5 steps to sell clothes online

5 steps to sell clothes online


The world of clothing is very wide and it is a product that is sold throughout the year. If you want to set up your own business selling clothing online, below we will explain all the aspects that you must take into account.

If you don't know how to start, you can use online store creation platforms. They are simple and intuitive, and do not require programming knowledge. We will also explain how to create your online store step by step.

Step 1: Determine the store concept and target audience

First you must ask yourself: what clothes do I want to sell in my online store? As we have said, “clothes” is a term that encompasses a lot. Therefore you can:
  • Sell ​​clothes online of all kinds.
  • Create a business focused on a single type of garment. (Women's, men's or baby clothing, swimsuits , pajamas, etc.)
If you are a beginner in the world of sales, it would be best to start with just one category. Then, as your business and customer demand grow, you can include other types of clothing.

On the other hand, you must be clear about who you are going to direct your product to. To do this you have to talk to your clients, observe the competition, be aware of trends and social networks.

A good way to define your audience is by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who will be my clients?
  • Between what ages?
  • Where they are located?
  • How's the weather?
Knowing the details of your customers, such as marital status, education, income level, interests and values, will allow you to understand how to promote your product, what price to set, how to create your offers and how to design your website. Likewise, having a detailed idea of ​​your customers will allow you to know who your audience is, where to look for them and how to attract them to your business.

Step 2: Find a provider

One of the most common doubts when selling clothes online is deciding whether your product is going to be made in-house or, on the contrary, you are going to collaborate with a local or foreign supplier. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each of these options before making your choice.

Local Manufacturer/Supplier:

You can find this type of suppliers on the internet, fairs, wholesale warehouses, industrial estates, etc.
  • Pros: Working with a local manufacturer/supplier is safer, because in case of problems you know where to find them. You can get deferred payments for merchandise or sell on consignment, this is when your supplier lends you the merchandise and when you sell it, you pay the supplier. Wholesale order delivery is quite fast and you do not have to clear customs. You can check the quality of the product more easily and without additional investment.
  • Cons: the margin or discount with which you can buy the merchandise is quite low, it usually does not exceed 30%.

Manufacturer/Supplier abroad (Import):

You can find this type of suppliers on the internet, wholesale sites such as Alibaba, Global Sources, etc. Currently, suppliers from China are usually selected due to the low costs involved.
  • Pros: If you work with Asia, the wholesale price of the merchandise can be so low that your margin can reach 200-400% and even more in some cases. If you want to launch your own clothing brand, but do not want to complicate your life with creating designs, it is possible to request existing clothing lines under your own brand.
  • Cons:Finding a good supplier or manufacturer is not an easy task. Paying for the merchandise and not receiving anything is one of the risks that must be taken into account. That is why each manufacturer must be checked scrupulously. Visiting the factories in person gives you more security, but traveling abroad, hiring an interpreter, etc. requires additional investment. If you don't plan to go abroad, you will need to request many examples of merchandise to check the quality. It's time and money. Delivery times also usually exceed a month, especially if you want to save and import by sea. The cost of delivery is also higher compared to domestic delivery. And of course take into account customs clearance. ,

Own production:

Own production or own clothing brand production can be of two types according to your preferences:

– When you produce the clothes yourself. Keep in mind that you will have to invest a lot in equipment, personnel, developing designs and organizing and optimizing processes for each department (supply, production, sales and marketing, etc.). It is an option for large companies.

– When you hire a factory to produce the merchandise according to your requirements. Keep in mind that to request production according to your designs, you will have to make a fairly high minimum purchase and pay in advance so that the manufacturer is interested in readjusting its machinery to fulfill your order. This variant has the same pros and cons of the sections National / foreign manufacturers

