How To Sell My Clothing Line Online 10


Clothing design is the most rewarding part of my job as a sewer. I love the creation process, but the selling part seems more challenging to me. It consumes most of my time. Offline, I could say it is a fairly successful small business. I have my returning clients and a steady income.  But when it comes to selling online I had my struggles when I started and I still do. So, how to sew my clothing line online?

Let’s say that you have your collection ready.  The garments are in stock and you are ready to make people happy wearing your unique and made with love garments.

This is what you should cover:

1.Build a relationship with your clients.

  • Have your brand name and logo. Get creative here and give it a good thought, because this is not something you should change in time, it is your name and face to the word. Most of your online clients are going to recognise you only by your logo.  I was told by clients that they couldn’t find me and my products just because I’ve changed my profile picture once.
  • Try to make your website look professionally build. You can use a ready-made platform to do so or pay to a developer. I always prefer the first option as long as I can keep things more under control and close to my taste and preferences. Those platforms are kept up to date by a lot of people so you don’t have to worry about updating and paying extra fees to a developer to do so. It could be done almost for free apart from the expenses for a domain name and a hosting plan (even these expenses are optional). Prestashop is a great solution for an online store and it has all the features for a professional look and shopping experience. Another popular platform for e-commerce is Shopify.  An e-commerce theme on WordPress could be a good solution, too.
  • Reply to any question as soon as possible. The fewer questions you leave unanswered, the chance to close a sale is bigger. Have in mind that visitors to your web store might not even bother to ask, so give them as detailed info as possible.

2. Think about pricing.

pricing your crafted itemsSome of the designs I’ve created were not suitable for catalogue selling because they were high priced. They were easier to sell offline to returning costumers. In my experience, if you are not a recognised brand name, high-ticket garments are harder to sell online. You should always include them in your catalogue, though. It is an enormous market and someone might have been looking for exactly this dress of yours, no matter the price.

On the other hand, don’t try to compete with the low-priced retail clothes. Always have in mind that your designs are unique.

3.Ship on time.

  • international-shipping-selling-crafts-onlineResearch shipping pricing, terms, and conditions. Decide where you are going to ship to, your country only or abroad too. You should have this information available on your website. It is not something you should figure out after you begin to receive orders. This doesn’t seem professional and can lead to a lot of stress for you and frustration for your customers.
  • Establish a relationship with one courier of your choice. This might get you a good discount and will limit unpleasant  surprises in your day to day business together.

4. Good descriptions.

Selling online (especially clothes) turned out to be very different from selling them in the atelier. It excludes the possibility for the client to touch the fabric and feel it, try on the garment or see how it fits. There should be a size chart in the description of every garment. If you create all of your designs according to one size chart, you should mention that and redirect to the page with the size chart.

5. Good pictures.

Pictures and description of the product  are the only way your potential clients can get information about your garments.  All of your pictures must be high quality. The more professional your pictures look, the better. It is always better to shoot on a mannequin than on the floor or a hanger and it is the best to make a photo of a real person.

To avoid additional expenses,  take a picture of yourself wearing the garment or a friend of yours if it doesn’t feel comfortable to do it yourself. Some Photoshop skills might help to fix colours for example or other issues with the photo you’ve made. You should have an excellent light (if such equipment is unaffordable use sunlight). A nice camera is an absolute must have (no way to avoid expenses here). You could make close pictures to small details like buttons or zippers if you want to stress on that detail.

6. Good marketing strategy.

seo-selling-crafts-onlineGood marketing strategy or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essential to get visitors to your store. Only visitors can become clients. Although online marketing has a lot in common with marketing in general, there are some specifics. You can always pay somebody to do this for you, but it is usually expensive. Or, you can manage your marketing yourself. To do that, you must learn the basics of building and maintaining a website, use social media and drive traffic to your web store. But be careful, there are a lot of scammers online who offer quick results. The truth is you have to put in a lot of work if you want to succeed.

7. Connect with fashion magazines, bloggers, follow fashion trends and news.

This will keep you up to date with fashion trends and will help you make friends, interested in fashion. Good connections are important in any business, no matter online or not. If people mention your name and refer to you it eventually leads to more sales.

8.Rethink producing capacity and quantities in stock.

There is an enormous market on the internet and you actually may be surprised how many new clients you get. Having too small quantities in stock is not remunerative in terms of making photos, but also when you produce. Small orders are always more expensive in factories and if you make every peace by yourself it is very overwhelming to catch up. On the other hand, producing too many pieces may end up in, not selling them all and having them in stock forever.selling-clothing-line-online

 

Finally, you should experiment. Some things might work for you and some might not. One product would sell better than others. Some product that sells great in your store might be ignored on your website and vice versa. What is most important is consistency. If you believe in your product keep showing up and things will get rolling.

