Nothing is exciting like starting and running a successful clothing dropshipping store. And if you follow the right hacks, you will be those smiling to the bank. Yes, a clothing dropshipping business model is profitable.
And that’s why we have detailed for you a complete guide for dropshipping business model of clothing businesses. And this comes in handy in helping you make every decision about your dropshipping business.
With your own dropshipping business, you will enjoy all the benefits of a full-fledged digital store. And it will be super simple for you to manage all aspects of your clothing dropshipping business because our expert consultant has placed this guide in such an easy and detailed way that even newbie entrepreneurs can easily follow it.
You need to read each part carefully.
Let’s get down to business!
What is a Dropshipping Business Model?
In simple words, a dropshipping business model is an ecommerce business model where you will sell products without having any wholesale facilities or warehouses.
The buyer and seller always act as a single entity to ensure that all transactions are made as fast as possible minus fraud risk. Most drop shipping businesses use e-commerce systems, but they still work within this general template, thus not involving storage room for large volume orders (if their volumes are more when compared to retail stores).
Getting deeper, you, as the seller, never do any inventory management. Your same supplier is responsible for shipping products from their warehouses or shops to the customer’s destination after every sale. Choosing this business model is the easiest way to start a dropshipping business without investing in warehouses and setting up a workforce.
The best part about this model is that you can sell directly from your ecommerce website or via marketing strategies such as PPC, email list, which means millions of people on earth around the globe know exactly what you’re selling and who’s buying it because they see it online (and even offline if users are shopping online).
Now, this is the most understandable part of dropshipping business. Almost all online shops give you a wide range of their products and prices, which will excite you for setting up your store or upcoming business. The best part is that you won’t pay commissions or other fees associated with this model. The buyers will directly purchase products from your supplier and then ship them to their customers through different delivery services providers.
Close to 3 Million products were shipped through dropshipping worldwide in 2021 alone, according to Statista, and the numbers will keep increasing. So there is no time better to launch your online store than now.
Now that you understand how a dropshipping business looks like, that leaves us to one question;
Can you do Dropshipping with Clothes?
Yes. Starting a dropshipping business in the clothing niche comes without a vast inventory investment, and it doesn’t involve using any shipping system.
Unlike electronics and other products, it’s not just lovely to wear if you don’t have the right stuff or something needed for your business at hand. You will mostly have to order clothes from more prominent brands (also reliable dropshipping suppliers). It’s a hands-off ecommerce strategy as long as you know where producers fit in and how they would feel about a client who passes by their shops daily.
You need to agree on end-to-end payment terms before you open a store, buy or have someone else’s collection shipped through dropshipping business model so that there is no issue regarding delayed payments and refunds, etc. Brands are known to provide such guidelines when receiving questions from potential customers about the process of an order placed with them.
The compound annual growth rate of the ecommerce clothing industry is estimated to hit 7.6% in 2022, while the US market cap on the ecommerce fashion industry is expected to reach an all-time high of $200 Bn, which makes it lucrative, strong, and with cash to spare industry.
The results of dropshipping reviews between big brands’ online stores will vary from one business-to-business partnership to another. With that in mind, please keep this as nothing but advice suitable for all levels of experience when starting your store through the dropshipping model so it won’t be costly or lengthy enough.
How Does a Clothing Dropshipping Business Model Work?
Typically, this dropshipping model works just like other dropshipping business models out there. There are three players in a dropship clothing company; the manufacturer, the customer, and you, the seller.
The manufacturer provides clothing items for their suppliers or drop shippers to own stock. The stock they produce to sell the clothing items through dropshipping differs from their regular lines. So, there will be many customers with small orders, but this doesn’t make it frustrating for you as your order per week or month can still net you decent sales numbers with potentially higher profits than what an average company would recoup.
Customers purchase these products and usually ship them directly from their own homes within 24 hours in most cases. Usually, the customer purchases from their trusted clothing brand or dropshipping website and is reassured by the competitive pricing offered through 3rd party websites like Amazon with no extra set-up fees required. This model works because you’re giving people options to have lower shipping rates, which saves them time while simultaneously purchasing a similar product at an already discounted rate.
Dropshipping suppliers stock the products and send them via USPS. Different shoes or small-sized clothing items typically take around two days to arrive. Still, usually, it takes between one to three weeks to deliver, with priority shipment rates being among the fastest method of delivery, with customs processing also included on top.
