Things have drastically changed ever since the covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the entire world. However, there was something new that came about. New opportunities came through, one of which was online stores. As the pandemic made traveling difficult, there was a dire need for sellers to connect with the audience online where the need to visit the usual brick and mortar stores could be eliminated completely.
Hence, a rise in e-commerce stores was observed in all industries. Big everyday brands realized that doing business online is more beneficial than having conventional stores. Many stores even moved completely to the online world and made the global village their target market.
Since there are no limits to who you sell online, the e-commerce store becomes a great platform to increase profit margins for your business. You can be anyone, either a customer, a business, or a window shopper; once you step into the online world, you will find something interesting that will benefit you one way or the other.
The experience is not limited to a certain kind of store. One of the few subsets of businesses making it big belong to the textile sector, expanding its reach and selling ready-made clothes to a wide range of audiences. For example, Elegante has opened up their online shop selling exclusive unstitched lawn merging it with Western wear. The idea is to get a wide range of people interested.
Is there some rocket science to starting a textile e-commerce store, or is the idea for anyone and everyone? Let’s dig in deeper and find out.
Online vs. Offline
The textile industry is the oldest in the world, and it has successfully been running on conventional methods such as stores, factories, and retail outlets. E-commerce is still relatively new to this industry. It certainly comes with its own set of benefits that cannot be ignored in the long run. The industry needs digitization; otherwise, it will negatively impact its growth cycle.
Studies show that the market share of conventional brick-and-mortar stores is declining. E-commerce stores now hold a market share of over 27%, and this number is only rising annually. Businesses and many brands feel that they need to keep up with the times to stay afloat in the market.
Many studies have been carried out to discover the buying trends of millennials and Gen Z. It has been found that around 67% of them prefer purchasing their clothes online rather than in a conventional store. If you are starting an e-commerce store, a few sure-shot ways to start one successfully would be to market one to demographics already purchasing online.
7 steps to start a textile e-commerce store
A few ways to start your own e-commerce business is to see what is happening in the market and replicate it. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when the wheel isn’t broken.
Choose a textile niche
If you are looking to start an online clothing business that caters to the general masses, you may be in for a disappointment. You will incur a loss because it won’t get the traction it needs unless your product is exceptional. To gain an advantage, be unique in the online world to beat the competition and work in a niche you are very passionate about. Furthermore, position yourself and tell your buyers that buying from you has an impact. For example, you can sell biodegradable fabric with less carbon footprint. The idea is to work with a niche and offer something unique.
Create your business plan
Creating a business plan is the essential first step. It will outline the milestones and goals you have to achieve to make it big. Your plan must have a high-level summary for the executives and clear goals on what you hope to achieve. Write down the kind of products you want to sell and do a comprehensive market analysis to determine who your competition is. Furthermore, a marketing plan and organizational chart can be added later. When raising money for your e-commerce store, make sure you raise the right kind of capital from the right investors who have the same vision as you.
While making the initial plans choose the kind of business model you want to adopt
- Print on demand
- Custom cut and sew
- Private label clothing
Or some hybrid model that offers a wider range of income.
Choose your e-commerce platform
Choosing the right e-commerce platform is very important. A good one will allow you to publish your items very easily. You can upload pictures and details with pricing, allowing your customers to navigate through them as easily.
On the other hand, a very complicated platform will require the services of experts, adding to the cost of your goods which will eventually affect your profit margin. Before choosing one, investing in learning about as many platforms on offer might be a good idea. Migrating between platforms is again a pricy exercise.
Select your domain name
Look for a domain name that perfectly describes your business. Do not choose a domain name that is hard to remember or just plain too long. Also, choose a name that can encompass all your growth ideas; in short, choose a domain that is also scalable.
Customize your store and make it unique
Most online e-commerce platforms have jaw-dropping e-commerce templates meaning you can get started with your journey by choosing one that fits perfectly with your brand. Users want easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing stores that they can purchase from. But they don’t want to purchase from stores that look the same. This is where you can customize pages and tools so that your store looks unique and the user can easily navigate the different products on different pages.
List of products
Once you choose the template and have customized it to your heart’s content, now is the time to start publishing your offerings as listings. However, this is no walk in the park. You will need to focus on the product descriptions and ensure that you have all the SEO work completed before deciding on the marketing strategy. Product descriptions play an important role when promoting your products. By using the right keywords, your product can show up in top google searches. Furthermore, always ensure you post clear and visible photos and show the user exactly what to expect.
Once you list the products, ensure that the user can easily checkout. Studies show that most users will leave their purchases in the cart if the checkout process is complicated.
Marketing at its best
Once you have the textile e-commerce store running and optimized, you can direct buyers to your store. There are a few tools that will enable users to visit your stores. One of them is email which has a great ROI. You can advertise and create promotions to make your users open an email.
Another way is creating awareness through social media. Such platforms are a great way to get users to notice your brand, as most of them are often looking for their favorite brands to follow. Furthermore, content marketing is a powerful way to get visitors to your e-commerce stores. Everything that goes into your store, from blogs to SEO content, will work in your favor.
The world is evolving by the minute, and the textile industry has seen many changes worldwide, with a boom in developing countries. It is only going to get better as the industry creates a fusion with the digital world where textile becomes accessible to businesses and individuals on the same level. This is becoming a reality with multiple modes of e-commerce businesses now in place.