Things To Consider When Starting an Online Clothing Store

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Things To Consider When Starting an Online Clothing Store

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So, you’ve decided to start an online clothing store. There are many things to consider when starting an online store, and success depends on preparation and strategic planning.

First off, you’ll need to make a business plan, starting with your business’s name and how you want to market it. You should also consider your products from here and how you will source them. The most important steps are choosing a selling platform and formatting your store.

In this short guide, we will briefly discuss the biggest things to consider when starting an online clothing store and I’m going to walk you through the beginning steps to help you get started with your online business quickly.

Before we dive in, make sure to read this post to the very end, and if you find this post inspiring and useful, share it with your friends, please! (Virtual high fives and hugs to all my sharers out there!)

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Things to Consider When Starting an Online Clothing Store

There are several beginning steps and things to consider if you want to start an online clothing store and set your business apart from the competitors. Some of these are:

Designing Your Brand Identity Elements

A well-designed logo is an essential aspect of your brand identity. Ensure your logo is professional and versatile so that it works well across different platforms like social media, websites, and packaging. Color and typography also play important roles in brand recognition, so choose a cohesive color palette and font selection that reflects your brand’s personality.

Who can design a business logo?

With the development of various AI tools and technologies, even regular folks with no experience can brainstorm and create a business logo design from scratch, in a matter of minutes. Nowadays, there are various business logo generators that you can use like Canva, Shopify, and Looka, but if you’re looking for more advanced logo designs, you can hire a professional graphic designer on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and 99Designs.

How much does a logo cost?

A logo design’s price on Fiverr varies from $5 to $100, with an average selling price of $30 among most logo sellers. Starting a custom logo design contest on 99Designs, on the other hand, starts from $299 and the way it works is simple. You write a design brief, designers submit concepts, and you pick a winning design. However, hiring a professional logo designer or a designing agency may cost you $500-$2500.

How to create a logo design for free?

You can turn your ideas into creative logo designs for free by leveraging free AI logo design generators that utilize the power of artificial intelligence like Shopify, Looka, or Canva. The way it usually works is that it asks you to provide some information about your business, things like your business name, industry, and logo style, and the creative AI logo generator will generate dozens of logo design options for you to choose from.

What are the best AI design tools and free logo generators?

Canva, Shopify, and Looka are among the free AI logo generators that are most popular. These tools give you the AI leverage to create stunning logo designs without breaking the bank or wasting your hard-earned money on expensive graphic designers. The least you can do is to use those AI tools for brainstorming logo design ideas.

Advertising and Marketing Your Clothing Store

Although creating an online store on Shopify is a great way to showcase and sell your clothes, having a store is not enough, and you need to actively market your clothing brand in order to drive sales and generate revenue.

Once you’ve established your brand, you’ll need a solid marketing plan to get the word out and attract customers. Take advantage of social media marketing, email marketing, and content creation to showcase your products and engage with your target audience.

Email Marketing

Chances are, if email marketing is not part of your marketing mix, you’re most likely leaving money on the table! Nowadays, even with all the AI technology advancements and the various marketing solutions that are popping up almost on a daily basis, email marketing is still the most effective marketing channel for increasing the bottom line of businesses.

Is email marketing still effective and relevant in 2023?

Email is the most preferred channel for digital-based businesses. As of 2023, there are 4 billion daily email users, and this number is expected to climb to 4.6 billion by 2025. According to recent stats by Hubspot, 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months. In other words, yes, email marketing is still a viable marketing channel that accounts for the highest source of sales and revenue for businesses in 2023.

Is email marketing cost effective?

Yes, email marketing is considered a very cost-effective marketing channel that offers very high customer retention rates yet very low customer acquisition costs. In fact, according to a recent study by Constant Contact, the average return on investment (ROI) on each $1 spent on email marketing is something around $36. This means that you will receive 36 times what you invest in email marketing!

What is the best email marketing automation tool?

There are dozens of useful email marketing tools in the market, but choosing the right email marketing automation tool for you is a matter of user interface, pricing, and feature preferences. For me, the email autoresponder that stood out is called GetResponse. It’s an all-in-one email marketing software that has everything I need to automate my email campaigns at a very competitive price for as low as $15/month. (Click to claim your 30-day free trial on GetRepsonse)

Content Marketing

Bill Gates once said that content is king, and it still makes sense because most of the money generated on the internet would come from content. Even huge eCommerce brands are leveraging content marketing to get more brand awareness and eyeballs on their products and services.

Is content marketing still valid and useful?

With the facts that 82% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing, 81% of marketers view content as a core business strategy, and 72% of marketers say that content marketing helps to educate the audience, it’s safe to say that yes, content marketing is still effective and powerful in 2023-2024.

