So you’ve decided to open your very own online clothing store. This is a great idea if you are passionate about clothes and are keen on joining a multi-billion-dollar industry. However, if you really want to run a profitable online store, you are going to need much more than a passion for fashion.
To get started on your new clothing boutique, here are some of the most important steps you have to take:
1. Choose your niche
All good businesses have a well-defined niche. It’s not enough to say that you will be selling women’s wear — you have to determine if you’ll be selling casual wear for women, business attire for women, or sportswear for women.
Even though you want to eventually run a one-stop-shop apparel store, it’s highly recommended that you start with a small niche first, at least while you’re trying to learn the ropes of running an online store.
Figuring out how to choose a niche for your online clothing store can be tricky, especially if you are interested in more than one fashion style, but you have to strike the perfect balance between the niche you like and the one that will most likely bring your online store success.
2. Prepare your catalog
After determining your niche, it’s time to prepare a catalog of the actual products that are going into your store. There are countless options to choose from, so take the time to really decide which products you want your brand to carry.
For this, you have to go back to your pre-determined niche and target market and make sure you only include products that are relevant to the niche.
3. Decide on a business model
Some of the most popular business models for online stores include print-on-demand, dropshipping, custom cut-and-sew, and private label clothing models.
Each one of these business models has its pros and cons, so you really have to do your research to find out which model is perfect for you and the resources you currently have. For instance, the print-on-demand and dropshipping methods allow you to run an apparel store without ever dealing with inventory. So if you’re worried about not having enough space for stocks, these are the models that are right for you.
4. Establish your brand identity
There are a lot of online clothing stores that offer quality products. If you really want your boutique to stand out, you need to establish your brand identity. Aside from having a massive online presence, your actual products have to carry your brand or logo for maximum recall.
For this, wunderlabel.com/hang-tags/ can help you provide premium quality and customizable hang tags for your products and packaging materials.
5. Set up your social media accounts
Nowadays, it’s imperative for online businesses to have official social media accounts, especially on Facebook and Instagram. These two social networking sites have provided special features for e-commerce, so make sure you maximize all of these for your brand. All relevant links to your products must be found on your social media profiles, along with details on how to place orders or how to get in touch with you for any queries.
Online shoppers always appreciate timely responses to their concerns and questions, so make sure you are on top of every message and comment that your store gets on social media. You can hire a social media manager for this, or otherwise set up an automated reply system to let customers know that you will be with them as soon as you are back online.
6. Launch your website
Of course, the most important site you have to set up is the site for your actual store. Choosing a user-friendly web hosting service and a great domain name should be on top of your priorities list.
Afterward, you have to design (or contract someone to design) your website in a way that any prospective client would find it easy to navigate, search products, and place orders. Remember that internet users are not exactly patient when it comes to dealing with websites. You want to make sure that your site is easy to use and palatable to the shopper’s eye, otherwise, there would be no stopping your visitors from giving up and just taking their business to another online boutique.
Now you’re ready to jump in and start receiving orders on your online clothing store. Your next goal would be keeping a steady stream of clients browsing and ordering on your site, but that shouldn’t be too hard to do after you do the steps listed in this article with the utmost care and due diligence, both in research and in execution.