Sell Socks Online
This is a practical guide to learn how to sell socks online. Let us discuss how to find sock suppliers, build an online store, and marketing opportunities to sell socks online. Selling socks online can be your gateway for a larger online business. If you are looking for a low-risk, online business opportunity to start, selling socks online is the solution.
In this article, we are going to discuss the most practical way of starting an online sock business. I own a successful online sock store, and here I am going to share my first-hand experience of selling socks online.
I have started to sell socks online in 2013. Now, my sock store is 100% run by a VA (virtual assistant), and I make between $900 to $1000 in profits per month from this sock store. I must admit that the process was not easy at the beginning. But, now I literally do nothing for this sock business, and still, make profits.
And, this is not 2013; now there are plenty of free and cheap online business tools and platforms that you can use to start selling socks online. So, for you guys, the process will be a lot easier than me. Let us have a look.
BTW, if you are really interested in starting an online business, have a look at this definitive guide on How to start an online business. It gives kind of a blueprint for you to kickstart your online sock business.
Before we talk about anything, here is a story that will motivate you.
Start selling socks – The content
- Market analysis for an online sock business
- How do you start to sell socks online
- Your gameplan for online sock business
- Sourcing socks to sell online
- Building your first online store
- Pricing and Marketing opportunities for your sock business
- Start to sell socks on social media
- Most effective ways to attract new customers
How to sell socks online
You don’t need to break the bank to start selling socks online. If you are looking for a method to generate some extra monthly income, here is your chance. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you are currently working or if you are a stay-at-home parent, who is looking for an online job, or even if you are a student, who cannot afford a lot of time and money to start a new business, now you can start to sell socks online with less than $100.
Selling socks is a low-risk entry point for e-commerce beginners. You can easily find a lot of suppliers for socks, and you can find a massive target audience on social media for this niche. In this guide, I will teach you to start your own Dropshipping sock brand from scratch.
Before we go forward, first we need to see the market conditions. There is no point in creating a brand or an e-commerce store unless there is room to sell your products. I did some market research for you, and below you can find the data which I have collected.
1. Market analysis for an online sock business
- 2018 revenue for the socks segment in the USA amounts to US$7,239m.
- The market is expected to grow annually by 1.2% (2018-2022).
- Per person revenue of US$22.08 is generated in 2018.
- In 2018, 20% of the total revenue was generated via online sales channels.
- In 2021, 24% of the total revenue is expected to be generated via online sales channels.
- Best 2018 markets for socks, USA-US$7.2m, Germany-US$1.7m, UK-US$1.4m.
Sources – Statista
Online popularity analysis
- Related keywords can have a daily potential reach of 433+ clicks and 19k+ impressions for a US$20 per day ad campaign – Source google ads
- Trend pattern for the last five years: Almost flat – Source google trends
Above data indicates moderate popularity and room for growth for online sales of socks. During the period of 2018 to 2022, the forecasted annual growth of sales and market share for online sales channels is expecting a moderate increase.
If you combine this data with the online popularity trend, you can expect a sustainable sales opportunity during this four years window. You can mainly target the USA, Germany and UK markets for ad campaigns, as they contribute to the highest share of revenues. Also, don’t forget that you can easily target the impulse buyers on Facebook and Instagram to sell socks. You will be able to build a great marketing campaign on social media.
2. How can you start to sell socks online
Now we know that we can find a market for our socks. Now we have to see where we can find socks to sell online. Since almost all of our readers are looking for a low-risk and low-cost method to earn money, we can use the Dropshipping business model to source and sell socks.
Dropshipping is a great e-commerce business model, where you do not have to maintain a physical stock of products. So, you do not have to buy a product from a supplier, unless you already make a sale, and got paid for that product. So, nothing goes out of your pocket.
Dropshipping has a unique business flow. Here is how it works;
When someone makes a purchase from your online sock store, you make a purchase from your supplier, using the shipping details of your customer. So, your supplier directly sends that product to your customer.
By doing this “middleman” job, you earn a profit for this transaction.
Is dropshipping legal? Yes, it is. Dropshipping is an online retail business. And it is legal. You have to be responsible for what you sell (socks in our case). In Dropshipping, your supplier’s name is not revealed to your customer. What your customer sees are only your store and the product.
Dropshipping eliminates the need for designing, manufacturing, maintaining physical stocks and handling shipping for your products. Therefore, the start-up online entrepreneurs can easily use this business model to enter into e-commerce.
