Getting Into E-Commerce: Setting Up Your Own Fashion Brand Online
Have you ever found yourself searching high street stores and the deep, dark depths of the internet searching for a specific item of clothing, only to realise that it’s something that you’ve imagined or thought up yourself? After hours reeling through frequented fashion blogs, flicking back through pages of those glossy high fashion mags and trawling through recent searches on pinterest don’t come up trumps because the item of your dreams is quite literally that: something you’ve dreamed up. Well, rather than feeling frustrated or settling for something that’s “close enough”, why not go out there and make your dreams a reality? You clearly have the potential! If you can conjure up ideas of what you want to buy and it’s something that the market is lacking, chances are that others are looking for the same kind of thing too! Starting up your own clothing or fashion brand is a lot easier than you might think. All this venture requires is a little time, effort, investment and a whole lot of dedication. So, if this is something that you’ve been considering, it’s time to take action and we’re here to help! Here’s a quick, back-to-basics run through of how to successfully set up your own brand.
Whittle Down Your Options
Okay, so it may be tempting to jump in the deep end and start coming up with ideas for all sorts of clothing and accessories, but successfully bringing a massive range to fruition is going to be difficult and put an awful lot of pressure on you. So start small. Whittle down your ideas to your best options and specialise in that area. Remember, you can always expand later on when you’ve got a loyal customer base, more interest and a steadier cash flow. Your specialism could lie in any area – tees, lingerie, dungarees… the list goes on – but choosing one thing to focus on will allow you to ensure that it is high-quality and can flourish.
So, now you know where you focus is going to lie, it’s time to start branding yourself. The first step on this journey? Choosing a brand name. You’ll need to ensure that it isn’t already taken by another company or too similar to an existing brand name. You can do this by checking copyright records. Next, designing a logo. Work alongside an experienced graphic designer who will be able to put all of your ideas down on paper. Try to keep it simple, using clean lines and two or three colours at most. You don’t want to overwhelm the viewer. Finally, a typeface. Again, this should be simple and minimal so that it is easily legible.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Once you’ve settled on your branding, it’s time to ensure that it is exclusive to you and your products. Copyright and trademark your intellectual property. This will prevent others from working under your name or selling goods under your guise. All profits relating to your brand will go straight into your pocket and nobody else’s.
Setting Up Shop
We’d recommend setting up online to start with. This is a lot cheaper, lower commitment and sensible than starting out with a brick and mortar business. However, you will still need to invest a little cash into the project to get things up and going. If you don’t have savings, don’t worry. You can take out a small business loan to cover initial costs and pay back the amount in smaller payments over time. Remember, you have to invest to make money.
Your products are ultimately what will define your business and cement your brand’s reputation in its field. So make sure that everything is extremely high-quality. Only use the best materials, processes and techniques. This may rise the final price a little, but it’s worth it to provide your customers with the best items possible. While you might like to start off producing goods in-house, you will probably have to start outsourcing as demand grows. Always check out the working conditions of those who you are outsourcing your manufacturing process to and ensure that working practices are in line with your brand ethics and expectations.
Collaborate with a professional web designer or web design agency to create the perfect webpage for your brand. A good option to consider is web design by MA Design. They will use the best software to produce an attractive and responsive website for you. Remember, your site is your platform for communication and interaction with your buyers. It is the only thing connecting potential buyers to your stock and it is the place where you will convert interest into sales and profit. So it has to be brilliant! Treat your homepage as your storefront. It needs to catch consumers’ eyes and entice them in. Most web users will decide within around three seconds whether they will stay on a site or leave, so you have to make the most of this short lived opportunity and ensure that they continue to browse your site. You also need to ensure that your web page matches your brand’s overall aesthetic. Certain themes and designs may be attractive and easy to navigate but if they don’t match your brand’s aesthetic, web users will be left feeling confused and as though your company lacks consistency.
Once your page is set up it’s time to start listing your stock and product collections. To maintain a professional appearance, you will need a little more than your smartphone camera. Hire a studio and professional photographer for the day. For clothing, you will also want to bring in a model and hair and makeup artist. This may seem a little excessive but the final images will be worth it. They will ensure that customers that customers know that they are engaging with a genuine, dedicated business who are going to provide quality goods all round.
It’s important not to rush any of these steps. If you take your time and complete all parts of the process effectively, you will be rewarded with the best possible outcome. Your products and web design will be outstanding and you will begin to make sales and see the profits roll in soon after.