EB is your guide to eCommerce

How to Start a Successful Online Clothing Business

Starting an online business can be a great way to create a successful side income, even without quitting your day job. Starting an online clothing business can be a cheap and a simple method of starting your ecommerce journey.

Starting an online clothing business can be a cheap and a simple method of starting your ecommerce journey.

But, when it comes starting an online clothing business, you must have to understand that clothing is an extremely competitive field in ecommerce. So, if you need to create a successful clothing business or a brand, you should learn how to stand out from the rest, and reach to your potential customers.

This process of creating an online clothing brand that can stand out from the crowd, starts from the very beginning. 😏

Ecommerce is never a “get-rich-quick” scheme. It requires your time and effort. But, once you do everything right, it can definitely give you the apple you deserve.

I tried my best to create this article an A to Z guide to teach you about starting an online clothing business.

So, without wasting any time, let us get started! 🙂

How to Start an Online Clothing Business

There are basically two ways to start an online clothing store.

  1. You can design, manufacture and Sell your own clothes.
  2. You can choose Dropshipping as your business model.

First I will explain how to get started if you choose the first option.

Starting an Online Clothing Business, With Your Own Designs

Follow these few steps for starting an online clothing business, with your own designs.

1. Select a niche for your clothing store

As I told you earlier, starting an online clothing business can be extremely competitive. To cut through this competition, you need an effective marketing strategy. 

When you build a marketing strategy, you will find it is much easier and efficient to sell to a smaller market. So, if you target a smaller market, you need to pick a niche for your online clothing business.

That means you need to decide a particular type of clothing for your online clothing business. For example, you can sell T-shirts for men or Denim or Baby clothing or Jackets etc.

If you have a lot of money to spend on marketing, you can start big and start selling different types of cloths. If you just testing the waters, my advice is to start small and grow. In that way, you can limit the chances of failing your online clothing business.

So, how to pick a niche for an online clothing store?

Previously I wrote an article about How to pick a niche for a dropshipping store. Even it is not directly related to the online clothing business, you can find a lot of useful information under the topics of,

  1. Room for value addition
  2. Target groups
  3. Price and Brands
  4. Opportunity for up-selling and cross-selling
  5. Consistency (Trend and Turnover)
  6. Size of the products
  7. Availability of suppliers

So, if you are interested in learning more about how to pick a niche for an ecommerce store, please check it out.

2. Designing Your Cloths to Start an Online Clothing Business.

This is a crucial part of your journey to start an online clothing business! (Whom I kidding, it’s all crucial).

But, if you have a great design, you might have already won the race. It is far easier to sell great products! So, if you are going in, you have to go full at this stage. Be creative and try to create something amazing. 🙂

When you advertise something online, it is easy to create an engagement with your audience, if you have something “eye candy”. It will trigger the impulse buyers, and it will make dollars!

So, be creative and think out of the box!

Google clothing designs, check the Facebook ads with the highest engagement and check the Amazon best sellers to do research. This will help you to understand the trends and see what is popular.

Some time ago, I wrote about two hacks to find winning products for dropshipping. In that article, I have discussed how to check the bestseller lists and how to check the Facebook ads to identify what is popular in the market.

Once you locked into a good design, you can find a lot of tools to design clothes online. I am not promoting anything, but if you google, you will come across with many free tools to get things done.

If you do not have any prior experience in designing clothes, it is better to have a discussion with an experienced person or to read and learn about the industry’s best practices. We don’t want to make a rookie mistake with design and miss our chance, do we?

If you feel like you are not so good at clothing design, invest some money and hire a freelancing designer. There are plenty of designers on online freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Check for someone with a great portfolio, good reviews and an affordable price. Or else, you can even contact a local designer too.

Excellent! Now you have a design. So, can we jump into selling? Hold your horses mate. We are not ready yet.

A lot of people forget about the validation stage. You may have a great design. But, before you go ahead and spend your hard-earned money building a store and creating a marketing campaign, you need to test the market!

I have a wired way of testing products. And, I am going to share that with you. (See how generous I am). You may feel that this is a stupid way of testing. But, it actually works. It has helped me to save a lot of money from my stupid ideas.

How to test your target audience, before starting an online clothing store

Once you locked into your product, you have to find where your target audience exists. Then, you find out how you can reach them. Sometimes they might be active on Instagram, Twitter or in a Facebook group. Join these networks and see what is going on. When you study activities, you can pick those who can make an influence on others. Those are called influencers.

For example, if we start an online baby clothing business, we can try mothers groups on Facebook. Facebook now add those small badges for the active people in these groups. Spend some time in those groups, and spot these people.

