It all starts with an idea. That’s how it started for Jane. It was in 2009 that Jane had the idea of starting an online store for boutique. Her brick and mortar store was doing fine, but something was missing. Sales volumes were stagnant. Inventory piled up often. And that’s when an idea of opening up an online fashion store sprouted in her. Fast forward to 2016, Jane is busy signing up vendor deals. Her inventory turnover is above industry standards. Her online store has flourished with time and is still growing with leaps and bounds.
“How did she pull it off?
How did she create an online fashion store of her own with no computer knowledge whatsoever?
How did she find her niche market? “
Many Janes exist around us. They have brilliant products to offer to a global market, but find it difficult to sell and market them effectively. The reasons: costly IT infrastructure, lack of ecommerce working and most importantly fear of failure.
Are you somebody who dreams of becoming successful like Jane did? Here is what you need to know to build an online clothing or fashion store. We break down all the necessary stuff you will need to know and get to start selling on your online clothing store.
Know the pulse of the market
Venturing into a business without knowing the market pulse is like diving into the water without knowing its depth. So, it is inevitable that you get to know about the market where you are going to sell your wares beforehand prior to making the initial investment.
Master the art of doing market research by keeping these pointers in mind:
Methods of doing research:
- Personal interviews, email questionnaires, telephonic conversations, etc. with industry experts
- Surveys using online mediums, local communities, email, etc.
- Discussing with target groups, collecting samples from potential clients, social media, etc.
Questions to bear in mind:
- Who will pay for your product(s)? (Basically, they are your end customers).
- What composition of the world population comprises your market share? (How many men within the age of 40, women in between age of 16 to 40, children of 4 to 8 years, etc.)
- What market gap are you trying to fill by introducing your product or service?
- Is your business model futuristic? Is dependent on technology that could go obsolete in near future? Is it sustainable?
Zeroing in on a domain name
A domain name serves two purposes. First, it will be the web address where customers will find your online store. Secondly, in the recent years, the domain role plays the dual role of being used as a brandable name that strikes a chord with the target market. Consider these: Amazon, eBay, alibaba, etc. All these domain names also double up as brand names.
Hence, to make your online fashion store gets all the leverage it needs, ensure the domain name is:
- short, crisp and catchy
- Easy to remember and spell
- Something which can be turned into a brand
- Does not conflict/violate with any trademarks/patents
- Preferably has an extension like .com, .in, .au, etc. for specific country markets
Unless you are adamant to have web servers running from your dorm room or living room, it is best to seek the services of reliable web hosting company. There are many companies which provide high quality web hosting services for a monthly or half-yearly fee for small-scale Internet entrepreneurs. Web hosting will ensure that your website is up and running all round the year without any disruption. Moreover, they will also provide 24×7 support in case of any unexpected breakdowns or down times.
Readymade script Vs Custom website solutions
Domain name finalized, web hosting secured, and the next immediate step you might want to take is to decide whether you want to go for readymade scripts or use custom website solutions for setting up your online fashion store.
Why readymade script is the best choice for budding businesses?
Pros and cons of opting for custom made scripts
Apptha Marketplace – Set up your own online fashion store in less than 180 seconds
Apptha Marketplace script is a one-source destination to get the ultimate online fashion store that can be launched within few minutes. The readymade script comes with free 1 year cloud hosting, a range of free add ons and a variety of other impressive features that no first time clothing store owner can ignore.
Exclusive features of Apptha Marketplace script include:
- Seller dashboard where sales reports and trends can be obtained instantly
- Facility to set up custom attributes for sellers
- Option to add or import YouTube videos
- Ajax powered Quick View option
- Promote store using seller portfolio consisting of products and customer reviews
- Third party vendors can set up their base URLs with their store name or brand name
- Option to list super deals and exclusive offers in a separate page
- Specific admin dashboard to monitor sales happenings and seller requests
Shout out through digital marketing
For an online store, the best forward to get noticed in the virtual world is through digital marketing. Digital marketing comprises of SEO, SMO, SMM, affiliate marketing and so on. Each digital marketing strategy has its own merit and purpose that will suit businesses with varying objectives.
Different digital marketing tactics and what they can do to your business:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Improve search engine rankings. Get more organic traffic to website.
- SMM (Social Media Marketing): Publicize your website and its offerings to social media population through use of Pages, communities, forums, etc.
- SMO (Social Media Optimization): Optimize your social media feeds with posts that will connect with your customers.
Keep the cash counter ticking
Enough said. Let’s get down to business. Bring in revenue inflow. But how?
As an online clothing store with great visibility, you have three major ways of earning revenue:
- Direct selling to customers: Sell your exclusive inventory to customers through online queries. Collect fee from customers using online payment gateways. Dispatch consignments to customers through logistic partners.
- Vendor fee from third party vendors: Provide third party vendors the option to list their products in your website. Collect a commission amount or vendor fee for each successful transaction conducted through the website.
- Advertisements/branding fee from retailers: Getting the world’s attention? Use it to your advantage? Use your online stores as a virtual real estate place to host promotional content of brands. Earn endorsement fee from them for service offered.
Now that’s in a nutshell how you can start and launch your own online clothing store. Ready to go? Get your online clothing store script here.