Dropshipping clothing is a great way to start an ecommerce business without a huge investment in inventory. It’s a hands-off approach with lucrative profits – when you do it right. While the market for clothing is massive, there is a ton of clothing for sale online at any given moment. With that amount of competition, you need to set your online store apart from the rest of the retailers to make money dropshipping apparel.
We’ve put together a list of tips to make your dropshipping business profitable. But first, for those of you just starting out, let’s look at how dropshipping works.
How Dropshipping Works
Basically, dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that removes the middle man (you, the seller) from the fulfillment process. When a customer orders an item of clothing, your supplier will pick, package, and ship the item to that customer. The products are stored at the supplier’s warehouse and you don’t handle the products at all.
You will have to handle any customer service issues that arise, but your supplier will typically handle returns, which usually are returned to their warehouse.
Related: How to Start a Dropshipping Business
Tips For a Successful Apparel Dropshipping Business
Now, let’s look at some best practices for making your online clothing store successful.
Find Quality Dropshipping Suppliers
This is probably the most challenging step for every dropshipper, but it’s worth the time and research to find a quality supplier that is experienced with satisfied customers.
It’s always a good idea to check online reviews a supplier has to see if their customers are happy with their products and service.
A great approach to finding a supplier is to decide on the clothing items you want to sell and contact the manufacturers directly. Some manufacturers already have dropshipping services available to resellers. That can significantly cut down on your search time.
Decide on Pricing
When you set your retail prices for your products, there are a number of factors to consider. Be sure to factor in all fees associated to selling a product so that your cost of goods sold leaves you room to make money. You will have fees from your dropshipper, third-party payment processors’ fees, and the wholesale cost of your product to consider. Also consider what your competitors are charging for similar items. If you set prices too much higher, then your potential customers will likely shop with other stores. Pricing is a delicate balance and you may have to do some testing to get it right.
Related: How to Price Your Online Products
Make Your Website Informative
The appearance of your website will be the deciding factor for potential customers to make a purchase. Clothing websites need to be trendy and fun. A website or product listing needs to show off your products. As a dropshipping retailer, you may not have access to the products will need to use the manufacturer’s photos. If that’s the case, then make sure that your product descriptions are creative and very detailed. Be sure to include:
- Exact measurements. Your customers are buying online, so including the measurements of each item is essential. Not only will it help you obtain happy customers, it will also cut down on returns.
- Fabric content. Again, customers don’t get to feel your clothing items, so you must make sure that you include the fabric content of each piece. Additionally, a description of what that fabric feels like will help your customers make the right purchasing decisions.
- Washing instructions. If you are selling items that have to be dry cleaned or have other special washing instructions, include that in your descriptions. Otherwise, you will see a rise in returns. Customers need to know exactly what they are getting with each product they buy.
- Brand name, color, and type of item in the title. While you will have customers who browse through all products to see what interests them, others will search for a specific color or type of clothing right off the bat. You need to put those searchable keywords in the product title to make sure they find your products.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
One of the most popular (and least expensive) ways to reach potential and existing customers is with social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are all sites to showcase your products, encourage customer comments, reviews, and sharing, and where you can advertise specials, sales, and any upcoming events.
Also, consider email marketing. This is an easy way to send special offers right to your customers’ inboxes. If you use an automated email marketing solution, it’s even easier to reach a large number of customers with little effort.
There is definitely enough demand for clothing in today’s market for you to have a successful clothing business. Dropshipping makes it easy and less costly for ecommerce sellers. When you use the tips above, work with reputable suppliers, use a dropship automation software, and sell quality products, you will see success and growth in your apparel business.