Learn how to start selling socks online. Here you can learn how to find sock suppliers, build an online store, and how to handle marketing. If you are looking for a low-risk, online business opportunity to start, selling socks online is the solution.
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 socks online
There are different ways to start selling socks online. For example, you can use dropshipping or a print-on-demand service to sell socks online without having to spend a lot. Also, you can start making socks (like knitted socks) or re-sell socks from wholesale suppliers as well. I will tell you how to start a business with all of these methods.
And, talking about where to sell socks, I will tell you how to create your very own online store without costing more than $30 a month. Also, you can sell socks on online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. I have also included some references to kick-start your sock business with those methods.
Then, you can easily use Facebook and Instagram to run a strong marketing campaign for your sock business. Below, you can find how to manage marketing when selling socks online.
Finally, I will tell you how to handle shipping and delivery when selling socks online. There I will also introduce you to some amazing services and tools to ease your whole delivery process.
Sounds interesting? Well, it should be. Let’s take a look.
I sold socks online for six years
I ran an online dropshipping sock business for six years. I started it in 2013 and recently sold the website for a big fat deal.
When I first started, I was only dropshipping AliExpress products in my store. After some time, I found a local sock manufacturer who also agreed to handle delivery for me. So, I sold their products for a very long time. And, after 2018, I sold some print-on-demand socks to spice up my product portfolio a bit.
So, here I will share whatever I learned during this time. So, you use my experience to start your very own online business to sell socks.
Watch this video about an inspiring sock business
Take a look at this video. It will definitely inspire you to sell socks online. However, this story teaches us an important marketing lesson to sell socks online. We’ll discuss that when we talk about marketing.
Market analysis for an online sock business
If you are not interested in statistics, just skip this part and read how to use dropshipping to sell socks online. I have included this section just to give you a brief overview of the market.
Market Overview to sell socks – Click to read
- 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
- 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
Online popularity analysis
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 impulse buyers on Facebook and Instagram to sell socks. You will be able to build a great marketing campaign on social media.
How to use dropshipping to sell socks online
Dropshipping is a great way to start an online sock business. It is a low-cost and a low-risk business model.
What is dropshipping
Dropshipping is an easy way to run an online eCommerce store. When you dropship, you don’t have to keep the products you sell in stock. Instead, you only sell the product and pass on the sales order to a third-party supplier, who then packs and ships the order to your customer.
How to start a droshipping socks
When I first started, I used to dropship socks from AliExpress. It is an online retail marketplace, where most of the sellers are from China. So, you can find incredibly cheap products on this marketplace. Also, since dropshipping with AliExpress is a fully-grown industry, you can find many apps and tools to automate the fulfillment process, which can make your life thousand time easier.
However, when it is time to scale up your sock business, you need to start working with wholesalers and manufacturers directly. So, you can improve reliability and profits drastically. But, before approaching manufacture or a wholesaler to talk business, it is better if you have an existing business to prove that you are serious. I had to learn this with hundreds of unanswered emails and phone calls. So, use dropshipping with AliExpress until you sink your teeth into this business.
You can read how to start a dropshipping business here. There we discuss everything you need to know about dropshipping.
How to use print-on-demand service to sell socks online
Look at these socks. They are all custom designed socks. And, you can sell such custom designed socks online using a print-on-demand service.
Selling socks with print-on-demand is pretty much similar to dropshipping. However, here you can sell unique and custom-designed socks on your store.
The process to use print-on-demand to sell socks is quite straightforward. You can select the sock types you want to sell, and use their design tool to upload and place your very own designs on those socks.
Next, you can even use their mock up generator to get stunning product photos (like the above three photos) to add onto your online shop.
Then, when you made a sale, you can forward that sales order to your print-on-demand service. So, they will print, pack, and ship that order to your customers within 1.5 days from their US or Europian factories. And, if you are using their fulfillment plugins with your online shop, you can even automate this whole process.
Use Printful to start a print-on-demand sock business
Printful is one of the best print-on-demand services with a wide range of product selection. Also, it works perfectly with online shop platforms and marketplaces like Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, ebay, etc.
Buying an inventory from wholesale sock suppliers
If you can afford to buy a bulk order from a wholesale supplier, you can enjoy higher profits when selling socks online.
