Wouldn’t it be great if all you had to do was choose clothing products to sell online and then start making money right away? Although many online clothing shop owners would like to have that easy of a time, the truth is that it’s competitive out there. You will be pitching yourself directly against the likes of Amazon, EBay and ASOS, not to mention the high street retailers, so you will need to have a clear USP and business strategy in mind.
In order to get the funding you want and the attention from customers that will keep your business afloat, it’s going to be necessary to take a few initial business planning steps. The more time you invest into the following details, the more solid a business plan you will have, and the more appealing you will look to investors and customers.
Attract Mobile Customers
More consumers are using their mobile devices to shop today than at any other point in history. Therefore, it is necessary for any business owner wanting a piece of the mobile market to invest in apps that will make it easy for customers to download, install and use to buy from you.
However, apps are only one element of mobile success; you must also ensure that your web site has a mobile-friendly version, made for smaller screens but just as functional and convenient as your traditional web site. The more convenient you can make it for your mobile customers to buy from you, the better your bottom line will be. This will not only help you stand out from your other independent competitors, but enables you to stay relevant in an ecommerce marketplace increasingly dominated by mobile devices.
Why Shouldn’t Customers Go Elsewhere?
This is a very important question to ask and answer in your plan, because it will directly impact your revenue. In order to get your offering right, you must be able to provide products that do two things: supply you with a profit, and give the customer more value than the amount of money they pay.
Although a simple concept, this delicate balance can be a challenge to achieve and maintain. Know what your brand direction is going to be. For instance, are you establishing yourself as a specialist vintage clothes store, or an online boutique selling unique items, or a discount designer outlet?
Hand in hand with this is choosing online tools – such as WordPress – that are low in cost, at least for the short term. The more you can control costs at the outset, the better the value you can offer customers at the vulnerable beginning stages of your business.
Choosing the right Technology
You’ll want to ensure that the ecommerce technology you choose is both cost-effective for you and convenient for your customer. Otherwise, your customer will go somewhere else to buy their products, and your potential investor may doubt the viability of your plan. Here again, it’s a question of balance.
Instead of going for new technology that may not have been in the wild long enough to prove reliable, consider going with that which has been tested and proven. This will allow you to concentrate on running your business instead of wrestling with bugs and downtime.
Once you have the ideal technology for your clothing shop, you will need to explain in your business plan how you propose to provide security for your online shoppers. After all, they will be giving you their sensitive credit card information and other personal details. The prevalence of fraud and site hacking makes security an absolute must. Any payment solution you choose should adhere to the PCI DSS (payment card industry data security) industry standard.
Then, you will need to choose a payment solution that offers customers several choices for purchasing from you. This added convenience is another item which will keep them coming back. Your business plan should also include some kind of forecast for your online clothing shop, such as expansion plans and potential changes to the brands of clothing you offer.
By having all of these things in place before you write your business plan, you can ensure that what you present to potential investors is taken seriously.