If you want you can follow my experience trying to sell on Etsy.com here.

 

If you want to share your experience and add up to that list, please leave a comment below.

P.S. There are some of my most requested designs, I hope you like them. 🙂clothing-design

 


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10 thoughts on “How To Sell My Clothing Line Online

  • Alex

    This is a great post. It is really important to have all these abovementioned components if someone wants to run a real serious online business.

    we have thousand of new websites published everyday and I am wondering how to stand out from the crowd. This post has covered some useful tips. Do you think Social media helps in promoting products online? What do you think?

    Regards,
    Alex Y

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Alex,

      Social media is what turned the things around for me, especially Pinterest and Google +. Some friends of mine utilize Facebook better, but it did not help me a lot. It is very individual and you should try what works best for you.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  • Dave Sweney

    This was a very interesting and informative article. I can tell a lot of thought went into it, or maybe just experience and expertise! Either way, it was an eye-opener for me!

    It sounds so easy to get into this line of sales online, but you are absolutely right that the considerations you mention are important. I am just standing up my own line of products online, and although there are some articles of clothing, most are not.

    In thinking about how best to offer/sell my line of clothing that is a part of the package of products we have, I now will use your guidelines to do a cross check!

    I am curous as to how you have been doing with your online sales. Is it growing at a faster rate than your offline sales? Are the margins for online sales also better? I would think that be ‘dovetailing’ the two segments there are some synergies you can avail yourself of…

    Anyway, thanks for this great article. I have bookmarked your page! Have a super day!

    Kind Regards,
    Dave

    • Daniela Post author

      Hey Dave,

      Thank you for your kind words, I am glad you find this article helpful.

      I started to sell online aproximatelly 3 years ago and honestly I made very few sales in the beginning. I didn’t have any knowledge of SEO and marketing. I used the Prestashop platform and as for the design my website was pretty responsive and well constructed. Then I started learning about SEO and social media and things started growing steadily. I get to the first page on Google for many keywords, but I am targeting the local market in a small country and this turns out to be easier. I think about selling wordwide, but the delivery conditions are not very nice in my case.

      Online selling helps my bussiness a lot, because I reach customers that are not likely to find my products otherwise. On the other hand, I have items in stock that sell way better offline, often only offline. Go figure.

      Any way, “dovetailing the two segments” is the way to go for me.

      If I can be of any further help to you, feel free to contact me.

  • Market Merchant

    Very nice idea. So my curiosity got the better of me real fast, largely because the posting was a bit unclear to me. Do you have your own clothing line?
    If so this would be awesome and I recommend advertising it on EVERY page and post you ever create. It will give you more in every writing as well as WAY more advertising and branding.
    Zach C.
    MM+ Info-Sites

    • Daniela Post author

      Hay Zach,

      I do have a clothing line and I sell it mainly offline and on a local website. I haven’t thought of marketing it on my sewing blog, but it really is a great idea. I know about the importance of branding so I am going to do some steps in this direction. Thank you very much for your suggestions!

      Daniela

  • Sammi

    This was a great post.

    I think you’ve got it all covered for selling on your own site. You’ve covered so much information here. Are there any other sites you’d consider selling on such as ebay or Amazon? Is it easy to do so on these type of sites?

    Sammi

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Sammi,

      Amazon’s requirements for selling clothes are very strict. They have specific rules for the pictures, concerning their quality, sizes, etc. We produce relatively small quantities of our designs, which makes the production of high-quality images very expensive. I have organized several photo sessions by now and it takes as much effort and resources as the making of the clothes do. But we do make the pictures for our local website, so half of the work is done anyway.

      This, combined with our location in Eastern Europe (which adds to the cost of shipping), makes it hard to catch up. I still don’t discard that option, because it seems to be worth the efforts. Selling on Amazon saves a lot of the marketing efforts. It also makes it easier for sellers, because they have everything organized and this saves a lot of time. I feel a bit small to grow on that scale right now.

      I really haven’t checked eBay’s requirements yet. Thank you for this idea.

      Daniela

  • Jessy

    Wow, I’ve toyed with the idea of making my own clothing, mostly because I love uncommons styles, or just the challenge to try and do something different. It’s nice when you have a piece you actually made yourself because it’s something you created or was inspired to re-invent. Thanks for sharing how to go about starting your own clothing line.

    • Daniela Post author

      Hey Jessy, thank you for your comment! My first project was a dress for myself. Then someone liked it so much that she ordered one for herself. I enjoy the act of creating and make a wish come true for me or for someone else.