According to Statista's projections, retail eCommerce revenues from sales of clothing and accessories in the United States will reach $180.5 billion in 2022 and $295.7 billion in 2025.
With growth drivers including digital channels, improved internet access via mobile devices, and technological advancements, it is no wonder that the online fashion industry has exploded. If you're a business owner with an interest in fashion, there are plenty of opportunities to become involved.
We'll go over all you need to know about starting your own online clothes store and how your company can succeed in this tutorial.
Building process of an Online Clothing Store
To create a profitable apparel eCommerce store, merchants need to have a convenient and effective back-end and storefront. It can help you optimize your business operations, as well as provide a seamless customer experience.
There are many options to do so but there is one effective way that has been chosen by many eCommerce businesses worldwide, which is creating an online store using an eCommerce platform. It mainly consists of three general steps:
- choosing an eCommerce software;
- customizing features and business logic of your online store;
- building a storefront that matches your brand.
Select your eCommerce platform
An eCommerce platform is essential if you wish to sell online. Fortunately, many effective solutions on the market can help to build and support your webshop. All eCommerce platforms can be divided into two types:
- Software-as-a-service, often known as SaaS, is a subscription-based solution that is created and maintained by a third-party provider so that users may essentially "rent" the software without having to deal with the additional burden of creating and developing the platform. However, this kind of eCommerce platform lacks flexibility, data privacy, few extra service alternatives, inability to control all functions, and cost of configuration time;
- The open-source platform is a bare-bones solution with unlimited customization, full control over features, a huge number of developed integrations and themes, and the capacity to develop an expandable and scalable solution. Using this software it is possible to completely customize anything from product pages and themes to check-out procedures because the user has total access to the source code. Most of them are free but some can have one-time or periodic charges for licensing.
Looking at the pros and cons, it could be defined that open-source solutions are more suitable for a scalable eCommerce store with strong branding. When selecting this kind of platform to build your store, bare the positioning of an open-source eCommerce platform in mind.
nopCommerce is considered to be a powerful and advanced fashion eCommerce platform with open source code, as it helps to provide:
- an exceptional customer experience;
- straightforward store management;
- the ability to add customized product attributes;
- multi-store and multi-vendor support;
- responsive storefront;
- multi-currency and multi-language support;
- GDPR compliance;
- adherence to the rules of the European Union;
- the full list of main features with detailed description can be seen on the Features page.
Add and configure required features and business processes
As you choose a suitable eCommerce platform for your business, start setting up all required features and integrations. First, it is recommended to list existing features, which are available at a selected eCommerce software, and what configuration should be done. Also, add integrations that are related to the clothing eCommerce industry:
- customer and accounting management systems;
- live chats and help desks;
- social media integrations;
- feedback and rating services;
- e-mail and marketing automation;
- popular payment, shipping, and inventory software.
The seamless and secure checkout is essential for your customers. In the United States, 21% of online shoppers have abandoned their shopping carts due to a suspicious-looking and challenging checkout process.
For creating a quick and secure checkout experience nopCommerce provides built-in features and integrations that store owners can configure. Here are several suggestions on how you can improve your checkout process:
- enable one-page checkout, as well as anonymous checkout for unregistered users, both are available out of the box;
- demonstrate and configure the final price on the checkout page with all shipping, tax, and other rates;
- add a range of payment providers, such as PayPal, Stripe, gift cards, credit cards, debit cards, and buy now, pay later alternatives;
- make your online store safe with SSL support, which is available out of the box.
To integrate and configure mentioned and other extensions, with nopCommerce you may need to download from the add-on marketplace and install them into your eCommerce store. Depending on your background and capabilities setting up features and adding integrations can be done by the store owner and its team, or by solution partners.
Choose your themes and customize your store
The majority of eCommerce platforms include themes that can be customized to match your specific requirements. By providing methods to tweak everything from navigation to product pages for a site that functions well and speaks to your vision as a brand, quality templates make it simple to put together a store.
To enhance your website appearance, it is recommended to customize a chosen theme in these ways:
- modifying your template's color palette and background image;
- rearranging, deleting, and adding various items on each page;
- altering the font, color, and size of various areas of your online store;
- combining your store's feeds from social media.
With a nopCommerce store, merchants have access to a variety of free and paid themes and templates specifically designed for fashion brands. Plus, nopCommerce’s open template files allow you to bring custom design elements to your new store. Check these themes on the Marketplace. Do not forget about the ability to hire web designers, in case you need a more sophisticated and complex storefront.
Add relevant content to your clothing eCommerce store
As you have chosen a preferred eCommerce software and fully prepared the back-end and front-end of your online store, it is time to list the products and services. Most eCommerce platforms provide the choice to add items in bulk to speed up the process.
Moreover, remember that the quality of the display and descriptions, the navigation, and the website search can directly influence your sales.
Although product descriptions can seem straightforward to compose, creating high-quality content can be complex. You need to consider descriptions not only for convincing to purchase but as a major SEO factor for eCommerce sites. This piece of a product page can affect a customer's purchase choice in around 82 percent of cases, according to an eMarketer analysis.
Write brief descriptions with vivid and formal language to present the full picture to your audience. Add a separate list of materials, dimensions, and manuals, as it helps visitors quickly identify useful information about a product or service. It can be formalized in tabs with Tab Manager.
You may automate the process of adding and adjusting descriptions via plugins, like CKEditor, which is available on the nopCommerce Marketplace.
Displaying products should be used in conjunction with product descriptions to effectively illustrate the appearance and functionality of the proposed item. It can be done by getting instruments that enable you to make quality pictures. Also, do not forget about specialists that can help you fully produce product representation regularly.
