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  • #982668
    ange lea
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    Hi

    I am considering starting up an e-commerce women’s clothing store. I’ve had no previous experience in retail or the fashion industry but I’ve been online shopping for years and love it! I think I could really give it a good go.

    What type of information should I be seeking for market research?
    What is the best way to make connections with wholesale suppliers?
    Any tips for a new starter?

    Cheers

    #1138078
    Jodie McLeod
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    Hi Ange,

    Welcome to the Flying Solo forums on behalf of the FS team!

    It’s certainly an exciting industry to entering into.

    To start with, you might be interested to read the article that was posted today on “Secrets to business success“, in which the founder of online fashion retailer Another Love, Rochelle Miller, shares her tips.

    In regards to market research, this article could be of help (and we also have an article coming out on 24 April that looks at defining your target market – set a reminder in your calendar!)

    Best of luck!

    Jodie

    #1138079
    Ondetto
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    Hi Ange,

    welcome to FS!

    Women’s fashion is a fun but very competitive market, so you really need to come up with a unique concept to stand out. Plus, allow enough time and money for marketing until the business becomes profitable and develops a loyal following.

    You’ll obviously need an online store that looks sharp, being in the fashion industry – but I would caution against overinvesting (better to leave some money aside for marketing). You should be able to get a decent custom designed eCommerce website for $3-5K.

    I don’t really know much about getting suppliers but I am sure there are lots of others on the forum with experience in this area.

    All the best,
    Frederike

    #1138080
    leena
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    Hi Ange,

    I’m in the same boat as you, about to launch a ladies sportswear website this month. You’ll find heaps of online sources for buying stock at wholesale prices, I was looking at eSources but decided to look for established brands that are fashionable and aren’t sold here instead mainly from USA, Canada and Europe.

    I’m actually a web designer who has decided to branch out into something different so I used Bigcommerce as I wanted something already built without having to invest too much time on the website and focus more on the business side of things. I also tried Shopify but didn’t like them. Much cheaper than hiring a web designer to do it and basically a similar end result as you can customise the template or hire someone to just work on the design instead building the whole website and shopping cart.

    Hope this helps!

    #1138081
    arty101
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    There are many free shopping carts are available if you want to build a website.
    The best ones I would recommend are:

    1- Opencart (for small businesses)
    2- Prestashop ( Medium )
    3- Magento ( Big )

    After choosing a shopping cart the next step is to market your business. And as you mentioned, you are looking for suppliers as well and in that case, very risky step you are going to take and may end up loosing money.

    #1138082
    johannpsaila
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    Fashion industry has to be one of the most competitive industries in the world.
    You have to look at your completion
    1) local shops
    2) online
    3) international online stores as well

    I would suggest getting some retail experience, learn the industry and see how good Bussiness are being made and runned . Also ask your self this are you looking at this as a career or just a hobby.

    Fashion industry runs well with good branding, service and competitive pricing.
    Also like others said highly competitive… Look at target and big w look how they have changed their Bussiness model, target is becoming a popular bran and a low cost point.

    Also austrlia retail industry is struggling and alloy of brands are pumping money into branding and other various methods to create
    More sales.

    #1138083
    ballerinas
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    Hi Ange,

    Fashion e-commerce in Australia is already very competitive so a new one should at least have a point of difference. I’ve seen too many people i know that managed to set up an amazing e-commerce website (yep, Bigcommerce or custom built for a few Ks), but without any interesting offering, poor traffic and hence abandoned a year later. So you should focus on the bigger plan.

    Before making the jump, I would be asking myself these kind of questions:
    1. Do I have any prior skill, experience or connection that would be useful in starting the business? Is it mostly driven by hobby?
    2. Who are going to be my competitor? In Oz, the names that stand out are Asos, The iconic, boohoo etc. Am I targeting myself to be like them? Don’t forget a lot of fashion brands also have their own ecommerce website + competition from ebay sellers esp. from overseas.
    3. What is the price point that I want to be in? Do I have enough capital to purchase the stocks to offer enough variety?
    4. Am i going to stock existing brands? Is it more beneficial to stock lesser known brand by importing it myself?

    Getting some work experience in this area is definitely going to be very useful. Not too long ago the Iconic has a lot of job openings. Also, try to attend some networking event e.g. entrepreneurs event on meetup.com where you could meet people who are also starting up.

    Keep us updated with how you go. There are heaps of great resources in FS =)

    #1138084
    Tagntrade
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    Hello,

    What kind of budget are you on. In terms of marketing I would suggest you think of that as one of your primary focuses on such a competitive marketplace. Starting your own online store is very difficult. Have you tried selling on e-commerce platforms for a better understanding? Sites like Ebay and my own http://www.tagntrade.com.au can give you exposure with out denting the budget. We for instance give free listing but a comission on a sale so exposure for your brand is free.

    Good luck

    Any questions let me know

    Tristan

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