factors and summed up that around $40,000, you may start an online store for clothing.
Q: Do online clothing stores make money?
Having in-depth knowledge and passion for clothing style would definitely help you make money with your online apparel store. When 61% of online shoppers go for fashion products, you can obviously assume how profitable online clothing stores can be given that dresses are the epitome of fashion.
Q: How do I start an online clothing business from home?
Following the steps mentioned above, you can start your online store anywhere, not just at home. If you do have any queries, reach out to us. Our experts will assist you along the way.
Hope you have found our article helpful because this is meant to propel you, no matter where your road leads.
With a well-instructed guideline, being properly equipped with ideas, setting up your online store will be much more exciting.
Do not feel stressed by impending challenges – those will make you stronger. So get started to fulfill your dream! Bonne Chance!