Selling Handmade Clothes Online: Handmade Clothing Business in 2021
Starting your handmade clothing brand now is a perfect time. The industry is forecasted to reach an all-time high in 2022.
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From looking at these statistics, it looks like the clothing industry is on the mend and is starting to gravitate towards its original state.
Due to the pandemic in 2020, the market saw a significant crash of 400 billion dollars. This was because of the lack of face-to-face interaction, the amount of open retail stores, and much more. But as of 2021, it looks like it’s going to increase until the foreseeable steadily.
Currently, the industry is forecasted to reach an all-time high in 2022, so starting your handmade clothing brand now is a perfect time. If you’re ready to take the leap and start your own exciting business venture, then see the below guidance.
Choosing the fashion niche and products
First things first, you’re going to need to select your niche and products. This process needs to be thought about carefully, as it may determine the future of your brand. To help understand your niche, you need to develop a better understanding of your sole target audience. If you want to discover this, you’ll need to ask yourself the below questions:
- What do they enjoy doing? – Asking yourself this question will narrow down your niche immensely. For example, do they enjoy rock music, horse riding, sports, etc.? After gaining knowledge of this, you’re able to angle your appeal towards that niche.
- Where do they typically go? – After understanding the above, consider thinking about where your niche wears this type of clothing. Are they wearing it at the gym, concerts, outside, etc.? Becoming knowledgeable on this is excellent, as this will help narrow down competitive research.
- What industries do they work in? – If you believe your brand can be worn in a working environment, this may be something you want to think about. For example, people working in real estate will most likely dress smarter than someone working in a sports center.
- Do they wear a typical bit of apparel? – This question is aimed towards helping you understand if they wear a specific type of clothing. A great example of this is shoes. If they’re sports lovers, they’re going to want different shoes than people working in offices.
- What are their current fashion trends? – Conduct some deep analysis and study what your target audience’s trends were over the last 10 to 20 years. This way, you’re able to develop a better understanding of what worked and didn’t work in your niche.
- What materials are they wearing? – From this question, you’re able to determine what your primary material will be. Ask yourself, are they wearing denim, cotton, silk, fur, etc.
After you’ve answered the below and finalized your decisions, you’re then ready to start developing some clothing concepts and select your first line.
This next step can be daunting as it can really determine whether your start-up will be successful. However, if you’ve devoted enough time to answer the questions above, it’ll make this process a whole lot easier.
When selecting your first line, you want to keep it small and manageable. This way, you’re able to dedicate more time to developing something you truly desire. Also, from doing this, you’re able to test out new products at minimal risk.
After developing some design concepts, why not ask people for help? If you know people within the niche you’re trying to target, why not send them your ideas? This way, you’re able to “test” the audience before investing a penny into stock.
Order your materials
Next, you’ll want to order your materials and start creating your ideas into physical products. After conducting the market research mentioned above, you should have a rough idea of what materials you’re going to need.
As you can imagine, online, there are a bunch of fabric retailers. However, to save you testing each of them, I recommend the below:
All of the above names mentioned are superb suppliers for your clothing materials. From there, you’re able to receive high-quality materials in an array of different styles, get outstanding customer service, and also, most importantly, great prices.
Once you’ve received your materials, get developing some real apparel. This way, you can visualize your final concept more, you could also show these examples to your friends and family. Here they’ll be able to provide you with a review on how it looks, feels, or wears, etc.
After knowing this information, you can act accordingly to make improvements before the product’s initial launch.
Branding & Packaging
Now you’ve achieved the above, you’ll need to have a good idea about the branding and packaging for your business. Getting branding right is vital.
Not just for the reason of people remembering your business, but also because it tells people what your brand is about at just a glance. From this, people can understand what you are, what you do, how you operate, etc. Before choosing the packaging, you’ll need to get your branding right. Here’s how:
When choosing appropriate branding, you have a ton to think about. To briefly explain what you need to consider, think about the below:
- Make it relatable to your niche.
- Pick niche-like colors.
- Search for inspiration from some top brands.
- Pick a primary and 1 or 2 secondary colors and stick with them.
- Make multiple branding concepts.
- Show them to family and friends to get an opinion.
Once you understand the above, creating your packaging will be much easier than you probably expected.
Now onto the exciting part, creating products for your ready-to-launch clothing brand. This is usually the final piece of the puzzle, and you should take care of this.
- Style – You first want to consider the style of packaging. Do you want to invest in something basic or packaging that is going to wow your customers?
- Material – Once you’ve solidified the style, you’ll want to choose your material. Many clothing companies opt-in for plastic sleeves or cardboard boxes depending on their overall budget. If you’re just starting out, well-made plastic sleeves can work perfectly.
