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Guide to Starting an Online Clothing Store

Guide to Starting an Online Clothing Store

According to Statista, online sales for apparel and accessories will reach about 194 billion dollars by the year 2023 in the United States alone, and as the industry continues to grow, more people are looking to jump at this great opportunity.

As great as starting a clothing store sounds, it is not something that will be easy. You will need to create a strategy and follow steps to increase the odds of your business succeeding. If you are looking to get a better understanding of what your plan should look like, use this article as a reference. The steps below will paint a clear picture.

Pick a Product

According to the Let’s Talk about Money article on starting a clothing line in 2020, picking a product is the first thing you should be doing. There are various kinds of clothes or shoes, so be careful with what you decide.

Ideally, you should choose something that you are interested in or have a good understanding of; however, there might be instances when the competition is too fierce, and you would be going against brands that have already established themselves as authorities in the style of clothing you want to sell. It is still possible to make money even when you are in a competitive market but looking for one that is not oversaturated would make generating sales a lot easier.

Researching your target audience is another important aspect of starting your clothing company. Do not expect to make money off of blind guesses as to whether people are going to purchase your clothes. Make sure that there is a demand before you commit to spending resources on a particular style.

Choose a Business Model

If you choose to manufacture the clothes you sell yourself, you would be in control of everything, but there are risks involved and there are additional financial and manpower requirements. One such risk is the chance that you will end up with unsold inventory that can lead to the business’ downfall.

On the other hand, going with dropshipping or print on demand eliminates a lot of problems. Either of these methods means that you are going to work as a middleman and can focus on marketing and other aspects of your business instead of manufacturing. There is also no need to invest in storage, inventory, or staff with this option. Though it may be tough to find a reliable supplier, it is still easier than managing what would ultimately be a brick-and-mortar store.

Create Clothing Options

Once your website is up and running, and you have a decided business model, you can look to creating clothing options.

It is best to start with a few products at first and slowly add more as the business scales. Include both male and female versions of clothing items, or add multiple color variations.

The bottom line is that you do not need to rush to add different products at first. When beginning, focus on getting your first sales and slowly building a steady customer base that will be the foundation for the future.

Optimize for Search Engines

Search engine optimization ought to be a cornerstone feature of your structure for building a sustainable business. SEO brings organic traffic from Google and other search engines and is valuable because people end up on your site with intent to buy. While the fight for the top spot on popular search engines can be difficult, you can still find niche keywords and take advantage of those.

It will be a while before a good SEO campaign takes effect, but its resources are well worth the result. Remember that it is not just about organic traffic. Ranking higher on Google also builds authority and raises brand awareness.

Advertise on Social Media

The most popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, have hundreds of millions of active monthly users. Brands across the world are trying to leverage the opportunity and improve their presence on social media websites in hopes of increasing their customers base.

To build your company’s following, you can look to collaborate with influencers and run contests. The latter is especially useful for achieving reach and engagement on social media.

Do not limit yourself to just the most popular platforms when developing a social media strategy. There are other platforms besides Facebook and Instagram. For instance, Pinterest is great for clothing as it is all about visuals, whereas Quora allows you to interact with people by providing them with answers to questions they have.

Continue to Scale the Business

The last, but not least piece of information for starting a clothing company is this: do not stop scaling the business. Even if things are looking stagnant, continue looking for new ways to keep things fresh and interesting.

Perhaps it would be an excellent opportunity for a joint venture with another brand, or maybe you can start writing a blog and give people another reason to visit your website. Introducing new products is also an option, particularly when your current collection is not selling that well.

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by Marissa Collins //

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.