Do you want to start selling clothing online? Are you wondering how to get started?
It is estimated that the average ROI from an online store, ranges from 15% to 30%. In a brick-and-mortar store, the average ROI hovers around 8%.
The online clothing industry enjoys a collective revenue of about ninety billion dollars a year. The projections from industry analysts indicate this number is going to go up. By next year, the market will increase in value to $138 billion and hit $283 billion by the year 2022.
Magento has made its mark as a flexible, secure and optimized platform. It has all the provisions that make launching your dream store simpler. Popular clothing stores run on Magento include:
- Helly Hansen
- Björn Borg
- Christian Louboutin
Your store can join these companies to get the full advantages of Magento, which make the steps we are about to explore, a breeze.
Steps to Start an Online Fashion Supply Store
Let’s find out how to start an online fashion brand.
Step #1: Find Your Niche
What is a niche? In clothing store terms, it refers to a segment of a market where demand for a product exists, but no one (or only a few people) are supplying what’s needed.
The nature of your niche directly impacts your projected earnings, logistics demands, pricing, marketing decisions, and most processes you will have to undertake while doing business online.
Here are some pointers to help you locate a niche:
- Strategize on how to be viewed as a unique brand. Without distinguishing your store from others, you might get drowned out by all the noise and competitors.
- Choose your products/services. Knowing what you offer, gives you a look into how much you pay to acquire the product or to make it, how much you can sell it for to turn a profit, what kind of competition do you have and how can you outdo them.
- Understand the demand, the general profile of your perfect shopper and existing competition, to know which avenues remain unexploited.
Picking out a niche ensure that your business has the room to spread its wings and flourish.
To distinguish themselves, some merchants choose one product (like bowties) while others choose several related products, if they feel like diversity works.
Understand the space you are trying to fit into, before you squeeze in, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Step #2: Select Online Clothing Store Products
When you complete niche research, product selection becomes much easier, since you know where the market is, what customers will pay, what the competition (if any) looks like, among other pieces of information that inform most of your decisions.
The process involves answering these questions;
- Can you make a return on your investment?
- Are you passionate, interested or knowledgeable about your product?
- Will you be targeting the mass market or niche shoppers?
- What do trends and forecasts say about the future of your product?
- How often will your customers return for repeat purchases of the product?
Consider custom Magento development services to showcase your products optimally.
Step #3: Dive Deeper in the Target Audience and Their Pains
Is your audience a mystery or do you know it well? What do they complain about when it comes to existing competitors? How are you different or better than what they already have?
Pain points refer to the kind of troubles shoppers run into when locating, paying for, waiting for, receiving and using the product.
As you enter the market, your success hinges on impressing your customer base. They need to know that:
- Your store website is easily navigable
- They can check out quickly and without security fears
- You have payment options to accommodate all
- Your shipping fees and times are clearly stated in checkout
- The product arrives unharmed
- They can call you afterwards to ask questions or complain
Leverage the opportunities provided by social media and customer service, to market to customers, respond to complaints, listen to new ideas, find out what they don’t like and which things you could do differently for better sales.
Step #4: Choose a Cutting-Edge Platform for Your Store
In eCommerce, presentation is everything. You will need to create a website that functions seamlessly, loads quickly and makes it a joy to shop in your store.
Usually, developers choose platforms to achieve or access the following:
- Reliable hosting and the freedom to create a unique store;
- Convenient addons, plugins and themes;
- SEO and mobile-friendliness;
- Management systems for products, order, returns;
- Multi-channel integrations;
- The scalability of the platform;
- Advanced security from cybercriminals.
Picking out a platform is easy, depending on what you want. There are three top choices you could go with: Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce.
It is no secret that we are big fans of Magento. It has incredibly advanced security, runs on Amazon Web Services infrastructure, merchants can tweak the code and build a store that works for them, and multiple big clothing brands use it.
With the right eCommerce website design services, you can take full advantage of the platform’s many freedoms to create the store you want.
