How to Choose the Right E-commerce Platform for your T-shirt Business
Take a bet! Even the smallest of shopkeepers these days will hand you their business cards that say they also sell online.
This shouldn’t come to you as a surprise. Nowadays, businesses are trendy and becoming more consumer-focused. Entrepreneurs opt for solutions such as a self-sustained web store or a marketplace that is powered by the right e-commerce software.
Research says that 63% of shopping occasions begin online whether it’s clothing, electronics or any other category. Perhaps, one can always list their products on popular marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay or Flipkart. But if your vision board is all about turning your brand into ‘The Brand’, then you need a fully-functional e-commerce store.
Don’t scratch your head for what to sell online! From fashion wear and private labels to insurance and home accessories, virtual sales offer several options along with the right kind of e-commerce platforms. Maybe you can dive into and benefit from the never-ending craze of fashion apparel. Even better, you can start your t-shirt business online! It is a trendy industry with regular demand. And in comparison to other verticals, it requires less investment.
The only thing you should be picky about is the right kind of platform. Go on the internet and you will see an endless list of e-commerce platforms that promise to support and grow your business. Making the right choice could be confusing.
Moreover, an online business such as this one comprises of finer nuances than you can think of. So it’s not like you just need a platform to display and sell t-shirts. Several factors influence your business in a tangible and intangible way. Hence, the best way to go ahead would be to realise the business potential by brainstorming a few things.
- If your online t-shirt business is going to include custom products then you will need relevant tools to execute the editing part. In this case, an e-commerce platform equipped with in-built tools should be the right choice for you.
- Depending upon the diversity of the product inventory, you can decide how to categorize them and apply filters. You can go for a systematic segmentation on the basis of colour, brand, price, etc.
- If it’s going to be a web store that sells unique printing and limited stock then your requirement will also be limited. In case you want to establish a wholesale store with bulk products and lower rates, you will need an e-commerce platform that can maximize this potential.
- Defining your target audience early on helps a lot in selecting the right platform. Millennials and Gen-x customers are more likely to purchase t-shirts online and you can easily catch them on social. To attract them you might need to bait some freebies like coupons on your Instagram business page. Go for a solution that provides discounts and coupon features to help you lure your customers.
- Depending upon the solution you choose, products, visitors and admin accounts vary. Platforms with limited features force customers to opt for expensive deals. Rather, select an e-commerce software that focuses on the features and post-sales support.
- A tech-based platform is essential for today’s tech-savvy shoppers. It’s important to decide if you want a self-hosted solution or a SaaS-based version.
Finding a platform to build your e-commerce is not a task. Finding the right solution specific to your online t-shirt business is! While the market is filled with several ready-made platforms, only a handful of them are capable of providing varied choices and scope for scaling the business.
A generic survey was conducted amidst small business owners. The survey reflected that there are two main factors to consider while searching for a top e-commerce platform for your business. Firstly, the ‘ease of usage’ and secondly, ‘options for customisation’.
With these factors in mind, let’s go through a list of mandates that you should consider while choosing a platform for your t-shirt business.
An all-inclusive Package
In today’s time, having a business website is a must. While you can go ahead and build it by yourself, a ready-made platform is a worth-trying shortcut. Right from web hosting to the bandwidth of your online store, it provides everything. Some platforms also offer add-ons such as content management, blogging, theme customisation, etc.
An attractive and functional web store generates more traffic and has a higher customer retention rate. The right e-commerce software is the one that provides you with a good storefront along with other services. You should also be able to edit the inventory, manage product listings and descriptions along with pricing, images, variants, searches and navigation.
Wondering if you will need them for your small-scale t-shirt business? Well yes. Reliable gateways generate trust among customers that the payment will be handled properly.
A good platform will negate the need to apply for a credit card processor. Also, e-commerce platforms already include the functionality of Payment gateways. You just need to integrate these with your store to start receiving orders.
Management of data is a business prerequisite to earn better revenue. For a web store, you need to have tools for cart abandonment reminders, social media connectivity, deals, gift cards, marketing campaigns and special announcements.
The right kind of online solution can take your small-scale t-shirt business to new heights. That is if you leverage its in-built solutions to analyse your data and streamline your internal processes.
Good e-commerce software should enable you to integrate multiple third-party systems. You should be easily able to integrate ticketing software to connect better with your customers by sending emails, notifications, etc. Also, you should have the flexibility to integrate payment and logistics channels of your choice. The right kind of platform should also help you organise your data systematically and simplify business processes.
Providing security filters is important for your t-shirt business. It’s your asset after all! Hence, protecting it from threats should be your topmost concern.
Ensure that the solution you choose has a strong SSL encryption to guard customer information and confidential business details. You might also want to check for fraud protection tools to be on the safe side.
A good e-commerce platform should give you a Mobile-first approach. With a mobile-face interface, your customers can shop from anywhere at any point in time. The same platform should also be able to provide you with mobile payment options to simplify purchase processes. E-commerce built with this approach is a big leap towards customer satisfaction and will generate good profit in the long run.
Many providers for online platforms neglect customer interaction post-sales. But what if there are technical glitches that need to be fixed immediately?
The e-commerce platform you choose should promise you consistent technical and post-sales support through emails, calls, forums and live chats.
If glitches on your online platform are not resolved within minutes, customers will not feel as if they are dealing with a brand. You will be taken as any other online t-shirt seller. Hence, a platform offering consistent support through multiple channels is the last thing you can ask for!
Say features like these will cost a fortune? Honestly, there are solutions in the market that offer average features and cost way too much for further enhancements in the configuration. The final cost of an e-commerce software also depends on other factors such as storage space, customization, domain name, payment gateway, etc.
As a budding entrepreneur, you need a platform that maximises your efficiency and customises your web store depending upon your need. It’s advisable to choose a well-rounded platform offering end-to-end support and backs up your online t-shirt business. Check out for in-built tools and features that are not only easy to use, but also provide transparency, flexibility and scalability. Because with an e-commerce business you never know; the growth can be at one fell swoop!
When it comes to selecting a top e-commerce platform, you can’t take any chances. Look for a platform that incorporates all the features required to start your online t-shirt business. You might also want to take a free trial to ensure if the online solution meets your business needs.