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Published: November 08, 2023

Ewelina Wróbel

08 November 2023

From Concept to Commerce: How to Make a Clothing Website

Is your own business in the form of a clothing store something you have been thinking about for a long time? In this text, I explain, based on my own experience, how to set up a clothing store step by step. What formalities will need to be completed and what costs should be taken into account when planning the development of your business? How to start a clothing brand? Interested? Now we'll begin!

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How to Start an Online Clothing Store in 2023

Running your own clothing store does not require any special qualifications. You just need to have a lot of willingness, self-organization and aesthetic sense. Anyone who is interested in starting their own business can start it without any problems.

You can start selling online on platforms such as eBay or in your own online store. The latter option requires some work, but having your own online business is almost essentially these days. Do you want to move from the marketplace to your own store? Yes, that's a good option. I used this option myself, and I am very satisfied. I have my place on the Internet, my customers associate my brand with high-quality clothing and know that they can safely return their purchases.

The pandemic and restrictions on Sunday trading have shown that the Internet is the only reliable place to run a business. When stationary stores and shopping malls are closed, online stores operate without any concerns, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, they can be carried out from home, from a cafe, by the sea, in the mountains or on the road in a camper. All you need is an internet connection.

 

Select a Niche for Your Clothing Company

 Choosing a niche for your clothing company is crucial in determining the success of your business. Consider factors such as age, gender, lifestyle, and interests to determine your target audience. It is also important to consider your own expertise and passion in a particular area of clothing. Selecting a niche that aligns with your interests and expertise can give you a competitive advantage and help you stand out in a saturated market. Additionally, think about the long-term sustainability of the niche you pick. Will it continue to be relevant and in demand in the future?

 

Choose Platform for Your Online Clothing Store

One popular choice is Shopify, which provides a user-friendly interface and a wide range of customizable themes to select from. Another option is WooCommerce, which is an open-source plugin for WordPress that allows you to easily create and manage your online store. Magento is yet another platform that is known for its scalability and flexibility. It offers powerful features for large-scale businesses but can be complex to set up and manage. Finally, BigCommerce is a platform that focuses on scalability and offers a range of built-in features to help you grow your online store. For small businesses, a website builder, e.g. WebWave, will be ideal.

 

clothing website

Add Your Products

Add Your Products is a convenient and efficient platform to showcase and sell your products online. Whether you are a small business owner or a large retailer, WebWave offers you a seamless process to upload and showcase your products. You can add detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and even videos to attract and engage potential customers. The user-friendly interface allows you to easily organize and categorize your products, making it simple for customers to find what they are looking for.  

 

Start Marketing Your Store

Marketing plays a crucial role in the success of any store. It helps to create awareness about the store's products and services, attract potential customers, and ultimately drive sales. To start marketing your store effectively, it is important to understand your target audience and identify the most suitable marketing channels to reach them. This could include online platforms such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and email marketing, as well as traditional methods like print advertising and local events. Developing a strong brand image and message is also crucial in order to differentiate your store from competitors and resonate with customers. 

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What does an online store give you?

  •  Lower operating and maintenance costs - you do not pay for premises, utilities or additional employees.

  •  Full availability – customers can buy from you 24/7.

  •  Greater reach – you reach whoever you want, regardless of location.

  •  More options for effective advertising - you promote yourself where there are actually buyers, and you actually increase your profits.

  •  Possibility of selling around the world - you can operate globally without leaving your home.

  •  Work on your own terms, anytime and anywhere - you combine business with travel, family or other activities.

  •  Financial independence without a full-time job or an additional source of income.

 

Type of assortment and store features

Self-sewn clothes and online store

Sewing clothes is coming back into favor again. After years of the triumph of chain stores, we are fed up with repetitive, boring styles and we want something more—original, original clothes that will make us stand out from the crowd. If you sew clothes yourself or alter them, you are in a winning position. These types of stores are a great idea for an online business!

I share this passion and run a shop where you can find repurposed clothes that I give new life to. There is great interest among people. Therefore, if you also dream of such a clothing business—don't hesitate for a moment! This is the perfect time to launch something like this. 

 

Vintage clothes and upcycling and online store

Vintage fashion is currently the most desired trend of our time. Whether big brands or chain stores, creators compete to produce clothes that look like those that everyone proudly wore in the 90s. But nothing can replace the original, clothes sometimes literally taken from those times, perfectly tailored, often designed by true master tailors, with soul and history in the background. If we add to this the fact that fans of vintage fashion are gripped by the thrill of searching for real unique items and hunting for bargains, the phenomenon called vintage becomes very important.

