These days everyone is selling clothes online. The e-commerce market is flooded with potential players who want to make their mark. Among tough competition only smart work pays off. To start an online clothing store in India you need to take care of the following aspects.
Find out everything about the industry
Talk to experts or experienced professionals in the space. If you want to sell clothes online, understand the market first. You should know all about it and only if you find it profitable, should you enter it. Take into account the present financial condition of the market, the returns existing sellers are getting on their investments, turnover, gross and net profit ratio etc. Form a projected balance sheet and profit and loss account.
Every industry at its core is unique. The uniqueness is greatly reflected in its macro and micro level. When planning to venture into the unknown it’s always better to be well equipped with information. It doesn’t mean that you need to pool a huge amount, then hire an agency to do an in-depth sector analysis or deploy all your resources in performing a formal industry analysis. You can always start small.
Before you ask the question, How to start an online clothing store? Let me toss few questions.
- How much do you know about the fashion and apparel industry?
- What are the current trends in the fashion industry
- What is the future of the online fashion industry
- What niche segment in the fashion industry are you planning to cater
- Who are your competitors
- What strategy will help transform you into an elite brand
- Which eCommerce platform is better for me
- Easy to scale
- No hidden charges
- Which all market places to display my products
- Do I need an offline store?
- What to do about ROPO (Research Online and Purchase Offline).
- How to make sure, when migrating online I will not end-up compromising my brand’s offline personality.
- Change management, Technology management, etc
Educate yourself! In the inception stage itself start looking for opportunities, if its an establishment rooted in friendship and partnership, then make sure that you will encourage engagement.
Conduct frequent brainstorming sessions. Collect and analyse the data. Find benchmark practices used in the industry and invest enough resource to improve it. Rather building a strategy around bottom-line, make sure that mesh a customer-centric strategy. Make sure that your establishment is based on a unique idea, which can inspire people.
How to start an online clothing business from home in India
The best part about virtual space is that you can start an online clothing business from home. There exists no mandate that you need to have a strong offline presence to venture into the digital digital world. Its always good to have a source for secondary income, of course yes with corporate down sizing and all the best option is to stay ahead and safe. Starting a home based apparel business will help generate additional sum and gives you an opportunity to live a life free from corporate hassle.
Top advantages in starting an online clothing business from home
- Will be able to spend more time with family and friends
- Opportunities for professional and personal growth
- Will be able to build a brand worth mentioning
- Flexible work life and timings
- Reap the full benefit
Few other business ideas to start from home
- Sell Used Clothes
- Sell Art Online
- Sell Handbags and Purses
- Sell Home Made Food and Related Products
- Sell Used Books
How does the apparel market work?
The clothes market is volatile. Every six months, the existing trend changes. If you don’t have experience of the apparel market, talk to people who have. You can also work for a year in a leading store to get all the market information, viz. suppliers, retailers, profit margin, investment, procurement, taste of customers etc. Add those products or varieties that are not easily available and are in demand. For instance, sleeveless t-shirts for boys. They are generally not available at many stores. Add products like these.
Fashion should not be concentrated around a singe concept of how an attire looks. It needs to be seen from a broader perspective. Have you ever thought about the ecological impact a textile industry is makes. So, fashion at what cost should be questioned and needs to be prioritised as a concern. Sustainable practices needs to be integrated, ecological safety needs to be addressed. The changing fashion industry fuels a repurchasing zest among impulsive buyers compelling people buy and hoard more than what they need.
Mary Creagh (Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee), said: “Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth but the way we design, make and discard clothes has a huge environmental impact.”
If you want to sell, then you need to know how the market works.
The best place to start, Start with the basics. Perplexed a bit isn’t it, how could you start from basics. Let me share the tip. Let’s start with a question;
- How much do you know about the retail and wholesale textile industry?
- How do you differentiate/ categorise a linen (quality matters)?
- What are the best places to source silk, wool, etc
- The famous place with textiles mills
- Top vendors, suppliers, the liquidator’s in the niche segment.
so on the question goes.
So now we have textile mills, quality management, suppliers, vendors, and a lot more in the equation. What next?
Pack your bag. Visit each and every possible source. Most of the above entities come with immense experience and they are the right people who could give you the best possible guidance. Make the best out of it. Engage in a conversation with these sages, hear their stories. Embrace their success and failure.
When the question is about how to start an online clothing store, by default be smart to know that you are on a collision course. Head on to collide with the best apparels stores in the market. Think on a global scale, The dynamic nature of apparel industry itself makes it quite challenging to scale and evolve. In a digital world with exceeding customer expectation and cut-throat competition, it becomes a great deal to stay updated on changing trends. The apparel market when tied with the fashion industry it transforms to a mere idea of uniqueness and freshness.
Stats published on Mckinsey.com says that by 2020 global apparel business is projected to double the growth. Which is kind of a stunning figure you cannot ignore.
This is one cool strategy that I would recommend you practice. Why not perform, instead of practice. I suggest you do it every 45 days. Your competitors are smart. They want the same thing what you want. So its obvious that your competitor will synergize and come-up with new and advanced strategies to outsmart your online presence and to lure your customers. A competitor analysis helps you to keep you informed about their marketing strata to an extent and gives you an opportunity for a fair competition.