You[seller] can provide high-quality products at a cheaper rate than what is typically advertised by the manufacturer or retailer, in our opinion, due to the long time it takes for large volumes of goods to be produced, shipped, and sold onto Amazon[if it is your eCommerce platform]. Also, because of how dropshipping works, you’re on top whenever there are any problems with your product, often getting a full refund without minor cleanup expenses.
How to Start a Clothing Dropshipping Business: 8 Steps Towards Successful Dropshipping Ecommere Businesses
Step 1: Identify your Clothing Niche
Before you go all big in launching your clothing company, first choose a specific niche to focus on. And this involves deep target market research and a complete understanding of what the customers want and how you can give them.
Do primary and secondary market research. You could find that certain clothes are never bought in stores or sold by third-party retailers. And this is because there’s no demand for them, so they make minimal profit margins when put on sale online as dropshipping business model hides the fact you’re selling second-hand products at a fraction of retail prices and have customers pay repackaging fees.
You can use EpiProdux‘s software to market segmentation and understand your potential market. The software will help you analyze market trends and demographics, find out whom to target with your merchandise and what makes people buy.
Just look at who’s buying from Amazon retail stores. Are they the same types of customers who shop on eBay or do not like shopping online? You don’t know until you research every aspect that comes into play as a dropshipper.
Search Google Trends, Facebook Analytics, and do some competitor analysis to understand where potential customers are looking to spend money, whether young customers who influence trends or the older generation with close social connections.
Step Two: Identify your Target Audience
Identifying your fashion niche and your target audience go together. Figure out who your things are for. What types of people need it? Why does the kind of fashion you offer appeal to them?
And don’t lionize your audience too much in case they have a different demographic kind and temperature than what you think unless this is precisely what marks their identity and do not need more criticism from wrong hats.
In addition to demographics research:
* Know why you must purchase certain brands. Sometimes they’re not because they wanted to grow in business and expand sales, but rather the first reason is that your product has been seen as “demanding” due to premium quality, for example.
* Figure out what makes them unique and special about why people should buy them from you versus any other place or successful brand selling similar items at lower prices/margins than yours will be like as well.
* How much can other sources affect how many of your customers will purchase from you as a result of really committing to their initial purchases, given that the price point is higher than most.
*Understand your target audience’s psychographic. Hobbies, interests, and passions are what I referred to in the previous paragraphs.
Step Three: Write Down your Clothing Brand Business Plan
A suitable clothing dropshipping business plan entails;
- Your online clothing business name, mission statement, and all of the qualities, messages, answers to questions you want to give.
- Who is your target audience? What purposes exactly do they have for purchasing (using their gear)? Why should be the brand name desired by them?
- The business goals that you want to accomplish.
- How will you achieve your business goals?
- How long are you willing to put it all in before recognizing income from profits?
- The projected future of your drop shipping clothing brand in 3-5 years.
Your dropshipping business plan needs to explain why the drop shipping business is better than other solutions.
Compile your dropshipping business model on EpiProdux today. And this tool will not only give you comprehensive information about your clothing business but will also assist you in making all of the necessary calculations for optimizing and viably scalable techniques.
And this software will give you market insights, gain a precise idea about your target audience and project the future of your dropshipping clothing brand.
Compile your dropshipping business model by starting a free trial here!
Step Four: Start Designing Your Own Online Store
Now the fun part. Your online store is going to show the quality of your apparel.
When designing for dropshipping, you must choose an ecommerce business website where consumers can get in touch with companies through search engines and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
You will need a few items; don’t worry, they’re all free!
After researching, figuring out what you want your brand store name to be will come pretty easy. You might even find the ideas for images from social media or stock images similar.
Most of the more significant ecommerce sites can provide information about SEO and PPC campaigns, which will help make sure that your site appears on pages when it really should.
Build your “tech pack” early. Produce basic information you give your manufacturer early enough. The first thing the manufacturer wants from you is your business name, address, phone number, and fax.
Here are some tech packs you can use as a template. However, make sure that whenever you choose colours for everything on your site or text materials, it’s unique to your brand identity because there are so many different companies that look alike. Every claim needs documents that attest to its authenticity and clearly show manufacturing details like measurement materials, labels, and product images.
After getting that information, you need to put together a sales brochure and order form for your manufacturer.
