How to create a business plan for your online clothing store
Creating a detailed business plan is critical to the success of your online clothing store. Your business plan guides most operations, from clothing styles to marketing to website design.
So, how can you position your small business to survive?
Your journey starts with an online clothing store business plan that considers your audience and competition.
Read on to learn how to create a business plan to win and keep customers.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Online clothing store business plan 101
Benefits of an online clothing store business plan, parts of an online store business plan, tips for writing a successful online clothing store business plan, final thoughts: how to create a business plan for your online clothing store.
An online clothing store business plan is a document that contains information about aspects of your clothing business, such as products, marketing, ideal customers, and growth forecasts.
It provides an overview of how your small business will serve customers and make profits. You can also update then plan when the key elements change over time.
It’s always best to create your business plan before you start operations. But if you’ve started selling clothes without one, you can still create one now.
Whether you start from scratch or use an online business plan template as a starting point, going through this process will help you understand your ecommerce business deeply.
Creating a business plan may sound stressful. But it’s a vital part of working towards starting your online clothing store.
An online clothing store business plan helps you:
Determine the viability of your business
A core reason to create a business plan is to identify the chances of gaining market share and making profits before you invest more time and money into the idea.
A clothing line business plan contains information about your niche market, potential customers, opportunities, and threats that you might otherwise miss in the excitement of opening your own business.
In other words, it helps you avoid diving head-first into the unknown and the losses that come with it. It also helps set the context in which your business is more likely to thrive. No two stores are the same.
For example, a business plan for a boutique storefront would require a different approach to that of an ecommerce business plan. Moreover, its focus would be vastly different from those of say, a second-hand clothing store business.
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Improve clarity and focus of operations
Every successful clothing store startup has a strategy that guides its operations. The operations outlined in the plan will keep you focused and on track.
Without a business plan for your clothing store, you might have difficulty sticking with one strategy and achieving growth. After all, your business plan is the roadmap for your company.
Secure the right employees
Using your business plan as a roadmap allows you to see the skills needed in your operations easily. So when you are ready to hire employees, it’s easy to define precise requirements and hire only for positions you truly need to fill.
There are many ways to write a business plan. But every effective business plan should contain vital information about business operations, products, customers, marketing strategy, and growth potential.
In the end, it should be helpful for your business and investors. You can start with an online business plan template or start from scratch.
Whichever option you choose, use these nine key parts of an online clothing store business plan:
1. Executive summary
The executive summary of your clothing business contains details such as objectives, mission, products, and keys to success. Think of your executive summary as a brand’s elevator pitch where you have to hook a reader in a few minutes.
While the executive summary appears at the beginning of your business plan, it is written last. By waiting until everything else is written, you have a complete view of your plan and know the most important information to add.
2. Business description and mission
Your business description will tell people about your brand name, products, and target customers.
Your mission statement also works as an extension of your description. With it, you can state your overall company goals and anything that sets you apart from other companies.
Give shoppers a reason to buy clothes from your ecommerce store rather than competitors.
For example, Nordstrom describes its business and mission on its “About Us” page.
3. Market analysis
To sell clothes, you must study the people who want to buy them. How large is your potential customer base? What types of clothes do they like?
Your market analysis will detail the market size for your clothing niche, buying trends, and target market demographics.
While doing this, perform a SWOT analysis to uncover your new business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Then, you need to perform a competitive analysis. That includes analyzing competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. What makes your store better? How can you attract their customers? These answers are the basis you’ll use to inform your marketing strategy.
4. Business structure
You need a business structure to operate as a business. There are many options for a legal structure for your business. Some options include a sole proprietorship, an LLC, a partnership, or a corporation.
You can check out the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) page on selecting the right business structure .
5. Products and services
In this section, you’ll list products and how they appeal to your target customers. If you have many products, you can just provide an overview of categories.
Do you have new products in mind for the future? Include them here. Also, remember to list intellectual property that can boost profits, such as proprietary T-shirt designs.
As an online clothing store, you’ll also need to consider product availability and review current fashion industry trends.
6. Clothing marketing strategy
Your marketing and sales strategy will outline steps to reach potential customers and attract them to your products.
In particular, you should lay out an example ecommerce marketing plan for your clothing business website. Remember, your website will replace a physical store. As an ecommerce business, your marketing plan will likely focus on channels such as email, social media, search engines (SEO), and your website.
You should also aim to optimize your website design and user experience to offer an easy buying journey to your target audience . After all, if your online clothing boutique is hard to use or slow, many shoppers will leave without buying.
In this section, you can also include your planned key performance indicators (KPIs) for your marketing campaigns.
7. Operations plan
In your operations plan, you want to provide information about how the business will actually operate, from sourcing materials to getting the products to customers. So you should add details such as suppliers, lead times for ordering stock, equipment, inventory management, and shipping.
Will you drop ship clothes, buy inventory from wholesalers, or manufacture from raw materials? What payment options will you accept? Will you sell directly through social media?
For delivery, will you handle shipping in-house or through a third-party partner? According to the 2022 Salsify Report , 24% and 22% of U.S. shoppers choose where to make purchases based on delivery options and speed, respectively.
Be sure this section covers each step of your operating needs.
8. Clothing store startup costs and funding
No matter the size of your clothing business, you need money to start the business. The amount you need will differ across business models such as dropshipping , cut-and-sewn salons, printing graphic t-shirts, buying from wholesalers, manufacturing custom clothing, or second-hand sales.
In this section of your business plan, you need to show your startup costs. These may include inventory, production, website hosting and design, and equipment and software.
Also, keep in mind to indicate which of these costs will be one-time or recurring costs.
In this section, you can also add your projected profit and loss statements and cash flow.
The funding part of this section of your business plan will outline how you want to get money to run your business. Common funding options for your online retail business are friends, family members, crowdfunding, and bank loans. This section should explain most of your financial plan.
9. Ecommerce growth forecast
An ecommerce growth forecast lets you look forward to the future of your new company.
Your growth forecast will answer questions like:
- What are your financial projections over a few years?
- What are the market projections for clothing ecommerce?
- What products are you planning to add to your store, and when?
Your growth forecast should show where you see your business in a few years.
There’s no single right way to write a business plan. But you’ll increase your chances of writing a successful online store business plan if you follow these tips:
- Write your business plan in simple language that most people can understand.
- Keep your business plan as short as possible while still covering all necessary points.
- Create buyer personas for product categories to better understand your ideal customers.
- Present a realistic growth forecast for investors.
When you follow these tips, you’ll have a business plan that people can read easily. While reading, they’ll also get a sense of what you’re trying to achieve with your clothing business.
Starting and running an online retail business is a lot of work.
A detailed online clothing store business plan will help ensure your business direction and goals are clear.
As an online store, your website is one of the most important elements in your business plan. After all, your online clothing startup literally lives on the internet.
Your business plan will fall apart without reliable website hosting and an easy-to-use design.
Our WooCommerce hosting packages help you turn your online clothing store concepts into reality. Paired with vital features like autoscaling for traffic surges, we’re ready to host your business as it grows in the coming years.
Try our WooCommerce hosting today and experience the difference.
Maddy Osman is a WordPress expert, WordCamp US speaker, bestselling author, and the Founder and SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith. She has a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Iowa and is a WordCamp Denver organizer while also operating The Blogsmith, an SEO content agency for B2B tech companies that works with clients like HubSpot, Automattic, and Sprout Social. Learn more about The Blogsmith's process and get in touch to talk content strategy: www.TheBlogsmith.com
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Why You Need a Business Plan for Your Online Boutique Clothing Store
Understand your niche in the online clothing marketplace, develop a unique brand and product offerings, create an online marketing strategy, plan for inventory management and fulfillment, set financial projections and funding requirements, then be ready to change them, download a free online boutique clothing store business plan template and example, how to write an online boutique clothing store business plan + example templates.
7 min. read
Updated October 27, 2023
In 2022, U.S. consumers spent over $1 of every $5 in online shopping on apparel .
From rare, vintage fashion to contemporary clothes for all shapes and sizes, shoppers have increasingly turned to the eCommerce market to stock their wardrobes in recent years. But with that opportunity comes fierce competition.
Anyone looking to start an online clothing business will need to have an unequaled knowledge of both their target market and competitors. This makes writing a detailed, flexible business plan an essential first step to successfully launch and sustain your online clothing business.
A business plan will help you determine the startup costs you’ll need to buy inventory, set up an order fulfillment process and establish your online presence. It will also help you set realistic sales expectations and ensure that the revenue you bring in will be enough to cover costs and generate some profit.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to tailor your business plan to meet the needs of the fast-paced online fashion landscape – you can even download a free online boutique clothing store business plan template to help get you started.
The surge in online shopping presents a major opportunity for fashion-minded entrepreneurs looking to enter the online clothing space. But you’ll need to show a firm understanding of the industry, your target market, and the consumers you intend to serve if you hope to carve out a niche online.
As you begin writing your business plan, you should be prepared to go beyond the basics like your company description, focus and management team. While those are certainly important, the business plan gives you an opportunity to describe your store’s unique selling proposition and how you intend to set it apart from competitors.
How will you stand out from the competition?
You’ll definitely be asked what makes your business unique if you hope to secure any outside investment. So take the initiative and start detailing your store’s value proposition here. Maybe it’s that you sell popular clothing styles of old that most shoppers can’t find in stores these days. Or it could be that you emphasize sustainable sourcing and environmentally friendly packaging. The sooner you start thinking about your strategic advantages, the better prepared you will be to defend it to an investor or bank.
You will also need to conduct extensive Research into your target customers, including their demographics (age range, gender, income level and location) and psychographics (values, lifestyles, interests and personality traits).
Create a customer persona
One way you can do this is by creating what’s known as a Target Customer Persona. Basically, you’re creating a representation of your target market in the form of one ideal customer. To do this effectively, you will need to investigate their current online clothes shopping habits, pain points and customer experience expectations.
Then, realistically assess how your product offerings and brand values align with your ideal customer’s needs and desires. Adding this information to your business plan will provide a clear understanding of who you’re aiming to serve.
