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Last Updated on 8th August 2023
Starting an online fashion business is a big commitment. You have to think about everything for your new ecommerce store from the logo design to inventory management, sales, customer service, and marketing.
But breaking into the fashion industry can have lucrative rewards. In this post, we’ll break down the steps to launching an online apparel shop and what you need to do before you start designing your site. We’ll also give you some tips for marketing your new website from day one. It’s worth reading these guidelines before you start an online clothing shop.
Think about your online fashion business goals
Before you launch an online store or even your own clothing business, think about your goals. What are you hoping to accomplish? Are you wanting to establish your own clothing label or sell other brands as a retailer? Do you want the focus of your site to be an apparel company or accessories? Are you offering a product or service?
This design is critical to the path you take, as a clothing line business plan differs to that of a fashion boutique small business model.
The quality of the product is crucial to building a brand, but the sales channel is vital to success. With the ease to set up an online boutique with platforms like Shopify it’s never been easier to launch a new fashion business.
But it’s also essential you are committed to the long-term nature of this project. Before you move forward you should spend a lot of time researching products and competitors for your target market. Is there room in your chosen niche for a successful online clothing store? Whatever your business idea, you will need a strong brand identity in a very competitive market.
Get your website designed
Once you have established your product and supply chains, you will want to design an ecommerce website. If possible, use a web design expert like Cude Design, the initial outlay pays for it’s self with a higher conversion rate.
We’ve gathered some tips to help you get started. Again market research on successful clothing businesses is worth the time, what do you like and dislike about their sites? Have they sacrificed style for a simple user experience?
What to consider when designing your site:
- Your target audience and their expectations (research key competitors)
- The colours you’ll be using (from your branding strategy and logo)
- What type of design is going to work best for your company
- Whether or not you need a blog (hint, you do as it drives extra traffic and can help develop as a lifestyle brand)
- How many products will be on your site (overloading like Amazon can overwhelm site visitors but too few products means less repeat business)
- What shipping methods would work well for your audience? (and factor in shipping costs and how you pass these on to the customer)
- Which payment methods will you offer?
Think about your online store name
If you want to be successful, you need to make sure your ecommerce platform name is memorable and easy to pronounce. You also want to avoid any typos or misspellings, and it should be relevant to your niche.
For inspiration, think about what makes your clothing brand stand out in the minds of potential customers and how it fits in with other brands in the industry.
A great way to come up with a store name is to brainstorm different phrases that capture the essence of your brand for target customers. For example, if you specialize in plus-sized clothing for women, try coming up with variations on “plus size” or “fashionable plus size”.
This will help you come up with an e-commerce site name that’s both memorable and fitting for your business. For example, a peach is round and juicy and to say everything is peachy is a positive thing.
Designing your sales funnel to convert shoppers
When starting a business, it’s important to think about your sales funnel. In other words, who are you targeting and how do you convert them from being a potential customer to a paying customer?
You want to have a goal for how many people should see your store front before they buy something. The goal may be based on the amount of time or money that goes into designing your site.
If you’re selling a product that costs £100, then 10% of people who visit should buy something. If you’re selling a product that costs £1, then 50% of people should buy something.
The point is you want to know what percentage of people should make a purchase from your site before you design it. That way, when someone visits the site for the first time, they can tell if they need to take an action in order to make a purchase. This is called the “call-to-action.” All content marketing should be related to getting shoppers into this funnel to sell online.
Consider the importance of design
One of the most important aspects of your site design is figuring out what your main goal with your online shop is. This is also an opportunity to focus on branding.
Is this store all about selling the newest trends? Do you want to sell unique items that customers can’t find anywhere else? What about catering to a specific niche like plus size clothing or children’s clothing?
The more you know about your brand and what you want it to communicate, the easier it will be to make design choices. For example, if you’re creating an online store for plus size clothing, you might not want to use photos of models who are only wearing underwear in order to show off their outfits. That would send a message that your company doesn’t care about fat people and cater exclusively towards thin people.
The same goes for targeting a different age group or gender—you’ll want to make sure that your website’s design matches up with those values as well. The design process may take a little longer but it will be worth it when you attract exactly the right audience from day one!
Marketing for new online stores
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to marketing strategies for your new site.
The first marketing strategy is that you have to spend some time driving traffic from other sources with consumer PR strategies, like social media marketing via Facebook ads or traditional advertising, before you build up the inventory on your website. Create strong video content to showcase your brand.
You’ll also want to set up analytics so you can measure what’s working and what isn’t with your site visitors.
The final thing we recommend doing is creating a mailing list for your customers. This will make it easy for them to stay on top of any promotions or new products on your site.
Now that we’ve covered those three basic steps, let’s move on to the first: building up traffic on other platforms before launching your site.
Getting customers to your site
The first step to launching your online apparel stores is getting shoppers to visit your website. Here are a few tips for marketing your new website from day one:
- Promote your site to friends and family who might be interested in the products you’re selling. This will also enable you to identify any website issues as well as start your brand-awareness.
- Share links on social media and offer incentives for shares.
- Use a blog as a way to create content that will lead readers back to your site.
- Consider advertising on social media channels with a recommended digital-marketing company.
- Consider joining an affiliate marketing platform to get an army of social media influencers, bloggers and vbloggers to push your brand for you.
Build brand reputation
This cannot be overstated, brand reputation is crucial to repeat buyers lifetime value and positive word of mouth recommendation. There is a vital importance to gaining positive reviews to gain social proof and trust. Your social media platforms will be key here in attracting both new online shoppers and reminding previous customers of your existence.
Starting your own fashion business and online clothing boutique is a big undertaking so might be worth considering starting it as a side gig around your main income. But the good news is, with a little guidance and a lot of hard work, you can get your clothing line off the ground. The smart move is to create organic growth rather than heavy investment.
In order to start your online clothing business, you need to think about your apparel business goals, get your website designed, think about your online clothing store name, design your sales funnel, consider the importance of design, and market your new store. This article will help you get started on your journey to becoming an entrepreneur.