Do you ever have a fashion business idea but don’t know where to start? Now is the time to pursue your dreams. Follow this step-by-step guide and understand what is essential to start a fashion business online. We will detail the steps to get your fashion store online in a short period, including finding the market segmentation, sourcing the right products, choosing the right e-commerce platform, and marketing your brand out to the world.
1. First step to set up your fashion e-commerce store: Find a niche
The Fashion market is huge. However, you shouldn’t expect your fashion products to appeal to everyone. Instead, you should find a segment of the market to focus on. In particular, it is important to choose a niche that you’re passionate about and that isn’t over-saturated with competitors, whether it’s ladieswear, menswear, or custom jewellery.
What are you passionate about?
For instance, if you are a fashion designer wanting to start a DTC fashion brand, you could open an online store specializing in your very own collections and sell to the people who will love your designs. If you are a fan of vintage fashion and have a strong eye for unique designs, you could open an online vintage fashion store. Your passion will make your whole business journey more delightful.
Some niche ideas
Below are some typical niche ideas to get you started,
- Designer Fashion
- Affordable Luxury clothing
- Resort Wear
- Ethical Fashion
- Vegan Fashion
- Plus-size Fashion
- Costume Jewellery
In addition to the above, you should also consider making your fashion garments and accessories customizable. For example, SHOPLINE’s product customization app can make this appealing feature available for your online business. Customers can simply personalize their fashion pieces, such as t-shirts or even jewellery, with text and images.
2. Product sourcing
There are lots of online platforms where you can find international fashion suppliers, such as Alibaba, Faire, Global Sources, etc. Alternatively, you can also visit fashion trade shows to meet suppliers and check out what they offer in person.
In addition, some of the suppliers can also be dropshippers, in case you are considering dropshipping for your fashion business. As a low-investment product sourcing method, dropshipping has developed with a great degree of automation and flexibility these years. For example, you can use Cather App to instantly add products from AliExpress to your SHOPLINE store. You can also use a dropshipping extension called Private Labelling to add your label to your products.
Whether you are buying available stock, opting for dropshipping, or getting a manufacturer to produce your fashion collection, you want your products to be loved by your customers. Therefore, there are three things you need to think of when you are vetting suppliers:
Is the quality of the products up to your brand’s standards? It’s always worth requesting some samples so you can find out how the products look and feel.
For dropshipping, you can also source quality fashion stock via an app called KakaClo. KakaClo only supplies fashion products that have gone through strict quality control so that your products can stand out amongst your competitors.
Level of Support
Are you going to have a point of contact to communicate with regularly? Make sure you have a conversation with them first to find out how likely you will have smooth cooperation with them.
Supplier Reviews and Ratings
Does the majority of clients speak highly of the supplier and their products? Check online for reviews so you know what to expect from the supplier in the first place.
3. Create your e-commerce website
After securing your choice for product sourcing, you just need to choose the right e-commerce platform to create your online store. If you don’t have web design and coding experience, it’s not a problem as you can easily create a professional-looking online store on platforms like SHOPLINE with its free themes and drag-and-drop functionality. The only thing you need to make sure of is that you have a logo and product images ready.
Choose a Theme
Building an online store may sound intimidating, but you will find it a lot easier with customizable themes or templates.
There are over 20 free themes on SHOPLINE. As most of them are suitable for fashion merchants, it’s down to your preference and brand style. If you are a SHOPLINE user, you can also increase your store conversions by utilizing some exclusive theme features like size charts, color palettes, customizable filters, etc.
Tips for a high-performing online fashion store
i. Use high-quality images: product shots, model shots, lifestyle shots. You can use Zhuge Creative to quickly edit and repurpose product images into website banners uniforming the style of your site.
ii. Provide clear and succinct product descriptions. You can utilize product filter and color palette apps to create color swatches for variant selectors so that your customers can understand your fashion products
iii. Make the whole website look aesthetically appealing and responsive on all devices.
iv. Offer popular payment options.
v. Use apps from SHOPLINE App Store to boost conversions, such as Product Bundles, Pop-Ups, Variant Combination, Product Recommendations, Wishlist, etc.
vi. Write blog posts to share the stories and the personality of your fashion brand.
vii. Provide great and timely customer service. You can use chatbots and messaging systems to reply to your customers and resolve their problems at the speed of light.
4. Market your online fashion store and scale your business
Once you have set up your store and uploaded products, what’s the next thing you need? The answer is traffic. You should start marketing your fashion business and let it grow. Marketing is a huge topic but you can start with some common but effective methods.
Start working on SEO and make your website rank higher in search engine results pages so more customers can find you by searching for certain keywords.
SHOPLINE allows you to update SEO for each page, category, and product, making organic growth pretty easy.
Paid media is one of the quickest ways to drive traffic. Also, paid traffic is easier to get than organic traffic as organic traffic like SEO or regular customers is an accumulative effort.
Paid Advertising is also a good way of finding potential customers and opening doors at the start of a business
With Apple’s latest updates, tracking information that comes in through Apple devices may no longer be accurately reflected on Facebook (Meta Pixel). Use the app, Facebook Data Reporting Assistant, to assure the accuracy of all advertising data.
Email marketing is perfect for reaching out to your customers or potential customers through your email list. This is a great but low-cost way to keep your customers in the loop and continue following your store even if they’re not browsing.
With certain email marketing apps available on SHOPLINE, such as Mailchimp and Omnisend, you can capture and manage email subscriptions, and send emails with marketing content. You can also configure abandon cart messages, complete with discount coupons to boost your store conversions.
Work with social media influencers to promote your fashion brand and its collections. Instead of finding and contacting influencers individually, you can use affiliate marketing for your brand with integrations such as Shareasale and COZMOX to easily tap into the wide network of affiliates.
Customer Loyalty Rewards
If your customers love their first purchase from you, such as a dress or a coat, you certainly want them to buy from your store regularly. In this case, you can use Member System from SHOPLINE App Store to create member tiers, and offer discounts and attractive rewards to incentivize repeat purchases.
- Find a niche
- Product sourcing
- Create your e-commerce website
- Choose the right e-commerce platform
- Market your online fashion store and start growing
Want to get straight into it? We highly recommend using SHOPLINE to start your online store. It’s easy to use, perfect for beginners, and incredibly affordable. Sign up for a 7-day free trial to get started.