In your business plan, document how you will create a unique brand identity that sets your online boutique apart from competitors. This includes developing a memorable brand name, logo, and tagline, as well as defining your brand’s values, voice, and visual style.
Many stores offer customer retention incentives like loyalty programs. If you are considering strategies like reward programs or discounts for returning customers, use your business plan to determine which strategies make the most sense for your online store. It’s also an opportunity to consider the brand-building initiatives you might undertake to capitalize on these programs, such as personalized email marketing campaigns.
Consider your sales channel
Another consideration for your brand – and your business plan – is whether to host your online clothing store on an eCommerce platform or sell through a standalone website. Platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce streamline many aspects of the online shopping process, but have costs of their own that can grow as you try to scale your business.
In your business plan, consider the costs of choosing a platform versus the boost you can receive using a host like Shopify to let it handle logistics like order processing. Then, outline the platform you’ve chosen and the reasons for your decision.
Your business plan is the place to detail your plan for effectively capturing the attention of your target audience and converting them into loyal customers. In your business plan, detail your marketing budget, reintroduce your target customer traits from earlier, and detail the channels you’ll use to reach them. In a space with as much competition as online clothing, you will likely need to use a combination of tactics to reach your target audience. These might include:
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are powerful tools for reaching and engaging your target audience. Explain how you’ll develop a consistent posting schedule, tailor content for each platform and leverage paid advertising to reach a wider audience.
In your business plan, explain how you’ll nurture relationships with customers and promote new products through email marketing. Discuss your plans to create engaging email content like newsletters, promotional offers and new product announcements. Consider how you will measure the success of your email campaigns through metrics like open rates, click-through rates and conversions.
Search Engine Optimization
While it may seem difficult to find the time to create high-quality, engaging content for your audience while running your business, it can be a valuable tool for attracting customers. Whether it’s blog posts, videos or podcast episodes, targeting certain Google search keywords that resonate with your audience will make your website more visible to them as they shop online. Be sure to discuss in your business plan how you will measure the success of your content marketing efforts through metrics like traffic, engagement, and conversions.
Do you know anyone who loves your style? If so, they could be your next influencer. While people tend to think of big-name celebrities when they think of influencers, establishing partnerships with customers who resemble your target audience can help generate exposure and build credibility for your brand. In your business plan, discuss how you might offer giveaways, collaborate on content or produce sponsored posts to showcase your products and build social proof.
No matter how popular a brand you develop, you will need to carefully manage processes like inventory management and order fulfillment to avoid disasters like running out of stock or facing delivery delays.
In your business plan, describe all of the logistical aspects of your business and the systems you will put in place to manage them. These include: inventory sourcing channels, whether they are wholesale suppliers or local artisans; inventory management methods, such as dropshipping, holding inventory in a warehouse or using a third-party fulfillment center; packaging and shipping methods; and return policies.
In addition, describe your contingency plans for how you will manage orders in case something goes wrong with one of your third-party suppliers or other partners.
A key component of any business plan is a detailed financial analysis. Financials can be intimidating for any business owner, but you will need to demonstrate in your business plan that your online boutique clothing store can be both profitable and financially stable. Proving that you have at least thought through the long-term vision for your business could be the difference between securing a loan or investment, or not.
Base your financial projections – ideally a 3-5 year forecast – on market research and up-to-date industry data. You may also want to consider different scenarios such as best-case, worst-case, and most likely outcomes to account for potential fluctuations.
Prepare for changing customer preferences
Of course, trends evolve quickly, and what’s fashionable at the beginning of your forecast may be passé by the next season. So staying ahead of fashion trends and understanding the competitive landscape will help with your forecast as you go.
As you research trends in the fashion industry, respond to the changing needs of your customers, and identify gaps in the market that your online boutique can fill. As you do so, you may need to change where you source your clothing, or your marketing strategy, or your distribution channels. All of those will affect your financial forecasts. But that’s a perfectly normal part of the business planning process..
To help get your business started, check out our free online boutique clothing business plan template . You can download this document in Word form and use it as a foundation for your own business plan.
In addition to these resources, you may want to brush up on how to write specific sections of a traditional business plan. If so, take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to write a business plan .
See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan
Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.
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Start a Successful Online Clothing Business in 7 Steps 
So you have decided to start your own online clothing store. It’s no surprise why: with online apparel stores being a multi-billion-a-year industry, it’s by far one of the most popular eCommerce niches. With reaching $759 billion in 2021 and predictions it will reach over $1 trillion by 2025, there is a lot of potential online business within the fashion industry to cash in on.
However, starting a successful online clothing store is more than just buying a domain and placing a winning eCommerce ad .
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check out our Top Apparel Online Stores post, for inside tips on how to build a successful brand once you’ve set up your clothing brand.
A successful store is dependent on the niche you choose, the branding you create, the quality of not only your clothing products but your site, the customer service you provide, and fulfillment strategies.
Just because a niche is popular doesn’t mean you have instant access to potential customers. In fact, the opposite is true. With increasing popularity comes increasing pressure to differentiate your store from the millions of others already online.
In this guide, we will take you through how to start a clothing business online the right way, highlighting the keep steps you need to take to start a successful online clothing business. Including:
- Choose Your Online Clothing Niche
- Choose Your Online Clothing Store Products
- Choose Your Online Clothing Store Business Mode
- Outline Your Online Clothing Store Business Plan
- Creating Your Online Clothing Store
- Launching Your Online Clothing Store
- Bringing Traffic to Your Online Clothing Store
Let’s get started!
New to eCommerce Marketing?
Get expert google ads hacks for free (used by our +400k customers) straight to your inbox, step 1: choose your online clothing niche.
Before you can choose your products, you need to decide which apparel or clothing niche you want to sell in. Choosing your niche ensures you choose products and create your whole clothing line business plan around the type of potential shoppers you want to appeal to and ultimately ensures you are able to position your store in a unique way.
The trick is to be very specific and really drill down your niche, as this will enable you to identify and market to your potential shoppers more easily. This will also help you develop your product list to appeal to your specific target market, allowing you to limit your competition and increase your chances of customer loyalty long-term.
An awesome example of this is the online apparel store HUMAN . Their niche? Pop culture. How do they cater to it? By using bold humor: a unique expression that appeals to what they call ‘pop culture nerds.’ And what appeals to potential shoppers in this niche? Not fancy chiffon skirts or name-brand shoes, but tees, hoodies, and socks.
Their site has so much awesome going on, but it’s their slogan that sums up their niche perfectly: “Dress Yourself To Express Yourself.”
So how do you choose your niche? Here are the four most important considerations when choosing your niche:
- Be as unique as possible to stand out from the crowd
- Choose a niche that interests you and you’re passionate about
- Ask yourself whether you can add value and/or position yourself as an authority
- Make sure the fashion niche has earning potential
You can get more detail on the above from our How to Find a Profitable Niche for Your Online Store post.
2023 Trending Clothing Niches
- Vintage clothing stores
- Athleisure clothing lines
- Genderless fashion
- Sustainable fashion
- Recommerce (second-hand clothing lines)
Step 2: Choose Your Online Clothing Store Products
Once you have a clothing niche, it’s time to choose your products. Will you be selling short-sleeve shirts or dresses? The clothing and apparel market is almost infinite, and you can be sure there are a bunch of options within the niche you’re selling in.
However, if you’re tempted to jump in and sell everything, this could be your undoing before you’ve even started. When you’re starting an online store, it’s always advised to start off small and slow and then branch out your lines as you grow.
Bonus Content: Trending & Best-Selling Products to Sell Online 2023 [Including Apparel]
A great example of this is one of our top merchants, Mrs Bow Tie. Mrs. Bow Tie made a name for themselves selling bow ties that are uniquely ‘Made in Britain’. Their success with just one product line was so big that within three years they have added neckties, pocket squares, cummerbunds, suspenders and cufflinks to their product lists and sold to over 300,000 customers.
Say you have decided to open an online clothing store aimed at the yoga fitness niche. Instead of putting a variety of products on your proposed list, isolate the must-have products you can launch with. Each kind of product – whether it’s a hoodie or a pair of socks – has a wide potential of building your new clothing brand.
What should you consider when choosing your products? Here are our top three tips!
1. Start Small
As Mrs Bow Tie did, start small and simple as you get your product list off the ground. Adding too many products upfront will not only add extra admin costs every step of the way – from product photo shoots to web setup – but it can add complications when you first launch. Complications can affect the service you give, and as a new store in a very competitive market, great customer service and the appropriate helpdesk software to deliver it, or the lack thereof, can make or break your clothing line business.
2. Think Ahead
As we know, fashion and clothing fads are ever-changing. Choose stable products at first that can be easily changed to suit the changing styles, such as bow ties or t-shirts as shown above. If you do decide to go more mainstream fashion, plan for the changing styles by creating a store that adapts, such as dropshipping orders, which will ensure you’re not stuck with unsellable stock. Ultimately, in the clothing game, there will always be shifts, so success will depend on your ability to think ahead and be innovative and creative in dealing with the changes.
3. Set Your Focus
Yes, be as specific and narrow as you can at the beginning, but have an eye on the end goal. Think about where you see your online clothing brand extending in the future, and make sure that you’re focusing on the end goal. This will ensure that, as you add products to your range or line and grow your store in your niche, you will be able to implement new or trending products onto your store more seamlessly.
Bonus Tip: The Secrets to How One 6-Figure eCommerce Business Dominates Their Niche
Step 3: Choose Your Online Clothing Store Business Model
Now that you know your niche and have an idea of the types of products you want to sell, it’s time to pick an online clothing business model for your online clothing store business. This is where you decide if you using a clothing manufacturer, white labeling, or opting for dropshipping to build your clothing company.
There are four types of business models that online clothing and apparel stores fall into:
- Custom cut-and-sew
- Private label
Each online business model has its own pros and cons and choosing between them should be based on your overall fashion store objective and budget and your skills or potential for hiring a team.
Let’s look at each of them more closely.
