According to Business Research Company, despite the 8.59% decrease in the compound annual growth rate due to the impact of COVID-19, the global fashion eCommerce market is expected to witness a recovery to $672.71 billion in 2023.
So, if you’re planning to open sell clothes online at the moment, just do it!
And the good news is there are plenty of places you can sell your clothes online – waiting for you to unlock.
Dive right in and discover!
I. Best Places To Sell Clothes Online
Selling clothes online is made simple with ThredUP.
The process is fairly simple. First ThredUP sends you a cute polka-dot bag for you to put all of your clothes, used or like new, into the bag. Then, drop your kit off with FedEx or UPS.
Upon the arrival of your clothing kit, ThredUp specialists will sort through all of your items, single out what they can sell or what not, then price your products.
Items that are eligible for online listing must have no signs of wear which include pilling, fading and shrinkage, no damage like missing parts, stains or odors. Then, the team at FredUP will handle product photography and product listing. You can sit back, have a sip of tea, wait for your items to get sold.
When your items are sold, you can either choose to get Shopping credit or cashout . If you choose shopping credit, you can use it to buy other clothing and apparel items on ThredUP platform.
Selling with ThredUp is easy, but it comes with a downside – you can’t get much from it, especially when you don’t have any power in deciding how much your clothes will be priced, a bag full of clothing items can bring you around 20 – 30$ only.
If you want to sell uniquely designed clothes, check out this next entry:
Etsy is one of the biggest online marketplace (like Amazon or eBay) with the main focus on vintage and handmade goods. So if you have a snack of making handmade clothes, Etsy is your crowd.
You will be one of millions of online vendors that are selling on Etsy’s ‘storefront’ itself. Through a couple of easy steps, you can quickly open a store on Etsy and start your eCommerce business.
Mainly, customers will find a lot of handmade, vintage, and craft items on Etsy. Most of the stores sell very unique, one-of-a-kind products from talented and creative artists, designers, or craftsmen, which makes Etsy more of a place for a handcrafted niche market.
Etsy has also developed a platform called Pattern, which helps create an online store, in conjunction with your Etsy store, for a fee of $15 per month.
- Getting listed on Etsy comes with free exposure to thousands of visitors per day.
- Good integration with other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
- Cheap listing fees – it only costs you 20 cents nets to get a single item listed on their marketplace.
- It can be difficult to get your products stand out between hordes of similar sellers, you would need to have excellent and compelling photos, and write mesmerizing product descriptions with reasonable shipping and exchange policy.
Poshmark is like a hybrid between Instagram and Amazon. At a fundamental level, Poshmark is an app where you can upload photos of your clothes and sell it to interested buyers. Its resemblance to Instagrams is in the aspect that merchants need to have excellent product photography and grow followers.
- Free listing, free storefront.
- Auto connections to promote your listings on Twitter, Tumbler, Facebook and Pinterest.
- People on Poshmark look for good deals so it’s really up to you to negotiate the price and compete with droves of vendors selling clothes for as little as 5$.
- You need to post consistently to build a following and stay high in the algorithm.
Ebay is the bee’s knee when it comes to selling clothes online. Hop on Reddit, or Facebook Communities and you can see case studies of people selling 100K worth of vintage and thrift clothes per year.
There are 02 selling formats on Etsy – you can opt for Fixed-price listings if you sell clothes from your own brand and not a big fan of waiting for an auction to end. However, if you sell rare or sough-after clothing items, auction-style selling is the best way for some hard cash.
- High clothing shopper traffic – this is obvious as Ebay is already one of the most popular online marketplaces.
- Seamless integration with Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to share your listings to a wider audience.
- Free listing for the first 200 products
- There are various seller fees you must bear. You get 200 free listings, but then you must pay 0.35$ in most categories for every new listing beyond that. Then there are final value fees that can be as high as 10% for sellers.
Depop is built for indie folks who look for vintage and rare clothing items.
It functions very similarly to Poshmark – you open your own clothing storefront on the app, take good product photos, write good descriptions and you can start selling.
- Easy to use, a quick way to sell clothes online
- Depop waived a 10% seller fee – applied to everything you sell
Teespring, Prinful, Teechip and Printify are different companies, but they fall under the same category as they provide a slightly different service than the above counterparts. They are the leading Print-on-demand platforms where you can design your own clothing items and sell it from an online storefront.
If you have not heard about it, then Print On Demand, explained by Shopify, is: a process where you work with a supplier to customize white-label products (like baseball hats or tote bags) with your own designs to sell them on a per-order basis under your own brand.
That means you don’t pay for the product until after you’ve actually sold it, so there’s no need to buy in bulk or hold any inventory yourself.
