If you want to start selling clothes online, you need your own brand of eCommerce store. That means building a website. Would you like to create your own online clothing store and do not know how to do it? Do you want to start making money online selling clothes and want to work hard on it?
As you know, today it is possible to sell products through the Internet to everyone. It is also possible to create an online store without the need for computer skills. Wholesalers or drop shippers can send their products directly to your customers. That is if you are thinking of running an international business right at the comfort of your Kenyan home.
There is enough information on the Internet to learn the basics of online marketing, and companies like Paypal & Mpesa make it very easy for us to implement an effective payment system. So what is the excuse to learn how to set up the online store you want?
The 10 steps to create an online clothing business
I am going to summarize the process of how to start an online clothing business in 10 steps, very briefly, to give you an idea of what would be essential to start selling from your own online store:
1. Choose the name and domain of your online store
This is one of the most attractive parts of any project, so I put it up front to cheer on the staff. You can see here how choosing a good domain is essential in an online store .
Both the name and the domain must be easy to remember and write, they must be as short as possible and, if possible, descriptive.
In the case of the domain, if it also contains any of our keywords, it will help us rank ourselves in the search engines for those terms. Try to make it a .com, or a .ke, .co.ke if you will only sell to Kenya.
2. Choose a good hosting company
This is practically the only investment you will have to make to create your online store , so don’t be stingy and look for a company that offers you quality hosting and a guarantee .
The speed of your online store is key, both for users and for search engine positioning. A slow page causes your users to get tired of waiting and leave the page, while Google, for example, penalizes pages that take more than 1.2 seconds to load by sending them to the bottom of search results. You should even pay more on Ad-words for having a slow page!
So make sure that your hosting company guarantees you enough space for your online store and a good connection speed. By hiring a good hosting service you will also avoid unnecessary falls from the server and you can have your store available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I always use and recommend Siteground hosting .
If you want to simplify your life, you can also use an online store service that already has everything you need so that you only have to dedicate yourself to selling.
3. Choose a Dropshipper of guarantees
A while ago I already explained how the dropshipping method works . Basically it is that your wholesaler or distributor, will send directly the products that your customers have bought in your online store to their home .
So this applies to those looking to sell internationally while in Kenya. If not just skip this section.
Obviously, the drop shipper or wholesaler will send the product without any company logo, adding your own invoice to the package if you wish.
In this way, the customer is equally satisfied and you avoid having to invest in the stock of products, or worry about logistics. The dropshipping company will take care of all this.
Logically, as a general rule, the margins will not be as great as if you bought the products first, but to open an e-commerce business, start having clients and see how everything works, I see it as the ideal solution for those who cannot invest in a large number of products.
There are many lists of wholesalers and dropshippers, be sure to choose one of guarantees, carry out a test before selling directly to your customers, and have one more selected in case you have to change. If you want to learn more about dropshipping see this.
4. Use a good CMS for e-commerce
Today there are many totally free and completely reliable e-commerce CMS . All of them are designed to a greater or lesser extent so that they can be used by people without too much technical knowledge.
In addition, being open source tools and known by a large number of professionals, there are many companies and freelancers who, for a small fee, can touch up or expand those features that you cannot perform on your own.
Without wanting to expand or go into comparisons, for a project or store without too many complexities, I would choose Prestashop without hesitation , mainly due to its ease of use, but also because of its “lightness”, good natural positioning and a large number of easily configurable options.
Other CMS that are also recommended would be:
- Virtuemart (Joomla),
- or Drupal Ecommerce.
All of them allow the selection of various design templates , both free and paid, that will cover all your needs. Choose a template with an attractive, usable and action-oriented design to create your online store.
When choosing hosting, keep in mind that it has the CMS you have chosen pre-installed, so the installation will be automatic and simple.
5. Personalize your products
Many wholesalers provide online stores with their product catalog in formats that can be uploaded to your store automatically, so all products can be displayed in no time. It is not a bad idea to start, but it is essential to personalize all the texts in the store .
In the long run, the only products that will be positioned correctly will be those that you have modified, and users will appreciate not finding the same text that they will see in other stores. Expand the information with product details, photos, methods of use. Use imagination.
6. Add all possible payment methods
It is essential to offer the maximum possible payment methods in your online store . If you can offer 4, better than 3. There are still people who do not trust buying online, and only make orders to stores that offer the Cash on Delivery method, since they will only pay when they receive the package. Others always use the card since they understand that there will be a company behind and some use bank transfer because it is more convenient for them.
You can add payment gateways with different banks but if you see it very complicated, either because of the banks or because of technical limitations when integrating the payment gateway (the implementation is somewhat complicated and requires knowledge of PHP), There are alternative solutions such as the Paypal comprehensive gateway .
Paypal offers us a payment gateway that will allow us to charge our customers by card. Its “installation” is extremely simple and the only cost it will have for us will be the commission (quite high) that Paypal will charge us for each transaction made. All in all, it is a very good way to offer this requested form of payment from the start.
7. Create a blog to accompany the store
As I already explained in the SEO mini guide for online stores , there are cases in which it is practically impossible to make long descriptions or that provide valuable content to our online store. In these cases, creating a blog is essential to attract some traffic to the store.
Although it is always advisable to create a blog that talks about our sector and everything that surrounds it, and that also serves to promote our products in some way, directly or indirectly.
Little by little you will be ranking yourself for the topics covered in the articles and this will bring you quality traffic willing to buy your products. So when creating an online store do not forget to create a blog to accompany it.
8. Regulate your legal situation
Legally you cannot sell products unless you do it as a freelance or as a company . In addition, in most cases, the creation of an LC is recommended, mainly due to the issue of civil liability.
Creating a Limited Company is a process that although you can carry it out yourselves online, it is probable that we decide to leave it in the hands of an agency.
Make sure you have all the papers in order, take out insurance and comply with all the laws in force before starting your adventure, a fine or financial penalty for not acting correctly could make your company and your project disappear.
9. Create online advertising campaigns
Thanks to online advertising, we can publicize our online store economically but especially in a scaled way . Using correctly the free analysis tools that the Internet makes available to us, we will be able to know exactly which advertising campaigns give us benefits and which ones do not work, being able to rectify quickly and avoid unnecessary losses.
In this way, we will be able to obtain benefits in a short time, and reduce the investment to “what we are earning each month”, so that less the small initial investment, the rest of the advertising could pay for itself. Everyone’s ability to expand those benefits can make a difference in the future.
To start advertising on the internet, I would recommend using advertising in Google search results using Adwords .
10. Online Marketing works
Your online store works correctly and you have already made a sale through Adwords, some other advertising system or naturally. Okay, now is the time to expand the number of sales.
Create your own online marketing strategy : Make special offers, prepare a social media strategy, organize contests, do a personalized follow-up of your clients, write press releases, … Do everything possible to publicize your brand and your products.
As in all businesses, you must sell to survive. It is useless for your store to be the best if nobody knows it, it is useless for your prices to be the most competitive if nobody sees your products. You must make the effort to go out to sell, or as a minimum, carry out the pertinent marketing actions to achieve the necessary sales.
The ideal is to start with marketing at the beginning of creating an online store, do not wait because otherwise customers will take time to arrive.
I have omitted some fundamental issues in the creation of any business such as conducting a preliminary market study, the viability of the project, creating the business model with the business model canvas or documenting all the steps, but how I have focused on ecommerce businesses and online stores, I preferred to simplify.
If you have already convinced yourself to create your online store, just click on the following link: Create your store now .