1. Print-on-Demand Clothing Store Business Model
Print-on-demand is the easiest type of online clothing business model as well as the cheapest. In fact, custom t-shirt printing alone is expected to reach $10 billion in sales by 2025.
These are the types of stores where you print your logo and design onto blank apparel, and everything is automated.
There is enough variety in types and colors within this business type and it’s your most cost-effective option when dealing with small numbers of orders.
A good example of a company that offices this is Printful , which has grown into a mega print-on-demand brand, launching a variety of new products and services this year including activewear and warehousing and fulfillment .
The biggest drawback of this model is that these types of stores generally have lower profit margins and offer few options in the way of branding tags, labels and other finishes.
Bonus Content: How to Find Private-Label Manufacturers for Your Products
2. Custom Cut-and-Sew Clothing Boutique Business Model
Best for those of you who want to launch your very own clothing brand and design to create an online boutique. AKA for those wanting to design and make their own clothes and accessories.
This type of online clothing boutique business model is best for those of you who want to build a complete clothing line from scratch. Here, you do everything in-house from designing your clothes to manufacturing and fulfilling – yourself.
The biggest advantage here is that you are selling something very unique and can customize as you see fit. However, custom cut-and-sew businesses come with a lot of management, as you will be responsible for finding and coordinating your own pattern-makers and manufacturers, sourcing your own fabric, etc. This means a lot of upfront budget and time needed to launch your first line.
Pro Tip: Looking for pattern-makers? Here are three vetted suppliers to get you started:
- Clothier Design Source
- JLD Studios
- The Pattern Makers
3. Private Label Clothing Store Business Model
Private label business models are essentially the middle point between print-on-demand and cut-and-sew. They provide more clothing line customization than the former but less ‘work’ and needed budget than the latter. Essentially you will be buying wholesale clothing and accessory products, that you would then sell and market under your fashion brand.
How does wholesale clothing private labeling work?
You buy blank or label-less clothing items wholesale, and then add your custom design, label or tag before selling them in your store. This can prove to be a lot more cost-effective than print-on-demand, as you can negotiate better rates for bulk buying.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks, such as having to deal with fulfillment and inventory management yourself. However, there are platforms that will help you streamline the process, such as Threadbird, where you can buy and custom-finish your apparel and clothing. They also offer fulfillment services for those of you who prefer to hold your own stock.
4. Dropshipping Clothing Fashion Brand Online Business Model
Similar to print-on-demand, dropshipping clothing stores allow you to sell clothing that is fulfilled from wholesalers. This is a cost-effective route, as you don’t have to deal with buying stock up front, storing, packing or shipping. The disadvantage is that your products won’t be as unique and there could be a variety of stores selling the same products as you.
However, it can be pretty easy to set up. With apps such as Oberlo , you can find and coordinate a lot of suppliers and integrate them into your online store.
Step 4: Outline Your Online Clothing Store Business Plan
You have your niche, products, and business model; it’s time to outline your business plan. You should be outlining your:
- Market (drilling down your potential shoppers into segmented markets or fashion audiences)
- Products (deciding what makes them unique)
- Biggest competitors (listing your top competitors)
- Online business model/fulfillment strategies
- Brand identity/clothing company description (how you want your target market to view your fashion store brand)
Pro Tip: To quickly grow in such a saturated market, investing in building a strong brand identity is super important. Brand identity is more than just a logo and a name – it’s how your brand is perceived. It’s human side if you will. This is where creating a look, feel and voice for your fashion brand comes into play. For a detailed strategy on how to build a strong clothing store brand identity, visit our Build a Strong Brand Identity Using These 9 eCommerce Branding Strategies post.
When it comes to eCommerce strategy, you want to make sure you’re answering questions such as where your traffic (potential shoppers) will be coming from and what will make your products appealing to that traffic.
Additionally, and very importantly, part of your business plan should also include your pricing. Budget the price per product with these important clothing line cost considerations:
- Equipment, web development, hosting, etc.
- Design and development
- Production cost per product, including that of samples
- Labor and transportation
Once you know the costs, you are then able to work out your margins, where you’re looking for a margin of around 30-50% if using cut-and-sew models. However, at this stage you should also be looking at your biggest competition for pricing, ensuring you are not pricing yourself right out of the market.
Bonus Content: Want to Know How to Spy on Competitors? 12 Tools & Hacks
Step 5: Creating Your Online Clothing Store
Now comes the fun part: creating your online store.
The first thing you will need is your domain. We suggest buying this separately upfront as soon as you have your main idea. You want to make sure that the domain is still available after you have designed your range and built your site. For this, we would recommend Namecheap.
Alternatively, you can buy your domain directly through eCommerce platforms such as Shopify or WordPress.
Next, you will want to choose your platform and then your theme (or vice versa). This is one of the most important decisions you will make when creating your store.
Because your website, its design, and user-friendliness are as important as the product you are selling and shouldn’t be rushed. The most popular eCommerce website and store builder options are:
- WooCommerce (for WordPress)
If you don’t have the budget to hire designers or the time to teach yourself WordPress, then we suggest online store or website builders such as Squarespace, Wix or Sh opify. If you need more help choosing an eCommerce platform or online store builder to launch your clothing company then these guides are a good place to start.
- Main Differences Between Shopify and Shopify Plus, and How to Choose
- Magento Commerce vs. Shopify Plus – Who Comes Out On Top?
- Shopify, WooCommerce or Magento: How to Choose the Right Platform
Pro Tip: Another important part of setting up your store that deserves special mention is your product pages. Online shoppers only have product photos and pages by which to judge the quality and details of your products, so make sure that product photos and pages are of good quality – even when you’re dropshipping. Visit our How to Create Perfect Product Pages for Conversions post for more tips on product pages and CTA copy examples ! You can also Try Blum theme to create a distinctive design for your store.
Step 6: Launching Your Online Clothing Store
Once your products are in place, online business plan is set up, fulfillment is organized and site is done, it’s time to launch your online clothing store. Here are some launch tips to help you get started.
1. Define Your Launch Strategy
Are you going to run an eCommerce sales promotion ? Do a Facebook Live video? Use an existing email database to push teaser mailers? Whatever strategy you decide on, have it in place to roll out step by step as you launch. This should include tasks such as proofreading and testing your whole store’s functionality before launching.
2. Prepare Your Social Accounts
Before you launch your site, make sure your social media account pages are set and ready. In fact, have these active – with content – before your big launch. This will enable you to run your social media ads with the launch and market your new store to an already-growing following. And don’t forget your content marketing plan to encourage engagement and brand loyalty from your fashion audiences.
3. Have Your Email Marketing Strategy and Automation in Place
Make sure all your automation emails are set up and tested and that you have an email marketing strategy planned out for your first three months.
Pro Tip: Install a well-designed popup so you’re ready to collect email addresses, using discounts and coupons as incentives.
4. Make Sure Your Google Analytics and Google Ads Accounts are Set Up
Next, you will want to ensure that you have set up your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts before launching. This will enable you to track traffic to your store during your launch in real-time and drive traffic through SERP ads.
5. Build Your Clothing Store Marketing Strategy
You will want your marketing strategy in place before, during, and after the launch of your online clothing business. A good eCommerce marketing strategy should include a variety of channels and approaches. This includes your:
- Content marketing strategy (which includes social media account posts (here are some TikTok video ideas to get you started), UGC, a fashion blog for your eCommerce website, influencer marketing; etc.)
- PPC marketing strategy (which includes all your Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok eCommerce ads and YouTube pay-per-click ads. Or you can use PPC management software to automate your PPC marketing strategy.)
- Email marketing strategy (cart abandonment emails, promotional emails, weekly newsletters, subscriber growth strategies, etc.)
- Shopify SEO marketing strategy (blog and website content and optimization)
Bonus Content: [Case Study] 9+ Winning TikTok Ad Examples and Why They Work
Step 7: Bringing Traffic to Your Online Clothing Store
The last step? Bringing traffic to your newly-launched online clothing store. The biggest traffic drivers are email marketing, PPC, content marketing, social media, guest posts on popular blogs, and influencers.
Bonus Content: Everything You Need to Know to Win with Google Shopping in 2020 [Full Guide]
For a new store without a fashion brand name, established SEO , or email database list, you will want to concentrate on Google Ads for eCommerce and social media ads – particularly Facebook and Instagram posts and ads – to get potential shoppers to your new store. but not any potential shoppers, your key target market audience. Don’t forget your influencer marketing paid partnerships; including Instagram sponsored posts !
You will also want to look to leading fashion examples for inspiration such as:
- Beyond Retro (vintage clothing label)
- Beautiful Disaster
- BlackMilk Clothing
Pro Tip: You can see marketing and growth case studies on these and other leading online fashion brands here . And don’t forget your holiday PPC campaigns , for peak clothing shopping seasons.
Although traffic campaigns are the most important factor in the success for any online business, it doesn’t need to be as daunting as it sounds.
With apps such as Traffic Booster, offering the best alternative to WordStream for online retailers – you can hand over the hard work, so to speak. This will enable you to focus on fulfilling your new orders and generating eCommerce traffic with real-time ad optimization.
Here are Traffic Booster integrated PPC channels and campaigns.
- Google Shopping
- Smart Shopping ( Performance Max ) campaigns
- Dynamic remarketing ads
- Search & Dynamic Search Ads
- YouTube Shopping & action ads
- Smart display campaigns ads
- Dynamic retargeting ads
- Instagram & Facebook acquisition ads
- Bing, TikTok ads , Pinterest Ads and more [Enterprise Edition]
There you have it: how to start a successful online clothing business in 7 steps. The key to any successful eCommerce business is being able to tap into buying intent. It is not only about figuring out who your fashion audience is and what they would be willing to buy and for how much. You need to penetrate a saturated niche (messaging and targeting) and separate yourself from your closest competitors (brand identity) and then follow it up with awesome quality clothes, unique designs and good service.
To recap the steps to follow on how to start a clothing business online the right way.