- Have much more freedom in what types of clothing items you can sell – you can sell literally everything you can design.
- Lower investment as you’re not physically holding any inventory
- These POD platforms are not marketplace, so there is no free traffic as no people hopping on these platforms to look for desirable clothing items.
- You’d need to invest in marketing (Facebook Ads, Blogging, Pinterest, Instagram ads) to sell your products.
Grailed is the perfect place for men to sell clothes online. Grailed marketplace’s breaken down to 04 major categories:
You’d need to add at least 03 quality photos to build your listing. When an item is sold, Grailed would charge you 6% per sale.
- Grailed offers an easy and quick way to declutter your wardrobes.
- Lots of rare and exclusive clothing items.
- Seller requirements are fairly low so there have been complaints about the influx of scammers selling knock-offs of premium brands.
Storenvy is similar to Etsy – it offers a fast and easy way to have your own online clothing storefront and get exposure to an extensive network of shoppers and online buyers.
- Good storefront customization: You can easily customize your store without coding skill.
- 1000 product listings for FREE
- Email Tools. Quick set up and management tools. Promotional tools like discount codes to share with your customers
- Order fulfillment, inventory management and more apps and integrations
- Mobile optimize store and shopping experience.
- Limited widget and integration: On free plan, it’s not possible to embed items from Storenvy onto a blog or website. There is a paid add-on that lets you build a catalog you can share online, but it requires a subscription fee.
- Traffic to Storenvy is not the best especially when compared with the other popular names like Etsy or Ebay.
When we talk about where to sell clothes online, we mostly talk about online marketplaces or online resale & consignment stores – what if you want to design your own clothes, build your own brand and sell them online?
The answer to your question can be Shopify!
II. Why is Shopify?
Before jumping into the specific steps of selling clothes online with your own website, let’s take a look at what Shopify can do for merchants in the clothing and apparel industry.
1. Shopify is a complete eCommerce solution
Well, as mentioned from the start, anyone (even non-developers) can sign up and bring their dream online store into being. Merchants can utilize the intuitive backend interface to customize their store design, manage products, orders and customer data, observe analytics to improve their marketing strategies. It’s like an all-in-one eCommerce package.
Moreover, the second largest industry using Shopify is apparel and fashion, which indicates that Shopify is a popular platform among merchants who are in the clothing business.
You can find many successful Shopify boutique stores with hundreds of merchants’ fascinating stories here.
2. Ready-made hosting and domain for your boutique store
A big pain point of a shop owner when it comes to starting an online store is finding a domain and hosting provider. Also, how to maintain and upgrade the site in the long term is a daunting matter.
When using Shopify, merchants can easily start an online boutique with free hosting, domain and SSL certificate available in any plan (starting from just $29).
3. Inventory tracking
Handling inventory stocks is what every merchant should pay attention to not just for clothing stores but many other types of businesses. With Shopify, you can set up Inventory Tracking, view your inventory and adjust your inventory counts to avoid selling products that have run out. You can also order more from suppliers or produce more of your products if needed.
4. Shipping and delivery
If your online clothing store is based in the U.S or Canada, you can apply for the Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN); the shipping will be more fast and affordable. All you have to do is prepare and send your inventory to the fulfillment centers; and once an order is placed, they will pick, pack and deliver to your customers’ doors.
The data of your business and customers, shipment tracking and inventory will be all in one place, which is very convenient to manage.
With merchants who are from different regions, Shopify does allow you to add or integrate a third-party warehouse to prepare and ship your products.
5. Shopify POS
Even when you already have a brick-and-mortar clothing store; or you want to open a pop-up store to support your online shop, you can sync business data like orders, inventory tracking, etc. from your online store with Shopify POS.
6. Shopify marketing and SEO apps
If you are stuck with how to promote your online clothing store or get more traffic to generate sales, Shopify has a huge ecosystem of app partners that can support your eCommerce journey.
Although it depends on a merchant’s business plan to choose right plugins for their store, here are some suggestions of suitable apps for an online clothing store:
- PageFly: Advanced page builder app which can help you customize any pages on your store (home page, product and collection page, landing page and so on). It has a drag-and-drop tool to help anyone create a high-converting page without a technical background.
Also, PageFly gives you tons of templates to choose from in the fashion and apparel industry for faster building of your pages.
- Privy: A pop-up and email marketing solution. It can help you create captivating pop-ups to announce discounts or sales events on your store. Also, Privy can automate your email marketing with newsletters, promotions and other follow-up emails. It gives you A/B testing for any plan you choose as well.
- ReConvert Upsell & Cross sell: Obviously, with an online boutique store, you can’t miss this app. It can help you with your upselling strategy; for example, a silk dress bundled with accessories or items like a belt. Another great thing about this app is that their plan is free, so you don’t have to worry about the monthly charge.
