Selling clothes online is a potentially lucrative business. In its basic form, it’s just a matter of sourcing clothes from suppliers and then distributing them to customers.
However, it’s a competitive market, so just wading in and hoping for the best doesn’t usually work. You need to be more strategic than that.
This article runs through 8 things that online clothes sellers must do if they want to be successful – and one thing they should avoid.
Choose A Niche
There are already dozens of clothes brands selling generic clothing online. For that reason, new brands need to choose a niche – a specific type of clothing that you will sell.
The niche can be anything for which there is a market. For instance, you might focus on selling Pakistani clothes or clothes for cosplay. Look for markets that offer repeat buyers.
Find Quality Suppliers
The next step is to find quality suppliers who can deliver apparel to the standard that your customers expect. There are all sorts of places you could begin.
For instance, you might sell artisan clothing online made by local people. Alternatively, you could source items from thrift stores or even clothing banks.
Take Professional Photos
Don’t attempt to take photos of your apparel yourself. You’ll wind up with grainy, dull images that do little to sell the products you want to flog.
Instead, hire a professional to create images of all your products and lines. Corporate photographers know how to take beautiful snaps that will entice customers and encourage them to part with their cash.
Get Professionals To Fulfill Orders For You
Trying to fulfill orders yourself is a challenge. You have to build multiple systems, rent a warehouse, hire staff and use the latest inventory management software.
However, you can get firms to do it for you by outsourcing apparel fulfillment. The idea is simple. You tell the company what you’d like to stock and then they take over the distribution process for you. Your website becomes a shopfront, while your partner logistics firm takes care of the rest for you.
For example, when a customer orders an item of clothing via your website, it immediately appears as a pending order at the fulfillment center. The fulfillment company then sends instructions to pickers to find the order in the warehouse and prepare it for dispatch to the address provided by the customer. Throughout the entire process, you don’t need to do anything.
Create A Professional Size Chart
Before buying clothes from you, customers want to know whether they will fit. And they can only do that if you provide them with the necessary tools. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, they can’t just try on clothes before they buy.
Therefore, online clothes retailers need to offer size charts. These days, you don’t actually need to draw or build these yourself. Instead, there are online tools that you can use that create clear images and allow you to customize them.
Advertise Using Customer Images
Stock images of products are great: they show people precisely what they’re getting. However, you’ll also want to provide a reel of customer photos at the bottom of the page showing what apparel looks like in context. This way, people can immediately see how various items will appear on them, and the visual effects they will create.
Be Realistic With Pricing
Everyone wants to charge high prices for the goods they sell online. But with so much competition, asking customers to pay a premium doesn’t always work. If your prices are too high, they can simply go elsewhere.
Being realistic about pricing means asking yourself what you’d personally pay for the items you want to sell online. If the price is more than you would pay, then chances are, it is more than your customers will be willing to pay as well.
Write Great Descriptions
Next time you’re on a clothing website, take a look at the descriptions. What do you notice? They all describe the item in exquisite detail, highlighting all the features and characteristics that might interest customers.
You can learn how to write great product descriptions online. Don’t worry, it’s a simple formula.
One Thing To Avoid: Ignoring Customers
Ignoring customers once they order is a bad idea. Make sure that you keep them continuously appraised of their package status. If they communicate with you, always respond within a few hours, particularly over social media. Tell customers that you’ve received their payment and that you’ve dispatched their products as soon as you can.