How to Start a Clothing Business Online
- Choose your online fashion/clothing business niche
- Pick your core apparel and fashion products
- Determine the best online clothing business model for your goals and budget
- Create a solid clothing company business plan
- Build your eCommerce website
- Boost initial sales with a good launch strategy
- Bring traffic (fashion-loving audiences) to your online clothing boutique with eCommerce ads
If you’ve just launched a clothing store or have questions before launching, post them in the comments below!
For more marketing inspiration to grow your clothing business online and boost sales, then these posts are for you:
- Ultimate Guide to Product Photography for eCommerce
- How to Scale an Online Clothing Business in 12 Steps
- How to Build Awesome Product Pages That Convert
- Full List of Print-on-Demand Products and Where to Find Them
- 9 Must-Have Strategies to Drive Traffic to Your Store
- Facebook Ads for eCommerce [With Examples]
- Google Ads for eCommerc e [With Examples]
- TikTok Ads for eCommerce [With Examples]
- How to Drive Online Conversions With Smart Shopping Campaigns [Full Guide]
- Top eCommerce Automation Tools
Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa with over sixteen years experience and flair for storytelling. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she's not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she's an avid beachgoer, coffee shop junkie and hangs out on LinkedIn .
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Clothing Line Business Plan – Free Online Boutique Template
Sell the hottest fashions with your own clothing line or fashion boutique. Use this free clothing line business plan to get your business started, including setting up an online clothing store from home.
Download this Clothing Business Plan free for easy editing in Google Docs or Microsoft Word:
Table of Contents
1.0 CLOTHING LINE BUSINESS PLAN – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Booming Boutique is a start-up clothing line business that will sell fashionable clothing to women of the Baby Boom generation. We will locate Booming Boutique in downtown Pleasantville, Florida, which is a popular retirement and tourist destination. While our initial goal is to open one boutique, expansion plans include potentially franchising our retail store and/or building a well-recognized brand name. In turn, we would hope to penetrate a sizable portion of the online retail market.
1.2 PRODUCTS & SERVICES
The fashion and retail industry tends to be overly youth focused. However, by closely following generational fashion trends as well as our own customers’ purchasing preferences, we will tailor our inventory to meet the specific needs of our clientele. We will solely focus on the our styles, colors and fits to flatter the lady Baby Boomer/ Meeting the needs of her figure will be our specialty.
1.3 MARKET ANALYSIS
The total sales reported in the U.S. retail industry in 2007 (including food service and automotive) exceeded $4 trillion. There are roughly 75 million Baby Boomers, half of which are women. In Pleasantville, the current population is just fewer than 40,000. 54 percent of the total population is women who have a median age of 48. The median income is $48,600. We will initially seek customers locally, but will increase our reach as we build our brand and secure our image.
1.4 STRATEGY & IMPLEMENTATION
Booming Boutique recognizes the importance of marketing for this clothing line business plan. And to that end, we plan to promote our retail business with an ambitious, targeted marketing campaign, which will include a grand opening event, local media coverage, print advertising and a direct-mail campaign. Our goal is to keep our marketing budget to no more than 5% of our gross annual sales, and we will partner with local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants Association as often as possible.
Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen are co-owners and will co-manage Booming Boutique. Mathews has worked ten years in the retail industry, including four years as the manager of an antique furniture shop. She earned a BA degree in finance from Britannica College in Tampa, Florida.
Jensen’s experience lies in the fashion industry. She’s worked with designers, wholesalers and retailers for roughly 20 years. Jensen holds a BA in fashion merchandising from Colliers Fashion Institute in Miami, Florida.
1.6 FINANCIAL PLAN
Our company will earn revenue from our customers’ purchases of our products. Booming Boutique’s first-year income statement illustrates a profit margin of at least fifty-two percent, with a net income of $44,075 per month – after taxes. Finally, we have determined our break-even point will equal no less than $15,500 in total monthly sales. We project our annual profits to reach $380,000 by year three.
Our company will generate revenue from the retail sale of clothing and other merchandise. First year sales are projected to be $285,000, and we expect sales to surpass $525,000 by the end of year three. We will achieve month-to-month profitability within the first year.
1.7 SOURCES & USE OF FUNDS
Booming Boutique requires $282,000 to launch successfully. We’ve already raised $62,000 through personal investments and a small community grant.
We are currently seeking additional funding from outside angel investors and business loans. Start-up funds will be used for renovations, inventory and operating expenses such as rent, utilities and payroll.
Further, most of our initial investment will also be used to purchase retail equipment and inventory software – all of which will produce future benefits for the company.
A small portion of our investment will be used to create an online clothing store. There are inexpensive e-commerce tools that provide a very easy way to create an online boutique store where we can sell our fashions all over the world.
2.0 CLOTHING LINE COMPANY
2.1 company & industry.
Booming Boutique will be located in downtown Pleasantville, Florida. Our company is a retail establishment selling fashionable women’s clothing to up-and-coming Baby Boomer retirees. Our business operates within the retail industry and is classified under NAICS code 448120 – women’s clothing stores.
2.2 LEGAL ENTITY & OWNERSHIP
Booming Boutique is a multi-member Limited Liability Corporation formally organized in Florida. Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen are the company’s principle owners. We hold equal shares of ownership in the company.
2.3 COMPANY HISTORY TO DATE
The Company is a new business aimed at providing women of the Baby Boom generation stylish clothing options to buy and wear. As the company’s founders and as Baby Boomers ourselves, we found that Florida’s current boomer-wear market is missing the mark.
In fact, most clothing shops for the 55+ set are still selling clothes that our grandmothers would have worn. As our local population ages and more Baby Boomers reach retirement-age and migrate to Florida, we recognize the need for a shop that caters to the up-beat, fashion-forward Baby Boomer generation who want to look and feel young.
Presently, Booming Boutique does not have a bricks-and-mortar location at the time of writing this clothing line business plan. In addition to starting an online boutique, we have identified an ideal spot in the downtown district of Pleasantville. The gorgeous area includes numerous restaurants, an art gallery, coffee shop, candy store and a picturesque park in the town square. We have signed a three-year lease for a 1,700 square foot building at $18 per square foot. Comparable properties are renting for $17-24 SF/Year.
Working with the property owner and the City of Pleasantville Downtown Redevelopment Committee, we have secured a $2,000 grant to beautify the façade of the building to include painting, signage and a new awning. We will only need minimal internal renovations such as installing dressing rooms and decorative items.
When considering the addition of wall mounts for merchandise, multi-level clothing displays as well as creative floor planning, this facility is large enough to support future growth. Additionally, we will be able to conduct all aspects of our business from this location since it has access to a loading dock and a back office for managers. This includes deliveries and shipments, inventory management and administrative duties such as finance, buying and marketing.
2.5 KEY ASSETS
Our key assets are our co-owners, Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen, who bring tremendous experience and relationships to this business.
Once we launch Booming Boutique, our primary asset will be our brand, which will convey style, quality and a great shopping experience. In the long-term, it is this brand that will separate Booming Boutique from other retailers both locally and nationally.
3.0 CLOTHING BRAND – PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
We will earn profits by selling our merchandise. Our pricing structure will remain flexible, as we will implement suggested retail pricing on common brands as well as the standard practice of keystoning prices. Additionally, we will use a value-based pricing structure, which measures the value of our products to our customers such as easy access, quality, customer service and styles flattering to our target consumer. We will implement end of season sales, holiday and overstock sales, multi-buy savings and promotional coupons at strategic intervals.
3.2 FEATURES & BENEFITS
One key feature that separates Booming Boutique from all other local boutiques and chain department stores in the area is our commitment to providing women of the Baby Boom generation stylish, quality clothing options. Because our primary concern will be ensuring our consumers are happy with the fit and style of their purchase, we will provide products tailored to all shapes and sizes of women. In addition, we will make every effort to have petite and plus size versions of our merchandise in stock. If they are not in stock, ordering them will be easy, cheap and efficient.
Further, as we emphasize in this clothing line business plan, Booming Boutique will not just be a store that sells clothes. Our clientele will benefit from an experienced, knowledgeable sales staff. Out of the gate, our goal is to implement a superior customer service system. Beyond our friendly reception and an inviting atmosphere, Booming Boutique will also offer customers fashion information and advice. Our trained personnel will provide counsel that women simply cannot find at other clothing stores. The service is like a beautician who offers advice on what hair styles best complement his/her client’s face. Our hip and qualified fashion-industry expertise will ensure our customers walk away with the perfect outfit.
In Pleasantville, there are no direct competitors offering our unique services or targeting Baby Boomers specifically. In the Downtown District, the shops most closely competing with Booming Boutique are as follows:
- EcoWise Boutique, which targets a younger demographic and specializes in natural fiber clothing. They also carry local art and jewelry.
- Caddy Corner Kids, which targets parents shopping for children, specializes in children’s clothing, accessories and toys.
- Kati Kouture, which targets younger women, specializes in offering industrial chic clothing with “classic lines and a punk gothic edge.”
- Marjorie Joe’s Fashion & Gifts targets older women within our target demographic, but specializes in the more homemade, old-fashioned style clothing.
- Petal Place Boutique targets women within our target demographic as well, but they specialize in an affordable, folksy style of clothing with handmade shawls and embroidered shirt sets.
- Second Time Around targets women and may overlap our target demographic slightly. However, they specialize in consignment clothing.
There is one super-store within a 60-mile radius of Pleasantville. The store is similar to Walmart in that it sells lesser quality items at lower price. But there are two chain department stores. They sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing along with home accents, electronics and appliances. While familiarity is comforting, industry research indicates increasing frustration with the inferior quality, sub par customer service and vastness of super-stores. Not to mention, the inept sales staff and lack of selection often found at department stores.
3.4 COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE/BARRIERS TO ENTRY
To date, our primary competitive advantage is the absence of any store like ours in the Pleasantville area. In addition, company co-owner, Joanna Jensen, has worked in the fashion industry for more than 20 years. Her experience includes working with apparel retailers, clothing wholesalers, garment manufacturers, and fashion designers. She understands the fashion industry and knows how to spot the latest trends.
While there is no guarantee a competitor will locate within our area, we have no doubt in our fashion sense, outstanding customer service and quality products. In turn we will quickly establish Booming Boutique as the place for lady Baby Boomers to shop.
