How to start an online clothing store
Thanks to the ever growing number of internet users, ecommerce is gathering momentum with China being the fastest-growing and biggest ecommerce market in the world. But, online shopping is increasing in popularity all over the world with USA leading the way. Entrepreneurs looking for a slice of this cake setup shop every day.
Online Apparel or Clothing Stores are some of the most popular ventures in internet ecommerce. Everyone buys clothes and if you can come up with a unique angle and promote well, you could make a decent penny.
The most popular reason for online shopping is the availability of choices and variations that you may not necessarily find in your local market. You can browse through hundreds of choices from multiple clothing stores and decide on your own time. When ready, just a few clicks and a package shows up at your door a few days later. So whatever kind of apparel you decide to sell, make sure you provide the kind of options that may not be available in your local stores.
Offer multiple shipping options. Some people are always in a hurry so make sure you have Next Day and Two Day Options available. Some companies have even started experimenting with same day delivery.
The majority of users access online stores and do their shopping from their mobile devices. Make sure your clothing store is mobile responsive. However, this does not mean that you should ignore the users on other devices. People shop wherever is most convenient at any given time. So, reach the multi-device audience for greater profits.
If you have decided to start an online clothing store, follow the trends and do not lag behind. With so many different stores and options, customers can turn elsewhere in a matter of seconds.
If you are wondering about how to start an online clothing store, that is not that difficult. If you are tech. oriented and have setup a website before, you can do it yourself. But, if like most people you don’t have that kind of technical skills, do not despair. Reach out to a web development company like us (Interloper Inc.) that specializes in ecommerce. They can help you quickly setup and tweak an existing template or make a custom site depending on your needs and time frame.
If using a template, the site will look a bit cookie cutter but it will cost less and your clothing store can be setup within a couple of weeks. If you prefer a custom design, a designer will put together a design that reflects your vision, targets the right demographic and also reflects the income level of the people you are targeting. If you selling expensive apparel, then you must go with a custom site that does not look like WalMart. On the other hand, if you are selling cheap t-shirts but your website looks like Nordstrom, you will scare away buyers.
A good web development company will also make sure that your site has secure payments integrated, shipping API’s are setup correctly, transactional emails are in place and the site is setup for future SEO optimization.
Social media plays an important role in promoting an apparel ecommerce store so make sure the developer integrates social media.
Tell your developer what kind of budget you want to stay within. Then let them show you some options within that budgetary range and you can proceed accordingly. Here are some sample sites and their approximate investment:
- Budget: $1,000 to $1,500 http://khyberbazaar.com
If you don’t have thousands of products, you may consider a website like KhyberBazaar.com . It blends and interweaves articles and product information and delivers better SEO results, that is, you show up higher in search results with relatively less effort. Even though you don’t have very many products, your website does not look bare. It is lively and engaging and delivers good results.
- Budget: $2,000 to $2,500 http://spelldesigns.com
If you have hundreds of products and would prefer a casual but elegant layout with lots and lots of pictures, an active blog and good back and forth on social, then such a site would be perfect for you.
- Budget: $3,000 to $5,000 http://www.spartina449.com/
If you have much more ambitious plans and would like to setup an online clothing store than caters to a larger audience and can really grow with you, then a similar website will be good for you. It will take two to three months to design and develop but it will be very well worth it and can set you up for success.
Sometimes you may be tempted to skimp a little but if a better site brings you an extra sale or two a week, it may be worth it. In absolute dollars a better website sometimes looks more expensive. Let’s say a premium site is $1000 more than an average site. Spread over an average life span of 3 to 5 years for a website, that is less than a quarter / day over the life of the website. Your website after all is a vehicle to bring you more business. If a better website brings you one additional sale a week, think about how many times the better website pays you over and over and over again.
Once your site is up and running, you will need to focus on generating traffic. You can dabble with a little bit of SEO yourself but it is always better to outsource it to professionals while you focus on what you do best. Companies like us (Interloper, Inc. ) can help you with both organic SEO, Social Media promotions and paid advertising to generate traffic. Without traffic, your store will not generate much business.
To sum up, if the idea of an online apparel / clothing store intrigues you, this is the best time to get started. It has huge growth potential and compared to traditional brick and mortar clothing stores, online apparel stores cost significantly less.
We hope this article was helpful. Good luck!