Next step is to reach them.

This is a bold step. Don’t be afraid, they will not eat you.

Send a personal message to them, showing your future product, and ask them if they would like to buy this cute baby cloth for $50.

Remember, ask if they will buy your product. Do not if they like your product. And, remember to add the price too.

You are lucky if they reply. 80% of the time, they will ignore your message. But, don’t worry; this is not a romantic request. So, don’t cry, reach for another person. The answer can be “yes” or “no”.

If someone said “yes”, thank them and tell that you will inform them as soon as you release them to the market. Also, tell them that you will send them a special discount coupon for motivating your online clothing business. Nice! You have already scored a customer.

Once you get enough number of answers, you can decide if it is sensible to start selling your product. If you cannot create interest at this stage, try to change the design and try again. It is that simple!

I told you earlier. Ecommerce needs your time and effort to win.

Source Your Products to Start an Online Clothing Store

Now that we have validated our products, we can confidently start sourcing.

Reputation is extremely important in ecommerce business. When someone reviews one of your products, that review is going to stay with that product day and night.

If you got a good review, it would help you to make another sale. If you got a bad review, it would repel your potential buyers. So, select quality material for your online clothing store.

If your design cracks or fades just after a few washes or if your clothes shrink when washing, your buyers will start hating you. Then you will experience the ecommerce horror story of “bad reviews”. So, do not make that happen. If you truly need to build a brand with your newly started online clothing store, you must act genuinely.

How to Start Manufacturing, When Starting an Online Store

This part is a bit tricky. If you already designed your clothes, the most sensible thing is to make these clothes yourself. But if you are just starting out, it is better to outsource your manufacturing to avoid any risks.

If you decide to make these clothes by you, you may need to invest in the infrastructure. That requires a lot of money. You will need to buy sewing machines, printing machines and many more. So, rather than breaking your bank at this stage, it would be better to pick a small scale garment and let them make the clothes for your online clothing business.

Once your newly-started online clothing business got some traction, and when everything is going smoothly, you can invest some money and start making the cloths by you.

Also, there are online companies, who will make your designs for you. I do not promote any service on this article, but you can google and find an excellent service. You do not need to pick large-scale manufactures with a huge minimum order quantity. In the beginning, you will get fewer amounts of orders.

How to Build an Online Store for Your Clothing Business

Now you do not need to become a programming ninja to create an ecommerce website. There are so many “easy-to-use” tools with drag and drop kind of site building. Also, since there are so many other people using these services, there are big communities, where you always find support.

But then again,

You Do Not Need to Build a Website to Start an Online Clothing Business!!!

Having a website can be a great idea. Of course, it will increase your online presence and create more chances of making a sale. But, it is not a “must” to have a website for your clothing business.

Here is what you can do for FREE. Yes, absolutely free.

You can start a Facebook store for free. What you have to do is just to create a new page on Facebook for your online clothing business. And then add a shop section to your page. Add your products and publish. It is simple as that.

One drawback is that you cannot charge customers directly on a Facebook shop. That means you cannot accept payments through Facebook shops. If you need to get online payments, then you may need to create a website.

But, if you support a cash-on-delivery service, bam, the Facebook shop will do.

Creating a Facebook page and a shop is not hard. Just follow the instructions. But, if you feel like you need some more information about how to do that, add a comment in the comment section. Then I will try to create a video of how to create a Facebook shop for an online clothing store.

Alright folks seem that this article is getting lengthy 😐

Oh wait; I didn’t talk about dropshipping, did I? If you decide to pick dropshipping, you can avoid all the hassles of designing, manufacturing and shipping of the cloths.

Dropshipping is a low-risk entry point to the ecommerce business. In dropshipping, you just sell someone else’s product, like it is yours. It is a legitimate business model, and it is easy.

I cannot cover a lot about dropshipping in this article. But, if interested, you can check out my Beginner’s guide for Dropshipping. There you will get more insights into how to use dropshipping for your ecommerce business.

Marketing for you Online Clothing Store

You may have something great. But, your customers need to know about that. If you do not pay enough attention to marketing, you won’t be able to make a sale in your online clothing store.

Digital marketing is a vast subject area. But if you dive into it and explore your possibilities, you will be able to build a better marketing strategy for your online clothing store. This will give you a competitive advantage for you, over other small-scale competitors.

To start, I would recommend you to read about inbound marketing and the Art of up-selling and cross-selling.

I really hope that this article will provide you with the right direction to start an online clothing store. If you have any other questions, please comment, and I will try to answer it with my experience.

Also, if you like this article, say hello to me on, Facebook.


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