Tips on how to arrange an internet clothes retailer (even should you’re not a designer) (2023)


Once you consider on-line buying, there’s an excellent likelihood that the type of product that first involves your thoughts is clothes. This isn’t shocking in any respect: certainly, it’s a testomony to the omnipresence of clothes shops and clothing-related adverts on-line. Not solely are garments a necessity, however they’re additionally probably the most seen method we have now of expressing ourselves, which is one thing most of us like to do. Because of this, most of us take lots of curiosity within the garments we put on.

This additionally signifies that clothes is a wonderful selection of product to promote should you’re pondering of beginning an internet retailer. Some further traits that make this market engaging are:

  • a excessive progress price: in 2021, the Indian trend business grew by a whopping 51%.
  • the massive variety of variations, niches, and value factors inside this class.
  • the comparatively low preliminary funding wanted.
  • the truth that no particular expertise are essential to get began.

This final level is particularly necessary: opposite to what one would possibly assume, you don’t have to be artistically proficient or be a skilled designer to promote garments on-line. Having such expertise will be a bonus, in fact, and so they can undoubtedly come in useful in some ways. Nevertheless, such expertise should not important by any means, and you may arrange a profitable on-line clothes retailer even should you’ve by no means sketched something since fifth grade. Learn on to learn the way.

The principle steps to get an internet clothes retailer up and operating

Beginning an internet retailer is exhilarating, however it’s additionally certain to come back with a set of challenges. This doesn’t imply, nevertheless, that getting your on-line enterprise off the bottom must be advanced or convoluted. We’ve damaged down the method of launching an internet clothes retailer into simply 5 principal steps, which cowl every part from ideation to promotion:

  1. Select what you are promoting mannequin.
  2. Decide your area of interest.
  3. Get your merchandise/designs made.
  4. Arrange an internet retailer.
  5. Market your retailer.

Let’s take a deeper dive into every of those steps.

1. Select what you are promoting mannequin

Right here, ‘enterprise mannequin’ refers back to the precise method through which you create or acquire your merchandise, and therefore generate worth in your prospects. Within the on-line clothes market, there are three principal enterprise fashions that you could contemplate, relying in your skillset, price range, and targets:

  • Design and make your personal attire.
  • Resell attire made by third events.
  • Print-on-demand and dropshipping.

Design and make your personal attire

This mannequin will make sense for you solely if in case you have some design expertise or expertise. When you do, and also you’d wish to create an authentic clothes line, then that is the best way to go.

With this mannequin, you first have to provide you with a contemporary tackle the multitude of clothes on the market. Among the many many traits of a garment that you could experiment with are: the lower, silhouette, material, colors, and sample. Then, you must supply some appropriate material, in addition to another elements you would possibly want, akin to buttons or clasps. Lastly, you must lower out the material and stitch the garment as per your design.

When you might, in precept, see every of your merchandise all through from their design to their precise creation, in observe, you’ll most probably wish to delegate the final step above to a reliable tailor.

This mannequin additionally makes it simple to promote customized clothes, as every product will sometimes be made to order.


  • You’re restricted solely by your personal creativeness.
  • You’ve gotten a really excessive diploma of management over the ultimate product.
  • Merchandise will be customised pretty simply (e.g. with a buyer’s initials, or if a buyer has particular fitting-related necessities).
  • Doesn’t want a big price range.
  • In the event that they’re made properly, the truth that the merchandise are handmade can fetch you a premium.


  • Not scalable, because the merchandise aren’t mass produced.
  • Could be tough to discover a tailor whose sensibilities match yours.

Resell attire made by third events

On this mannequin, as an alternative of making clothes from scratch, you’ll buy ready-made clothes and resell them. There are two frequent methods to implement such a mannequin.

The primary is a curation-oriented mannequin, the place you add worth by constructing collections that target explicit kinds, themes, niches, or goal audiences. The opposite is a ‘white-label’ or ‘private-label‘ mannequin, the place a producer prepares clothes based on your instructions, sometimes in bulk, after which applies your branding to it.