Maybe that's why for the last few seasons it has also been attracting interest among sellers who want not only to live for vintage fashion, but also to make money from it. With consumers' rapidly changing awareness of where clothes come from, selling vintage clothing is a sustainable business opportunity in a growing market.

 

Second-hand clothes and online store

People buy second-hand clothes—those from previous years' collections, but also vintage ones, for very different reasons. Everyone is convinced by something different. These may be ecological issues and saving clothes from ending up in that famous garbage truck full of textiles that ends up in a landfill every second. It may also be the need for individualism and wearing clothes that no one else has (after all, in second-hand and vintage stores, everything is almost always in single copies). People with a romantic soul certainly appreciate the stories hidden in clothes.

Second-hand clothes are a great business option. An online store with used clothing has a chance to exist! All you need to do is carefully select your assortment and ensure that your clothes are refreshed. The way the item is presented is also important for the consumer—in the clothing industry, people buy with their eyes. So remember to properly present clothes in your online store.

 

Drop-shipping and online store

This is a logistics model that allows you to sell products without having them in your own warehouse. You manage the online store and the wholesaler sends packages to your customers. You don't invest in goods, you have no limits on sales growth, you work from wherever you want and how you want.

 

design your clothing website

Designing your clothing website

Clothing Line Business Plan

How to start a clothing line?  A clothing line business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the vision, mission, and strategies of starting and operating a clothing brand. The main goal of a clothing line business plan is to build a brand that resonates with customers and stands out in a highly competitive market. This involves creating a unique and recognizable brand identity, incorporating aspects such as logo design, color schemes, and brand messaging. The business plan also includes defining the target market and conducting market research to understand customer preferences and demand. Additionally, a clothing line business plan outlines the product line, including the types of clothing and accessories that will be offered, as well as the pricing strategy. It also includes a detailed marketing plan to promote the brand and reach the target audience effectively. Overall, a clothing line business plan helps in guiding the decision-making process and ensuring a successful launch and growth of the clothing brand. 

What should an online clothing store look like? The answer to the question of what an online clothing store should look like is so general and loose that it could be the answer to the question of what a modern online store should look like in general. These features are definitely universal. An online store created today for today's consumer should, above all, be transparent and aesthetic. I think that if you stick to only these two features, your store will be good. 

Online stores are quite a unique creation on the Internet because it is not the graphic design that determines what they look like, but the products they present. If we remove all banners and products from the online store, we should get a minimalist website. Simple, clean, but still pleasing to the eye. The graphic design created for any online store is intended to support focus and ease of browsing. Under no circumstances can he draw attention to himself or distract the client's attention.

In the case of clothing stores, it is with images that you will tempt the customer to start a journey through your e-business. Whether you sell sportswear, everyday wear, underwear or footwear, it is the images in banners and products that will make the customer make a purchase. He will see how he can look in a given item. That's why the quality of photos is so important.

I would also like to emphasize that, in my opinion, your store should reflect the character of your brand. Do you sell vintage clothes? Choose catchy photos. Are you planning to sell minimalist and basic clothes? Let the store be simple, classic, and decorated in subdued colors.

 

What is essential for a clothing website?

First of all, think about what information is particularly relevant to your customers. As someone who is activating your online sales, you need to know what you expect from other online stores. Increasing annoyance and shopping cart abandonment is often due to poor placement of content and navigational elements on the site. 

  • Ensure that the search box is in the top menu bar. It's the one that provides a comprehensive user experience that doesn't force you to put all your content in one place. 

  • If you are running a clothing store, then the right way for your customers would be to filter your products. 

  • Take care of the color of the menu structure first. Does it have to be flashy and striking in the first place? Of course not! The menu must be simple and be an impeccable showcase of your entire store.

  • My advice? Try to fit comprehensively with all relevant content in the main bar. Place long content that doesn't necessarily encourage reading in the first place in the footer, like Terms and Conditions.

Online stores have their own elements - modules that are unique to them. One of the elements that we cannot do without in an e-commerce store is the basket. Below I will describe those useful for online clothing stores. I will deliberately go straight to the product card of such a store because there is one of the most important elements of an online store, probably the most important in the case of shoes, dresses, and trousers. It is a photo gallery. This should allow the photo to be enlarged so that the customer can see the texture of the material. A great solution for this task is to use a zoom gallery instead of the traditional light box product display in a popup window.

 

Attractive graphics

Graphics in an online store is another very critical thing that you need to take care of next. If you often look at the activities of your competitors and see an attractive site with nice graphics, then you absolutely must go the same way! The image of your company or brand is all about good style and aesthetics, which you maintain when creating an online store. Sometimes using competitive pricing may not have the desired effect. 