However, even though I am not a business guru, I would strongly advise you to try a low-cost and low-risk method like dropshipping or print-on-demand before spending your money on a large inventory. Because it would be a headache if you end up with an unsold stockpile of socks after a year, so, go for bulk orders, after you can understand the product trends and market directions.
How to handle storage, shipping, and delivery when selling socks with an inventory
The simplest way is to keep all those socks in your house and pack and ship as you are getting orders. However, some of us are living in apartments and small houses where we cannot maintain storage like that. In such cases, you can use a third-party fulfillment service to ease your process.
You can pay an additional fee and use a service like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to manage your inventory. So, you can send you bulk order to their warehouses, and they will pick, pack and ship your products to your customers on behalf of you.
However, if you choose to manage storage, shipping, and delivery all by yourself, check this guide on how to manage eCommerce shipping and delivery to learn the process.
If you decide to sell homemade socks, like knitted socks, you can use the same process that we have just discussed. Obviously, I am not an expert to teach you how to knit or make homemade socks. But, the above methods will help to you manage your business after making socks.
How to create an online store to sell socks
You can sell socks on different platforms. You can sell them on your very own online stores, or sell them on online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy.
Create an online store to sell socks
Do you know that you can even start an online store without any technical knowledge? Yes, if you have basic internet skills, you can quickly create a stunning online store in a couple of hours.
Here I am going to introduce you to a beginner-friendly shop building platform called Shopify. It is a low-cost ($29 per month, including the hosting) platform to start an online store.
What we love about Shopify is that it offers a wide range of solutions to easily manage an online store without having to know any technical stuff. For example, if you want to integrate PayPal to receive payments, all you have to do is log in to PayPal through Shopify. It is that easy.
Create your online sock store on Shopify
Shopify has everything you need to build an amazing online store without any technical knowledge. You can start right now, and scale it up as your business grows.
If it is too complicated for you to create an online store to sell socks, you can hire a freelancing web developer to create an online store for you under $50.
Selling socks on popular marketplaces
Selling socks online on 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.
If you are running low on budget, perhaps selling socks on online marketplaces is the best option for you to get going. Check these guides on how to sell on eBay or 10 hacks to sell more on eBay to get a head start.
Pricing and Marketing for your online sock business
First, let me give you an example of a typical purchasing journey to sell socks. This will give you a brief overview of our target.
Jen, a mother of a 10-year-old, scrolls through her Facebook feed, and suddenly, she saw an ad for a cute pair of kids of unicorn socks for $15. Then, she clicks on the link and land on your online sock store. If the site looks authentic and if the delivery time and prices seem reasonable, would she care to search for the same sock for a lower price? No. She would definitely pay with her PayPal account and order one.
The above example is a typical flow of a customer journey for an online store. It teaches us a few things about selling socks online.
- Sell visually intriguing products – to grab the attention
- Do proper targeting – mom of a 10-year-old for kids socks
- Authentic store design – to build trust for an unknown brand
- Reasonable product pricing – Not to undersell or oversell
So, keep in mind the above points when developing your marketing strategy.
In this guide, I am going to tell you two definite ways to market your socks online. Just try these two methods and that would be more than enough for you to make sales. Later you can learn and improve your marketing mix with more strategies.
Facebook marketing to sell socks online
Facebook is a massive audience. And, they have a super-effective advertising option for you to run paid ads for your business. So, this is the best place for you to start marketing for your sock business.
Apart from using paid ads to find new customers, you can even use organic ways to sell socks on Facebook for free. Also, you can even bring your customer support to the Facebook platform to offer a speedy service through messenger.
Likewise, having a Facebook marketing strategy gives you unparalleled opportunities to sell socks online.
Instagram marketing to sell socks online
When you sell visually intriguing products like cute socks, you can easily create content to grow an audience on Instagram. So, it is a marketing platform that you should never miss out.
If you are running a Facebook paid ad campaign, you can even sync your accounts to roll out the same ads on Instagram. And, if you are selling on Shopify, you can even link your store to the Instagram account to increase your chances of making more sales.
Learn more on how to sell on Instagram.
Are you ready to sell socks online?
I hope this guide gives an overall idea about how to start a successful online sock business. Selling socks online and making profits is doable, and I did that. So, give it a try anyway. If you follow the steps that we have discussed here, you can start selling socks online without having to spend a lot.
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