If you find the idea of building your own online clothing store a little daunting or stressful, you really shouldn’t!
Thanks to the invention of online store builders – like Shopify, Wix and Bigcommerce, it’s now easier than ever to set up shop online – and you don’t even need to know how to code!
We’re here to take you step by step through the process of starting an online clothing store so you can be up and running in no time at all!
This steps will tell you all you need to know about getting your clothing store online.
STEP 1 “Preparing for Business”
Before setting up your online shop, you need to choose a business structure, such as a sole proprietorship or limited liability company. You also need a brand name. If you want your brand name and website name to be the same, search for available names using a service like whois.net.
You can use your name, use nickname or anything you want. Just make sure it simple, easy to write, easy to pronounce and easy to search.
STEP 2 “Sourcing Clothing”
How you source your inventory depends on your skills and your focus for your new business.
If you like designing clothing, you can make it yourself or pay someone else to make it according to your specifications.
Find clothing you like, buy it at wholesale prices, mark it up and sell it.
There are essentially two ways to do this. Buy clothing at wholesale prices and in bulk at places like Alibaba.com, store it at home, resell it to your customers and ship it to them directly. The second option is to use a website like Amazon.com and its selling online program. Customers purchase directly from Amazon, which handles the fulfillment, and you receive a commission.
Buy used vintage clothing from local thrift shops and sell it to your customers at a markup.
Buy the latest in-demand clothing at retail stores and then resell it for a profit when it is in short supply. Called “flipping,” this model comes with a high risk if you don’t guess the market correctly, but it can be extremely profitable if you do.
There’s no reason to limit yourself to only one of these models. If you make your own scarves, for example, you could buy sunglasses in bulk and sell them together. You can then use Amazon ads for additional accessories on the same page so that if a customer goes there and buys, you get a commission.
STEP 3 “Setting Up a Platform”
Few years ago, creating an online store is meant only for html guru, people who knows about coding and all of those. However, its as easy as anything these days.
Only a few years ago, your options for creating an online clothing shop were limited. Today, you can create your own website or use any of the growing number of sales platforms like eBay.com, Shopify.ca or Etsy.com. If a service offers a free trial, make a note of how much it will cost later so you can ensure your sales justify the cost.
Whichever service you decide to use, it’s a good idea to your own website domain name. Many services allow you to use your own website name, but even if your service doesn’t, registering it now ensures that nobody else can claim it. If you do decide to make your own website, you need to register for a payment system like PayPal.com so you can accept credit card information securely.
STEP 4 “Sales and Marketing”
This is the important aspect of the online clothing business. Because this is where you will inform the people around you and far away about your store.
Having an online clothing store won’t make you any money if people don’t know about it. Be prepared to spend a lot of time on social media promoting your clothing lines.
Everybody is almost on all social media platform, so you can definitely use this for your advantage. Take photos and post them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, and encourage your happy customers to do the same. When people visit your website, give them reasons to give you their email addresses so you can follow up with new products and sales. Visit your competitors’ websites for ideas and to learn about their clothing lines and how they sell them.