How to produce SEO-optimized content?

Writing content only is not enough. If you want to have an edge and dominate your niche through content marketing, you must write SEO-optimized content that ranks on various search engines, and that could be achieved by staying up-to-date with the SEO industry trends and following Google’s guidelines. Alternatively, you can utilize AI-powered SEO tools like SurferSEO or Frase to boost your organic traffic and find hidden optimization opportunities.

What is the best AI content generation software?

The “best” AI content generation software depends on your specific needs and preferences. Different tools may excel in different areas, such as writing assisting, creative writing, copywriting, code generation, or other applications. It’s important to consider factors like ease of use, the quality of generated content, pricing, and integration capabilities. Some of the tools that meet the following criteria are Writesonic, Jasper, Copy.ai, and Anyword.

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Social Media Marketing

Your social media is often the first image customers see of your brand. They’ll note whether your engagement is high enough to build trustworthiness, they’ll assess how on-trend your posts are, and most of all — potential customers can be converted into lifelong customers by the impactfulness of your social media marketing.

As of 2023, there are 4.8 billion social media users worldwide, representing 59.9% of the global population and 92.7% of all internet users. Advertising experts see that 26.8% of internet users aged 16 to 64 discover brands, products, and services via ads on social media, which makes it a huge opportunity that businesses cannot afford to lose!

What are the best social media marketing tools? 

There are dozens and dozens of useful social media marketing tools, but the “best” social media tools can vary depending on your specific needs and goals. Here are some popular and widely-used social media tools across different categories:

  • Graphic designing – Those were the days when we had to hire professional designers to create social media posts and banner images. Today, with innovative drag-and-drop designing tools like Canva, you can create all of your brand assets and visuals by yourself, even without having any prior design experience!
  • Social media insights & analytics – Social media analytics serve as a valuable tool for brands, providing insights into vital metrics such as reach, followers, engagement, clicks, and conversions. While various platforms offer their own built-in analytics, employing a dedicated social media analytics tool such as BuzzSumo consolidates this data into a user-friendly dashboard for comprehensive analysis.
  • Social media scheduling & management – Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management platform that helps you unlock the full potential of social to transform not just your marketing strategy—but every area of your organization. However, Sprout Social’s high prices start at as low as $250/month, making Tailwind a better alternative for $25/month.
  • Content creation & writing assisting – Producing content alone is not enough. You should consider producing SEO-optimized content that ranks and gains search engines’ respect. Some of the best AI writing tools that you can utilize to supercharge your content generation are Jasper, Writesonic, and Copy.ai.
  • Video creation & editing – Video content has proven records of outperforming other content formats as people tend to engage more with visuals and understand video content better than text and static images. Some of the best video creation and editing tools are Canva and InVideo.
  • Influencer marketing – Influencer marketing platforms and marketplaces help you quickly identify the influencers that are the best fit for your brand backed up with data-driven discovery tools. Some of these are Traackr, AspireIQ, Influencity, and many more.
What are the best ways to interact with customers using social media?

Interacting with customers on social media is crucial for building relationships, developing brand loyalty, and addressing concerns. Some effective ways to engage with customers on social media are responding promptly, having a chatbot in place, asking for feedback, acknowledging positive feedback, sharing user-generated content, running contests and giveaways, expressing gratitude, and staying consistent!

How to stand out on social media?

3D animation is the social media marketing tool of today! In fact, one of the best ways to promote your business under $100 a month and dominate social media feeds is by replacing your outdated text-based and static image posts with 3D motion graphic videos. These pattern-interrupt videos are so powerful and they’ll outperform your static ads by a landslide!

Luckily, with companies like Standout Clips, you can show off your marketing without wasting time installing complicated editing software and spending money on expensive motion graphics designers. It has a massive collection of professional templates for all niches, industries, and occasions, for as low as $20 per video.

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Choose and Source Your Products

Once you understand your niche, it’s time to choose and source your products. Research suppliers and manufacturers that align with your brand values and offer products that meet the needs and desires of your target audience. Consider factors such as cost, minimum order quantities, and lead times when selecting suppliers. You’ll also want to order a wide range of sizes and understand the unique sizing needs for products such as hats.

How should I determine the cost of my products? 

Consider the following factors when calculating the cost of your products:

Cost Per Product: Consider the cost of materials, labor, shipping, and any other variables needed to produce merchandise. Add each of these variables together to find the cost per product.

Find Your Profit Margin: Your profit margin is a ratio that represents a business’s earnings compared to its revenue. Calculate your profit margin by determining how much you accrue with each sale.