Also, we would be the only niche fashion retail-store for hip, older women. While other stores offer some style equivalents, they are not focused solely on the baby boomer generation. We are, and therefore, have a distinct competitive advantage in our niche.
Our supplier relationships and exclusive product offerings will prevent future competitors from entering the market as a competitor. Also, it takes time to build a retail store, and by the time a competitor attempts to compete with us directly, we will have already established a strong customer base.
As our company grows and our boutique earns a positive reputation, several opportunities will open to us. And we are considering some options already. Should we choose to remain a small local boutique, we will develop and grow our company by increasing existing clothing lines and expanding our selection to include additional products such as swim wear, lingerie, or sportswear. Within five years, we will assess the potential for franchising our stores in select locations.
Additionally, as we build our business, we plan to simultaneously develop an online clothing store for Booming Boutique. The power and ease of an online storefront is obvious to us, and we plan to develop one quickly and efficiently. We also see the potential for regional and/or national expansion at some point.
Our online clothing store will help to spread awareness of our product line and brand to a wider community.
4.0 CLOTHING LINE MARKET ANALYSIS
4.1 target customer.
Having said that, there are currently about 75 million Baby Boomers living in the United States. A boomer is better described as the generation born between the years 1946 and 1964. About half of this population is women.
While those born in the 1940’s are still slightly more conservative, those born during the 1950’s and 60’s were trailblazers and trendsetters. Specifically, these will be the women we target vigorously with our marketing and offerings. These women range in age from their mid 40’s to late 50’s. They value uniqueness, convenience, service and quality. As they retire, price does become a factor in decision-making. At the same time, they were always a generation of the “buy now and pay later” philosophy.
4.2 MARKET SIZE
Pleasantville accommodates a robust retail market. While car dealerships, grocers and home improvement retailers account for a sizable portion of the retail market, the main local shopping district is downtown. With tree-lined streets and quaint shops and restaurants, the downtown retail district is the social and shopping hub of the community. The current population of Pleasantville is just fewer than 40,000. 54 percent are women who have a median age of 48. Their median income is above the national average at $48,600. Moreover, according to National News, Pleasantville is one of the 2008 Top 6 Towns to Retire for Baby Boomers. Many of these retirees are looking to retire on the water in a cozy, yet thriving community.
In addition to local consumers, we will also benefit from tourist traffic. Pleasantville is located a mere 30 miles from the sandy white beaches of St. Petersburg and Clearwater. It’s also within close proximity to many Tampa and Orlando area attractions. Our town boasts a healthy and recession-proof tourism industry. In addition, Pleasantville hosts several annual craft and golf events, which bring several thousand of our target consumers into the area each year.
4.3 CLOTHING TRENDS
The retail fashion industry is a solid business with ever-changing styles and ever-present consumer demand. While supercenters and megastores ruled the past two decades, more and more consumers are looking for change. They’re searching for a more serene and customer-friendly shopping experience. This is true especially for those nearing retirement age. In reality, as the Baby Boomers numbers decrease, there will be fewer older Generation X-ers to sell to. However, this market decrease will not occur for at least twenty years. Even then, clothing will always be in high demand. The fashion industry in America has been thriving since the advent of moving pictures.
4.4 SWOT ANALYSIS
- Experience and understanding of the fashion industry
- Unique shopping experience with exceptional customer service
- Great downtown location
- Large and growing consumer base
- Untested market in Pleasantville
- While market is large, it is a niche market (Baby Boomers)
- Outstanding shopping experience will lead to repeat business
- Growing online clothing store Booming Boutique
- Establish a Booming Boutique clothing line
- Cost and effectiveness of marketing to women “Baby Boomers”
- New retail shops that may or may not open in the future
5.0 STRATEGY & IMPLEMENTATION
Our company’s core business strategy as highlighted in this clothing line business plan is to combine exceptional and knowledgeable customer service with quality stylish merchandise. And in turn, we’ll provide an enjoyable shopping experience for our customers. Booming Boutique’s mission is to offer women of the Baby Boom generation a wide selection of fashionable, figure-flattering clothing. Our aim is to establish our company as a pioneer in this youth-obsessed industry and build a boutique brand name that will be synonymous with the fashion industry revolution.
5.2 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
We are currently working with several apparel wholesalers, garment manufacturers and two freelance fashion designers to assemble our inventory. We are also working with city economic-development officials to secure all required permits and occupational licensees. Once we secure financing, we will move ahead with the façade renovation, which we will pay for via the PDRC. We will also use the financing to purchase inventory, retail displays, and office supplies.
Prior to the grand opening of Booming Boutique, we will schedule an event with the Chamber of Commerce and start our promotions with pre-publicity flyers, advertising and additional marketing activities.
5.3 INTERNET STRATEGY
As the Internet has become a staple of American life and retail merchandising, Booming Boutique will build a website on which we will sell our products, too. We have secured the domain name BoomingBoutique.com and will begin site development using Bluehost for website hosting and Thrivecart for a high converting online shopping experience. These platforms allow us to create an online storefront quickly and will manage all aspects of it including creating shipping labels, accepting payment, and monitoring inventory. Customers will also be able to create wish lists for items they want to purchase later.
Having this online presence will allow us to build our email marketing list and send regular promotions to customers with new product announcements, discounts, specials, birthday coupons, and fashion ideas.
Foremost, we intend to showcase our brand, our clothing and provide customers with the ability to purchase items online. As the site progresses, we will include features such as fashion advice, designer interviews, newsletters, and Internet-only specials. Eventually, we hope to establish and nurture an online social community where women can gather and discuss topics of the day, network and share clothing secrets.
5.4 CLOTHING LINE MARKETING STRATEGY
We both have strong marketing backgrounds and recognize the significance of effective marketing. We expect our strategy to draw consumers into Booming Boutique from the very beginning. Moreover we will hire a local PR firm to help us develop and implement a strategic marketing plan and guide our publicity efforts in a cost-effective manner. Our marketing message, logo and slogans will revolve around the idea of the Baby Boom generation as revolutionaries and trend setters. Boomer women are in their prime and at their best. Our store will recognize them as a force within the fashion industry.
Our goal in this clothing line business plan is to keep our marketing budget to no more than 5% of our gross annual sales. We will partner with local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants Association as often as possible. We already have connections in all the necessary places. These strategic partnerships will allow us to piggyback on publicity for local events, as long as they are within our targeted demographic. Booming Boutique’s initial marketing efforts will remain local as we establish a presence in our community. These will rely heavily on local print and broadcast media coverage, traditional advertising, signage, a direct mail marketing campaign and networking. We will initially allocate a significant portion of our advertising budget to print and broadcast media to get the word out.
Of course, we will build anticipation and excitement about the new boutique prior to its grand opening. Working in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, we are already talking about a grand opening soiree. This will include hors d’oeuvres donated by the bistro across the street and a silent auction of a local artist’s painting collection. The collection is currently on display in the Downtown Art League Gallery.
We will also hold a drawing for a $100 shopping spree and fashion consultation. Entry collection will start at the grand opening and continue throughout the week. We will use these names and contact information for follow-up marketing initiatives. The Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Merchants Association will promote the event in local newspapers and radio advertising. Comprehensive advertising and semi-annual direct mail marketing campaigns will follow the grand opening. We will also take advantage of low cost publicity activities such as posting sale flyers on community bulletin boards and online.
5.5 SALES STRATEGY
Booming Boutique plans to generate sales via strategic marketing efforts. These concentrated efforts will be targeting new and returning customers as well as single-visit tourist consumers. We will also implement a referral program rewarding customers who refer new customers with discount coupons. Following our grand opening, we will conduct a direct-mail campaign to targeted consumers that we have signed up through our in-store mailing program. The direct mailers will consist of 5,000 full-color postcard mailers. Each will include at 10% coupon. We will offer promotional discounts and seasonal and clearance sales throughout the year.
Our sales staff will include both co-owners and 2-3 part-times sales associates. Combined, Jensen and Mathews have nearly 30 years experience in the fashion and retail industries. We will provide comprehensive training to each sales associate. This will include how to sell merchandise as well as how to provide fashion advice to customers. Our sales team will earn an hourly rate, plus a generous percentage of commission from each sale.
5.6 STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
Booming Boutique plans to join the Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce as well as the Pleasantville Downtown Merchants Association. These organizations are dedicated to promoting local businesses within our community and sponsor several events downtown each year. As a member of these organizations, Booming Boutique will gain exposure, make business contacts, and will benefit from Chamber and Association advertising, Web site promotions and events.
As a retail establishment, Booming Boutique will conduct business seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. During the holiday seasons and during special events, we will extend store hours. At this point, the retail store will take require approximately 2/3 of the building’s available space. We will use the remaining space for stock and administrative purposes. In addition to the two full-time co-owners, we will hire three part-time employees to serve customers.
Our company will secure merchandise from local manufacturers with showrooms in Orlando and Miami. We’ll also have access to the Florida Apparel Market, which is the largest wholesale merchandise warehouse in the state. Purchasing from FAM, buyers receive product displays and promotional materials with purchase. Additionally, we will work closely with our regional sales representative. We will also attend relevant pre-season fashion trade shows.
To control costs, track inventory and manage stock levels, we will put an inventory control system in place. This will include the standard bar code with its related equipment and software. Staff will conduct annual inventory audits and hire outside auditors when necessary. We will maintain all accounting and finances using Quickbooks online.
5.8 CLOTHING BUSINESS GOALS
The following is a list of business goals and milestones we intend to accomplish our first year of operations using this clothing line business plan.
- Complete renovating, stocking, hiring and initial marketing.
- Host a successful grand-opening event.
- Penetrate and raise awareness in 60 percent our targeted consumer market.
- Achieve a profit margin of 50 percent.
- Build a solid customer base and mailing list.
- Generate repeat and referral sales.
- Become a profitable business with expansion potential.
- Establish a solid reputation as quality retail establishment.
