The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Women’s Clothing Brand
Entrepreneurship is on the rise. People don’t want to start a rock band anymore, they want to start a successful business instead.
The idea of entrepreneurship attracts people from all walks of life. People who are doing something about that attraction too – budding entrepreneurs are getting started with new businesses every single day.
In fact, statistics show that there are approximately 550,000 new entrepreneurs every month in the USA alone.
That’s big. Really big.
But, the life of an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It takes hard work, time, and maybe even a bit of luck sometimes too.
Plus, plenty of people have failed with businesses before you – myself included.
But, that means you’re in luck – you’ve got a chance to learn from our mistakes and make sure that you give your business the best chance for success.
So, if you’re interested in learning from our entrepreneurial experience, and you’re looking for an ultimate guide to starting a women’s clothing brand, this is the post for you.
Today we’re going to do a deep-dive into the ins and outs of starting your own women’s clothing business.
We’re also going to share some of our marketing advice, and fuel you with the ecommerce tips and tricks that we’ve learned on our entrepreneurial journeys.
Okay, there’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump into it!
- Why Start a Women’s Clothing Business?
- Choosing Your Business Model
- Choosing Products for Your Store
- Building Your Store
- Finding Products to Sell Online
- Design Aspects to Consider
- Marketing Your Women’s Clothing Business.
- Getting Started With Your Own Women’s Clothing Brand
- Want to Learn More?
Why Start a Women’s Clothing Business?
If you’re just starting your journey as an entrepreneur, you’re no doubt primed and ready to succeed.
However, success can come from many avenues, and you might not be totally sure if starting a women’s clothing business is the right move for you.
Well, research from Fastlane International shows that clothing is undoubtedly the most popular online purchase for women.
In fact, in the US women’s clothing purchases account for 71% of all money spent online.
Impressive statistics indeed.
But, to get the true picture you need to couple these statistics with the fact that fashion is a fantastic mechanism for ecommerce entrepreneurs.
Why? Well, simply put – fashion never ends.
There will always be new clothing to buy, new brands to try out, and new sales tactics which entice shoppers to purchase products.
And, as an ecommerce entrepreneur, that’s invaluable for you. If you can build a successful women’s clothing brand with a strong following, you’re always going to be able to sell products.
Choosing Your Business Model
Once you’re set on launching your own women’s clothing brand, it’s time to decide which business model you’re going to use.
Do you want to create the products for your store yourself?
What about sourcing your products from a local supplier?
Or, maybe you could place a bulk order from a larger manufacturer and find some storage space for your products?
All totally valid ways to run your business indeed, but hear us out – we think dropshipping is one of the best business models, especially when you’re starting your business.
Well, there are a few reasons:
It’s relatively easy to get started.
You don’t need to design your own products or strike a deal with a manufacturer to start selling.
Instead, you can access the catalogue of products available on Oberlo and import products into your store with just a few clicks.
You don’t need to make a huge financial commitment.
If you order products for your store, and you can’t make any sales, you’re stuck with them.That means you’ll probably need to slash the price down to try and move that inventory.
This isn’t a problem when you’re dropshipping – you can add or remove products from your store without any financial loss.
You can test out products risk-free.
It can take a while to land on products which your audience love, especially if it’s your first time running a store. Usually, it can take a bit of time to test out products.
However, when you’re dropshipping you can add or remove products from your store in a matter of minutes.
It’s fairly simple to scale your business.
When you find success, it’s important that you scale up your operations. If you’ve got the capacity to make more sales, that should be your goal.
But, this can take time when you’re running a standard business. Maybe you need to wait for your suppliers to scale their operations, or you need to find more storage space for your products.
Thankfully, when you’re dropshipping, you won’t need to worry about those issues. You won’t be storing your products – they’ll be in your suppliers warehouses, and your suppliers will handle shipping and fulfilment too.
Instead, you can focus on the important things – growing your business.
So, for many budding entrepreneurs dropshipping makes a ton of sense as a business model.