Step 3: Decide on the shipping and payment method


When it comes to selling clothes online there is something that we cannot overlook, and that is choosing a courier company that suits you and the customer. It is advisable to work with several companies for shipments as this allows you to do the following:
  • Combine the best of each . For example, for national delivery Seur gives you the best conditions, but Correos Express offers the most convenient and cheapest cash on delivery service and you can leave the package at the Post Office. And for delivery to the Canary Islands, another specialized company with frequent routes from the Peninsula to the Island can offer you more competitive rates.
  • Offer the client various terms and prices . For example, Seur delivers within 24 hours for €5, but if the customer is not in a hurry and wants to save, they can opt for delivery with Correos in 4 days for €2.5.
The elements that you should take into account when deciding on parcel delivery companies is that they can offer:
  • A wide range of package weight.
  • Good prices for both national and international shipments.
  • Meet delivery deadlines.
  • Provide good customer service.
  • Collection service in case of product return or exchange.
  • Allow the customer to choose where to pick up the package, whether at an office, delivery point, post office, home or, if preferred, at the warehouse itself. For local customers you can offer the option of picking up the order at the office or warehouse of your store. The possibility of saving on delivery is valued by customers.
The greater facilities and payment methods you offer, the better, so that the customer experience goes smoothly, so you must offer a variety of payment methods for the customer's convenience, whether by card, bank transfer, cash on delivery, electronic money. (PayPal), cash, among many others.

Step 4: Open your online store


An online store allows your customers to make purchases without leaving home, expanding your customer area locally, nationally and even internationally. You can sell 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, you do not depend on government opening restrictions in the event of a pandemic or local regulations for the opening and closing of businesses. It can also mean savings in personnel costs and rent for a fixed establishment. To open an e-commerce, you have two options:

Hire an agency or programmer:

Hiring an agency or programmer can be a good option if you want to outsource this process to programming professionals who will design and build your website from scratch. However, you will need to have a large capital outlay and the process is usually slower than doing it yourself, since there are more people involved in the process and it requires more time in communication and exchange of information.
  • Pros: If you have a very complex store project with many functionalities and particularities, everything can be built to measure and you can count on design advice to obtain a functional online store.
  • Cons: It is a slower process and requires a higher capital investment. The first step is to screen the agencies or programmers that you think are the best for your project, hold meetings with each of them and eliminate them to find the best one. Once this is chosen, you have to negotiate to get it closer to the budget you are looking for, specify with them every detail of the store, coordinate and track each stage of development, and finally, refine and polish. All this requires a lot of time, efforts, where every hour has to be paid.

Do it yourself:

There are specialized ecommerce platforms that allow you to easily build your own online store with most of the functionalities that you would need for any online store and that will allow you to start without any problem. The best of all is that you do not need technical knowledge and you do not depend on any agency or programmer for maintenance or questions that may arise.
  • Pros: It is very easy to do it yourself since you do not need technical knowledge, it is a much cheaper option than doing it with an agency and you can choose an infinite number of templates that will give a professional image to your online store and you can add the functionalities you need through plugins or integrations.
  • Cons: In some cases it may require the service of a programmer, it depends on the platform and the client's wishes. Some platforms may have limitations in functionality.
The best option for a self-employed entrepreneur or SME is to create your own online store on a platform specialized in e-commerce. You only need to invest time, the platforms are easy to use, they allow you greater flexibility and you do not depend on other people to maintain the website. They usually have countless tools and functionalities that automate tasks that will help you sell clothes online, such as automatically sending order confirmation, rescuing abandoned carts, order status notifications, payment gateway, etc.

As the project grows and you need more functionality that you can't find with integrations, you can always hire a programmer to do it for you or an agency. But to start and test the market, this is, without a doubt, the best option to create your online clothing store.

A good option if you decide to do it yourself would be by using the Ecwid E-commerce platform, below we leave you a simple guide on how to do it:

We create the catalog

The first thing you should do is register with Ecwid . It's free!

In your Ecwid account go to Catalog → Categories. Here you can create categories, for example, “ Men's clothing” . Then, in the created category, you can create subcategories, for example, “ T-shirts ”, “ bermuda shorts ”, etc.

In the Catalog → Products section, create your products by adding all the information you want: name, description, price, category, images, subcategories, etc.

In the Options tab you can establish the specifications about the variants of your products, such as size, color, etc. You can also make combinations between the variants, for example, a green T-shirt and size L.

We configure shipping and payment methods

In the Payment section you will find more than 70 options to receive payments online. The easiest to install are Paypal, Stripe (payments with bank cards) and PayU (which contains many local payment options), you just have to follow the instructions of the platform and that's it. You will also have the option of offering the buyer to pay in cash, cash on delivery or bank transfer. Don't worry, Ecwid DOES NOT charge commissions on sales!