To go along with this mannequin, you don’t have to have any design expertise in any respect: offering the producer with detailed verbal descriptions or photographs of comparable merchandise must be sufficient.


  • No design expertise required.
  • If shopping for in bulk, a low unit value will be obtained.


  • You must maintain some stock, which makes this mannequin riskier and extra capital-intensive than the mannequin above.

Print-on-demand and dropshipping

Print-on-demand (POD) refers to a mannequin involving the next circulate:

  1. You record a group of clothes with printed designs or quotes in your retailer (sometimes t-shirts, hoodies, and related clothes).
  2. When a buyer orders a product in your retailer, that order will get forwarded to a ‘POD supplier’, who will get that printed garment made.
  3. The POD supplier then ships the prepared garment to your buyer.

Dropshipping refers to a mannequin with a really related circulate the place you record merchandise supplied by an organization known as a ‘dropshipper’; when an order is positioned, it’s forwarded to the dropshipper, who then ships the related product to the client.

As you possibly can see, there’s a big overlap between these fashions. Thus, whereas print-on-demand and dropshipping are technically distinct, in observe, there’s such a powerful coupling between them that it is smart to speak about them collectively.

As well as, whereas dropshipping is the truth is a type of reselling, the massive distinction between it and run-of-the-mill reselling is that you just don’t have to carry any stock in any respect.

You’ll be able to implement these fashions no matter whether or not you’ve gotten any design expertise or not; should you’re not a designer, you possibly can all the time get designs constituted of freelancers on-line. There are even some free on-line instruments that may allow non-designers to create moderately good designs on their very own.


  • No design expertise required.
  • No stock required, thus lowering the danger in addition to the price of getting began.


  • For the reason that principal promoting level of your clothes would be the printed design on them, you might need to spend a good sum of money discovering a designer who can persistently present your with “profitable” designs that promote properly.

2. Decide your Area of interest

Though the net clothes market is huge and nonetheless rising, it’s additionally extraordinarily aggressive. With prospects spoiled for selection and behemoths like Amazon and Flipkart usually providing deep reductions, on-line retailer house owners completely should go the additional mile to draw and retain prospects. One of many easiest however most impactful methods to take action is to be a specialist as an alternative of a generalist.

In different phrases, you must go all in on a distinct segment.

Drilling down into a distinct segment has a number of benefits:

  • It will probably assist you determine in your retailer’s title and branding
  • Niches are sometimes related to decrease promoting prices
  • Your viewers is prone to be extra invested, passionate, and constant
  • Your model will in all probability be extra memorable, rising the probabilities of word-of-mouth gross sales

The sorts of niches you’ll need to be conscious of will depend upon the enterprise mannequin you select. With POD, there’s sometimes nothing particular concerning the garment itself, and what actually issues is the area of interest catered to by the design/quote printed on it. These niches are sometimes:

  • profession-based (e.g. nurses, STEM staff, programmers)
  • hobby-based (e.g. gymming, gaming, sports activities)
  • animal-based (principally cats and canines, however virtually any animal will promote)

With the opposite two fashions, the sort and function of a garment play the most important function in figuring out its area of interest. As an example, pants for pregnant ladies, ladies’s pants with pockets, plus-size attire, knitwear, climbing attire, occasion attire, and so forth. can all be stated to be niches. There are additionally style-based niches, akin to Bohemian, Preppy, Classic, and so forth. And naturally, the lower, material, silhouette, and different traits can even contribute in the direction of fine-tuning a garment’s area of interest.

Okay, so it’s important to choose a distinct segment. However how do you determine which one?

Effectively, to start with, let’s rule sure particular niches out: you need to avoid something that you recognize to be or is prone to be copyrighted, akin to designs depicting comedian guide or TV present characters.

Ideally, the area of interest you deal with must be one thing that you just personally care about and are taken with. Nevertheless, whereas that is definitely an excellent to try for, it might not all the time be virtually attainable.