If you want to learn more about dropshipping, just watch the video below.
Choosing Products for Your Store
When it comes to choosing products for your store, we cannot stress how important research is.
This is a crucial moment in your entrepreneurial journey, so take your time – this isn’t something that you want to rush.
And, if you put the time and effort in to research products now, you can potentially save a bunch of time and money further down the line.
How? Well, if you end up rushing and choosing products which don’t resonate with your audience, you’ll only need to switch them up in the future.
Thankfully, there are plenty of free tools which you can use to check how popular your product ideas are, like Google Trends.
Why is Google Trends so great when you’re choosing products?
You can use Google Trends to enter a specific search term, namely the product that you’re thinking of selling, and you’ll receive an overview of how popular that term is.
Now, the results that you’re looking for from Google Trends depends on one thing.
There are certainly benefits and drawbacks to each option, so let’s go through them quickly.
- Less competition, which makes it easier for you to build a store which stands out from the crowd.
- Lower advertising costs, especially if you land on the trend early.
- If you land on trendy products while they’re on the rise, you can build your brand into an authority for those products.
- Trends come in waves, so you may only find success while the trend is on the rise.
- Likely going to be more competition, especially if you try to tackle a saturated niche.
- Higher advertising costs, which come hand-in-hand with competition.
- You won’t need to experiment too much with your products – you already know there is consistent demand for them.
- Better for building a long-term brand.
Now, once you’ve decided if you want to focus on trendy products, steady products, or a combination of both, it’s time to check out some results on Google Trends.
Here’s a classic example of what a trendy product would look like on Google Trends:
As you can see from this graph, interest peaked last year, and then dropped fairly dramatically. Luckily for us, these products are back on the rise, so now would be the perfect time to capitalize.
And here’s an example of what a steady product would look like on Google Trends:
When we talk about steady products, we’re actually talking about products which have consistently high interest throughout the year. Even though this search term is projected to trend downwards slightly, it isn’t really anything to worry about – there’s still a ton of interest!
Play around with Google Trends when you’re searching for products to sell and gather as much data as possible.
Data-driven decisions usually trump gut decisions. It’s like they say – knowledge is power!
BONUS TIP: You can also use platforms like Reddit for additional research. Shoppers who post on forums like Reddit could end up being your super fans, so browse relevant subreddits to your products, and gather even more data.
Inspiration: Here’s our run-down of the best women’s fashion products to sell in 2018:
Building Your Store
Now, once you’ve decided which products you’re going to sell, you might think that the next step is to find or source those products.
But, we’re going to show you why the next logical step is actually to build your store, especially when you’re going to be dropshipping.
So, let’s dive into it!
The first thing you’re going to need to do is find a way to run your online store. There are a few prominent ecommerce platforms around which you can use to launch and run your store, but we highly recommend that you choose Shopify.
Well, Shopify is already trusted by over half a million merchants in every corner of the globe. It’s also relatively simple to use, and there are a ton of integrations and apps which you can use to help run your store.
Also, they offer a 14 day free trial, so you can test Shopify out risk-free and check if the platform properly suits your needs.
Once you’ve signed up to Shopify, you’ll also need to install Oberlo from their app store.
Now, at this stage you might be wondering why you’re going to need Oberlo for your store.
Well, Oberlo allows you to find and sell dropped products with just a few clicks, so it’s essential for your store.
Also, when you’re using Oberlo you can access our catalogue of products from trusted suppliers – all of which have already been vetted by our team – and find products which you can start selling today.
BONUS: You can find a detailed guide that’ll help you to set up your Shopify account with Oberlo here.
Next, we’ll give you an overview of how you can use Oberlo to find products for your online store.
Finding Products to Sell Online
So, at this point you’ve decided on the types of products that you want to sell, the business model that you’re going to use, and you’ve found an ecommerce platform that you can run your business on.
Now it’s time for the fun part – finding products to sell.
Once you’ve installed Oberlo to your store, you’ll need to create an account and sign in.