Firstly, take care of your homepage banners, font, logo and any infographics that will be placed next to your products, descriptions, etc. Be sure that the whole thing forms a consistent picture of the message you want to deliver to your customers. The communication must be consistent across all of your sales channels, not only in the online store but on your Facebook or Instagram.

 

Properly presented products

The layout of products in your online store is another key to success. To a large extent, it is what determines whether a customer who has visited your store will be interested in looking at the products by scrolling through the page. Focus on filters that will make the shopper comfortable in searching for products. 

Getting your website right is one thing, but getting it right for your customers' needs is another. The final steps to finalize the purchase should be intuitive so that the customer can easily pay for it and order a courier or choose another convenient form of delivery.

 

What kind of menu should you choose?

Mega menu

It will work perfectly if your online store assortment is very large and extensive, and a few basic buttons won't allow you to arrange the products accurately. When you hover over the menu, it expands down to display more subcategories that may be of interest to the customer. This works well for stores selling furniture, clothing, jewelry, among others.

 

mega menu

Side menu

It will also work well with a large assortment, which can be further sorted in a side menu. When scrolling the page, it will be especially useful, especially if it includes, among other things, searching by price, color, number of stars, etc. The downside may be the amount of space taken up on the website.

 

side menu

Product listing, shopping cart and product card in your online store as a path to success!

The arrangement of products in your online store is another key to success. It largely determines whether a customer who visited your store will be interested in viewing products by scrolling the page. Focus on filters that will provide the buyer with comfort when searching for products. A properly prepared website is one thing, but its proper preparation for customer needs is another. What happens when the customer already finds the product he is interested in in the listing? It will go to the product card, where there should be professional photos, good descriptions and all parameters. When a customer buys a given product, after selecting it, the next stage is the Shopping Cart, where the customer will ultimately buy your product. The last stages of finalizing the purchase should be intuitive so that the customer can easily pay for it and order a courier or choose another convenient form of delivery.

 

Creating a brand identity

The emotional dimension of branding means deftly handling the product itself and the way it is communicated. After all, clothing says a great deal about a person - his status, his approach to his own appearance, etc. What we wear is a message to those around you.

When creating your own clothing brand name, remember to well define the audience you want to target. To do this, get to know them really well. Make it easy with this tips for small business store owner:

  • Customer model - determine his/her age, what they do, what they are passionate about

  • What are the price ranges of your competitors' products? Can you go down in price or raise it?

  • What is your competitor's policy - free delivery, return policy, etc.?

The branding of a clothing company will also depend on the business model. If you decide to open a stationary store or boutique, you will have a number of assets at your disposal, such as the smell, lighting and its decor. On the other hand, an e-commerce-type store means more savings and an easier marketing strategy.

Clothing store branding should be understood as a certain process. A fresh new brand will meet your specific objectives, but it is the customers who will influence its later character.

Check the competition

In order to succeed in the clothing retail industry, it is essential for small clothes stores to check the competition. By understanding the market and the competition, store owners can gain valuable insights that can help them build a strong brand. Analyzing the competition allows small clothing stores to identify any gaps in the market and areas of opportunity. This knowledge can be used to create a unique brand that stands out from the competition. 

Additionally, understanding the strategies and marketing efforts of other small clothing stores can help store owners make informed decisions about pricing, promotions, and advertising. By keeping an eye on the competition, store owners can also stay updated on the latest fashion trends and ensure their store remains relevant and attractive to their target audience. 

 

check the competition

 

Building Your Website

Website—build it yourself or hire a specialist?

An online store generates a lower start-up cost. There is no need to commission the creation of a website from scratch. Instead, you can bet on ready-made solutions, so-called templates, which even a person with no IT experience will be able to customize. 

Of course, outsourcing a website is a way out for people who don't want or have the time to delve into the development process. However, who, if not you, should know how your business should present itself online? A self-created website will be exactly what you want it to be. Give it a try and you certainly won't regret it. 

 

Finding a Website Builder

When deciding to open an online store, you have two ways - you can outsource the creation of the site to a specialist, agency or freelancer, or... get down to it yourself! Thanks to solutions such as WebWave website builder, you can make the site yourself and don't need advanced programming skills. Even someone unrelated to WebWave can handle it. Yes, you read correctly - anyone can create a website in WebWave! The website builder itself is extremely intuitive, and with our step-by-step tutorials, such as on WebWave YouTube, you can create your own store yourself and customize it the way your business needs it! Sound interesting? Then check out our tutorial - how to make a website

 

Free Website Templates

With WebWave, you have two options for action - you can operate from scratch or use online store templates and customize them to suit your needs. It's extremely easy and fun, plus the advantage is that you can make changes to the store on your own at any time - you don't have to use someone to take care of the store if you didn't create it from scratch. 