It is substantial to provide a helpful product page layout for your customers. Considering your brand and product lines, adjust your eCommerce store design that matches your product images’ style.
Moreover, you can install extensions that enhance product representation by enabling different types of image zoom, adding product collections and suggestions, posting videos, etc. You can find such plugins on the Marketplace of nopCommerce.
Navigation and site search
Complicated menus can turn away clients before they have ever had a chance to see your offerings. 79% of internet users claim that a bad web store experience will make them look for another. No matter how many categories or products you sell, keep navigation straightforward and simple to use by concentrating only on the essentials.
Furthermore, when customers want access to information quickly, a search is the easiest way to do so. To minimize the frustration felt by customers who just want to know more about you or your products, make sure your search function is effective and easy to use.
For this purpose, nopCommerce presents various extensions that make online store navigation and search more user-friendly. Here is a list of some plugins that you can install for enhanced customer experience:
- smart mega menu 一 instantly creates a mega menu out of your current menu or menus while adding a robust and flexible dropdown category tree using the drag-and-drop category arranging tool;
- Ajax filters 一 enhances your online store with incredibly quick and strong filtering capabilities by price, manufacturer, characteristics, and even attributes to make website navigation simple and purchasing quick and fun;
- anywhere sliders 一 without changing your website pages or adding client-side scripts for each new sliding banner, controls an endless number of slider instances anywhere on your nopCommerce store;
- quick view of a product page 一 presents product information in a pop-up window on the same page, including the product's specifications, features, pricing, and other information;
- instant search 一 a highly customizable search auto-complete plugin that enables your clients to quickly find the ideal products across your entire website as well as in a pre-selected category.
Set up the online store pages
As you finish filling your store with products or services and optimizing navigation, there are several pages to write content and prepare a design for when making an online store for clothing: About us, galleries, size tables, shipping information, return and exchange policies, shopping cart, and legal page. The homepage development is described in detail.
This page represents your fashion brand's introduction. Use a featured image of the product and a short description of the company's mission to spark interest in your customers.
Add sliders and product carousels to effectively present featured products. To support and promote your brand image, integrate plugins for testimonials and success stories, as well as utilize pop-ups for more direct on-site promotion.
Publish and market your clothing store
After creating your eCommerce clothing solution with filled product pages and configured navigation, there is a need to integrate and develop elements for bringing traffic and, subsequently, leads to your online store.
There are several ways of raising your eCommerce website’s traffic but automated e-mails, social media, paid advertising, and content marketing are the main promotional tools for clothing and accessories eCommerce stores.
Automated email marketing
One of the finest ways to target customers is through emails, which offer significant value at a low cost providing an ROI of $35 to $40 per dollar. Create a subscription form that will request an email address from every customer who enters the store.
You may automate emails to introduce your brand to new customers and, in time, keep your fan base coming back by offering promotions such as discounts and exclusive offers. It can be effectively set up, analyzed, and improved by advanced email marketing tools, like Sendinblue. With this instrument, you can segment your mailing list and send personalized campaigns.
Social media marketing and paid advertising
One of the most crucial tactics for starting a new apparel eCommerce store is using social media. Utilizing promotional posting to expand your visibility and attract new customers is a very effective tactic, as over 72% of American online consumers admit to discovering new goods and services through social media advertising.
You should promote in the appropriate locations if you want to ensure that your marketing investments are reaching the right demographic. Find out where your customers are on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, or other sites, and follow them there.
Search advertising. According to the latest advertising research, 75% of users think paid ads help find information. Unlike social media advertising, promoting via search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) can be more conversible, especially for B2B and wholesale clothing companies, since ads appear when searching for certain keywords.
It is more relatable if your audience uses search engines to look for your product. To ensure people click, use keys related to your products and the audience’s search intent.
Track ads’ effectiveness Using Google Analytics
Using analytics software can help increase your online clothing store sales. It can show which products visitors gravitate towards and what blockages prevent them from converting.
An excellent tool for this is Google Analytics. It will provide tons of data about site performance, including traffic channels, the number of pages viewed, and conversion rates.
Furthermore, it’s free. After signing up, simply add a Tracking ID to the website’s code to start using the program.
Blogging is an excellent way to connect with readers and increase search engine ranking. Some common fashion blog post examples include styling tips and gift guides, which are great for promoting and making money blogging about your products.
Everything you put on the web, from your product descriptions to your blog, should speak to your overall mission as a business. Strong content is a foundational element of SEO, so the more your writing touches on the right keywords and phrases, the better.
To help our merchants better focus on tailoring their frontend experience without jeopardizing the eCommerce functionality on the backend, your nopCommerce store can be easily managed and filled with content from the admin area. There are main CMS capabilities inside the eCommerce platform.
Encourage user-generated content. Having customers post pictures of your products can increase your profile’s credibility. One way to implement this tip is to ask followers to model their purchases using a unique hashtag and repost them on your account.
As you start creating your online clothing store, it is important to consider various eCommerce platforms and choose one that fits your requirements. Correctly picked software may automate most of the operations and help merchants create seamless customer service.
Moreover, configuration and customization that cover your customer’s and business needs enable owners to create a comfortable infrastructure for a company, as well as a convenient storefront for their website visitors.
Finally, effectively composed and published content can increase lead generation and customer satisfaction since clothing sales highly relate to visual aids.
With this guide, you can effectively build an eCommerce store to sell clothes. Based on the experience of many web developers, nopCommerce is recommended to be the best choice for making an apparel eCommerce solution. This apparel eCommerce platform allows merchants to build a fashion online store of any complexity.