From there, you’ll see the following page:
As shown on the image, you’ll need to select the price tag from the sidebar and then click on “Search Products”.
From there, you’ll be greeted with the following page:
Just enter the search terms that you’ve already researched on Google Trends into this search bar, and you’ll find a variety of related products.
Here’s an example of a women’s blouse which you can find on Oberlo:
Once you’ve landed on some products that you want to add to your store, simply click on the “Add to Import List” button, and then you’ll find them in your “Import List”, which is visible at the top of the page.
After you’ve found enough products that you want to push to your store, simply click on your “Import List” tab and then click “Import to store”.
Don’t forget to edit the product information to fit your store too.
But, once you’ve taken care of this, you’re ready to start designing your store!
Design Aspects to Consider
At this point you’ve got a business model, a platform to run your store, and you’ve got some great products to sell.
The next thing you’ll need to do is design your store.
There are a few important things that you’ll need to consider during this process, but let’s start off with your Shopify theme.
Well, the Shopify theme that you choose will act as a foundation for your store – it’ll decide the overall layout that you’ll be working with.
Thankfully, you don’t need extensive coding knowledge to customize your Shopify theme – you can change most design aspects with just a few clicks.
There are a variety of free and paid options which you can choose from when you’re choosing your theme – head over to Shopify’s theme store and check them out.
Once you’ve decided on your Shopify theme, it’s time to consider which colors you’ll be using when you’re designing your store.
This might seem like a simple decision, but color actually plays a huge role in how your brand is perceived, so take your time here.
Do some research into some of the best online stores – which colors do they use on their stores? Could you iterate better than them?
Also, check out our post about color psychology for more information on this topic.
Creating a Logo
Your logo’s aim is to represent your brand, and leave a lasting impression on your customers.
An important task indeed, but you don’t need to spend too much time or energy creating your logo.
Take Nike for example – their now infamous tick was purchased for $35 back in 1971, and it was originally designed by a freelancer.
But, you’d never know that by looking at it.
And, if you do decide to work with a freelancer for your logo, make sure that you give them a detailed brief beforehand – you need to help them so they can help you.
Creating an “About Us” Section
One thing that is so important in the world of ecommerce is authenticity.
Your customers are always craving it.
But, as a new store, you won’t have any product reviews, or notable feedback from customers, so it’ll be hard to show authenticity.
Don’t worry though, you can counteract the lack of social proof from your customers with a clear “About Us” page or mission statement.
Here is the place where you can show potential customers exactly what your brand is all about.
Be clear and concise with your messaging, and be true to your brand’s identity.
When you’re designing your Shopify store, you should think carefully about the collections that you create.
Why? Well, this is a fantastic chance to employ some upselling tactics.
Group products together that you think your customers would not only be interested in, but also products that are typically purchased together.
For example – if you’re selling winter hats, you’ll probably want to group them with gloves and scarves too, as they’re typically purchased together.
Marketing Your Women’s Clothing Business.
When it comes to marketing your women’s clothing business, there’s a ton of channels which you can use.
But, for dropshippers, Facebook advertising tends to be the marketing channel of choice.
Well, there is a super fast feedback loop with Facebook advertising – you’ll quickly learn how your campaigns are performing, so you can iterate further.
This is a mantra that is highly aligned with the dropshipping business model – you want to get off the ground quickly when you’re getting started, so you can start making sales and scale your business further.
But, setting up Facebook ads can be a bit of a tricky process, especially if you’re a beginner with the business side of the platform.
If you’re looking for more information about how you can market your women’s clothing business, check out the following sections. I’ve created an example ad, and I’ve added some information on targeting below so you can follow along with everything I did.
Facebook Advertising: Finding the “Right People”
One of the main reasons why Facebook is such a powerful channel for ecommerce entrepreneurs is the robust targeting options that are offered by the platform.
Essentially, you could target every active Facebook user with ads, if you wanted to.
That’s an audience of over 2 billion people who you can speak to.
But, we’re trying to make sales here, so we need to be smarter with our targeting.