Using a print-on-demand service to sell socks online
Print-on-demand services are pretty much similar to the dropshipping business model. However, if you use a print-on-demand service, you can sell custom designed socks online. All you have to do is, go to a print-on-demand service like Printful, and create sock designs using their design tools. Also, you can automatically generate great mock-ups to use as product listings on any marketplace. Then, once you get an order, you can simply forward that to your print-on-demand service, and they will print, pack, and deliver your order within 1.5 days from their US or Europian factories.
3. Your gameplan for online sock business
Now it is time to create a game plan for your new business. In your game plan, we will discuss where to source products, basics about building a store, basics about marketing and pricing.
Sourcing socks to sell online
Buying an inventory from wholesale sock suppliers
The best way to find products is from wholesale suppliers. They do not sell to the general public, but as an online retailer, you can buy from them by entering into a sales contract. They can offer you the best prices, discounts and trusted business relationship in the long run. But, if you are a beginner, sometimes you may feel contacting wholesale suppliers are a bit complicated process. You might have to start a credit account, register your business, and follow many complex and serious procedures to establish a sales channel with them.
So, our advice is you can use the easy method (which we will discuss next) to start your business, and once you get some traction, come back and start working with wholesale suppliers. I did the same. When I start selling socks online, I have used Aliexpress to find suppliers. After I got some traction, I found a wholesale supplier from China to dropship the socks for me.
Using dropshipping or print-on-demand services to start selling socks online
As we have discussed earlier, starting an online store with dropshipping (or, print-on-demand service) is the easiest way to get started with your business idea. If you decided to use dropshipping to sell socks online, you can start by re-selling products from AliExpress. There you can find tons of suppliers for socks. But these suppliers do sell for the general public too. That means your customers can come and buy from them too. So, if you use this easy method, you need to pay special attention to marketing. But, don’t worry, you can easily build a great marketing strategy on Facebook to overcome this issue. We’ll talk about this in a bit.
Related: How to find Dropshipping suppliers. In this linked article we have discussed how to stay away from fake suppliers.
Building your first online sock store
Today you can find a lot of platforms to sell online. You can create product listings on eBay or Amazon, or create an online store using services like Shopify or Woo-commerce.
Selling on popular marketplaces
Using popular marketplaces have certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you use eBay or Amazon, the shop templates, listing templates, and everything is preset and optimized. So, you don’t have to worry a lot about formats and store designing. Also, you will be automatically included in their marketing campaigns, promoting your products. But, on the other hand, this can eat a lot of your profits as listing fees.
Starting your own online store to sell socks online
If you do not want to use these marketplaces, you can build your own online store as well. Do not worry, and this is 2020, you don’t need coding skills to create an e-commerce store. You can follow our definitive guide to starting an online store. It gives step-by-step instructions for setting up an online store for your sock business. But, if you think that you would need some professional help to build an eCommerce website, you can simply hire a freelancer to get things done. So, you can focus on more important things.
4. Pricing and Marketing for your online sock business
Pricing is an essential element in any e-commerce business. We are living in an era where people can easily compare prices without going anywhere. So, you need to define a competitive price for your socks and try not to under-sell or over-sell your products.
- If you under-sell, you are losing all your potential profits, and even people will think that you are selling low-quality socks.
- If you over-sell, you are driving your customers away due to high prices.
So, you need to figure out a smart pricing strategy for your socks. Usually, you can find socks for less than US$3 from Aliexpress. Also, by checking the competitors, you will see the average price for similar quality socks is around US$15 on Amazon. So, you can think of a price bit less than that to enter into the market.
When it comes to marketing, the socks can be a great niche as creative visuals can easily trigger the impulse buyers. Social media, especially Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest work well with visual triggers.
Start building your sock brand on social media
Millions of people use social media every day. And, you can narrow down your target audience to pinpoint to your potential customers on these platforms. For example, if you sell baby socks, using Facebook audience insights tools, you can promote your product for those who had a baby last month, six months ago, one year ago, etc.
Related: Read How to build a Facebook marketing strategy for more insights about promoting your business.
Creating offers to attract more customers
Offers and discounts attract customers a lot. If you use Aliexpress, since the sock prices are like nothing, you can create great discounts, offers and deals to attract customers.
So far we have discussed a start to end overview and fundamental analysis for the niche of selling socks online. But, remember, starting and running a successful online business is not easy. Before you start, make sure you learn the basics of how online marketing works. This knowledge will help you to stay years ahead from your competitors. Make sure to check out our marketing topics, and startup guides to staying updated. Also, you can subscribe to our email updates to get the latest posts to your inbox.