 

Create a Website with WebWave AI

Don't worry - you don't have to create a site from scratch. With WebWave AI, it only takes a few minutes to create a site. Our AI helper will help you choose a template, as well as create text for your site. Isn't that an excellent way to make your work easier? Customize the selected template and personalize it to your needs. 

Infografika - wyóróżnione warianty "marketing and promotion" (lista wypunktowana)

  • Pay attention to SEO

  • Google Ads and Facebook Ads - paid advertising on the Internet

  • Cooperation with fashion influencers

  • Sell Your Clothes Line on Social Media

  • Participation in the vintage fair

 

Marketing and Promotion

Pay attention to SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the totality of activities aimed at ensuring that a store ranks high in search engine results for phrases of interest, and thus is more easily found by potential customers.

Paying a recurring subscription for the services of an SEO agency may be too much at first, which not everyone wants to decide on. Meanwhile, there are a few basic steps you need to take care of as well so that e-commerce customers actually want to buy from you.

Product categories

All product categories in the store should have their own subpages that are properly described, and links to them are also visible in the store's sitemap.

Product descriptions 

Each product should be described in as much detail as possible. Not only can this support the site's positioning, but it will also help interested customers make a decision. 

Finally, make sure you have prepared the appropriate meta description (description visible in Google's search results) and title tag (page title) for each page in your store. Depending on the software you're using, you'll be able to complete these yourself or have them entered by the programmer who handles your site.

My tip:

From my own experience, I can tell you one more thing - don't worry that your SEO efforts won't pay off at first. A properly optimized site is a must. However, it is estimated that a new site can appear in organic search results only after six months about the start of SEO efforts. It's also a good idea if you support your SEO efforts with paid advertising. The two affect and help each other.

 

Google Ads and Facebook Ads - paid advertising on the Internet

The most popular form of online advertising is Google Adwords, now called Google Ads. An Adwords campaign gives you access to both the search network (search engine ads) and the ad network (portal ads). Promotion of an online store through AdWords ads involves payment charged only per click on the ad. On the one hand, this is an advantage, as we do not pay for ineffective displays. On the other - a poorly configured campaign can generate high costs in this way.

Remarketing is advertising, displaying only to users who have previously visited your online store. The visit brings the user to a remarketing list. The list collects automatically - just implement a remarketing tag or use remarketing in Google Analytics. In this way, you can collect a list of users based on their behavior, such as users who visited only the homepage, users who abandoned the shopping cart, those who made a purchase, and more.

All these forms of advertising have their advantages. Jednka if you are at the beginning of your marketing journey, it is better to outsource these activities to professionals who will direct the entire process. Remember to choose people and agencies you trust. 

 

fashion influencer

 

Cooperation with fashion influencers

Working with influencers can be beneficial, but be sure to regulate these activities and watch them.  It happens that, especially creative, beginners in the fashion industry, entrepreneurs do not feel like regulating contractually the rules of cooperation. Sometimes I hear "why regulate contractually something that works after all", and that "after all, everyone does it that way and it's ok".

Well, this is the case until the first problem with a given cooperation. Then it usually turns out that if a good contract had been signed, many problems could have been avoided. Of course, you can't avoid all problems even with the best contract, but you can very significantly reduce their risk. Therefore, despite the fact that negotiating and signing a contract actually usually takes some time and requires the completion of certain formalities, I have no doubt that it is worthwhile to future-proof yourself by signing a good contract.

The topic of intellectual property in the case of influencer marketing is very extensive. However, what must definitely be regulated in the contract is, firstly, the issue of who provides the intellectual property used to create promotional materials as part of a given campaign. And secondly, and even more importantly, who will have the rights to intellectual property items created as a result of promotional activities. Failure to regulate these issues in the contract with the influencer may have very far-reaching negative consequences for you. For example, after the cooperation ends, you will not have the right to use the materials resulting from it.

 

sell on social media

 

Sell Your Clothes Line on Social Media

Social media has become a powerful platform for businesses to promote their products. If you have a clothes line and want to reach a wider audience, selling your products on social media can be highly beneficial. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow you to showcase your clothes line with stunning visuals, engaging captions, and direct links to your online store. You can create a brand page on these platforms, post high-quality images of your clothing items, and provide detailed descriptions.

Moreover, social media also offers targeted advertising options, allowing you to tailor your campaigns to reach specific demographics. You can run sponsored posts, collaborate with influencers, and engage with potential customers through comments and direct messages. The real-time nature of social media also gives you instant feedback and a chance to build a loyal customer base. So, if you want to drive sales and expand your reach, selling your clothes line on social media is a cost-effective and efficient way to do so. 