When it comes to what is smart from a enterprise viewpoint, you wish to primarily goal for a distinct segment that’s demonstrably common and that sells properly. Top-of-the-line instruments to seek out such niches is the Meta Advert Library, which is a compilation of all of the adverts put up on Fb and Instagram within the current previous. These adverts can inform you which niches are being closely focused by corporations of varied sizes, which is able to not directly inform you which niches are presently common. You’ll be able to then shortlist just a few of them and choose one that you just’re prepared to deal with.

3. Get your merchandise/designs sourced/made

It’s at this stage that your concepts and plans will lastly begin to flip into concrete actuality. The method you’ll comply with to supply your merchandise or get them made will depend upon what you are promoting mannequin.

  • When you’re designing and making your personal attire:

      1. Begin by making a design. Whereas a sufficiently detailed hand-drawn sketch would possibly suffice for sure functions, you may additionally wish to think about using clothes design software program for sufficiently advanced or particular designs.
      2. Buy the material you’ll want. Generally used materials akin to cotton, linen, and silk are fairly available in markets all throughout India. You can even purchase materials on-line at websites akin to Fab Couture and Fabriclore.

        If there’s a really explicit print or sample that you just want, you may also purchase customised materials from websites akin to Sympico and, as soon as once more, Fabriclore. Word that sometimes, such customized orders could have a minimal order amount of not less than a number of metres; as an illustration, Fabriclore requires the full order amount on each order to be not less than 50 metres.

        Lastly, a superb supply for artisanal Indian prints and materials is iTokri.

      3. Sew the garment your self, or discover a dependable tailor. Once you’re first beginning out, and if in case you have the required tools, it’d make sense to do the stitching your self. This can maintain your preliminary prices down, and in addition permit you to ensure the completed product seems precisely as you imagined it.

        In the long term, you would possibly wish to contemplate delegating this process to a tailor, so to deal with different important elements akin to managing your web site, interacting with prospects, and advertising and marketing what you are promoting. Discovering a dependable tailor, nevertheless, is one thing that may take some time. Tailors who’re set of their methods might need bother bringing to life any idiosyncrasies or quirks that you just might need inserted in your designs.

        A good quantity of trial and error, together with lots of affected person communication, is what you’ll want should you’re to discover a tailor you possibly can construct a relationship with. You can even discover websites akin to LBB for a listing of really helpful tailors in your metropolis.

  • When you’re going to curate a group:

      1. Resolve on a theme in your assortment: one thing like Girls’s Ethnic Put on, Classic Clothes, and so forth.
      2. Buy outfits that meet your theme’s standards, whether or not in brick-and-mortar shops or on-line. These outfits needn’t be branded. Road outlets and flea markets are sometimes wonderful sources for fascinating and quirky items.
      3. One other method through which such curation will be carried out is by providing subscriptions to ‘trend bins’, as is completed by Krate, as an illustration. This can give you a recurring earnings, and you should have an opportunity to please your subscribers by exercising your style and sensibilities.
  • When you plan to make use of a white-label service:

      1. Resolve which white-label service you’d wish to supply your merchandise from. Some such providers in India are SynergByc and Cheer Sagar. Keep in mind that you often received’t be capable to purchase single models, and must order not less than 25 models or extra, relying on the service.
      2. Focus on the small print of the merchandise you need with the service’s gross sales staff. As soon as the deal has been finalised, you need to obtain your merchandise within the specified timeframe.
  • When you’re going to make use of POD or dropshipping:

      1. Resolve which POD supplier you’d wish to go along with. In India, some common POD suppliers are PrintroveBlinkstore, Qikink and Vendorboat. When you plan to primarily cater to prospects within the US or Canada, be certain to check out Printify and Printful.

        So far as dropshipping service suppliers go, you need to check out Oberlo and, as soon as once more, Printrove.

      2. Resolve what sorts of clothes you wish to promote in your retailer. Most POD suppliers supply a restricted set of clothes that you could print on, sometimes varied sorts of t-shirts and hoodies. Dropshipping service suppliers, nevertheless, often supply a wider vary of clothes.

