These days it might seem as though everyone has their own line of t-shirts and custom clothing products. So, when you’re starting your own ecommerce store for custom t-shirts you might feel like the competition is too thick to get started. While it’s true you will have competition, you can still sell your own t-shirts successfully online if you focus on the most important aspects of ecommerce.
Do Market Research First
Before you can create a product or even start an ecommerce website, you need to do some market research. Get to know the t-shirt industry, how online ecommerce businesses work and decide what type of t-shirts you’ll be selling. The type of t-shirt you make ultimately decides what type of customer you’ll market to and that type of customer will ultimately decide your t-shirt website design, marketing campaign, etc.
Review the Competition
Now that you know the type of t-shirt and customer you’re working with, you need to review your competition. In the t-shirt industry, you’re likely to have a few competitors fighting for the attention of the same type of customer. See what your more successful competitors are doing. Look at how they advertise their products, how they’ve designed their ecommerce store, and their pricing.
See if there is a definitive design that successful ecommerce sites have. When you’re selling t-shirts, you might notice most online t-shirt retailers use a simplified design with very clean backgrounds. This is because they want their product to shine — not their background.
Understand Your Costs
Your costs are important, because they determine how much you’ll charge for your t-shirts. If you’re making the shirts yourself, how much time and materials will it take to create just one shirt? If you’re going to have them made by a third party, get an accurate cost estimate. Add in the costs for labeling, bagging, shipping, and whatever other costs you’ll face to bring your t-shirt to the customer.
Create an Online Store
You’ve done your research and know your costs, so now you can set up your online ecommerce store. Use an ecommerce platform service instead of self-hosting. This allows you to setup a store and operate like a big ecommerce company without the hassle of dealing with servers, HTML, and other background services. Ecommerce platforms also help you setup an online store based on what you’re selling. So, if you’re selling t-shirts you can setup a store designed just for selling t-shirts.
Go With a Pre-Made Theme
Pre-made themes take the legwork out of designing your own website. These themes are created by professionals and are easily integrated into your ecommerce store. Use a pre-made theme that is compatible with your ecommerce platform (preferably one that is made by your provider for less compatibility issues). If you can find one, go with a template made for t-shirts or clothing ecommerce stores. Pre-made templates often come with additional features and customizability options, such as adding navigation bars, changing banners, adding search engine optimization, or integrating social media into your site.
Be Realistic With Sales Goals
You need to set business goals for your t-shirt business. Decide how many shirts you plan on selling in a 12-month period, in a 30-day period, etc. Be realistic with your sales goals. You might not get sales the first day, week or even month you’re in business, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be successful. Use other apps provided to you by your ecommerce platform to help boost your brand’s recognition, such as social media integration, analytics, etc.