You can use a template or ask them how the materials are designed. Whatever they prefer will work just fine as long as it gives portions of the designs themselves space to bring out their personality throughout several uses.
Related read- Top Ecommerce Website Features List
Step Five: Find a Clothing Manufacturer
Finding a good manufacturer should be reasonably straightforward. Still, you don’t want to get your product lost in multiple options and potentially find out that what you are paying for will not give the results – or worse!
Don’t settle at this point. You need a firm spot on which type of product will work best with your brand’s personality and styling. The most reputable clothing manufacturers have published reference information online through their website, where they list all services they provide and how each is certified. It’s always best to check out the samples of their past work about content, quality control, etc., even if you are getting an expert in sewing machines.
So how do you go about looking for the proper clothing manufacturer for your dropshipping business?
How Do I Find a Clothing Manufacturer for Dropshipping?
Below are some tips to look for a good clothing manufacturer for your dropshipping business;
Choose Between a Domestic and a Foreign Manufacturer
Depending on your goal for this business venture, you may want to look for a domestic or international drop shipping clothing manufacturer.
Plan to have local orders from the country where it is being manufactured. Most likely, finding an appropriate textile and garment supplying company will be difficult, if not impossible. There aren’t many dependable manufacturers that have complete control of their products which means they could quickly lose/erase/steal a lot of information about their client’s brand.
But if you are looking for an international manufacturer that will produce your clothing in another country, you have more options on where to look concerning your production needs. And while it may not be ideal (as shipping and delivery times would likely be very long). Finding such a company won’t limit the potential of this drop shipper idea because most clothes found at stores abroad come from foreign apparel factories as well.
Consider Clothing Industry Meetups
Industry meetups help share dropshipping business ideas, so keep your eyes out there to see a recent influx of members in your particular industry.
For example, if you are looking at unisex apparel like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hooded jackets, check meetup.com or even Facebook Groups, which will have information posted about individuals from the design industry that manufacture goods locally by sewing their designs on plain fabrics using standard machines. You may be surprised.
Attend events and trade shows in your particular industry where you can witness one-of-a-kind clothing and see companies in person that make garments on-site such as showing their products, testing them out, and even turning away buyers if they are not satisfied. You will also find these events online with the search term: “clothing/textile trade shows.”
Check for Directories
If you do a quick search on Google for the term “textile trade show directory,” many related sites will pop up. Look at virtual directories, and chances are there is an essential coincidence of interest about attending them all too. Guides are explicitly designed to match people who have specific interests in your industry or region.
Many of these trade shows run on a single week-long cycle, and their websites feature-rich content to help potential attendees find out where they are being held, who the presenters will be, how much it costs (per person), etc. These directories only serve one purpose – connecting people with interest in attending that particular event. So take advantage while you can; use this resource!
Network and ask around. Sometimes, personal experience can be more powerful than any research report or information you have found on the internet. For instance, ask about China and US manufacturers. You may have heard rumours or been familiar with some giant companies but never met them. Now it’s time to meet!
Remember, your local chamber of commerce and community college can help you find companies in the region looking for new business partners that could benefit their growth financially and professionally. Networking with local organizations, many of which have major USA-China trade initiatives or programs, can help you establish a valuable knowledge base. Host an event that brings people together from both companies to share ideas and opportunities.
Attend weekly town hall meetings at your company/office with employees in the same industry doing business overseas. You never know where else you will get an opportunity like this – travel is expensive, so make sure it’s worth it!
Now you have potential manufacturers to choose from. To narrow the list down, consider the following factors:
- Price & product quality: In general, you would want to go with a manufacturer that can meet your price point and offer value for money.
- Shipping Times: Choose a faster and cheaper way to ship your products. Gain an understanding of the speed and price guarantee levels with different shipping options offered by these companies. Remember, everything must go smoothly without delays or issues, which means reliable communication.
- Experience: It is worth it to invest in a company’s background. Do they have track records, and do their staff members go above and beyond to offer full support?
- Process: You want a process that is easy, efficient, cost-effective, and quickest way possible from order placement through delivery!
If by chance you can visit the manufacturer. And this would provide you with an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the company’s processes and customs, as well as troubleshoot any problems via a local representative.
Be aware of hidden charges on expensive products in your own country but low or standard priced abroad (brand logos, safe packaging, etc.) If a product is not worth buying because of these costs, break the deal up into smaller parts. It’s challenging to get any money back when you have paid upfront.