Do a survey
Hire a firm to perform a survey for you. Post the survey on the net, radio channels, newspapers and magazines. Add questions related to customers’ preferences, price consideration, availability of clothes, style, their needs etc. The survey should be conducted in all the areas you wish to cater. Gather all the responses and analyze them.
Take care of the finance. Money is the blood of business. Keep some part of the money intact and do not spend it. Keep it for emergencies and unavoidable expenditures. If you have money, your business will live. Think twice before spending. Try to get maximum return out of the expenditure.
Find and shortlist suppliers
Understand the working of the market, that is, payment terms, credit period, discounts, price hikes, stock management, primary market or hub, procurement, logistics, and every other important aspect. The information will help you in finding appropriate suppliers. For instance, these days people prefer wearing t-shirts with humorous prints, so find one who does that.
Basic requirements when planning to start an online clothing store
When planning to start an online clothing store there are few basic requirements that you need to consider.
Online Personality of your Clothing Store
First and foremost being an alluring online store. We all judge book by its cover. In the digital world your website/ e-commerce store becomes the first point of contact. Your virtual store acts as the digital identity of your establishment. So, thee first point of contact should convince the customers. Your web homepage should resonate the brand personality and the brand identity of your apparel store.
USP and Brand Voice
Highlight your USP. Be precise an clear when you detail the unique selling proposition. Your USP is the key differentiator. So make sure that its fine tuned and refined, the benefits are vividly explained. Most entities fail to identify their customer voice, make sure that you wont fall in the pitfall. Be creative, talk to you customers in the language they prefer. If your are targeting the local market, then filling your eCommerce store with keywords and jargon that doesn’t speak to the audience won’t make any sense.
CX of your eCommerce store
Hope you remember me mentioning about a customer centric approach. It’s true you own the establishment, but the strangers who land on your website drives your business. We all know the fact that the longer someone interacts with a system the higher the probability of a commerce.
Your virtual store needs to have a customer centric UI and UX. The digital era is often coined as the age of customer experience. Delight your customers. Most virtual stores fail to realise the fact that the poor UI (user interface) is acting as a blocker. Give your visitors a simple interface. An objective driven UI which is easy to navigate. The buyers journey is so pivotal that any inconvenience at its minuscule level can cause confusion among the customers. Confusion at this critical path will create doubts regarding the business entities authenticity, leading to higher cart abandonment.
Develop a responsive site
Online customers are quite impatient. They want prompt results. Develop a website which is responsive and gives quick results. The website design should be compatible with all the major Operating systems and devices. Shopnix.in is here to help you. You can create your online store with just one click. The enterprise offers a trial run of one month.
The best time to start a digital venture is Now.
Custom options for a fashion store
The biggest difference with an online store to that of an offline store is instant gratification. Imagine walking into an offline store, the brick and mortar business model enables you to fell the fabric, try few options, find the fit, etc and then decide whether to choose or not. When coming to an online store it becomes a challenge. Now let’s see how providing few custom options can help provide your end user with the best possible alternate solution.
- Give an option for customers to custom create what they need and save it in their wish list.
- 360-degree view
- Virtual trail stores with custom avatars
In this cut- throat competition, it is the services that will give you the edge over others. Treat customers politely and try to give them smooth services. The procurement and shipping should be timely. Use durable packaging material only. Give the customers the best price possible without charging any hidden costs.
Go ahead and start selling clothes online. When everyone does hard work, but the one who provides best services to customers by understanding their requirements wins. Hope this guide gave you some basic idea.
Shopnix.in brings to world a new tool that allows the entrepreneurs to create their e-commerce store with great ease. You can acquire everything related to your online business and make your business a part of the stiff competition.
Online marketing strategies
Fashion marketing is unique because of its short cycle and is more than designing a dress. It inculcates the overall advertisement strategies that are implemented to position a product that resonate with the customer and motivates them to purchase it.
Social media strategy
If you are competing in the fashion space then you need to be smart enough to identify the latest trends and position your brand, such that people realises the fashion trend via your online store. There are a plethora of online apparel stores that have positioned their brand presence through social media. Through this effective social channel you can reach millions. Let people know about you, give them a platform to interact, engage, and talk about fashion, apparels, and clothes.
Most brands fall into the pitfall of not realising that social media is not a channel to post an image and leave. You need to be there, interact with people, makes bold suggestions and recommendations, respond to peoples queries.
When comes to fashion, you will be able to plot a linear propensity with celebrity endorsements and trending fashions. There exist hardcore fan followers who are ready to replicate what their celebrity does. Most brands are made celebrities as their brand directors. If you are a start up, and doesn’t have the budget to reach out to a renowned celebrity its fine. Instead of reaching out to global personalities, narrow down to a local personalities.
You can reach out to a beautician who has a descend list of loyal followers and can ask them to make use of your service. If he/ she is happy with what you provide then make sure that you get a testimonial from her, or ask her to do a small commercial for you. I am pretty sure to the least she will he happy to share your business entity on her social platform.
Create a Facebook Page
Facebook has evolved into a great market place, where you can find, inetract, and engage with potential buyers and sellers. When planning to start an online clothing store its a basic need that you start with a Facebook page. When creating a Facebook page make sure that you select the right template. For an online store that sells commodity of multiple variety its better to setup their page on shopping template.