If you’ve always dreamed of opening your own clothing store, but could never get together the startup capital to make it happen, then having an online retail business may be just the answer you are looking for. More and more people are shopping for their clothes online nowadays, and even companies who have a multitude of chain stores around the world still offer the function to buy online. But what is it that makes some internet businesses triumphant, and others struggle to get off of the ground? If you are thinking of setting up your own online retail store, then here are four simple things which will help you to make your business a success.
Find your niche
People can buy clothes from practically anywhere and everywhere nowadays, and being a small designer just isn’t enough to set you apart from the crowd anymore. When breaking into the fashion design and retail industry, the first step is to decide on what your niche will be. Your niche is effectively the area of the market you are looking to break into, and it should preferably be something which provides a product which is in demand and not currently being catered for. You need to think about the type of customers you are looking to cater to and decide what it is that you can offer them to make them choose your brand over others. For example, it could be the style of clothing you create, the size range you offer, or the ethics with which you conduct your brand (such as having a low carbon footprint or creating vegan clothing). The more specific your niche is, the clearer your company identity will be, and this will help you clients really get to know and respect your brand and its ethos. This will also help you to limit your competition, so research well into whatever area of clothing you want to venture into.
Company information and background
In a time when spam and fraudulent websites are more prevalent than ever, a lot of customers look for some basic information about you and your company for some reassurance of your legitimacy. Therefore, it is important that you provide some basic information about your company, including a number, or at least an email, which customers can contact you on if needed. Beyond simple things such as where you are based and how you can be contacted, it is also nice for clients to know a little bit about your company ethos; people are more likely to support a company financially if they feel able to support you emotionally, so tell them when you started your business, what your morals are and what it means to you. Plus, clearly, outline all of your disclaimers and return policies so that there is no confusion between you and the clients. Finally, make sure to regularly update all of your information, especially featured products, and special offers, as this is what will show your customers you are committed to your business.
Easy to navigate website
This may well be the most important point, because if your website isn’t easy to use, then people are not going to spend time pouring over pages of your products. In particular, make the ordering process as simplistic as possible, as anything that takes too long or is too complicated to use will just put people off of buying your clothes, no matter how good your products are. For example, you’ll want to make sure that you have a function where consumers can add items to a basket so that they aren’t forced to buy items one by one. Make sure the basket is easy to find, and that the final pay now button is easily displayed; being able to accept payments online, and providing a secure platform to do so, will put you ahead of the competition.
Professional pictures of products
When it comes to clothing, just giving the name of the product is not going to be enough to entice the customer. People need to see a visual of the product which easily demonstrates what the item of clothing looks like, which is why it is important to take professional-looking photographs of each product. Each item of clothing should also be accompanied by the price and a well-written description; it is important to find a balance between giving enough detail so that the customer knows exactly what they are getting, but also making sure that it is concise enough that consumers find it easy to read.