Okay, we have seen the basic steps needed in setting up an online fashion business. Here is part 2. Where do you sell?
Marketplace - yes, this is the obvious answer. But which market place? There are thousands of online market places where you can sell your fashion line - Lazada, Shopee, Carousell - the list goes on. There are also specialised online fashion department stores like Zalora, where you can get your line of clothes listed for sale. However, Zalora has some requirements before you could become their partner. It would be good if you could check out their requirements before contacting them. If you are an artisan, you can list on Etsy. Some sites are free, they only take a percentage from your sale. Sites like Etsy charge a listing fee of USD 20 cents per item listed for each month. If you have only handful of items, the cost may not be high, but some sellers have hundreds of products listed.
Social Media - this is another place where you can open a shop. However, before you do that, you will need to have your social media profile. For example, any business opened on FB will have to be attached to a personal profile. This is how FB keeps a track on your dealings. FB users in selected countries have the privilege where buyers can checkout their purchase through FB itself. In countries like Malaysia, this is not possible. If you are keen to sell on FB, please be prepared to set up complete shop. People who visit the shop must be convinced that you are a serious seller. You could also set up shop on Instagram. The rule is the same - have a serious shop. We have not tried other social media sites; if you know other likely places, do try. Pinterest is another place where one can display products but do not have high hopes because people go to Pinterest for ideas.
Website - you can also choose to sell on your own website by setting up exclusive shops on sites like Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, Godaddy, to name a few. One thing to note here - if you are selling straight from your website, please ensure you have built a professional quality website. If you need to hire a web designer, do so. The money paid will be worth it. B.B's first online shop was on Shopify. Shopify was a great site but we didn't know how to leverage on it. They provide 14 days' free trial. The two weeks would give you ample time to play around with their drag and drop website builder menu. Since that was our first time, we wasted the 14 days as we did not have enough time to learn the art of building website. Since the company started as school project, the over arching need was to get the project done and approved by the school and IB authorities. Making sales was not the focus. So, we had a shop on Shopify which was sitting there non-functional with us paying monthly subscription fee which was rather expensive. In 2018 when we wanted to sell directly from our website, we had left Shopify and moved to Wix. Not wanting to repeat the mistake, we had hired a graphic designer to design the website using the drag and drop menu.
Good, now that you have decided where you would like to set up shop, let's look at stocks. That will be in Part 3. Meanwhile, have a great weekend!