Our first major milestones will be securing funds and setting up our business. This is our major focus right now. In five years, we hope to have established our retail business within the community and within our industry. Furthermore, as co-owners, we would like to see the growth of our store with an increase in product lines, further penetration of the national market with online sales and, under the right set of circumstances, the opening of franchise Booming Boutiques in strategic locations.
5.9 EXIT STRATEGY
The co-owners intend to launch and grow Booming Boutique for many years into the future. In the event that our investors require repayment of their initial investments, plus a large return on their investments, we will seek a partner to buyout the investors’ shares. Another alternative is a management buyout, which will be agreed upon in advance.
In the long-term, we will position Booming Boutique as a profitable business that will be an appealing acquisition for any number of retail chains.
6.1 organizational structure.
As a small business, we will have a small staff. Both co-owners will assume leadership roles within the company and will be responsible for daily operations, overseeing marketing efforts, buying merchandise and managing inventory and all other administrative duties. A small sales staff will assist co-owners with securing sales, assisting customers and general maintenance of stock on the floor.
Co-owners, Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen, created this boutique business plan. Both will co-manage Booming Boutique. However, daily responsibilities will differ.
Robin Mathews will manage the day-to-day operations including supervising staff, maintaining inventory and bookkeeping. Mathews worked ten years in the retail industry including four years as a manager of an antique furniture shop. Mathews earned a BA degree in finance from Britannica College in Tampa, Florida.
Joanna Jensen will oversee the merchandise buying for the store as well as maintain a keen awareness of trends within the industry. She will also work with our public relations firm to ensure superior marketing plans are in place and implemented. Jensen worked in the fashion industry in various capacities working with designers, wholesalers and retailers for 20 years. She earned a BA in fashion merchandising from Colliers Fashion Institute in Miami, Florida.
6.3 STAFF MEMBERS
Booming Boutique will employ a sales staff of 3 part-time employees. These positions are yet to be filled. However, we feel the labor pool is such that finding qualified employees will not be an issue. Our sales associates will be paid an hourly wage, plus commission. We will provide bonuses via sales incentives and conduct an annual review to encourage employee retention.
7.0 FINANCIAL PLAN
At this time we have raised $50,000 in equity capital and an additional $12,000 for a specific-use grant. Both co-owners, Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen, have invested $25,000 each into Booming Boutique. We are seeking investors for an additional $170,000 in equity investment and $50,000 in loans.
7.2 USE OF FUNDS
We will use the funds we obtain from investment in this boutique business plan to pay for renovations, including the outside façade (to be paid for via PDRC grant), construction of fitting rooms, sales counter, painting, carpeting, lighting, decor and display fixtures. We will also purchase inventory, a cash register, computer equipment and an inventory management system. We will use the remainder of the start-up funds to cover operating expenses, such as rent, utilities, wages and marketing to increase retail sales .
7.3 INCOME STATEMENT PROJECTIONS
Based on our marketing plans , location, store size and product offerings, we expect to collect annual sales of $285,000 in year one, $375,000 in year two and $525,000 in year three.
Our average cost of goods sold will be 40%, which leaves us with a gross margin of 60%. Our minimum monthly fixed costs are $15,500 per month, so we will need to generate sales of $25,833 per month to break even. We will become profitable on a monthly basis before the end of our first year.
In our third year, we will earn net income of $105,000. The accompanying income statement demonstrates our company’s profitability.
7.4 CASH FLOW PROJECTIONS
Our business will collect immediate payment from customers, so our cash flow statement will be substantially similar to our income statement. Our cash flow statement clearly demonstrates our ability to cover all bills.
7.5 BALANCE SHEET
Booming Boutique will launch with $220,000 in equity capital and $50,000 in loans. Credit amounts and supplier terms for inventory will appear in our balance sheet as short-term liabilities. We will not document jewelry consignments from vendors in our balance sheet and will expense these items as we sell them. Details are shown in our enclosed balance sheet.
We base our projections on the assumption that the economy, consumer spending habits and population growth in Pleasantville will continue for the foreseeable future.
We must also assume that our present and future suppliers will continue to sell inventory to us at prices that allow us to maintain our present margins. It is also important that we are able to hire reliable employees at reasonable wages.
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How to Start an Online Clothing Store: The What, Where and How of Running an Ecommerce Fashion Brand
Start Your Online Boutique Today
I'm ready to start building or already have my own ecommerce store., i have questions and would like guidance from an ecommerce expert., table of contents.
In 2022, retail ecommerce revenues from apparel and accessories sales in the U.S. reached $180.5 billion, and by 2025, Statista projects this number to increase to $295.7 billion.
With drivers of growth such as digital channels, increased online access through mobile devices and technological innovations, it’s no wonder that the online fashion industry has skyrocketed — and if you're an entrepreneur with an eye for fashion, there’s plenty of room to join in on the action.
For startups and large enterprises alike, ecommerce offers a huge opportunity to get your business off the ground without the overhead that can come with traditional brick-and-mortar operations.
However, launching an online business rarely happens overnight. And especially for business owners with little or no technical expertise, going digital may seem like more work than it’s worth.
But rest assured, you’re not alone — in this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about starting your own online clothing store and how your business can reach its fullest potential.
Selling Clothes Online vs. Offline
Although brick-and-mortar stores still retain a strong foothold in the industry, the grip on offline stores has been weakening: online apparel sales now make up 46% of all U.S. apparel sales.
Let’s take a look at some of biggest advantages of selling online versus offline:
- Lower barriers to entry: Establishing a storefront can take a few days or weeks online, while getting started in a more traditional environment can take a lot longer with a much higher initial investment.
- Lower overhead costs: Opening a brick-and-mortar store can cost between $50,000 to $150,000, while most online clothing business models require substantially less.
- Convenience for shoppers: Customers can shop at any time of day, and it’s more convenient than traveling to shop in-store.
- Omnichannel marketing : Omnichannel commerce helps connect all channels, both in-store and online, to create a seamless customer experience, which could result in a 33% increase in revenue.
How to Start an Online Clothing Store
The perfect time to start selling clothes online was about 15 years ago when the market first began to grow — but the second best time is right now.
With so much potential on the horizon, taking a leap into the world of ecommerce stores now can help you capitalize on trends rather than letting an opportunity pass you by.
But before you start listing your wares for sale, you need a foundation that will steer you in the right direction from the start. These seven steps can help you prepare in the best way possible for ecommerce success.
Choose a clothing niche.
Instead of making it your mission to sell clothing for everyone across every demographic, hone in on something a little more specific that’s based on your personal interests and business goals.
When considering your options, keep these four points in mind:
- Be unique. Ecommerce stores are a dime a dozen, and if your clothing brand is the same as every other, you’re likely to get lost in the crowd.
- Choose a niche that you’re passionate about . Think about the kinds of clothes you buy, the items you’d love to see on the market and what types of products you’d be eager to share with friends or family.
- Ask yourself whether you can add value and position yourself as an authority . Examine where there are holes in the current market in which you can make a difference or add value. For example, if you have experience in sustainability or social work, consider a fair trade or nonprofit clothing line.
- Make sure the niche has earning potential. Find a place to insert yourself — or a unique value proposition — that allows for quicker growth and the ability to earn money.
Determine your business plan.
A well-thought-out plan is a must for starting any big or small business — and a good business plan goes far beyond “sell items, make money .” Instead, it delves into the specifics of how your business will operate, including:
- A high-level executive summary that provides an overview of what your company hopes to accomplish.
- A company description, including product lines, customer demographics and plans to remain competitive.
- A market analysis that looks into the data and statistics of the marketplace, including average sales, the number of other sellers and projected growth rates.
- A competitive analysis that focuses explicitly on competitors in the same space.
- A marketing plan covering details of online and offline sales and marketing strategies.
- Financial projects both for the near future and from a long-term perspective.
Another big part of creating your online retail business plan involves choosing a business model. In the ecommerce clothing retail world, there are four common choices: Print-on-demand, custom cut and sew, private label clothing and dropshipping.
A print-on-demand business prints or otherwise alters pre-existing clothing, such as t-shirts or hoodies, based on customer orders. This can be a custom process — for example, company logos — or based on a predetermined selection of designs. When a customer places an order, either you or a third-party printer will create products as ordered.
Print-on-demand is a good idea for business owners who have minimal retail experience or a limited budget to help build up profit margin.
Custom cut and sew.
Custom cut and sew, as the name implies, refers to companies that design and sell their own products. Some custom cut and sew businesses produce all clothing in-house, while others outsource to plants outside the country.
While this business model is a great opportunity to launch a truly unique brand, keep in mind that starting this kind of online clothing store may require more funding and a deeper understanding of design principles.
Private label clothing.
As a private label clothing company, you can partner with established manufacturers to order unique products marketed under your brand. Instead of being designed in-house, products are designed, produced and branded for individual sale by a selected third party.
The investment in private label clothing can be higher, because it requires finding a reliable manufacturing partner and paying an upcharge for branding. However, this method can allow for more flexibility in batch size and sampling, letting stores evaluate products and fine-tune strategy without breaking the bank.
Dropshipping is arguably the easiest of the ecommerce business models. Dropshippers essentially act as middlemen; when a customer orders an item, the dropshipper then orders from a wholesaler for delivery directly to the customer.
There’s little investment required to start a dropshipping business as there’s no inventory kept in stock or a need to spend money on orders in advance of customer activity.
Select your ecommerce platform.
If you want to sell online, an ecommerce platform is a must-have. Luckily, the market is full of high-performing ecommerce platforms that can support your storefront, but instead of immediately choosing the easiest or cheapest option, ask yourself the following questions:
- How do I want to run my business? Do I need a lot of support, or will a straightforward and hands-off platform meet my needs?
- How much technical knowledge do I have? Am I prepared to do any kind of coding to bring my site to life?
- What kind of features do I want my platform to provide, like email marketing strategy , SEO, a custom domain name or SSL certifications?
- What can I afford to spend on an ecommerce platform? Do I have the budget to pay for additional add-ons, themes or plugins?