- AVADA Size Chart: A free size chart app which can help you customize the size charts for your clothing products. This is very important for an online boutique store because customers care about how your products will fit them before making purchasing decisions.
- Instagram Shop by SNPT: This app is a solution to make your social media into a shopping platform. It can help you display stunning Instagram galleries and UGC (user-generated content) on your web store easily.
One last thing is Shopify’s on-page SEO basics, which can help users easily optimize product titles, meta-description, image tags, etc. to get ranked higher on search engines.
Once you sell clothes online from your own boutique, you can’t miss social media channels like Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. These are platforms where shop owners can get more potential leads and customers for their stores.
With Shopify, merchants can integrate to sell their fashion items on Facebook, Instagram and pin their store on Pinterest easily.
Related article: How sell on Instagram with Shopify
Also, for other sales channels like Amazon, eBay, Shopify does support selling on these huge marketplace to expand your business. Or, if you want to migrate your store from a platform like Esty or WooCommerce to Shopify, it is totally possible.
Related article: Shopify vs Etsy in 2021: Which one is better?
8. Shopify Expert
If you want to customize your online clothing store or need help with marketing solutions, you can find Shopify Experts to help with your store development. For example, Aeolidia is a Shopify Expert whom you can consult for branding and web design solutions as well as product design.
III. 05 Steps To Sell Clothes Online With Shopify
Well, now is the time to produce a result here. We’re going to give you useful and specific steps below to bring your virtual boutique to life.
Step 1: Find a proper theme for selling clothes
Choosing a theme for an online clothing store depends on the business plan, style and desired store look of the merchant. However, there are some recommended Shopify themes that can be used in particular for a fashion web store.
As you can see in the description, Brooklyn is a tailor-made theme for apparel stores. It’s one of the popular free themes on the Shopify Theme Store and focuses on brand imagery. Users can showcase big and dazzling banner images and top selling featured collections right on the homepage.
A perfect choice for boutique shops, especially high-end clothing lines. Merchants can have custom promotion content for collection pages, titles and even custom collection sidebar filters.
If you want a modern look for your online boutique, then Broadcast is a great choice. You can display homepage videos and customer testimonials with this theme. Also, for the product page, Broadcast supports “color swatch” mode to showcase available colors of your products.
You can easily find this theme on the Etsy marketplace. Dorothy is a simple theme design which is very suitable for accessories and minimal fashion items.
Step 2: Add your products and collections
As you’re running an online boutique store, you may have many collections and items. So, before creating your impressive homepage, adding your products and collections is a primary concern.
Remember when adding clothing products, you can set up variant images, as well as product variants like sizes and colors for customers to choose.
Also, you can use third-party apps like AVADA Size Chart to include detailed size guides on the product pages.
Step 3: Build your captivating homepage
It’s all about the look. Since you’re running a fashion shop, people love to see beautiful images. That’s why you need to display your best featured collections, complete with gorgeous product photos, right on the homepage to catch people’s attention.
Also, with an online clothing shop, having a unique logo to promote your brand is very important. So, you can design your stunning logo with Hatchful and add it on your homepage in the Shopify editor board.
Step 4: Set up gift cards and discount codes
Everyone loves free gifts and discounts. With an online clothing store, it’s indispensable to offer customers discount codes and gift cards for your sales events. And, you can set it up easily in the Shopify admin dashboard.
In Shopify panel, you choose Discounts >> Create discount >> Discount code >> Customize your discount code
Step 5: Get an eye-catching pop-up
A pop-up is a great marketing tactic to announce your promotion events, add CTA buttons, or ask visitors for email signups. By doing that, it can help expand your list of potential leads for further converting them into customers.
You can ask for their emails in exchange for a discount code of all items, for example. And Privy is a great app with a free plan available that can help you with creating an eye-catching pop-up.
Credit: Privy App
IV. 03 Examples of successful online clothing stores
Clémence is an independent clothing brand that has a very simple but elegant web design. Their products are mainly designs for modern women, inspired by clean lines and minimalist luxury.
This brand also works actively on Instagram, and they used Shopify apps to help their customers purchase their products easily on this social media platform.
A clothing brand for adventurers who need well-made but still fashionable gears for outdoor activities. In an interview with Shopify, the Battenwear team mentioned the efficiency and convenience of using Shopify apps to grow their business. So far, the brand has done quite a good job in big markets such as North America, the UK, Japan and Korea.
A US-based shoe brand with an interesting story of living wages in their factory in Peru. Nisolo shared that their online store is the biggest outlet. They mentioned “Shopify is a must” that can help them manage inventory and customer data, and run analytics reports easily on a regular basis.
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