I recommend running social media consistent with all brand assumptions. You then show your customers how you want to be perceived by them and show your products behind the scenes.

 

Participation in the vintage fair

Participating in vintage fairs is a great way to get to know your customers and recognize their needs, as well as a great way to promote and increase brand recognition in the community. It is also a great option to start various collaborations with people who, like you, work in this fashion industry.

From my own experience, I can say that after my first sales, I actually noticed a significant development of my brand and new customers - regular customers.

 

Running Your Business

Fulfilling orders

Fulfilling orders for your clothes brand is an essential part of ensuring customer satisfaction and business success. From the moment a customer places an order to the moment their package arrives, every step along the way contributes to the overall experience. Once an order is received, it is important to promptly process and package the items. 

 

Providing customer support

It is important that even small stores have support, it does not have to be on the website. The idea is that in case of any doubts, the customer knows where to contact the customer service. Often these will be, for example, direct messages on Instagram or e-mail contact. So remember to inform the customer how to contact you.

 

Monitoring analytics and metrics

By consistently tracking and analyzing data, store owners can identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. This allows them to make informed decisions and adjust their strategies accordingly. One key aspect of monitoring analytics is building a strong brand. By assessing metrics such as customer retention rates, social media engagement, and website traffic, store owners can gain insights into the effectiveness of their branding efforts. 

 

Is it profitable to set up an online clothing store?

It is certain that you can make money with an online store. The e-commerce industry consists of various sectors and product categories, and many factors influence the profitability of an online store. It is worth taking them into account before making important decisions. 

Most online stores, like other businesses, take time to become profitable. Setting up a store, adding products to it, and accepting the first orders is the beginning of the road to success. And this is shaped by many factors that we have already mentioned above.

 

Conclusion

Every entrepreneur has a different way of making money online and different expectations for their own business. In one case, it may take several years to start a business, and in another case, profits will appear after just a year. However, it is definitely worth opening an online store and being patient. Remember that every business is different, but it's up to you what narrative you choose and whether your store will stand out from the competition!

And remember - I too, like anyone starting their own business, was in this place and wondered if I could do it. So I'll say what I would have told myself then - yes, you can do it! If you feel this is it, go for it! Create a website, make a business plan, and let your future customers get to know you!

FAQ.

How do I start a clothing business?

To start a clothing business, you should first research and define your target market, create a business plan, determine your budget and start-up costs, find suppliers, and set up your ecommerce website or retail store.

 

How much does it cost to start a clothing business?

The cost to start a clothing business can vary greatly depending on various factors such as the scale of your business, the type of clothing you want to sell, and the location. Generally, it is recommended to have a budget of at least $10,000 to cover initial inventory, marketing, and operational expenses.

 

How do I create a clothing website?

 To create a clothing website, you can use a website builder platform that offers templates and features specifically designed for online stores. Some popular website builders for clothing businesses include WebWave, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Squarespace.

 

How do I market my clothing brand?

There are several effective ways to market your clothing brand. You can utilize social media platforms to showcase your products, collaborate with influencers or bloggers, run online ads, participate in fashion events or trade shows, and implement email marketing strategies.

 

How do I sell clothes online?

To sell clothes online, you need to set up an ecommerce website or list your products on established online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. It's important to optimize your product listings, provide high-quality images, and offer detailed product descriptions to attract buyers.

 

How do I start my own clothing line?

 To start your own clothing line, you need to have a clear brand identity, design unique and marketable clothing pieces, find reliable manufacturers or production partners, create a memorable brand name and logo, and develop a marketing and sales strategy.

 

What are the important steps to take when starting a clothing business?

Some important steps to take when starting a clothing business include conducting market research, creating a business plan, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, setting up a legal structure, securing funding, and establishing a solid supply chain.

 

How do I choose a niche for my clothing business?

When choosing a niche for your clothing business, it's important to consider your target market, competition, and your unique selling proposition. You can specialize in a specific type of clothing, target a certain demographic or lifestyle, or focus on sustainable or ethical fashion.

 

What products can I sell in my online clothing store?

In your online clothing store, you can sell a wide range of products depending on your target market and niche. This can include apparel for men, women, and children, accessories, footwear, and even fashion-related items such as jewelry or beauty products.

 

How can I promote my clothing store on social media?

To promote your clothing store on social media, you can create engaging content like fashion tips, outfit ideas, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and user-generated content. Utilize popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube to showcase your products and engage with your audience.

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