Finally, in the Shipping and collection section , you can establish both the fixed and variable shipping costs, depending on your parameters such as distance, weight, etc. You can also offer your customers the option of in-store pickup.

We configure the design of the showcase

In the Design section you can customize your catalog in an easy and accessible way.

During the configuration process you will be able to see all the changes.

We configure sales channels

On Ecwid you can sell clothes using more than 10 sales channels: the free Ecwid website, an existing site or even a blog, Facebook, Instagram, eBay, Etsy, Amazon and Google Shopping. Each channel you activate will increase your chances of reaching more potential customers. You can activate as many channels as you want at the same time. All channels will be synchronized with your Ecwid store so their management will be easier.

Ecwid Instant Site

Instant Site is a free website offered by Ecwid that allows you to create a professional website and customize it to start selling immediately with all the features you need.

To edit the Instant Site, you must go to Ecwid Control Panel → Sales Channels → Website and click “ Edit Site ”.

A new window will open, in which you can separately configure the design of each block: header, cover, store, customer testimonials, contacts and a dozen others.

Existing website or blog

If you already have an existing website or blog, you can add your catalog to it. In Ecwid go to Sales channels → Summary → Custom website. Copy the code and paste it into the section of your website page where you want to display your store and save the changes. You already have a complete online store on your website or blog.

Other sales channels

In Sales Channels → Overview, with just a few clicks, you can create stores on your Facebook , Instagram , Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping accounts . Ecwid will upload your product catalog and synchronize stock. Customers will be able to place their orders directly from social media applications and marketplaces.

On the same platform you can also use marketing tools (discounts, discount coupons, gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, automated marketing emails, etc.) and advertise on Facebook, Instagram and Google directly from the Ecwid control panel.

It's that easy, in a few hours, you can start selling clothes online and receive your first orders. If you want to try all the features of Ecwid, try the Business plan with 50% off the first month. You can downgrade to a lower or higher plan at any time.

Recommendations / Tips

  • High quality photos and description. This is one of the most important parts of the online store, since whether you buy or not will depend on it. The client, not being able to see the product physically, must at least be able to see an image of the product as close as possible to reality, which is why it is crucial to take quality photos. It must also be accompanied by a description of the product, mentioning the material it is made of, the colors and the size.
  • Right price. Make sure that the price you show on the website is correct, that it is competitively priced, but that you have a minimum profit margin to avoid losing money.
  • Fixed price regardless of region or free shipping. It doesn't matter if the user is in one country or another, the price of the product must be the same. It wouldn't be fair to pay a different price for being somewhere else, which can vary with shipping rates. Customers like to have free shipping, so you can set different minimums depending on the country to get free shipping.
  • Chat on the website. If you have any questions or need help placing an order, the chat will allow the customer to contact you. When a user contacts via chat, they normally expect an almost immediate response, therefore, you must have a person who can be attentive to resolve doubts in the shortest possible time so that the customer ends up purchasing. In Ecwid you can add Facebook Messenger chat in the control panel in Other sales channels → Facebook Messenger. To add WhatsApp chat, Viber or the others install one of the additional applications from the Ecwid App Market.
  • Collect and publish real reviews. When buying online, one of the aspects that greatly influences the purchasing decision is the opinion of people who have already purchased a particular product. This gives them more confidence and they verify whether the advertised product meets the customer's expectations. For this reason, it is a good idea to start collecting these opinions as soon as possible and display them on product sheets.
  • Offer gift cards. There are times when when you give gifts, you don't know very well what to choose, you don't choose the product that the person you are going to like the most or you don't know the size, so it is important to offer gift cards for those who want it. They are undecided. In Ecwid, you can enable this option directly from your control panel, by clicking on Catalog → Gift card.
  • Set up automated emails and abandoned cart recovery. Have an automated email system so that customers are notified when they have not completed a purchasing process and have the items still in their cart, to inform them of the status of the order, to ask for opinions or simply perform loyalty functions, It is essential in your business. Implementing automated emails in Ecwid is very simple. Just enable the email types in the Marketing → Automated Emails section, and customers will receive corresponding emails at the right time.

