We all want to start, but most of the time there’s so much information out there that we cannot even concentrate, it is overwhelming just to think of starting. For that reason, we are going to share today a quick guide on how to start a clothing e-commerce business.
We will resume it in 6 simple steps, first, you will create a plan, decide what to sell, you will get a domain name, build your online store, keep a close eye on your cost, and then we will give you a guide to market your business.
It is simple, but it also takes time and dedication. Before we begin we want to clarify some things. Just a guide will not do the work, you need to be committed to grow and to do it with patience!
Going forward, always keep in mind that, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” it takes time and for sure if you believe in your idea and invest time in it, sooner than later you will see the results.
Okay, enough of the motivational/expectation speech! As we mentioned we are going to take you on a few steps on how to start a clothing e-commerce business.
Before starting your clothing e-commerce business, Create a plan!
The first thing is to create a plan, but what is a business plan? When starting your clothing e-commerce first make a plan. “A business plan is a document describing a business, its products or services, how it earns (or will earn) money, its leadership, and staffing, it’s financing, its operations model, and many other details essential to its success”.
When you create and prepare your business plan you will also be creating a roadmap for you to follow. It will allow you to keep sight of your goals and how to accomplish them.
When creating your business plan you will need to answer some important questions, such as:
- What is your brand?
- What is your goal?
- How will you sell?
- Who are your customers?
- Where is the competition?
When you start writing down your plan you will clarify your ideas and this will help you understand what you really want for your clothing e-commerce business. You will need to do research to start understanding your audience and competitors.
When writing your plan make sure you. keep it short and to the point. “No matter who you’re writing for, your business plan should be short and readable generally, no longer than 15 to 20 pages. “
Now, the second step: Decide what to sell!
When creating your business plan you will come up with the ideas of what you want to sell. But let’s be more specific. We want you to find the niche you want to work in. Remember the more you know about your customer the easier will be to sell to them. Find a way to stand out from the rest. Think about the future, what do you think people will be looking for in a brand? Do a little research to make your brand stand out.
To find a niche you make sure you pick something you are interested in, something you feel driven for. In other words, don’t settle for the things you think are profitable in the market, also think about how you feel about the environment you are about to invest time and money in.
The more you love the niche you are working in the easier it will be to continue working steadily without getting overwhelmed by the job. An advantage of choosing a niche you are very interested in is that it can also allow you to find gaps in that specific market. This can give you a great advantage over competence.
When creating a clothing e-commerce business you need to Get A Domain Name
You have a plan and a niche, choose now the name of your domain, it should be something easy for people to remember and to connect with. This part of the process is one of the most important ones.
The name of your business will work as a placeholder in the mind of your customers. Your domain name also needs to be similar or the same as the name of your brand. So basically we will give you a guide on choosing your clothing e-commerce business name and the domain name.
When choosing the name of your brand, always make it easy for your customers. Avoid hard spelling names if you want to avoid confusion. Don’t choose a name that in the future can limit your business. You don’t want to limit your business to a particular product or a specific city. And make sure you do a little research when choosing your startup name.
Now let’s talk about the domain. There might be two ways for you to choose a domain name and for that, you will need to think about what you want your name to represent.
- Are you going to choose to brand?
- Or Discoverability?
Do you want to position the name of your brand or do you want to target a keyword? What you need to consider when making this decision is the following:
- Do you want to rely on organic traffic? If this is the case using a keyword will be the best way to approach when choosing the name of the domain.
- Do you want to rely on pay per click advertisement, social media marketing? Then using a keyword is not a priority. You can use the marketing investment to promote the name of your brand.
However, at the end of the day, the name you choose for your domain needs to work with your brand and align with your clothing e-commerce goals!
You need a place to sell, it’s time to Build An Online Store
Create a people-friendly store, easy to navigate at any age, you should be accessible to your customers. When creating your online store always think of the feeling of navigating on it, make it look good, great!
Do a little research, go to the clothing pages you usually purchase in. What do you like about them, what do you think you need to change and upgrade based on your experiences as a customer.
Those are answers you need to tackle when creating your online store. When creating your store you need to pick the right template. “Your template determines the look and feel of your online store, so making the right decision is important. Of course, you can customize your template after having chosen it, but your choice does form the basis of your store’s design.”
When creating your online store you also can choose between different types of business.
- Print-on-demand: Print on demand is a process where you work with a supplier to customize white-label products with your own designs to sell them on a per-order basis under your own brand. That means you don’t pay for the product until after you’ve actually sold it, so there’s no need to buy in bulk or hold any inventory yourself.
- Custom cut-and-sew: This type of online clothing store business model is for those of you who want to build your own clothing line from scratch. Meaning, you do everything from designing your clothing to manufacturing and fulfillment – yourself.
- Private label: Private label business models are essentially the middle point between print-on-demand and cut-and-sew. They provide more customization than the former but less ‘work’ and needed budget than the latter. This kind of model is when you buy blank or label-less clothing items and then add your custom design, label, or tag before selling them in your store.
- Dropshipping: This type of clothing store allows you to sell clothing that is fulfilled from wholesalers. This is a cost-effective route, as you don’t have to deal with buying stock upfront, storing, packing, or shipping.
Keep your startup costs low
Start slow! Make your idea simple to develop and to grow it. Make sure you cover all the questions you can when starting, how are you going to send the product, do you have enough stock? Be clear with the goal at the beginning because it will make things easier and save you money!
The business plan you did at the beginning will help you be clear with the goals you are looking to accomplish. You don’t need too much to start, you need to do it. and until you’re dealing with a high level of stock, it’s a good idea to avoid renting space and just manufacture from home. This allows you to be more flexible with working times and keep your day job until you really take off.
Make sure you keep track of your finances. This will give you the information you need to adjust every month, what you need to be prepared for the next ones, and more.
Data is always key when starting a new business, don’t forget about this!
Market your brand!
Since you are going to be online you need to make people get to know you and your product, put it out there. Use Social media, advertising, and do it right! Don’t be shy, this is your dream, and if you believe in it, you can make other people believe in it too!
For a new store without a brand name, established SEO, or email database list, you will want to concentrate on Google and social ads – particularly Facebook and Instagram – to get potential shoppers to your new store.
Remember only opening your own online store will not guarantee sales. You need to tell people you exist.
Use social media marketing, advertisement, email marketing to keep your customer updated, create blogs to share experiences with your audience.
In conclusion, this guide on how to start a clothing e-commerce business is intended to give you clarity. The process of launching your business is long but it can also be fun, focus on your goals and for sure you will reach them.