The retail clothing market, just like most mainstream industries, is extremely competitive. Aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as experienced business owners, must constantly find ways to make their brands stand out, improve their profit margins and make a lasting competitive advantage over their rivals.
It’s up to YOU, the entrepreneur, to find creative ways to do this. If you’re looking for inspiration or ideas, here are a few ways to go about it.
Expand your clothing business online
Taking your retail clothing business online is one of the most effective ways to improve your revenue. Creating an online clothing store on an established e-commerce platform can greatly improve your brand’s exposure and customer reach. As with any business expansion, there are costs – both time and money – to this approach, so consider all the factors before committing your resources.
Another bonus of expanding your business online is getting access to a plethora of marketing channels. Social media, in particular, is a great tool for the task, which is why you see a lot of large, multinational brands investing heavily in their social network presence.
Reevaluate your suppliers
Every retailer knows that clothing manufacturers sit at the top of the clothing chain, but you don’t have stick with them when your business needs and requirements change.
Always re-evaluate your choice of manufacturers or suppliers, especially when industry changes occur. Stay on top of the trends, analyze data from previous sales cycles, and you’ll have an informed decision when it’s time to signing the contract again. Learn to haggle or negotiate so you can get the best deals. But remember to maintain a good relationship with previous or existing suppliers, so you can tap into them when the need arises.
Always pay close attention to manufacturer pricing and the expected pricing of your customer base. Seasoned entrepreneurs can take advantage of this perceived pricing by placing a premium on seasonal items like prom dresses or winter wear.
Discounts can also be a powerful tool to move seasonal products quickly and freshen up your stock. However, it can also severely cut into your profits when mishandled. Know when to offer discounts as it’s not always a surefire strategy in every situation.
Spend more time in marketing
Marketing can be a costly affair, especially for small online businesses with limited time and resource. That’s why you need to be strategic in going about it.
As previously mentioned, creating an extension of your business online can give you access to plenty of cost-effective marketing tools and services. As mentioned earlier, social media is a powerful promotional tool that costs next to nothing.
You don’t really have to be on all the major social media platforms, but you do have to know which are the most popular and convenient for your customer base. Paying for targeted ad campaigns on these networks can also be beneficial for your margins, provided you carefully temper your spending, and have realistic expectations from them.