If you are keen to open an online clothing shop then you have the right decision to get this exciting niche. Ecommerce provides you with a perfect way to begin a business with minimum overhead and trading apparel online has proven to be profitable enough. Its revenue is $89 billion-a-year. According to the Statista website, apparel of any kind and accessories goods in the online retail sector is going to bring $149 billion by 2022.
Nevertheless, just pondering on the shop and beginning to run it are two opposite things. The world where you have a high-demand branch that is adored by clients is easy to imagine, but it takes a lot of time and effort to reach this point.
So, you have to hold in mind some details on how to establish and run a successful clothing shop business online. There is no silver bullet but there is a guide for success. It is wrapped in getting an apparel niche, delivering incredible customer service, and searching for the most appropriate ecommerce solution.
In this article, we will give the answers on what must be done to begin a clothing business without even a minimal wasting of budget and time.
Selling Clothes Online vs Offline
Ecommerce is a new mainstream in the clothing and retail industry itself. There are more benefits in selling clothes online than doing it offline. This is not a discovery that offline shops are getting weaker and it’s hard for them to compete with online shops nowadays. According to the data, ecommerce holds more than 28% of the market share, and the percentage is growing up from year to year.
Let’s have a look at the benefits of selling online:
- Ecommerce sites are opened 24/7 in comparison to offline stores. So online sellers get a chance to let the business work with no days off, lunch breaks, and public holidays.
- A very low entry-level is the top advantage of selling online. It may require only a couple of days to establish a storefront page. In comparison to online stores, it will take much more time and slightly more money to begin offline trading.
- The customers’ preferences, interests, and interactions can be monitored and tracked easily with modern analytic tools like Mixpanel, Amplitude, or popular Google Analytics.
- Buying online is more adorable as it allows buying and getting goods even staying at home.
Steps to Follow to Start an Online Clothing Store
Before you begin filling the goods for sale, you should make research. To move correctly from the get-go, you need a stable foundation. We share seven steps to follow which will assist you in starting a successful online clothing shop:
- Select an apparel niche,
- Define a plan for the business,
- Choose an ecommerce platform,
- Choose a hosting provider and domain name,
- Choose apparel store template and customize online store,
- Add goods and services,
- Go live and market the store.
Clothing Store Business Models
There exist four business models for online clothing shops. Among them are the following: private label clothing, dropshipping, custom cut-and-sew, and print-on-demand. We would say every type has its pros and cons. We will review each of them and this way you will be able to determine which of them will perform the best for your future online clothing store.
Dropshipping is very close to print-on-demand because it gives you the ability to sell apparel from wholesalers. This model is the best for budget-saving as there is no need to buy products beforehand, store them, pack or ship.
An essential benefit of the drop-shipping store that it doesn’t require to have any capital to launch. Nevertheless, the drop-shipping model also has cons. You cannot develop your unique brand since so many stores provide the same products as you do.
Private label clothing store
Working with this business model, first of all, you should stay focused on a certain product line and then search for a private label-clothing partner to produce your apparel. With such a type of model of business, your work and expenses are lower than cut-and-sew, but along with it, you get more customization than print-on-demand.
We can explain that the private label business model is like a process of purchasing label-less clothing things and then you add your label.
Just like any other model, this one also has cons. You get additional responsibility to deal with inventory management and fulfillment. Although, this is possible to easily optimize via ecommerce platforms.
A clothing line from scratch
For those who want to start their branch of apparel, this business model will be a nice fit.
The biggest advantage of its apparel line from the scratch business model is a chance to start a prominent and unique online clothing store.
Nevertheless, the apparel line from scratch as a business model also has cons. Its biggest disadvantage is in the number of management which is necessary. The responsibility of searching for coordinating the pattern makers and manufacturers and sourcing the fabric will rest on your shoulders. This is a complicated deal you will have to solve and find a long-term partner to produce the clothing.
If the main goal is to start an online clothing shop in a faster way within a low budget, this model is proven by time as the best one. As the only one thing that is done by the firm is printing provided design on a blank version of products (t-shirts, jeans, hats, or any merchandise things) utilizing a digital ink-jet printer, print-on-demand is fairly thought out as the simplest business model for a start.
The biggest pros of the print-on-demand business model are being the simple and low price of implementation. It is suitable for small companies with a small number of orders.
How to Select an Ecommerce Platform For a Clothing shop?
We would like to list many details that must be taken into account when you want to choose an ecommerce platform for an online store. We at Paspartoo advise you to pay close attention to the next:
- Size of stock,
- Open-source solution or SaaS,
- Plan of platform payment.
- The volume of traffic,
- Payment gateway
It will become much simpler to choose the solution that is the most appropriate for your business after reviewing these parameters.
Below we describe the details related to the Magento platform, which proved itself to be great for a successful run on an online clothing shop.
It is an ecommerce platform with an open-source codebase that is a nice fit for both small, middle, and enterprise businesses. Magento is called a nice choice if you expect your website to handle large traffic and a big amount of products. This platform is a maintainable and stable choice for creating clothing boutiques online. The proof of it is that Magento is utilized by well-known brands, such as Huawei, Pepe Jeans, and Burger King.
Magento is available in two editions and the cost varies accordingly:
- 1. Magento Open Source is free of charge,
- 2. Magento Commerce. Its price starts from $1988.00 per month. It doesn’t have a free version but offers a free trial.
The significant detail is that you will have to hire developers familiar with ecommerce that will help you to create and release a Magento-based fashion boutique. This is needed because of serious technical management for this platform.
Speaking about the Magento website development, you should remember that it depends on the features you want it to include. Moreover, there exist some levels of complexity, which we will review:
- 1. A store operating within one country and which has one target audience. The price of such a store varies from $ 6,000 to $10,000,
- 2. Several similar sites for various countries, in various languages. In this case the cost will vary from $11,000 to $20,000,
- 3. An ecommerce platform like eBay. Such a platform has the highest development price and its cost starts from $ 20,000.
Best Practices for Your Online Clothing Store
To make your business successful and keep growing, one of the most essential details that should be done is following the best practices. So, we advise you to do the next things:
- 1. Simplify top and sidebar menus,
- 2. Take SEO as a priority,
- 3. Have web design friendly,
- 4. Provide PayPal, Credit card payment methods,
- 5. Run ads where your audience is hanging out.
Launching any kind of business can be a hard initiative, but there is no hesitation that the online market of apparel is a great place to be. Having a confident and detailed plan for your business and using a stable and flexible ecommerce platform gives you a chance to make your dream come true.
For more information about how to start a clothing company online or in case, you need a more accurate and detailed estimation, feel free to contact us!