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How to Start an Online Clothing Store

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When learning how to start an online clothing store, one of the most important things to consider is how to sell your brand in an appealing way. Let’s discuss how to create a story behind your brand.

One of the most effective ways of marketing your brand is through the use of storytelling. Discover more about how to achieve this below.

"Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room." Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Defining Your Brand and Your Ideal Customer

Stories are integral to endearing your brand to customers. Successful brands write their stories with their customer as the leading hero or heroine – everything else is built up around them.

Different brands conjure up different auras and successful brands help construct a narrative about who the person buying their designs is. For example, a French Connection woman is a woman who is confident, trendy and has attitude – take their controversial 90’s FCUK campaign as an example.

French Woman

In contrast, a woman who buys the makeup brand Urban Decay is as painted edgy and alternative; according to the brand’s marketers the brand labels their products with either “sex names” and “drug names”, to help promote an edgy vibe.

Makeup 600X600

A successful brand is one in which the personal story resonates with the customer – your desired customer looks at your brand and says – “That is me”, or, “That’s who I want to be.” This is something you want to remember when you start an online clothing store.

There are a few little brainstorming games that you can play to help
define and refine your own brand story to start an online clothing store. Grab a pen and piece of paper:

Imagine your ‘dream customer’ – who are they? What is important to them?

Think about your favorite clothing brands and shops: how do you feel when you shop there? What do you feel the clothes you buy from that brand say about you?

What are some buzz words that best define your brand and the kinds of feelings you are trying to evoke?

Beyond the kind of person your brand appeals to, you should also ask what makes your brand unique. What are the characteristics that uniquely define your brand from other clothing brands?

Once you get your brand story down, it’s time to start thinking about visuals. How will you reflect that story in your color theme and logo?

A successful brand is one in which the personal story resonates with the customer – your desired customer looks at your brand and says – “That is me”, or, “That’s who I want to be.”

Coming Up With Your Own Unique Selling Point

Presenting your brand in a unique way is key to strong brand storytelling. One of the best ways to help set your brand apart, and to tell an innovative story, is to define your unique selling point.

Ask yourself – what makes your brand unique? What sets it apart from similar competitors? What makes your brand uniquely fun, interesting, or endearing?

A unique selling point is defined as a unique, marketable characteristic that sets a brand apart.

Here are some possible characteristics that you could highlight as your unique selling point:

  • Fashion forward clothing you are always ahead of the crowd when it comes to the latest trends and the coolest designs.
  • High-quality apparel – you make a point to demonstrate to your customers that your clothing is made from the highest quality materials, ensuring that they will be buying quality clothing that looks great and lasts.
  • Big on ethics – you’re a brand with great values, you use ethical production practices and materials.

Don’t be tempted to be a brand that offers everything – this will lead you to seeming ill-defined and won’t give your customers a story to buy into.

What Kind of Story Would You Want to Read?

In order to help market your USP and the image of your brand as an ideal choice for your desired customer, you need to tell a great story. No one’s interest will be held by a boring story – so make yours evocative. Use color and emotion to draw your customers in and hold their interest. Through your marketing copy, consider how best to make your brand colorful and interesting to your potential customer.

One of the best ways to weave a great story and start an online clothing store is to stir up positive emotion in your customer. One of the most effective ways to do this is by adopting a conversational tone – one that is lighthearted and energetic (without being over the top).

Think about the way in which you speak to a friend: lighthearted, fun and friendly. This conversational style will help endear your brand to your customer and will build a sense of warmth and trust, while keeping them engaged with the story your copy is telling about your brand.

What to avoid? Avoid fodder. Is everything you’re saying helping get you to your end goal of building a strong relationship with your customer? Is each paragraph you’re writing developing the plot and giving your leading characters more substance, style and depth? If not – cut it out.

Telling a Story with Social Media

Social media is a great tool to use to help tell your brand’s story and every clothing brand can massively benefit from having a dedicated social media account. Social media is an important tool for helping to keep your story alive, keep your customers engaged with your brand, and continue to sell clothes online.

Free People Instagram

Use original images to tell a visual narrative. Original images, rather than stock content, will give you power over the storyline and will help it to appear more original, ‘natural’ and evocative.

Read: What To Do and What Not To Do on Instagram

Make sure that every image you use conveys something about your brand identity, your target demographic, the defining characteristics of your brand, or the story behind your clothes.

How to Start an Online Clothing Store: The Next Chapter

This chapter has guided you on your journey to better brand storytelling as you start to sell clothes online; in our next chapter, we will explore how to get your story out there – with advice on how to best market your story and reach your target demographic.

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