Step Six: Build your Clothing Brand
Develop a unique brand, identify your business, and stand out to users
Your brand name, logo, and packaging must sell your product or provide value to all customers. You want potential buyers who can identify the brand quickly to trust you because people won’t purchase from a merchant they do not know much about, leading to mistrust of your services. Always present an image that reflects the quality and your dedication to the garments you produce while eliminating any negative connotations.
The colour combination of blue and orange has traditionally been used by various retail brands such as Zara’s brand logo or Adidas’ shoes. Your company is akin to a storefront window where buyers will automatically see what products are for sale before stepping inside if they can identify them quickly from outside their point of view. Consider making the logo represent you somehow, or if not, create your original one. It’s less about having a “designer” look for your brand and more about appearing professional on paper as well as digitally to stand out from other clothing retailers.
Your packaging is crucial with every sale; it must make customers feel sure they will be adequately satisfied upon arrival of its contents because transacting through mail requires trust that can only be built.
You can also look for freelance designers at Upwork, Fiverr, LinkedIn, Freelancer, etc.
Step Seven: Derive your Pricing and Go to Market Strategy
Consider your cost of goods sold[COGS], then develop a pricing strategy for your clothing company. Also, take note of factors like warehouse rent, shipping costs, employees payroll, as these all have to be considered alongside the sell-price of your products.
Choose a price that covers all costs and stays competitive in your market, but also choose a price that is fair for the quality of work you do and one with favourable profit margins. You can use the Keystone Markup pricing method to double the price. For instance, if a t-shirt costs you $5 to manufacture, you might sell it at $10[wholesale price] or $20 retail price.
There are numerous strategies to marketing products such as:
- Using influencer marketing;
- Guest blogging[CB] or sharing articles with other websites through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter;
- Offering free shipping by providing discounts when selling large quantities;
- Having a buy one get one free offer if you have high-performers make custom designs according to customer requests or specifications;
- Offering rewards for customers like discounts, gift certificates, and coupons in exchange for social media followings or likes.
- Use a content marketing strategy. Spend time writing your blog to add more information than a stylist.
EpiProdux will help you with creating marketing campaigns for your clothing store. With this software, you can create campaigns and get a first-hand experience of how to drive profits with your clothing store. Also, EpiProdux has the ability to integrate into the shopping cart website platforms like WooCommerce[Woo] and Shopify.
And this platform will help you with interactive digital marketing strategies like white_check_marks,raised_hands, small_world, and much other digital marketing. And this means that your clothing store marketing will be more effective.
Your small business will be more competitive, and it will increase your sales and profits. This combination has made EpiProdux a top solution for marketing tools that are high-performing, easy to use, compatible with any website, and cheap. If your only goal is to improve the performance of your clothing store, then EpiProdux will help you with that easily.
Step Eight: Sell Products
After your company is set up, now comes the most challenging stage in starting a clothing line – selling it and selling products. When launching an online fashion brand, you need to establish awareness and trust among potential consumers through organic search engine optimization[SEO], content marketing strategies that either educate or persuade readers/listeners of your product’s benefit. Use email marketing and sell your dropship small clothing business.
If you want to sell, define your ecommerce strategy. You will have to use software like Shopify and WordPress. Design a website with a proper look, feel, and new-age ecommerce platforms using HTML5 to be indexed by search engines like Google[G] or Bing.[C7].
Your online clothing brand also relies on social media marketing such as Facebook retargeting ads, where digital marketers send consumers advertisements when they browse other websites unrelated to your drop ship business to capture their attention and follow up with them with marketing campaigns.
Tips on How Successful Dropshipping Business in the Clothing Industry
#1. Use EpiProdux‘s Product Management Tool
EpiProdux is an excellent software to manage your dropshipping ecommerce clothing business.
#2. Adopt Influencer Marketing
You and I know how sales of a product skyrocket once celebrities and influencers wear the same product. As an ecommerce platform, you can adopt this strategy by getting your product selected in a given season as an influencer-bought item.
The spread of information regarding its price will be too much, and it will skyrocket the sales instantly among many influencers because they want their name out there, too, along with concern over how well their clothing brand gets rated on that day.
