Let’s find out how to start a small online store to sell clothes online. And, most importantly, let’s talk about building a compelling marketing strategy to sell clothes online.
Do you know why a lot of new online businesses fail? Because people don’t just buy that easily.
Are you thinking that running a few Facebook ads will help you run a successful online clothing business? Nope. You will just burn out your ad budget without making at least five sales.
So, what is the secret strategy to sell clothes online? Follow these steps.
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and for educational purposes only. And, it does not constitute formal financial, investment, or business advice.
How to sell clothes online – Step by step
Example: selling kids clothes online.
- Start a Facebook and an Instagram page for free.
- Start sharing photos of cute babies, share baby care tips, give fashion advice, etc. By doing this, you are building an audience, a high target audience.
- Start running advertisements to promote your page and content. $10 a day ad on Facebook will do.
- Start genuinely connect with your audience, answer their comments, help them.
- Once you have built the right audience for your content, announce that you are going to start a business.
- Share the steps of your product development. Create videos, share photos of how you design clothes, how you get them manufactured, and how you quality test them. People would love this stuff, and they will support you.
- Have a grand launch, create live events, and create a buzz.
- Voilah, let your business instincts run the business.
At Ecommercebuff, we are now helping almost one hundred (93 by the time I am writing this article) small-scale online businesses to find their right place in niche markets. From our experience, we know that the above strategy is the most effective way to sell online.
Creating content to sell clothes online
Creating content is the secret ingredient to sell clothes online. In fact, it is the secret to selling anything online.
People come online for two purposes.
- To buy stuff
- To consume content (watch videos, see photos, read articles)
When someone comes online to buy something, they look for the brands they know. They are not just going to spend money on some unknown small business online. Would you?
So, how to become a brand they already know? You have to target the people who consume content.
The above 8 steps explain how to target those who consume content and sell your products.
Now, those 8 steps are just the tip of the ice burg. In fact, that will be your marketing strategy to sell clothes online.
But, before that, you need to do some groundwork to start selling clothes online. In this article, we are going to explain the groundwork for starting an online business.
Without further ado, let’s start with the first step.
Step 1: Pick the niche to sell clothes online
Why do we need a niche?
Well, the costliest part of selling clothes online is advertising your products. In our experience, the advertising cost can go above 50% of your total business budget. Therefore, it is crucial to run efficient marketing campaigns without wasting your hard-earned money.
When you have a niche store, it is a lot easier to create and run highly targeted advertisements. This can save a lot from your ad budget. So, go ahead and pick a niche to sell clothes online.
Popular niches to sell clothes online
- Baby clothes
- Movements (Vegan, LBGTQ+, Civil rights, etc.)
- Occupations (Welders, Military, Health care workers, etc.)
- And, there are a lot more
So, the million-dollar question is, what is the perfect niche? The answer, nothing. Just go ahead and select what you are most passionate about. It is easier to sell something that you are genuinely passionate about.
However, when you pick a niche to sell clothes online, my only suggestion is to select an “evergreen clothing niche.” It is totally OK to surf the trends and make some quick bucks. But, if this is your first online business, maybe it is better to play safe and select a niche that would retain its popularity for at least a few years.
Alright, let’s go to the second step of selling clothes online – the budget.
Step 2: Decide your total budget
If it goes wrong, how much money you can lose without having to go homeless. Calculate how much money you can put aside to start selling clothes online.
See how to reduce your other useless expenses and increase your business budget. Also, you can sell some of your depreciating assets and use that money for your business too. I know one client who has found money to start an online store through a garage sale. I don’t know about you, but I am more comfortable making decisions when I am not under any financial pressure.
How much money do you need to sell clothes online
It depends on many factors. To make it simple, here is a simple cost breakdown for starting an online store.
- Cost of manufacturing clothes – Variable
- Online store – $30 to $50 a month
- Hiring freelancers to build the store and for graphics – $200 (Usually $30 a month)
- Advertising – $300 a month
- Miscellaneous apps, plugins, service – $100 a month
We have seen dropshipping businesses that operate under $200 a month. However, the above costs are kind of like the average values. Plan accordingly, and see if you can spend that amount of money comfortably.
The third step is all about your products.
Step 3: Make or re-sell clothes
If you are reading this article because you are planning on making clothes all by yourself and you only need to find a way to sell those clothes online, fine, that is one option. And, it is an excellent option too.
The second option to sell clothes online is to source them from wholesale suppliers and to re-sell them on your online store. If you are planning on re-selling, there are some “new” ways to do that too. Check them out, and see if it fits your requirement.