Consider Fixed Costs: Fixed costs such as rent, licensing, and any other monthly or reoccurring payments should also be considered when determining the final cost of your product.

Tips for choosing a product supplier

When picking a supplier for your products look for the following traits:

  • Consistent Dependability
  • High Quality Materials
  • Strong Customer Service
  • Short Shipping Periods
  • Low Cost High Profit
  • Flexibility

>>> You can find reputable clothes suppliers here.

Setting Up Your Online Clothing Store

In the digital age, a user-friendly, visually appealing online store is crucial for attracting and retaining customers. Choose an e-commerce platform suited to your brand’s needs, keeping functionality, scalability, and price in mind.

Optimize your store’s website for both desktop and mobile browsing to prioritize page load speed, seamless navigation, and simplified checkout processes. Products should be easily searchable and categorized for the best user experience.

What is the best eCommerce platform for selling clothes online?

Shopify tends to be the easiest and smoothest eCommerce website builder to use when selling clothes online. Its drag-and-drop site builder allows regular folks to establish an online presence without breaking the bank or without having any special skills! In fact, there’s a considerable percentage of teens under 18 who use the Shopify platform successfully!

According to my own personal experience, Shopify allows businesses to create online stores and manage these businesses in a matter of minutes, without any prior experience or coding knowledge. There are different plans and packages that this platform offers to customize your business, so consider using Shopify to establish your own clothing business.

Where to find reputable clothing suppliers?

The one hub that checks all the above boxes is called Spocket. Spocket solved some problems like finding suppliers without taking a charter plane and flying searching for a supplier. It is basically a platform that acts as a supplier directory that can directly connect you with trustworthy suppliers located in the US and EU.

How to start an online clothing business?

As I already discussed in a recent blog post, there are many methods and approaches to starting a website. Today, although you can start a website in no time using AI, Shopify still tends to be the best eCommerce website builder for most niches, and in this tutorial, I’m going to show you the exact step-by-step process of starting an online clothing business using Shopify.

Step 1. Create Your Shopify Account

The first obvious step is to sign up for Shopify and create a free account. Although this survey can be skipped and has nothing to do with your actual online store, here’s a quick overview of how to get your Shopify store created in a matter of minutes:

Don’t overcomplicate it! If you’re looking to independently sell online, choosing the online store option would be the right fit for you. Just select where would you like to sell your products, be it on social media, marketplaces, existing websites, or in person.

Shopify is not only used for dropshipping, and that’s a common misconception among eCommerce newcomers. The platform can be used for drop servicing (a similar business model to dropshipping but for services), print on demand, products you make yourself, digital products, and a lot more!

Next, you will be asked to select a location where you will be operating your business.

According to Shopify, setting up your store in the wrong country may lead to the following issues:

  • Tax and duty obligations: You may be required to file additional tax and duty financial obligations
  • Payment issues: Limited availability of Shopify Payments in the country may cause payment processing issues
  • Shipping issues: Limited shipping availability in the country may result in higher costs or delays
  • Localization: By default, your language and currency for your store will be set to match the country you set
  • Terms of service: Shopify’s terms of service require that your store location be accurate at all times
  • Shopify benefits: You may no longer be eligible for Shopify products and services like Shopify Capital, Shopify Balance, partner ad credit, and select third-party Apps and Themes and more

Related: Are you living in a country where Shopify payments, Stripe, or PayPal are not allowed or restricted? Here’s the step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a company in the UK and overcome this issue!

One last step before starting your Shopify free trial is to sign up for the platform using your email, Apple, or Facebook.

After submitting all of the requested information, Shopify will do its magic and create a unique virtual portal that you will use to log in and edit your store from the backend.

In the meantime, you will receive a confirmation email requesting you to confirm that you own this email by clicking the button inside.

That’s pretty much it! Were you aware that creating a Shopify store is that easy?

Step 2. Customizing Your Online Storefront

After signing up and creating your Shopify account, you will be taken to a dashboard portal where you get the chance to customize everything about your store until you’re 100% proud to promote and share it with the world! Some of the many things that you can start with customizing are:

  • Your Store Name – To change your store’s name, you would need to head to Settings – Profile – My Store Name. Please note that your store name must match the domain name. You can buy your domain name directly through Shopify, but I’d recommend buying a domain name from a 3rd party domain registrar like Namecheap. It’s usually slightly cheaper.
  • Pages and Policies – A site is not ever complete without proper pages and policies. Some of the must-have pages are Contact Us and About Us, while some of the must-have policies are Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Returns & refunds. To add and edit your pages, you must head to your Shopify panel – Online Store – Preferences – Pages.
  • Navigation – In this tab, you can create the header and footer menus of your store. Menus, or link lists, help your customers navigate around your online store. You can also create nested menus to display drop-down menus, and group products or pages together. To edit your menus, all you need to do is head to your Shopify panel – Online Store – Preferences – Navigation.
  • Preferences – Any website must have a title and a meta description as they play a role in helping define how your store shows up on search engines. Also, if you care about tracking visitors on your store or looking to run paid ads, Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel are a must too! This is the place where you can edit these options and to access it, you should go to Online Store – Preferences.
Step 3. Creating Your Brand Elements

Brand elements are the unique aspects of your brand that set it apart from the crowd and help you stand out from your competitors, like name, logo, color schemes, design patterns, etc. Brand elements can create a cohesive, recognizable image for your business and extend into everything you create.

Looka brand kit
  • Your Logo Design – With free logo design generators like Canva, you can create a logo for your brand by yourself, or if you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can test out platforms like Looka to create your entire brand kit all in one place. Alternatively, hiring a professional graphic designer on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr is also an option!
  • Your Favicon Design – This is the small icon that appears on people’s browser tabs, and you can create it using Canva as well. Just make sure to always choose the PNG file format with the transparent background option.
  • Your Banners and Images – These include any images or banners you create for your website’s pages, social media, advertising, and more. You can use Canva to create professional banners and images by yourself and avoid paying big bucks to graphic designers.
Step 4. Picking Up a Suitable Theme

To add, change, or edit your theme, you should head to your backend office and tab on “Online Store” from the left-hand side of your dashboard, and it will bring a preview of your store based on the existing theme that is already installed on it.

Next, you can click on “Customize” to start designing the website.

If you don’t like the existing theme, click on “Add Theme” below the Customize button or scroll down to choose from the free available Shopify themes.

Shopify theme customization

Shopify offers a wide range of themes and templates that you can use to customize your website design.

Shopify theme marketplace

Alternatively, you can also find professional Shopify themes on marketplaces like Creative Market and Template Monster. To upload a 3rd party theme, you would need to purchase the theme externally and then upload it on your online store dashboard. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to install a Shopify theme.

Step 5. Connecting a Custom Domain

I often get asked: Does Shopify give users a free domain? The answer is no, Shopify doesn’t give you a domain, and this additional expense of up to $15/year you should personally handle on your own.

Shopify acts as a website host that allows you to search and purchase your desired domain name without leaving the platform. Alternatively, you can buy your domain from an external domain registrar like NameCheap. You can always reach out to their customer support in case you need any help throughout the process.

Step 6. Integrating Your Payment Gateways

Integrating your payment gateways is how you will get paid by your customers when they submit orders to your store. The most common payment gateways are Shopify Payments (that are powered by Stripe) and PayPal.

Alternatively, you can utilize crypto payment gateways like Commerce Coinbase. Here’s the ultimate guide on how to accept crypto payments on your Shopify store.

Related: If your country is among the countries that ban or restrict PayPal, here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a PayPal account in unsupported countries.

Step 7. Choosing a Paid Plan

Although Shopify offers a free trial that will help you play around with the platform and test its water for free, you would need to select a paid subscription plan in order to be able to receive and fulfill actual orders from your customers.

After your trial ends, you can either choose to continue using the platform by picking a paid plan or just close it by simply not associating a plan! So, there’s literally no risk involved in creating a Shopify account as you won’t be asked to submit a credit card UNTIL you’re ready and convinced to use it for your online store.

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Conclusion

Understanding and addressing the various things to consider when starting an online clothing store will ensure the success of your venture. By prioritizing brand building, standing out from the competition, and providing a seamless shopping experience, you’re on your way to making your dreams a reality.

In this article, we discussed the various things you should consider when starting an online clothing business, starting from designing your brand identity and marketing your business to sourcing your products and setting up your online clothing store, and everything in between!

Finally, if you want to start an online clothing business but are not sure where to start, make sure to claim your Shopify 14-day free trial and attend our totally FREE mini-course to learn how you can start your very own online storefront on Shopify and get the most out of your free trial!

Thanks for going this far and reading my article all the way through! If you found this post inspiring and useful, share it with your friends, please! (Virtual high fives and hugs to all my sharers out there!)

Cheers,
Odeh Ahwal

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So behind every great blog is usually someone who runs it all. That would be me, Odeh Ahwal. I’ve created the eComDimes blog with a mission to help people provide well for their families by starting online businesses, share my experience, and just introduce you to different ways of making money online! At eComDimes, we help you turn your dimes into dollars!

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