Step 5: Customer Acquisition


Once you have chosen the products you are going to sell, created and launched the online clothing store, it is time to do the most important thing. You'll wonder, what now? Well, since it is not a physical store, you can't wait for customers to find you out of nowhere, it's the most difficult and important part: attracting traffic to your clothing store and attracting customers.

This can be done through sales channels, which consist of the means by which products are made known to consumers to obtain future customers. There are many types of sales channels, but it is best to use several channels, not just one, and work them well. The ones that work best for the sale of clothing and the fashion sector are:
  • Fashion marketplaces : Marketplaces are like virtual shopping centers where you can open your store. The advantages of using a marketplace are that they are in charge of attracting traffic, they have a base of loyal customers, brand recognition, so you can reach more people and increase sales. A more general and internationally known platform that can work well, depending on the category and style of clothing you decide to sell is Amazon, others that are more specialized and well-known in Europe are Asos and Zalando, Privalia, among others.
  • Google Shopping: It consists of the Google section in which they show products for sale, for example, if you enter “checkered shirt” in the search engine, products that are for sale and that correspond to your search intention appear. The products that usually appear at the beginning are paid ads, but you can upload your products for free and they will appear in the Shopping section of the Google search engine and if the customer clicks on them, they will go directly to your page. product to see more information and complete the purchase.

  • Social networks: They consist of structures on the Internet that allow people or communities to connect based on common interests or tastes. These usually have a wide reach, there is usually a lot of interaction and many users, before purchasing, look for information in them and take into account the comments that appear there. The most successful social networks in the fashion sector are Instagram and Pinterest due to their visual character and Facebook. Depending on the demographic of your target audience, one may be more effective than the other.

You can advertise by:

  • Advertising on RRSS: Advertising on social networks is the best to impact what is known as cold leads , which are potential customers who do not plan to buy your product, either because they do not know it or because they have not thought about it in advance. that moment. By showing ads for your products, it makes your product visible and potential customers consider buying it, either impulsively without having to compare it with other products or to create brand recognition in new potential customers whom you can impact in a positive way. new ( retargeting). It is important to create good visuals and segment advertising well to reach a more qualified audience. The advantage of this type of advertising is that it is much cheaper than Google's and you can adapt your budget to reach your potential customers. Although it is also necessary to have prior knowledge to create content that converts better and monitor advertising to optimize the budget and avoid wasting resources.
  • Google : Google ads are those that are shown in the first positions when a user enters a search term, such as “green pants”, all the listings of products that have green pants appear. This type of advertising is usually shown to hot leads, which are the users who are in the phase where they are looking for that particular type of product and intend to buy it briefly, they may or may not end up buying. If they don't, it also serves as a showcase so they can see your product and compare it with those of others from the same place. This type of advertising is higher than that of RRSS, the keywords with the highest purchase intention (for example, “buy green pants”) have a very high cost due to the conversion rate it has. However, to optimize your budget, we recommend using a strategy that combines social media advertising to impact the customer for the first time and then impact again on Google and vice versa, that is, if they have clicked on your ad on Google and have not finished shopping,
  • Collaborations with influencers : For a fashion or clothing business, collaborating with these fashion influencers is very important, since with this type of campaign you can improve brand awareness and recognition, generate trust and increase sales in the long term. When choosing influencers you should look for profiles that fit the values ​​of your brand and the messages you want to convey and that have a community with the demographics of your target audience; The wrong choice could harm the image of your brand and divert attention from the product. The way to collaborate with them is usually by giving them a product so they can try it and take photos or videos with them or by making a payment.
Analyze your audience, know their problems and interests and look for what can motivate them to buy your product. This will help you create advertising content . By working with Ecwid you will be able to create and manage advertising on your social networks and Google directly from an Ecwid panel.

Conclusion

There are many aspects and processes in business that can vary from country to country (for example, legal and tax aspects). But following these steps will help you get your online clothing store off to a strong start and start making money quickly. As your project grows and generates more income, you can implement improvements and optimize the elements of your store. As you have seen, starting to sell clothes online is easier than it seems, you just need to invest time, give it your personal touch and start promoting your products.
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