If you thinking of venturing into the clothing business, you are not the only one. Today’s youth is spoilt for choices when it comes to dressing up. Gen Z is the first digitally native generation who was born when technology was taking over all spheres of life.

Their thought process and orientation are not like that of their parents who mostly hail from Gen X. Gen X perceived apparel as a mere means to cover up their body. However, things have changed as technology took over all aspects of our lives.

Even millennials have become very particular about what they wear. With the advent of the internet, the world has become smaller than ever. People follow various celebrities from different walks of life and are influenced by their demeanour. Thus feeling the urge to imitate their idols. 

This has led to the rapid growth of the fashion industry business. People conceive apparel to be a reflection of their inner self and hence they want clothes which can be customised and crafted to suit their taste.

Many entrepreneurs have ventured into the clothing business to pounce on this rising demand. But, with the growing demand and increasing number of entrants into the cloth-selling business, the competition has grown tougher than ever. 

If you are wondering how to start a clothing business online, then you have stumbled upon just the right article. Let’s take you through the steps you need to take to run a successful clothing business:-

1. Choosing a Niche

As we said, the apparel industry is getting saturated by the day. Therefore, you need to research intensively and find an untapped market to stand out from the lot. If your business doesn’t have a unique selling proposition or doesn’t appeal to a particular target persona, it will become very hard for you to stand a chance in such an unforgiving market. 

So, you will need to create apparels which are truly unique either in terms of design, fabric or shades. Moreover, you will have to adhere to your strategy to cement your place in the minds of your prospective customers. This would become your design language in the long run and your clothes would become easily identifiable. Try becoming a master of one instead of becoming a jack of all trades. 

2. Obtaining the Necessary Authorizations

The following are some suggestions for getting started once you have settled on a specific market niche:

  • Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and Private Limited Company are the options for the legal structuring of your firm.
  • A Gumasta licence, a single proprietorship/partnership/LLP/private limited, a TIN/PAN/TAN, VAT & CST for online commerce, and so on are all necessary to launch a business in India.
  • The annual revenue of your business will determine your registration requirements with the Service Tax Department (VAT, CST, etc.).
  • Put your company’s money where it can be easily accessed by opening a checking account with a local bank. It should be in sync with your domain name. 

3. Sourcing

The fashion industry business doesn’t only thrive on quirky designs, the quality of the fabric needs to complement the designs too. The very reason why most people don’t buy clothes online is that they are sceptical of the quality of fabrics, and rightly so. 

Many small clothing businesses which operate online have spoilt their reputation by selling cheap quality apparel which gets torn out after a couple of washes. Thus, bringing a bad name to online apparel stores.

Moreover, online businesses are forged on returning customers. If you satisfy your customers the first time, they are more likely to make repeat purchases, thus building brand loyalty.

4. Designing

Designing might sound fun but prudent and well-thought efforts need to be taken whilst designing your apparel. Not only do your clothes have to be visually striking but they should be in unison as far as your design language is concerned. Otherwise, your brand image could get distorted and you won’t be able to cement the desired image of your products inside the minds of your prospects.

You need to hire professional designers who would lay a strong foundation for your brand’s design endeavours. Further, your website, packaging and slip everything should be in sync with a unanimous design language. 

5. Customization

This is the era of personalized marketing. If you don’t tailor your offerings to the demands of the customer, you won’t be in the game for long.  Customers often have special needs owing to the fit and size of the apparel. You could provide them with an option of customization and confer the same with email.

By customising your apparel to suit the needs or orientation of the customers, they will become staunch proponents of your brand and thus benefit you through word-of-mouth marketing. 

6. Payment Gateways

The importance of a safe and secure payment gateway should never be undermined. A reputed payment gateway will securely process the personally identifiable information of the customer and thus make you compliant with the various jurisdictions such as GDPR in case someone wants to buy your products from outside of India. 

Therefore choose your payment gateway wisely. 

7. Finding the right logistic partner

Now that you have prepared the cake, ordinary icing won’t fly around. Timely deliveries are the key to customer satisfaction and it makes the whole buying process a lot smoother for them.

The logistic partners should be super efficient even if they charge more than others. Timely deliveries will build your business’ rapport in the long run.  

To Sum Up

When you first open your clothing shop, you will need to strike a balance between the quality of your products, the costs of production, and your ability to make a profit. There is no one who can guarantee the success or failure of an enterprise. Spend some time looking for the parts that you aren’t familiar with and give it some thought. Keep an eye on those that compete with you. In order to engage with a larger audience, you should investigate innovative methods such as social media marketing, marketing through influencers, and other similar approaches.

Are you thinking of building an online apparel store but are low on savings? Try getting a business loan from Tata Capital to steer clear of financial constraints.

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