List down influencers you would like to collaborate with, then invite them to collaborate with you. Take note that some of these people may not be from the same country where your store is based, and they might have an exclusion zone in their countries/territories, or it could just as well be on a higher tier instead, which you need to know beforehand. Aesthentials is an example of a profitable business model using Youtube influencer marketing.
#3. Use Instagram
Instagram is an annual report on what many people should look at when it comes to their ecommerce clothing business. Although mainly used for examining a birds-eye view of Instagram users’ homes, you will often be able to see who uploaded photos from that day with hats and clothes lying around after hanging them up so that they can take more pictures later on within Instagram’s app itself.
And this way, you can get better information regarding why these influencers are spreading their photos with your brand or product. Club Fit Wear is an example of a successful clothing dropshipping model using Instagram marketing campaigns.
#4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to send a message regarding your product/brand and how people are missing it.
#5. Go Big In SEO
Search engine optimization or SEO is an aspect you need to be very conscious about. Do some research, check what your competitors are doing, and implement a plan to market yourself better.
Adopt a go to marketing strategy. Like you hear much say, content is king. Make sure to have a great design and make it count through good writing.
Oddity Mall is an example of a dropshipping business adopting a strong SEO strategy.
#6. Launch Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are an essential part of the sales funnel. Although you should use them for more creative advertising, they can still be effective in sales.
Targeting your audience will allow you to reach a better number of people, which also helps drive attention to specific content via Instagram or Facebook itself and higher conversions after seeing something that potential customers might find to solve their problem.
Blue Crate is a dropshipping example of success using Instagram and Facebook ads
Which Ecommerce Business Model is Best for Launching a Clothing Fashion Brand?
There are four main ecommerce business models:
Print on Demand Clothing Brand
A print on demand clothing brand involves partnering with apparel manufacturers to take care of the production process.
Ideally, a customer orders product from your online store, then you order the same single product from the manufacture. Your customer gets an immediate print of their order. Thus, you receive a copy of that same garment for free, which can then be sold in your online store. Simply by giving away materials and not investing in the production process itself!
Private Label Clothing Brand
A private label clothing brand requires the appearance of a new name on the original label to begin. As it’s not an extra-label clothing brand, but rather your design and logo making use of all production materials and processes though not being produced by any particular articles or supply brands here you can keep things as affordable as possible since everything remains global if we’re talking about countries where taxes are relatively low.
Custom Cut and Saw Clothing Brand
A custom cut and saw clothing brand can be operated as a thin layer of branding, which inserts itself over the original labels.
Therefore, using your existing trademark name is an option rather than starting from scratch and doing it all again after having invested so much in such bad taste.
Dropshipping Clothing Brand
A dropshipping clothing brand means you have to do all of your shipping forward, but it still makes sense in terms of cost-effectiveness.
Everything will be ordered from overseas without processing any material locally or having employees at home if a parcel needs repair to keep functioning and people get the right items they require. However, the shipment needs additional time – it can stay there until the team comes back up, providing a proper fix.
The ecommerce business model depends on your preference, business needs, and budget.
Examples of successful dropshipping clothing brands include:
1. RAG T-Shirts
For an example of a dropshipping clothing brand that makes use of service employees look whenever they ship out items, take a peek at the American Apparel Story. Even still it is perhaps not as low in cost in terms of no longer having employees on location to supervise the conveyance for pieces and giving you multiple shipping options so users can choose how their delivery should be handled based upon destination.
2. International Dance Shoes – Retail Shopping Cart
A very different type of clothing brand that can be found is international shoes. This means buying expensive labels or designers and selling them to customers so you get a first-class shipping service would work is one example of the many ways this kind of thing could happen. Although with instances like these it almost seems like there already exists a business for individuals who are looking for something just click on us now available across other retailers.
Related Read- How to choose business model for your business.
Congrats for taking the will to start a dropshipping ecommerce clothing brand. Be sure to mark the date of this guide and be aware, as small ecommerce business growth takes time. Above, you can read all that vital information about success factors and what is needed to start a dropshipping clothing brand correctly.
Manage your dropshipping store using EpiProdux‘s product management tool. You will be able to do eCommerce clothing market, customer and price segmentation, calculate shipping costs, calculate your profit, and more. It is easy for you to become a dropshipping clothing brand because we care about all the technical aspects. Hence, there are no headaches or hassles when it comes to managing your inventory and logistics operation within EpiProdux!
Start your free trial here and watch your online store grow!