“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”
The clothing industry is huge—and growing. Globally, the textile and garment industry is worth over 3 trillion (yes, trillion) dollars, and experiences annual growth of around 4 percent. Now that you’ve launched your new clothing business, you the real challenge is to stand out in a market that, while experiencing huge growth, can be hard to break into.
At ZenPunk, we focus on direct-to-consumer fashion startups, so in this guide, we’ll be focusing primarily on ecommerce businesses. We’ve divided these guide into 2 equally important parts: funnel and logistics.
1. OPTIMIZE YOUR SALES FUNNEL
A funnel is simply a set of necessary steps to a conversion, i.e. a sale.
Think about the Amazon purchase funnel. There are a few steps a visitor has to go through before they can purchase a product. Here’s how it looks:
- Visit Amazon.com
- View a product
- Add a product cart
- Make a purchase
There may be additional steps that can be taken in between each of these steps, but they do not matter in the purchase funnel, as long as they don’t get in the way of the final goal.
TRAFFIC (Step 1 – Visit website)
Amazon.com enjoys anywhere between 100-200 million visits a month (with a bounce rate of around 41%). The rest of us mortals have to contend with much smaller visitor numbers.
Generally speaking, we like to think of website traffic as organic and paid. We like organic traffic for obvious reasons, but paid traffic is a good option if you’re just starting out and looking to gain momentum quickly. Just be sure to start slow or else you risk pouring money down the drain. Creating and implementing a successful Facebook Ads campaign takes a lot more work than numerous Facebook Ads gurus lead you to believe.
According to SimilarWeb, Amazon traffic comes from the following channels:
Don’t focus on all of these channels at once. Find the low hanging fruit and start there. For example, if a lot of people are searching for your product online, invest in SEO, and if your product is super buzz-worthy, reach out to bloggers and influencers in order to get more referral and social traffic.
Note: “Display” refers to paid Banner ads traffic.
WEBSITE (2, 3, 4)
A strong, fast-loading, responsive website is a must when it comes to generating sales for your clothing business. However, there is absolutely no need to invest a lot of money into website design. A premium Shopify or Woocommerce theme is all you need.
One major advantage of ready-made themes is that they already have an inbuilt checkout process that has been optimised for conversions. For example, Shopify mobile checkout converts like a dream, and Woocommerce has a great out-of-the-box 1 page desktop checkout. These platforms also make it easy to set up payment gateways like Paypal, Stripe and Bitcoin payments.
When choosing a premium theme, make sure you like the look of the product page, the checkout process, and other hard-coded elements. Don’t choose a theme based solely on its look and feel – it’s easy to change fonts and design element, but a clunky checkout process is much harder to update.
Also, make sure your cart button/link is easy to see on mobile and desktop layouts. Generally speaking, the more space it takes up, the better.
Product photography should be done by a professional. It doesn’t necessarily mean spending thousands of dollars on a photographer, model, stylist and studio. There are multiple ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality, and we can help you with that.
Also, don’t forget to make sure that your products have great product descriptions. It’s not only good for SEO, but it also helps your customers understand what they are buying. Make sure that links to your size chart, delivery page, and returns policy are prominently displayed on your product pages.
Product sourcing strategy
Investing in Inventory
Mix of both
POD / FULFILLMENT CENTRES
Shipping your products
Having a plan for shipping your products is crucial; if your shipping costs are too high, or your shipping time too slow, you’re likely to lose customers.