Some platforms are bare-bones, providing a blank canvas, so to speak, to customize a storefront — these are often referred to as open source. With open-source solutions, the user has full control over the source code, thus allowing for complete customization, all the way from product pages to themes to check-out experiences. However, with more customization often comes more complexity, so any technical changes are best handled by certified web developers.
The other option, SaaS (software-as-a-service), is a subscription-based solution that is built and maintained by a third-party provider so that users can essentially “rent” the software, without the added complexity of building and developing the platform. Simply by paying a monthly or yearly subscription, SaaS users have access to an array of pre-designed themes, plugins, modules, templates and add-ons that allow users to quickly and easily customize their storefront.
Want the best of both worlds? As a leading Open SaaS ecommerce platform, BigCommerce has all the benefits associated with multi-tenant SaaS — being hosted on behalf of businesses, lower total cost of ownership and faster go-to-market time — coupled with platform-wide APIs that enable businesses to customize their sites and integrate with external applications and services.
Choose your domain name.
Your domain name should align with your brand name as well as your ultimate business goals and available products. Be sure to choose a domain name that’s logical, easy to remember and easy to access. Short names are always better than long ones, and confusing names with multiple repeating letters or letter sequences can leave prospective buyers lost on the web.
When choosing your domain name , keep these tips in mind:
- Avoid hard-to-spell names. Stick with basic words or known phrases so that prospective customers can easily find your site.
- Choose a name that is scalable. The state of your business when you start it may not be the same as what it evolves to be down the road. As such, you want a business name that can accommodate potential growth in the future.
- Be unique. Make sure your domain name speaks to your brand identity and business without the risk of being confused with the competition.
Choose your templates and customize your store.
Most ecommerce website builders have templates that can help you get started with customization options to meet your unique needs. Quality templates can make it easy to put together a store, offering ways to customize everything from navigation to product pages for a site that works well and speaks to your vision as a brand.
With a BigCommerce store, merchants have access to a variety of free and paid themes and templates specifically designed for fashion brands. Plus, BigCommerce’s open template files allow you to bring custom design elements to your new store.
List your products.
Once you’ve established the framework of your site, you’re ready to list the products you have for sale. Remember that the display of products, the quality of your descriptions and even the navigation of your ecommerce page can directly influence your sales.
Product descriptions may sound mundane, but quality content can make a huge difference. On ecommerce sites, product descriptions are a primary driver for SEO , and they also play an incredibly important part in telling customers what you have to offer and why they should buy from you.
Use colorful, high-quality language that paints a picture for customers. Since buyers can’t physically handle your merchandise, product descriptions are effectively the next best thing.
Product display should complement product descriptions completely, providing a way to show and tell shoppers what to expect. A single photo won’t cut it; provide images of clothing items from all angles, up close and at a distance, so that customers can make an informed decision.
Photographed clothing on models where possible, or a mannequin when not. Photos should be high quality and showcase fabrics, front, back and side details and even styling options when possible.
Seventy-nine percent of web users say that a poor experience on one site will lead them to search for another to meet their needs — which goes to show that site navigation is an integral part of making sales.
When a site visitor is completely overwhelmed with menus, dropdowns and navigation options, going through the effort to find the right products can be very overwhelming. Regardless of how many different products you sell or categories you have, keep navigation simple and easy to use.
The checkout process is a crucial part of making money; after all, if your shoppers don’t finish a transaction, you’re not going to make a sale. In fact, 21% of online shoppers in the United States have abandoned their shopping cart due to a long, complicated checkout process.
To make your checkout process as fast and painless as possible:
- Make guest checkout options easy to access.
- Accept auto-filled details when possible, like credit card info stored in Chrome.
- Accept a variety of payment processors, including gift cards, credit cards, debit cards, PayPal and buy now, pay later options such as Affirm or Sezzle .
- Opt for one-click checkout for a quick and easy checkout.
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.
Publish and market your clothing store.
Your store is up and running, your product descriptions and photos are stellar and your page is optimized for success — but where are your customers? In an ecommerce marketplace, the best way to get them to you is through top-notch digital marketing. These three basic tools are the catalyst you need to get your shop off the ground.
Email marketing tools.
Email marketing is one of the single best ways to target customers, providing significant value (email marketing has an average ROI of $42 for every dollar spent ) in a low-cost way. Emails introduce your brand to new customers and, in time, keep your fan base coming back. Offering promotions such as discounts and exclusive offers are among the best ways to get recipients to open emails.
Social media marketing.
Social media is one of the most important strategies for launching a new business. Generally, marketing needs a launching point — you can’t send emails to a nonexistent address book, for example — but the promotional power of social media platforms can get your message to your target market to help you hit the ground running.
Sponsored and promoted posts can be very effective, particularly when special attention is paid to how these posts are used to target audiences. Around 72% of U.S. online consumers admit to finding new products and services through social media advertising, so using promo posts to grow your presence and find new buyers is a very viable strategy.
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, too, 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 BigCommerce store can easily integrate with top content management systems such as WordPress , Bloomreach and Deity.
Best Practices for a Successful Online Clothing Store
As you’re preparing to launch your online clothing store, follow these best practices to help keep your business on track.
Simplify your navigation.
If you’ve ever clicked on a dropdown on a website and found yourself confused by menus inside of menus, you’re not alone. Massive, complex menus can be downright confusing, scaring customers off before they ever have a chance to see your products.
When in doubt, simple menus are always the best. Narrowing the focus down to the key points, even if this means artificially simplifying product categories.
Utilizing search engine optimization techniques can ensure potential customers find you on search engines when looking for your products. From your homepage to your product descriptions, be sure your content prioritizes the keywords and phrases that align with your products and branding.
Have engaging web design.
It may sound a bit shallow, but appearance matters a lot online, and poor site design can cost you more than you realize. To help keep customers coming back, make sure your design is engaging, responsive and attractive. Think personalized recommendations, chatbots and mobile compatibility.
Provide popular payment options.
Credit cards have long reigned supreme in the world of online payments, but they are no longer the only option on the market. With new payment methods such as Apple Pay, PayPal and mobile wallets, just the basics won’t do.
Another emerging payment trend is buy now, pay later, which gives customers the option to choose a financing plan and pay in installments instead of having to pay the entire cost up-front. Luckily, BigCommerce supports a wide variety of buy now, pay later (BNPL) options, such as Klarna, After Pay, Sezzle, Affirm and more.
Advertise where your audience is.
Unlike the old days of advertising, where customers from all demographics saw ads on TV or heard them on the radio, today’s marketing methods are more targeted than ever before.
When you want to make sure your advertising dollars go toward the right people, you want to advertise in the right place. Rather than throwing money into the wind, figure out where your customers are and follow them there, whether it’s Instagram , Facebook or even TikTok .
The Final Word
Starting any kind of business can be a big gamble, but the online clothing market is a good place to be. With upward trends and numerous business models that allow for flexibility (and affordable), starting an online shop can be an easy recipe for success. When backed by the perfect online platform and a strong business plan, there’s never been a better time to bring your clothing store dreams to life.
FAQs About How to Start an Online Clothing Store
How much does it cost to start an online clothing store.
The cost of building an online clothing store largely depends on whether you choose to build your site from scratch with an open-source solution or go the SaaS route and let the platform provider do the work for you.
While open-source software is free to download and use, you also have to factor in the costs of hosting, development, customizations, security and compliance, integrations and maintenance. Especially for small businesses on a budget, these expenses can add up to a hefty price tag.
However, if you choose to go the SaaS route, you launch your ecommerce store for as little as $39 per month with BigCommerce. With a SaaS platform, your provider takes care of all the ecommerce functionality, such as product updates, security, hosting and PCI compliance.
What is the best platform for selling clothes online?
Ultimately, the best ecommerce platform is the one that best fits your business needs. Whether you prioritize omnichannel capabilities, social media integration or multi-storefront functionality, it’s important to find the platform that provides the necessary features and support for your business.
However, as an online clothing business, you’ll want to look for a platform that allows for large product catalogs and can scale with your business.
WooCommerce, for instance, is a free, open-source plugin that can be added to a frontend WordPress site to give it backend ecommerce functionality. While this may be a good choice if you’re looking to quickly monetize an existing WordPress site it may be difficult to scale as adding additional payment and marketing features becomes costly and time-consuming.
And with Shopify and Shopify Plus (the Enterprise version), customers with large catalogs have little wiggle room. But with BigCommerce, you can add up to 600 SKUs per product compared to the 100 SKUs per product cap of Shopify and Shopify Plus.
That being said, our money is on BigCommerce.
As a leading Open SaaS ecommerce platform for mid-market and enterprise brands, BigCommerce offers headless capabilities; integrates with the world's largest marketplaces including Google Shopping, Amazon, Facebook, eBay and Instagram; offers over 55 global payment gateway options — and the list goes on.
How do I price used clothing?
Setting a price point for used items can be tricky, especially when used clothing can come in a variety of conditions and qualities. But according to Paranium , a source for ethical and sustainable fashion news, pre-worn clothing often sells for between 30% and 40% of their original retail price. As a rule of thumb, price your used clothing for a third of the price of a new, similar item.
What are the best kinds of clothes to sell online?
As tempting as it might be, don’t try to cater to every target audience and sell every kind of clothing imaginable. Instead, choose one or two particular types of clothing you want to sell and run with it. Whether it’s activewear, swimwear or loungewear, make sure the niche you choose is one that actually interests you and is based on your own business goals and personal interests.
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10 Steps to E-Commerce Clothing Business Plan
- 15 November 2022 21 November 2022
Whether you are a new e-commerce business start-up or a conventionally operating brick-and-mortar fashion retailer, there is no denying that our era is digitally derived. In this age of post-pandemic technology, it is impossible to thrive globally with international competitors without an online website platform.
However, having a successful clothing line and a fruitful e-commerce platform requires more than just a passion for fashion and design. Furthermore, setting up a website for your e-commerce business requires more than just a technical whiz. If you want a lasting business performance, you must have an e-commerce clothing business plan.
So, to have a successful e-commerce fashion brand follow us on this step-by-step journey outlining your e-commerce fashion business model.