- Using dropshipping to re-sell clothes online
- Selling print-on-demand clothes
Whatever the method you use to find clothes to sell online, make sure to test them before investing any real money.
It is not only the silly design mistakes that make a product useless; it can be unpopularity as well. For example, there can be a design that you feel perfect, but it is only you who like it.
So, test your products/designs. Show them to your friends and family, show them to your target audience, write down what they think, refine and redefine your product line before the grand launch.
That brings us to the fourth step, branding.
Step 4: Branding maketh business
The real value of any business is not what they sell; it is their brand. The $2000 Gucchi’s you brought last year is available for $50 in China. It is not the quality of the product that makes the difference. Are you telling me that $1950 worth of material went into making some Gucchi? Nope. It is for the brand that we pay an extra $1950. That is why the phrases “Branding maketh business” and “why you need a branding to sell clothes online.”
So, don’t be afraid to invest money in some branding design, and it will help you set your price points higher. You can find plenty of really-good freelance graphic designers on marketplaces like Fiverr. Hire a talented designer, and get your logo, labels, packaging design, and banners done.
Step 5: Register your business
Depending on which country you are selling clothes, you might or might not need to obtain a business license. However, even if it is not mandatory, register your business and get a license if possible.
The reason is, most of the time, you will need this registration down the line when integrating payment gateways and handling international sales.
Also, by having a BR, you might get entitled to low-interest small business loans and tax cuts. Find out more on USA SBA.
Step 6: Buy a domain for your online store
The domain name of your online store is like the street address of a physical store. It is really simple to get a domain name, yet it is really hard to get the exact domain name you want.
Nearly 150,000 domain names are registered every month, so there is a good chance for you to lose the name you want for every day you delay. So, hurry up, pick the right domain name to match your business name, and register.
If you are planning on using Shopify to build your online clothing store (I’ll talk more about this in the next step) you can buy your new domain right from them as well.
Picking a domain name for your clothing store
When you select a domain name,
- Select the shortest possible name
- Pick something memorable
- Avoid numbers and word-plays unless they make sense
Let’s move on to the next step of selling clothes online – Creating an online store.
Step 7: Create an online store to sell clothes online
Nowadays, there are a ton of canned or off-the-shelf solutions to create online stores. Unless you are willing to pay a lot for freelance web-developers, I would recommend using a Shopify platform to build your store. It is beginner-friendly, and most of our clients have developed their stores all by themselves.
It costs $29 a month for the Basic Shopify plan, and it more than enough for a small-scale online clothes store. One thing we love most about Shopify is that it has plenty of room to grow, so you will never get stuck down the line.
Shopify is an easy and beginner-friendly platform to create an online store to sell clothes. And, most importantly, it has scalable pricing plans for you to upgrade your store as it grows.
However, if you need any support to create an eCommerce store, you can hire a freelance web developer to get it done. It will not cost you more than $50 on Fiverr.
Sell clothes anywhere and sync your inventory
You can reach customers on Facebook shops, Instagram, Amazon, Etsy, or even In-store and manage all your inventory and sales data from one location with Shopify.
Beautiful designs to choose from
You can easily customize your online clothing store with well-optimized themes. So, you do not need any special design or coding skills to create a blazing web store to sell clothes.
Apps to add custom functionalities
Shopify has a great app library, where you can find an app to add many custom features to your online store. It also has apps to run dropshipping or Print-on-demand clothing store.
Scale-up your clothing business as it grows
From $29 a month to $2000 a month, Shopify offers scalable pricing plans for every stage of your online clothing business. It is a great way to start small and grow big.
Hey, you know what? If you ever get stuck building your Shopify store, just send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining your issue. Then, I’ll see how I can help. Don’t worry; there are no charges or fees. It is only a free service for our readers.
Shopify offers a beginner-friendly step-by-step wizard to set up your store in a couple of hours. And, you won’t even need any additional help there.
As we have mentioned, creating an online store on Shopify is easy. However, there are a few good practices you should follow when creating a website. You can read more about these practices from this article about the best Shopify store examples with UI/UX designs.
However, if you feel like you need to hire someone to create a Shopify store for you, so you can focus on other business areas, you can even do that too. There are plenty of freelance web developers who can help you to set up a Shopify store.
Before you go to the next step, create a free account on Shopify and register a domain name now.
Then, our next step is marketing!
Step 8: Marketing to sell clothes online
Alright, here is where you should follow the strategy that we have explained in the very beginning. That will do.
Start your business today. Get on Facebook, create pages, plan your content, and Create your Shopify store in the background. Don’t keep it for tomorrow. Otherwise, you’ll regret it later. “Oh man, I should have started this last year” Don’t let you say that next year.