        The following two steps solely apply to POD.

      3. Get some appropriate designs made in line with the area of interest that you just’ve determined to deal with. Assuming that you just’re not a designer, there are two routes that you could take: you possibly can both rent a contract designer on platforms akin to FiverrUpwork and Freelancer, or you possibly can create a design your self utilizing easy-to-use design instruments like Canva.
      4. Add the designs in your POD supplier dashboard. You’ll be able to then place and regulate them on the garment mockups offered there till you’re happy with the best way the completed clothes will look. As soon as this step is completed, any time a buyer of yours locations an order for one in every of your retailer’s merchandise, the small print of that order will likely be forwarded to the POD supplier, who will then fulfil it with out you having to get entangled with the transport facet of issues.

        Once you’re first beginning out with POD or dropshipping, it’s a good suggestion to order just a few samples out of your chosen POD or dropshipping service supplier so to consider the standard of their merchandise, and pivot to a special supplier if wanted.

4. Arrange an internet retailer

Now that your merchandise are able to be shipped out the second an order is available in, it’s time to deal with constructing your on-line retailer. Whereas there are a number of free in addition to paid platforms that assist you to create an internet retailer, we’ll check out the steps wanted to create and arrange a Shopify retailer.

      1. Begin by creating an account on Shopify. When you enter your model title, your retailer will likely be assigned a brief area title of the shape ‘’.

        You’ll be able to change this area title later by shopping for a site title of your selection from a site registration service akin to Namecheap and GoDaddy.

      2. Customise the visible facet of your retailer: choose a theme, determine which web page components to point out or cover, and add a brand in your retailer.

        You will get a brand made utilizing the freelancer platforms talked about above, akin to Fiverr and Upwork, or you can also make it your self in Canva. There are additionally a number of free brand makers on-line, such because the Adobe Specific brand maker.

      3. Make certain so as to add sure important textual elements to your retailer, akin to a Privateness Coverage, a Phrases and Situations web page and an About Us web page.
      4. It’s now time to begin including merchandise to your retailer. At this level, there are two methods you are able to do so: should you’re working with a POD or dropshipping service supplier, then you definitely’ll want to make use of that supplier’s app so as to add your merchandise; in any other case, you’ll have so as to add them manually in your Shopify dashboard.

By way of a supplier’s app

Let’s assume that you just’ve determined to make use of Printrove as your POD supplier. At this stage, you have to have already got uploaded your designs and finalised your merchandise inside your Printrove account. Now, right here’s how you’d add these merchandise to your Shopify retailer:

1. Go to the Shopify App Retailer, and add the Printrove app to your retailer.Shopify App Store: Adding the Printrove appSupply: Printrove
2. Utilizing the Printrove app’s ‘Product Push Instrument’, push the merchandise inside your Printrove account to your Shopify retailer. You must now be capable to see them in your retailer’s dashboard, from the place you possibly can add them to your storefront.Shopify store dashboard: Products

Supply: Printrove

3. When you plan to make use of a dropshipping service supplier like Oberlo, the method so as to add merchandise from their platform to your retailer will likely be similar to the one we simply described: merely set up the Oberlo app, go to its catalogue, and begin including the merchandise you need.


1. Go to your retailer’s dashboard and click on ‘Merchandise’ on the sidebar on the left. Shopify store dashboard

2. Click on the ‘Add product’ button within the high proper nook.   Shopify store dashboard: product details

3. Add all related product particulars, such because the title, description, pictures, and so forth.   Shopify store dashboard: product details

4. Subsequent, add the pricing and stock particulars of the product on the identical web page. Shopify store dashboard: product details

5. Additionally be certain so as to add the product’s transport particulars. Shopify store dashboard: shipping details

6. Modify another choices that may be related to that product, after which click on ‘Save’. Your product will now have been added to your retailer dashboard.

