For any business, success is defined both by the revenue earned and the number of customers served. Since both are interdependent to a great extent, concentrating on one ensures success in the other. This is especially true for an online business. With more and more people getting into the thrill of ordering or buying things ranging from clothes to cosmetics and even medicines, grocery etc., online, there is no dearth of customers, if one knows how to draw them to their website.
Clothes, today, are no longer only a necessity. They have become an extension of the personality a person is; something which will help showcase the inner as well as the outer beauty of a person. Thus starting an online clothing business has the potential to be both economically successful and creatively satisfying. In fact, it is quite a popular e-commerce niche but starting a clothing store requires more than just placing an advertisement after buying a domain. It involves following a series of steps which will help:
- To capitalise on the popularity of this niche e-commerce market and
- Enable the store to put forth a unique idea thereby differentiating itself from the numerous other online wannabe stores.
The steps involved in the setting up of a successful online clothing store are:
Choosing the clothing niche: Even before finalising on the products, one must be sure of the niche the store will cater to. This will be beneficial both in choosing the correct products and formulating a business plan. The trick to choosing the correct niche lies in being able to be extremely specific and really drilling down to the selected niche so that:
- The product list is appropriately made to cater to it,
- Competition faced can be limited and
- Impact of customer loyalty programs can be increased.
Store products: There are infinite choices available in clothing and apparel selection but one has to be very careful in choosing the products that they are able to cater exactly to the niche chosen. This also involves dealing with appropriate and amiable garment manufacturers who are flexible enough to understand and go the extra mile to cater to the vision of the start-up clothing store. Three essential fundamentals of the same are:
- Start small since it makes the business manageable and under control,
- Think ahead so that a store is able to cater to future needs even before they are actually formed and
- Focus exclusively on the objective in terms of brand creation, cloth quality and price points.
Outlining the business plan: The main focus of a business plan especially when setting up a clothing store online is to outline properly and precisely:
- The market catered to by identifying potential shoppers and slotting them into different segments based on their shopping habits,
- What products to choose to maintain their originality and uniqueness,
- The competition likely to be faced regarding quality and its corresponding price-points from the other companies dealing in clothing manufacturing for emerging brands,
- Realistic and achievable goals and strategies concentrating on brand promotion and increasing the top and bottom line of the company and
- The way the targeted market is to view the store thereby improving the visibility of the e-cloth store by creating a brand and finding ways to promote it in the niche selected.
Creation of the online store: This is probably the most enjoyable part of the whole process and involves:
- Buying a domain so as to be able to build the website and also design its scope,
- Choosing the platform and creating the theme so that the website is both attractive and user-friendly,
- Designing and setting up the product pages since the success of the clothing store depends heavily on the quality of the product photos and the details of the products in question.
Launching the store: All the above steps lead up to the ultimate step of launching the clothing store. Some of the essential points that need to be taken into account are:
- Defining the launch strategy,
- Preparing the social accounts,
- Setting up automation emails and having a proper email marketing strategy in place,
- Google Ad words Account needs to be set up along with Google Analytics so that traffic can both be tracked and directed towards the website.
Controlling the web traffic: This can be achieved with the help of popular and effective traffic drivers like PPC, email and content marketing, putting up guest posts, blogs and other influencers on social media etc.
The steps mentioned above act as an excellent guide to help launch the clothing store and also to ensure its success. Starting small is a good option since it helps to gain the required experience and know-how that defines the real success of the store.