The eCommerce fashion industry should hit a $672 billion valuation by 2023. And with more people becoming accustomed to shopping for clothes online during the pandemic, that number is likely to increase even further.
That means that now is a great time to get into the online apparel eCommerce industry, as millions of eager shoppers are looking for products they could buy. But at the same time, figuring out how to start an apparel business online has its challenges, as there are already millions of stores competing for the attention of the same audience.
You need to have a good product and figure out how to attract the right customers and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
To help you get started with launching a successful clothing business online, let’s look at some of the most important factors you should consider.
Find Your Audience
One of novice online sellers’ biggest mistakes is failing to understand who they want to sell to. By not having a clearly defined target customer, most clothing stores end up appealing to no one and have a hard time making sales. After all, when the store doesn’t offer any real value, the only way to get attention is by offering bottom-level prices, which is not a sustainable business strategy.
That’s why, in the beginning, it’s a good idea to use the services of an experienced marketing and conversion optimization agency such as Northpeak. They can help you dig deeper into your market and understand who you want to reach and how to best approach your ideal customers.
Then, you can start thinking about the types of products you want to sell and the messaging you want to use to stand out in your marketplace.
Research Your Competition
Another crucial part of starting an online clothing store is figuring out who you will compete with. Once you know the audience you want to cater to and the niche you want to work in, you can identify the direct competitors targeting the same people and analyze what they’re doing.
Look at the type of branding these companies do, how they create marketing messages, and how they communicate with their audience. You may discover unique insights about what works in your industry and get ideas on how you could niche down even further.
By developing a strong unique sales proposition, you’ll have a much better chance of standing out and creating a strong brand and marketing message that will resonate with the people who are interested in what you have to offer.
Make a Business Plan
At this point, you should have a lot of specific and actionable information to work with, allowing you to brainstorm some branding, product selection, and marketing ideas that are likely to be effective in your situation.
However, to avoid wasting time and becoming unfocused, it’s important to develop a clearly defined business plan that includes the key details about your business and the actions you’ll need to take.
For instance, you should create an executive summary that covers everything your company is about and what it aims to achieve. This is where you should list some of your research’s main points and include ideas about what your company could look like. You should also include a market and competitor analysis, listing what other companies are doing and how your new clothing business might fit into the picture.
Finally, you’ll need to list out a process for getting your online business store up and running and a detailed marketing plan that includes some of the main campaigns you will be using to make sales and grow your audience.
Prioritize Customer Satisfaction
Countless details go into launching an online clothing store. And that means some details can get lost in the process and not be discovered until they cause a problem.
One of these often-missed aspects of launching an online clothing store is figuring out how you’ll handle customer interactions. You may have a vague idea of how you’ll take inquiries and deal with issues, but if you don’t map out and streamline the entire process in advance, chances are you’ll have a lot of issues once your sales volume starts increasing.
So, it’s a good idea to make customer satisfaction a central part of your business model. Make sure to invest in a ticketing and support system for the store that allows you to handle requests quickly. You should also consider setting up a knowledge base that your support team and customers can use to resolve issues faster.
Now is a great time to start an online clothing store. Millions of people are looking for clothes online every day, and if you can get in front of your target audience and meet their needs, you can grow your store at a rapid pace.
To maximize your chances of success, make sure to begin your process by identifying who you want to sell to, figuring out how to make your business stand out, and setting up processes for making every customer experience positive.