Now that your merchandise have been added to your Shopify retailer, you need to shortly evaluate all of your product pictures to ensure they’re clear and correct, and your all product descriptions to guarantee that they’re free from typos (which helps with search engine optimization; extra on search engine optimization later).

8. To take action, click on ‘On-line Retailer’ within the left-hand sidebar after which click on ‘Customise’. You’ll be able to then undergo every product web page and test the photographs and textual content in there.

9. Add a fee methodology by going to ‘Settings’ > ‘Cost Suppliers’.

10. If what you are promoting mannequin isn’t POD or dropshipping, companion with a supply firm akin to Shiprocket by way of the Shopify App Retailer.

11. At this level, your Shopify retailer has been created and arrange, however it hasn’t gone dwell but. To truly open your on-line retailer for enterprise, you’ll want to choose a Shopify plan.

Shopify plans

As you’re solely simply beginning out, the Primary Shopify plan must be sufficient in your functions: you possibly can all the time improve later, as soon as your retailer has grown!

And similar to that, you’re now the proprietor of a retailer that’s open for enterprise. Congratulations!

Listed here are just a few miscellaneous store-related ideas:

    • For POD/dropshipping merchandise, you’ll mechanically get a photograph of every product out of your service supplier. For the opposite enterprise fashions, it’ll be your accountability to take engaging and high-quality photographs of your merchandise. Right here’s a helpful information to attire pictures that will help you get began.
    • For POD/dropshipping merchandise, should you don’t just like the default product photographs that you just get and would love one thing extra thrilling, you need to take a look at PlaceIt; it lets you seamlessly superimpose your designs on the t-shirts of real-life individuals doing real-life issues, making your merchandise appear far more relatable.

5. Market your retailer

Now, understandably, merely launching your retailer isn’t going to be sufficient to begin bringing in some prospects. For that, you’ll want to begin getting the phrase out about your retailer. On the planet of ecommerce, there are specific normal advertising and marketing practices that everyone learns to undertake fairly early on. These embrace:

    • Social Media Advertising and marketing
      Very merely put, this includes presenting content material about your merchandise in a strategic method to the proper sorts of audiences on social media platforms. That is utterly freed from value, and can lead to huge dividends over time. Right here’s a information to making a social media technique in your retailer.
    • search engine optimization + CRO
      search engine optimization (Search Engine Optimisation) is a set of methods designed to enhance your retailer’s rating within the outcomes of search engines like google and yahoo akin to Google. In different phrases, in case your retailer has good search engine optimization, anyone in search of the sorts of merchandise you promote is prone to see your retailer’s title fairly excessive up within the record of outcomes. Right here’s a short video course designed to offer search engine optimization coaching for learners. CRO (Conversion Price Optimisation), then again, is a set of methods designed, because the title suggests, to maximise the probabilities of a customer to your retailer really shopping for one thing. As an example, a technique to do that is by incentivising prospects to evaluate your retailer, price it, and refer it to their family and friends, or to make a repeat buy. There are a number of Shopify apps that may assist you enhance your conversion price: you would possibly wish to think about using a few of them as soon as your retailer has hit sure milestones.
    • On-line adverts
      You’ll be able to put up paid adverts of your retailer and merchandise on varied platforms, akin to Google, Fb, Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit. These adverts are sometimes focused in the direction of people who find themselves prone to reply favourably to what it’s a must to supply, and generally is a good solution to get the ball rolling in your gross sales.

Given the extraordinarily aggressive ecommerce panorama that presently exists, to essentially put your merchandise on the map and assist them stand out, you’ll have to look past these normal practices, and enterprise outdoors of the digital realm. As an example, it might be a good suggestion to guide a stall at an area pop-up flea market or honest. You can even attempt to work out a take care of some related native companies: as an illustration, should you promote printed t-shirts themed round music, you can have an area music retailer showcase your t-shirts in alternate for a lower. Backside line: you need to contemplate every part that would assist get the phrase out about your retailer and merchandise, and ultimately drive your on-line visitors up.