- Optional inserts – During this step, you may want to think about if you’d like to add any optional inserts. This can include discount cards, infographics, thank you letters, etc. You don’t have to purchase these at the beginning of your venture, but the earlier you implement something like this, the better.
Choosing the Online Marketplace(s)
Once you’ve finally created some stock of your first line of designs, it’s time to get them online. Now for handmade clothing, there are some great and not-so-great online marketplaces you’re able to sell them on. To gain a better insight into what we recommend, you should consider reading the below.
Where to Sell Handmade Clothes Online
Underneath are some online marketplaces on which you’re able to sell your handmade clothes. Without a doubt, if you want to increase the chances of becoming successful, I would start out selling on more than one marketplace. This way, you’re doubling your chances of making sales.
Currently, there are 4.3 million sellers on Etsy, and there’s a good reason for it. Back in 2018, Etsy made $603,7 million in revenue. Considering this is only from very minimal fees, it’s rather impressive. Over a billion dollars worth of goods must have been sold to provide this figure.
- Fees – On Etsy, there are two uncontrollable fees, these are listing and transaction fees. Here’s how much they are: Listing fee = 30 cents every three months, transaction fees 5% of each sale.
- Why we like it – Considering what this marketplace can offer, the fees are relatively minimal. We like Etsy because of its thriving customer base. There is an audience for everyone to tap into on the platform, and you most definitely have a high chance of success from choosing this type of marketplace.
This next company is clothing-focused, meaning they only sell attire on their marketplace. The platform is home to many resellers and small clothing businesses. Because of this, it has over 26 million registered users located in over 147 different countries.
- Fees – Unlike other marketplaces, Depop only charges you one fee of 10%.
- Why we like it – People that use this application are fashion fanatics, meaning they’re already your selected target audience. You now just need to laser target a specific group of people within the app.
Another exciting online marketplace is Poshmark, and let me explain why. Postmark is similar to Depop because they’re solely targeted towards the clothing industry. Because of this, you’re already in the right place. Currently, Postmark has 8 million sellers and 60 million users signed up to their platform. We can see from these figures that it’s a rather good ratio and more than worth heading over to this site.
- Fees – For sales under $15, you’ll be expected to pay a flat fee of $2.95. However, For sales over $15, they’ll take 20% off your final costs.
- Why we like it – The stats posted about Poshmark are rather interesting, as the average daily time per user is between 23 to 27 minutes. Because of this masses amount of engagement, Poshmark is one of our go-to options.
Promoting your products
When you’re ready to launch your handmade clothing brand, just posting them online might not generate any sales. Because of this, you may need to spend some money on promoting your products to start producing some interest. Below are some methods to how you’re able to promote your brand.
Social media – The best way to promote your clothing brand is through social media. Depending on your budget, there are three good social media platforms to which you’re able to promote your clothing brand on, these are:
For those who don’t know, CPM is the cost to show your advertisement to 1000 people.
Search – Another advertising method you can opt-in for is search. However, only some clothing brands will be able to benefit from this. For example, if you’re selling handmade t-shirts, the audience is too large to bid for on a search platform. However, if you’re handmaking goods like horse riding boots, then you’ll be able to bid on this keyword. For search, I only recommend using Google or Bing.
Guest blog – Including the above, you’re able to guest blog on related fashion sites. From this, you can speak to an already interested audience about your new releases. Here, you can detail the concept and build excitement by getting the website owner to place product photos on the post. This is a great option, as the blogging website will already have a target audience of people interested in fashion, meaning you have a high chance of generating some conversions.
In platform – Next, if you’re selling on an online marketplace, the likelihood that they have their own advertising platform is remarkably high. For example, on Etsy, you’re able to promote your listing. From doing this, you’re essentially paying for your listing to be ranked higher and therefore shown to more people. If you do this effectively, you’re able to generate a significant amount of sales. Also, from advertising this way, it’s usually a considerable bit cheaper than other promotional methods.
As you can see, there are multiple platforms on which you can promote your new clothing brand. Without a doubt, choosing the right platform to advertise on is necessary as this will enhance the possibilities of success. If you select the “in platform” solution, this will undoubtedly be the best place to start if you’re going to post your handmade items on the suggested websites.
Further Reading: Digital Marketing Activities List & 4 Tips for Small Businesses
After reading the above, you should have enough knowledge to start developing your handmade clothing brand. Without a doubt, it’s going to be challenging, but the journey is more than worth the struggles.
Now you have a solidified idea of how to achieve this. There’s only one thing left to do. That’s putting your thoughts into action. Now, what are you waiting for? Go out there and smash it!