While Black Friday continues to post strong numbers and maintain its standing as the largest shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday is quickly picking up speed. And many projections suggest that the majority of holiday purchasing will someday move away from the malls and brick and mortar stores and into the online space. That is why there may never be a better time to start an e-commerce clothing business. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a love of fashion you will find this business choice hugely fulfilling. And the internet offers you access to an unlimited group of potential customers, literally all around the world. There are no boundaries, and thanks to developments in online banking you will be able to share designs and support purchases from customers wherever they may be. Of course, like any business, an e-commerce clothing enterprise comes with its share of pros and cons. Here are a couple of the aspects you should consider before throwing your hat in the ring.
Probably the biggest pro to launching an e-commerce business is the speed and efficiency with which you can get it off the ground. It takes very little to establish your business. You’ve got to get a site up and hosted, and build in the e-commerce solution. But a turnkey hosting service such as WordPress can now walk you through the entire process. The monthly fees are not expensive, so as long as you can pay for the credit card transactions you’ll be in great shape. You could also avoid all of these start-up costs by simply becoming a member of a pre-existing shopping hub. Sites like Fab and Etsy are made up of smaller stores put together by hundreds of designers, all paying a small fee into the larger company. It’s a fast, flexible and cheap way to be in business in days.
The flip side of that ease of start-up is that it will take you quite some time to establish your brand with customers. There are literally millions of websites on the internet, and hundreds of thousands of shopping sites. Coming up with ways to reach your niche audience are difficult with all of that competition. Also, if you launch your clothing business on your own e-commerce site new customers may be slow to use it. No one wants to be the first person in a store, and without positive customer feedback people can be wary to input their credit card information. It’s also difficult to be the only shop selling anything, so if you can’t give it to a customer faster or cheaper than the more established competition you’re going to find this business very difficult.
Another strong reason to start this business is that you can make money twenty-four hours a day. Online retail stores are always open, and regardless of the time of day or night someone somewhere in the world is shopping. You don’t have to open the store as you would a traditional retail business. That means you could go on vacation or even just enjoy a full night’s sleep and wake up to find you’ve sold some pieces. Just remember the flip side to this issue, which is customer service problems. You will receive emails and feedback all the time, and must respond to people quickly if you want to build a consistent following.
This is part of the final negative you should consider, which is the wide range of technical issues you will face with an e-commerce business. With all of the moving parts something is liable to misfire at some point. And if you aren’t a web designer, you may have no clue how to fix it. Some problems are simple. But if something complex falls apart your site could be down for days with no way to fix it. If you just spent a lot of money on a major promotional campaign promising people can get $75 off here on your site and the the website goes down you could lose both profits and customers. Make sure your hosting provider comes with solid customer support service, so you aren’t left alone to contend with these problems.