We need to hone in on the people who we believe are going to land sales from our clothing business.
We need to find the “right” people, and make sure our message gets to them.
But, this isn’t an easy task.
That’s why I’m going to show you an example Facebook ad below for the product that I highlighted earlier.
Facebook Advertising: Targeting Tactics
So, the first thing that you’ll want to do is to head over to the Facebook Business page.
Then, select “Create an Ad” in the top right corner of the page.
From there, you’ll see the following page:
This time we’ll be creating an ad with the marketing objective of “Traffic” – essentially, we want to drive more people to our website.
Scroll down, name your ad, and you’ll then be presented with the option to create your audience.
This part is crucial for your ads success – you’re going to enter information which will decide which Facebook users will see your ad.
You’ll need to decide the location of the users who you’ll be targeting (which country they’re currently in), their age ranges, their gender, and the languages that they speak.
Then it gets to the juicy part.
You’ll see the option “Detailed targeting”, which allows you to be lazer-targeted with your Facebook ads.
Here you can specify which interests your audience must (or must not) have.
And, when we say interests, what we really mean is pages that they’ve liked on Facebook.
So, here’s an example of one audience that I created after doing some research into what my audience is interested in:
I also set the location to United States, the age range from 18-50, the gender to “Women”, and the language to “English (All)”.
In the end that gave me an estimated daily reach of 2,000 – 6,100 people, which is plenty for your first ad.
So, now we’ve got the targeting information down, it’s time to move onto designing our ad.
Facebook Advertising: Designing Your Ad
Honestly, great designs are essential if you want to nail Facebook advertising.
You can have the best targeting in the world, but if you aren’t drawing eyes to your messaging, then it’s not going to work.
And, you don’t even need to be an expert graphic designer to come up with designs that’ll help you to convert customers, especially with free tools like Canva around.
But, there are image guidelines from Facebook that you’ll need to consider when you’re designing your ads.
Take this example that I whipped up in a few minutes on Canva:
It’s not bad – pretty simple and easy to digest, but there are a few issues with it.
First of all, this image is more than 20% text, so it’ll probably face reduced delivery, as per Facebook’s image guidelines. This is something that you really need to be careful with – you’re paying for these ads, so you’ll want to get the most reach out of your money.
Second, the text itself isn’t really compelling – it could certainly be a lot better. Plus, I don’t really think that the full title of the product is necessary. After all, people can see exactly which product it is.
And finally, the red background seems a little aggressive for a women’s clothing brand. Especially when I’m trying to promote quite a cute, lilac top.
So, after analyzing my first attempt, I took a look at my notes and decided to take another crack at this design.
Here’s what I came up with after another couple of minutes:
This design is much better. I addressed the text ratio, the background, and the copy included in this design. I also added the graphics to emphasize the fact that the product is currently on sale, and that we offer free shipping.
Overall, I was really happy with this result, and I’d be fine to move forward and assign this design to my Facebook ad and start promoting it.
Facebook Advertising: Optimizing Your Ads
After you’ve been running Facebook ads for a couple of days, you’ll be able to optimize them and improve their performance further.
Remember, you’re paying to put those ads in front of people, and if you’re not putting them in front of the “right” people then it’s time to adjust.
Take a look at the analytics of your ad on Facebook Business and check which people are interacting most with your ads.
If you notice that a certain group from your audience aren’t really interacting with your ad much (or at all), then it’s a good idea to reduce your budget for that audience.
But, why would you reduce the budget for that audience?
Well, it’ll enable you to reassign your remaining budget to those members of your audience who are engaging with your ad.
It’s all about getting the most value from your money.
Getting Started With Your Own Women’s Clothing Brand
Congratulations– you stuck with us to the end, and now you know everything you need to get started with your own women’s clothing brand.
Now it’s time for you to put everything that we spoke about in this post into action, and kickstart your brand new business.
If you’ve got any questions about anything that was covered in this article, or ecommerce in general, feel free to leave them in the comments section below – we read them all!