Step #5: Care About Appealing and Selling Website design
We mentioned that you need to be unique and stand out from the crowd. For that reason, your brand needs cohesion in colours, graphic design, messaging in marketing, and other identifying markers.
Branding hinges on being tactful about several things. Here are some pro-tips to keep in mind:
- Do not swamp people with too many ads or offers or promotions. Use them strategically.
- Ensure that your messaging, colour schemes, logos and other unique identifiable factors are consistent across all media.
- Build your online presence, as it provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the unique brand you are promoting in a variety of ways.
- Attach only good content (marketing or otherwise) to your brand. If people associate you with authoritative information or good video ads, it works out in your favour.
- Weave positive elements into the brand, including supportive customer service, polite banter on social media groups and pages, among other pleasant encounters, services and interactions. People end up associating all the good things to your brand, encouraging sales.
If they can remember you, then you have done your job.
Step #6: Review and Rating
When building your unique brand, it is always crucial to know that instilling trust in customers is crucial.
Your shoppers (especially those who have never been in your website) are usually happy to know that other people like what you are selling and had a great shopping and fulfilment journey.
That is why you need to integrate provisions for leaving reviews (including text, pictures and other pertinent information) to help new customers make up their minds about what you display.
The reviews are a form of social proof, which is a phenomenon where people tend to follow the masses. So, if they see numerous reviews recommending something, they are less likely to question it or doubt your marketing claims.
Step #7: Launching Online Clothing Stores
After spending years building and launching websites for clients, we have picked out the following tips to act as a checklist, so you can keep your finger on the pulse and have a flawless launch.
Tip 1. Assemble all your assets
Gather every asset, including brand assets that showcase your colour, fonts, and style. Everything that is going to be needed before you launch, has to be located and made ready.
Tip 2. Pick a platform
We prefer Magento, since is it the best scalable solution for new merchants with a vision. Check out hosting, reliability, plugins, addons, and other relevant information, to pick a suitable place to land.
Tip 3. Add Products
Always use clear images, inspired and optimized descriptions, proper product names, information about size and material, and any other piece of information that helps your customers identify the product.
Tip 4. Setup the technical side
The technical side involves things like payment, shipment & fulfilment plans, time & cost, and legal fulfilments (terms and conditions). Anything else that needs to be integrated or added can be put in place during this stage.
NOTE: Run tests to see that everything works. Have your checklist to tick off each feature and function as you test them.
Tip 5. Setup automated emails and other marketing processes
A proper launch is not complete without getting the word out in the most creative ways you can come up with. Functions like ‘thank you’ emails, receipts and shipping need to be working. Include settings for:
- Abandoned cart emails for those who did not complete a purchase
- Cross-sell emails for products related to purchases made
- Emails with offers, discounts, and coupons to incentivize customers
- Survey emails for feedback
Leverage automated tools to manage your repeated or scheduled tasks, to free up time for other important issues.
Step #8: Social Media and Search Ads
Social media is a tool for the merchant who wants to access the potential shoppers awaiting to be wooed.
Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter are all places where you can showcase your unique designs, products, style, marketing content, and offers.
Search ads allow you to show the ads for your products, to interested people. Not only will this drive shoppers to your site, it could lead to conversion and better sales.
Starting an online store in 2022 is all about leveraging every tool at your disposal, including the best platform, excellent development services, and comprehensive checklists.
- It is crucial to know your audience before you start selling anything. Knowing your niche is your greatest strength.
- Devote time to research the perfect product to offer your niche. Understand its value and potential ROI to have a clear picture of how profitable you can become.
- Social proof is important, which is why ratings and reviews are necessary.
- Dedicate enough time to pull off a proper launch.
- You can build the memorability of your brand using social media posts and other free marketing methods.
Would you like to find out more about the developmental services that can take your dream and craft it into a website? Talk to us and we will gladly answer your questions and advice on the best course of action.
About the Author!
Vyacheslav Konyshev. Writer at WebMeridian