Examples of Indian clothes shops

  1. Brick by Brick

    Brick by Brick website

    Brick by Brick focuses on gymwear and activewear, and has an unpretentious retailer with good photographs and a opinions part brimming with reward for its merchandise. A stable, no-frills strategy to a easy but important product: many shops may gain advantage by taking a leaf out of this model’s guide.

  2. Yacxilan Artwear

    Yacxilan Artwear website

    Yacxilan Artwear is a zany and off-beat attire model based mostly out of Goa that sells every part from swimsuits to kimonos. The pictures of their retailer is an absolute pleasure to behold, and their designs definitely seem like they’re made individually quite than being mass-produced.

  3. Oziss

    Oziss website

    Oziss has constructed its model round a robust area of interest that pulls lots of strongly dedicated individuals: environmental sustainability. It claims to be India’s first carbon-negative clothes necessities model, and its retailer options moderately priced t-shirts, sweatpants, and hoodies with extraordinarily useful pictures. Given the worthy trigger it champions and the comfortable-looking merchandise it affords, who might flip away from this retailer with out taking their pockets out?

Attire on-line: infinite selection, infinite potential

Clothes and attire stay extraordinarily common merchandise to promote on-line. There was a time when somebody with out design expertise would in all probability have needed to spend a small fortune hiring designers to create doubtlessly worthwhile clothes to promote on-line. However now, with the deadly mixture of print-on-demand, cheap freelance designers, and on-line shops, nearly anybody with grit and a imaginative and prescient can begin an internet clothes retailer and develop it right into a model.


1. How do I begin my very own on-line clothes retailer?

There are various on-line platforms, akin to Shopify, the place you possibly can create your personal retailer in a comparatively simple method and inventory virtually any type of product you need, together with clothes. Right here’s a easy abstract of the steps to arrange your personal Shopify retailer:

  1. Create a Shopify account and choose a reputation in your retailer.
  2. Customise the looks of your retailer.
  3. Add merchandise by offering their names, descriptions, pictures, and so forth., or by “pushing” them from a third-party platform the place you’ve already created your merchandise (akin to print-on-demand suppliers).
  4. Draft your retailer’s insurance policies.
  5. Add fee suppliers.
  6. Add a supply companion, if wanted.
  7. Lastly, join a Shopify plan in order that your retailer can go dwell.

2. How a lot does it value to open an internet clothes retailer?

It is dependent upon what you are promoting mannequin, the platform your retailer is constructed on, whether or not or not you’re placing out paid adverts, and so forth. In precept, with a retailer constructed on the free tier of a platform that sells merchandise by way of dropshipping and carries out no paid promoting, you wouldn’t need to spend something in any respect to maintain your retailer going. Extra realistically, nevertheless, it could be smart to provision something between INR 10,000 and INR 1,00,000 for the primary few months of what you are promoting. When you’ll want to purchase a good quantity of stock prematurely, you would possibly want to begin with a good greater quantity.

3. How can I promote my on-line clothes enterprise?

There are a number of methods to advertise your on-line clothes enterprise, together with:

  • Social media advertising and marketing
  • Paid adverts on Google, Fb, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, and so forth.
  • Natural visitors by way of Search Engine Optimisation (search engine optimization)
  • Offline occasions, gala’s, flea markets, and so forth.

4. How do I begin a t-shirt model in India?

A comparatively easy and low-cost methodology to begin a t-shirt model in India is to make use of the providers of a print-on-demand (POD) supplier. This can allow you to promote t-shirts with out having to carry any stock. You’ll then need to determine which area of interest you’d wish to cater to, create an internet retailer the place prospects can come and purchase your merchandise, after which market your model and your merchandise by way of varied on-line and offline channels.

A comparatively easy and low-cost methodology to begin a t-shirt model in India is to make use of the providers of a print-on-demand (POD) supplier. This can allow you to promote t-shirts with out having to carry any stock. You’ll then need to determine which area of interest you’d wish to cater to, create an internet retailer the place prospects can come and purchase your merchandise, after which market your model and your merchandise by way of varied on-line and offline channels.


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