How To Start an Online Clothing Business? The rapid advancement of technology, the internet, e-commerce, and easy-to-use online tools provide great encouragement and help for entrepreneurs who are just starting out.
Now, anyone can sell by targeting global markets from the internet through certain applications and sites.
Online clothing stores have become a billion-dollar industry and are one of the most popular eCommerce niches.
With sales transactions expected to reach USD 713 billion by 2022, with the impetus of a growing middle class and rising incomes, this is certainly a great opportunity for you to succeed in the apparel sector.
Having your own online business is a big dream for many Indonesians.
The online clothing business is one type of business that local entrepreneurs are interested in.
We all need clothes as a primary need. This is also a strong reason why the clothing business will never die.
Building an online clothing business that will survive and be successful is more than just buying a website or uploading photos on social media, we’re not saying it’s useless, but you definitely need quality and good business planning.
Therefore, to entrepreneurs who are new to building an online business, here we provide an important guide on How To Start an Online Clothing Business.
How to Start Your Own Clothing Business Online in 6 Steps
Getting Ideas and Business Models
Brainstorm. Do this alone or with your creative, business-savvy co-workers.
This will help you create a cohesive foundation from which to grow your business and launch an online clothing business that will last for a long time.
Here’s a framework of questions you can ask while brainstorming:
Target Market and Consumer
When starting this business, you want to have an idea of who will buy clothes from you. Ask yourself, who is your ideal customer?
What style or design will your brand offer? Who will the brand be suitable for? Can they afford to buy at a certain price? Are they willing to buy at this price with a specific quality of clothes?
In general, clothing trends are focused on the age of the market, there is a natural tendency to start a business from a certain age group. Do you want to target the baby market? Toddler? Teen? Professional workers? Housewife? Or seniors?
Consider researching items that are currently popular for sale in your target age group. Spend some time with the right fashion magazines and a Pinterest search can come up with lots of ideas in this area.
Identifying the age of your target customers can be a useful way to find your niche, but you can take a different approach.
Your style can represent a culture or subculture as you know it. It gives you a great variety to work with, from trendy, modern looks to older vintage styles.
Apart from age, you can also share clothing segments by gender category; women or men and also needs.
Think variations of wedding wear (wedding), party dress, kebaya, Muslim dress (hijab), swimwear, sportswear, bikini, fashion wear, daily wear, fast fashion, office wear, nightgown (pajamas), haute-couture, and cold clothes.
To illustrate how important it is to determine the market and consumers, here we provide an overview.
Imagine you are a seller of cosmetics such as powder, lipstick, and mascara but market them to the wrong demographic, say elderly men. Very inefficient, waste of energy and time.
Demographics include age, gender, race, relationship status, occupation, income, and education level. It’s good if, from the start, you have a clear idea of who your content is aimed at.
It is good before building your online clothing business to clear about the initial goal of starting. What are you pursuing in this profession? Be honest with yourself. Why is this important to you?
Questions like that are very important to make sure you can keep moving forward so that your time, energy, and capital will not be wasted later.
Maybe you have a knack for designing clothes and want to cash in on this skill. Or you really like fashion and want to get into business immediately.
Getting Feedback from Fashion Influencers
Ask your friends for input when you start pioneering. It’s common to search and learn from editorial or trending fashion articles from Google, but you can take the extra step by interviewing people (target audience) about how they tend to interact with online clothing businesses.
Would they buy from an online clothing business if they could read customer reviews first? How much money are they willing to spend on certain items according to their income level?
Do online clothing stores need a solid return policy if they have any chance of getting your friend’s business?
Field Research for Your Online Business
Find relevant data about online business practices in the clothing and fashion sector, give time to study, compare how one brand differs from another. Combine your ideas with peer feedback.
After determining the market audience, objectives, and research, the next step is branding. This is so critical for a business because of the overall impact it has on any business entity.
Branding can change how other people perceive a brand, it can also increase business transactions and brand awareness.
Big companies that are successful in their branding are Coca-cola, Nike, Adidas, Apple, and many others. What comes to your mind when you see the logo of the brand? We associate it with many different feelings and perceptions.
If you want to start a clothing business, you must have solid branding.
A simple example, if you want to target the lower middle market, it’s not right to give photos that are too fancy and flashy and set a price that is too high with the quality of clothes that are not worth it.
Never do misguided branding that makes your social media profile ‘feel’ look cold, stiff, and too luxurious like an haute-couture magazine editorial photo (unless you really target the middle and upper market, adjust branding based on demographics).
This is the process of creating and strengthening your brand’s professional services. There are three steps to building a good brand:
- Create a brand strategy that is in line with your business objectives.
- Develop all the tools and tools you need to communicate your brands such as logos, taglines, and websites.
- Strengthening a young brand or revitalizing it.
The steps to building a successful brand in the eyes of consumers are as follows:
- Define how you want your brand to be perceived by consumers.
- Think brand identity and personality. There are 5 dimensions of brand personality; sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness.
Choose the brand personality that best suits your online shop’s clothing style. As a case study, the Coca-Cola brand has a combination of brand personality from sincerity and excitement. They give off the cheerful and genuine aura of social media advertising campaigns such as the “Share a Coke” campaign. For excitement, Coca-Cola is often associated with youth and innovation.
- Organize your brand based on the promises you make.
- Consistently improve yourself.
This is a very important step. At this stage, you will determine whether you want to sell clothes by buying ready-made inventory from suppliers or building your own production team of tailors, designers, and others.
Choosing a Platform
The difference between doing business online with those who have a physical store is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to renovate the place, pay for building rent, electricity, water, and anything else related to a physical store.
You can sell from your own personal website, meaning you have to buy a domain, or you can try selling from a free marketplace.
You can even make social media like Instagram and Facebook a place for you to sell and display catalogs. Provide a contact number where you can be reached so customers can easily reach you if they want to order something.
As discussed above, there are free and paid e-commerce platforms. However, if you are concerned with technical matters, we recommend you hire a team of developers to set up an online clothing store.
This is a more convenient and secure option as professional developers will help you with payment gateways, feature integration, and quality assurance of your online boutique.
If you haven’t found the desired e-commerce solution among those described below, you can hire a team for custom fashion store development.
Reporting from dinarys.com, who is an expert in creating clothing websites, divides online stores into three types based on their complexity. Below we describe the main features and estimated costs for each type of website.
Three main aspects define a small online store: small product catalog (100-1000), small traffic, and basic design. However, such a website has everything for successful online commerce, such as a shopping cart and payment gateway.
Medium size e-commerce site
It is a more sophisticated type of e-commerce website with an average product catalog, moderate traffic (thousands of monthly visitors), advanced design and development of “pro” features, such as third-party integration, abandoned shopping cart recovery, and social media sharing.
By enterprise-wide e-commerce website, we mean an online store with a broad, high-traffic, professional product catalog, unique web design, and various third-party integrations. Such sites are also empowered with top-tier images, videos, multiple payment methods, shipping options, order tracking, refund processing, and other advanced features.
Some say that a good product will sell itself. We agree, but, even so, it will sell even more if it is integrated with a great marketing system.
Modern marketing is utilizing online networks and all their functions from SEO, Google Adsense, Affiliate Marketing, Influencer endorsements, content marketing, brand collaboration, Facebook Advertising, and many others.
After our discussion on How To Start an Online Clothing Business. Hopefully useful and good luck.