Who Should Implement This Online Fashion Retail Business Model?
The online fashion retail business model in this article is a detailed plan transcribed for any newly launched e-commerce business or any established fashion brand wishing to just launch an online store to complement its physical brick-and-mortar establishment.
Although, if you are an organization with already established conventional store and online platform representation you can still read through this article to update your brand’s online performance, using this clothing e-commerce website business plan.
E-Commerce Clothing Store Business Plan; A Step-By-Step Model For Fashion Lines
A business plan is a roadmap that details the foundational aspects of a company, including its products or services, funding sources, management team, employees, organizational structure, financial viability, strategy for generating revenue, Key Performance Indicators, and more. It is a well-thought-out plan outlining the specifics of your online clothing store and the goals you hope to achieve in the future.
If you are an already established conventional fashion store just setting up an online division we would still recommend having a new business plan specific to your online apparel store. So, let’s hit it off, with the components of the 10-step-by-step e-commerce fashion store business plan:
1. Business Outline
To start strong with your online fashion retail business model, you must start with what you know. This is the foundation of your business plan. It is the summary of the whole business plan on one page, so we recommend writing it at the end, though it should be placed first. It should include:
Executive summaries are meant to pique the reader’s interest and provide a quick overview of the firm. It is the first impression of your brand that the executive summary could help you attract investors. It should include the issue being addressed, the intended clientele, products, services, and the most crucial accounting projections.
In two sentences include the product and the idea behind your fashion brand. Also, add the competitive advantage your fashion and e-commerce line hold to your competition.
The Brand and Team
Introduce your brand and the team that has made the magic happen.
Legalities and Registrations
Whether you are a conventional fashion outlet or an e-commerce clothing store you need to register your business legally. Consequently, outline the details to prove your legitimacy as an authorized enterprise.
Scope Of Business
Outline and set the scope of your business in a few lines. Answer the question: what do you do presently, tomorrow, and in the distant future?
2. Business Objective = Identity
Your business objective is your identity and so a critical part of your branding. Your objectives should reflect in your every endeavour concerning your employees, investors, and consumers. Thus, if you wish to be a successful online enterprise you must have a clear objective of what you wish your identity to be as an online fashion store. You must identify:
Your brand’s mission statement should describe the services or products you provide to your target consumers. A mission fulfilled reaches your vision.
The vision is the desired long-term outcome. Naturally, these objectives will lack motivation unless they are infused with some degree of ambition.
Every company needs to have its values as its guiding principle. These core values are the ideals that represent your company. Your fashion brand should incorporate these values when managing your enterprise, online services, leadership, employees, consumers, and business decisions.
Although you should get creative with your mission, vision, and values and they should be in line with one another, do keep them simple and to the point. Remember your mission, vision, and values should later be presented to the public on your website. So, try to set objectives that you; can uphold, are ethical, and environmentally conscious.
3. SWOT Analysis
A SWOT Analysis is the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Weaknesses (SWOT) strategic planning matrix for your developing fashion business. Creating a SWOT analysis can give you new perspectives and a fresh approach to your fashion business strategies both as an e-commerce clothing store or a conventional retailer.
4. Return on Investment
Once you have identified your SWOT Matrix you must identify your return on investment source by analyzing factors like:
- Competition – The competition you may have in your fashion line and how you can overcome them.
- Legalities – The legalities that apply to your e-commerce fashion business platform and the requirements you need to implement.
Then once you have identified those you must outline your solutions and advantages and how your e-commerce business strategy could generate a return on investment for your enterprise.
5. Technology Assessment
One of the most effective ways to gain dominance over online fashion retailers is through the technology you utilize within your website. So, analyze your e-commerce competition and then outline the technology which you wish to utilize in your online fashion retail business model.
For instance, since e-commerce fashion retailers are in abundance and consumers are looking for convenient online shopping experiences it would be wise to incorporate technologies like Robosize that provide size and style recommendations. This way you would gain the upper hand over your competition while boosting their business’s return on investment, sales, and profits.
6. Products and Services
You would need to identify the most detailed aspects of your products and services to identify your target audience by outlining them.
- Your Product and Service, and its value compared to the competition.
- The Product and Services prices
- Estimated Profits
- Financing expenses of procuring the products and services
- Risk Analysis for the specific products
- Technique for presenting the products to consumers
- Technologies required for apparel production, sales, and distribution
Finally, once you have outlined these criteria, you could identify your target audience and why users would ultimately choose to purchase your fashion and apparel product. Which would then provide your e-commerce clothing store business plan with a value estimation of your possible earnings.
7. Digital Marketing and Advertising Strategy
E-commerce platforms must have a digital marketing and advertising strategy to succeed. Unlike a traditional store, apparel consumers won’t find your website if they don’t know you. Thus, initiating your digital marketing and advertising strategy before launching your e-commerce fashion store website is wise.
However, before launching your digital marketing strategy you must create a plan outline. Although it is part of the e-commerce clothing store business plan it is one component that demands in-depth analysis. You must identify your e-commerce marketing and advertising strategy by considering approaches like:
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimizations (SEOs)
- Video Marketing on YouTube
- Pay-Per-Click Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Instagram Ads
- UGC / User-Generated Content Marketing
- Influencer Marketing.
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
Though the list above may seem overwhelming and scary for an online shop, the best aspect about e-commerce businesses, in general, is that all the approaches for a Marketing and Advertising Strategy are far cheaper and environmentally friendly than traditional strategies.
8. Operational Plan
The operational plan in your online fashion retail business model will detail the steps it will take and the goals you’ll have to strive for to reach your business objectives. It’s the backbone of how an e-commerce business will function daily. The typical time frame of an operational plan is 12 months.
The Operational plans will establish information like; daily routines, order of tasks, working hours, employee meet-up locations, physical office location, product procurement, inventory management, outsourcing companies and tasks assigned, employee tasks, managerial responsibilities, and anything that may be in-line with the operations of your e-commerce clothing store.
By planning and strategizing your operational plot you can identify your strong and weak points and touch up on them depending on the results. The components you must consider for an online fashion platform are;
The support and services you provide to your online customers are paramount to converting browsing customers to buying clientele. This is because online, unlike a conventional brick-and-mortar store you would not be available physically to attend to your customers or provide a good first impression.
So, this task must be fulfilled through the services, technologies, and widgets provided. Some customer service facilities you can offer on your e-commerce fashion and apparel platform, include.
- Contact Us Pages
- Virtual Fitting Room Technologies
- Size and Style Recommendation Tools, and
Consider your e-commerce fashion line’s return policies. These could make or break your organization and the success it expects. So, consider the matter carefully. For example, if you are worried about hygiene issues or have garments that can’t be returned, we would suggest virtual fitting rooms for E-commerce . This way your consumers can shop with assurance without ever having to return an item due to sizing and styling issues .
Risks and Issues
Any conventional store or clothing e-commerce website business plan must include possible risks and issues in the business. Some risks you could include that are in line with e-commerce fashion platforms are:
- Product Damages and Faults upon arrival from supplier,
- Problems with garment supplies,
- Lack of fashion apparel in the inventory,
- Website lags due to website traffic,
- Complaints regarding website user interface,
- Problems with postage,
- Loss of products in delivery,
- Website Management Issues
You must list the risks and issues while also stating the solutions and possible people in charge.
Other Operational Factors
Additional operational factors that you must consider when strategizing your operational plan are:
- Procurement of Equipment and Supplies
- Website Design, Run, and Management
- Inventory Warehouse Location
- Inventory Management
- Delivery Carrier Service Provider
9. Financial Plan & Forecast Estimations
A financial plan and projection forecast will outline how finances will be handled based on estimated costs, forecasts, predictions, and strategic calculations. While the financial plan outlines necessary strategies for generating future incomes and covering expenses. The Financial forecast projects the future incomes, revenues, and expenses.
Both the financial plan and the forecast estimation are essential for an e-commerce fashion line that wishes to prosper. Hence, the more detailed the outline in the document the less chance for the online fashion store to face unexpected expenses that could bring disadvantages and loss. You should usually outline your financial plan for the first one or two years of the online business.
10. Funding and Sponsorships
It is rare for an online fashion retail business to require funding and sponsorship. Particularly if you are a new start-up and still do not plan to have a conventional outlet. However, if you do require funding and sponsorship you would have to include the details of your external financing in your e-commerce clothing business model too. In this section, you would have to establish:
- The Monetary Funding and Sponsorship amount required
- The financing detail of why the money is required
- What will the fund be used for?
- Current and future expenditures
Funding requests must be tailored to the funding source so do not take this section lightly if you wish to attract your sponsor’s approval.
A Successful Online Fashion Store
To have a prospering e-commerce clothing and apparel store you need to start your brand by writing an e-commerce website business plan. A business model will be the foundation that would build your organization. However, do remember that to have a successful online fashion business you should also apply:
- Innovative Technologies to entice Gen-Z consumers.
- User-friendly website interfaces to allow smooth and quick purchases on any device.
- Virtual dressing rooms to lower returns, boost sales, and reduce pollution using AR and AI sizing and styling suggestions.
- Sustainable Technologies to reduce carbon footprints and promote eco-friendly practices both among online apparel stores and fashion consumers alike.
Remember that we are in the era of technology and a successful online fashion website requires innovation and cutting-edge technologies along with the source of a well-planned e-commerce clothing store business plan.
Virtual Fitting Rooms for E-commerce Businesses: A Fashion Retailer’s Guide
Let’s discuss about your fashion E-commerce.
E-Commerce Clothing Store Business Plan Model
An online fashion retail business model or a business strategy plan for a conventional store is only the initial step to setting up a physical or an e-commerce clothing store. Launching any business physically or online requires a lot more planning, strategizing, design, functionality, and implementation.
It is just important to remember that even though a business plan is written to forecast a full year in the enterprise it should never be set in stone.
A business plan should always be the first point of reference when operating your e-commerce store. Still, it should also constantly be updated to include any unforeseen changes or strategic deviations. Henceforth use our 10-step online clothing and fashion store business plan model for a profitable and prosperous e-commerce fashion enterprise.
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