How to Start Your Own Streetwear Clothing Business
Streetwear lines are seeing a boom in profits, with an estimated $185 billion in sales. By some estimates, this figure indicates streetwear makes up 10% of the entire global apparel and footwear market. You can get in on the profit potential for street-savvy apparel by launching your own ecommerce business. From market research to analytics, here’s how to start your own streetwear line.
Understand Streetwear Style
Streetwear style rose to prominence during the 1990s and now holds a presence in mainstream fashion. The definition of streetwear has evolved over the years, but at its core, it’s all about casual clothing that embodies elements of sportswear, activewear, skateboarding, hip-hop, and some punk influences.
Before you launch your own brand, it’s wise to evaluate the style you want to sell. You may find your idea of streetwear is higher-end than your competitors. Or you may realize your style leans more towards sportswear than punk and leaves out some gritty streetwise elements. There’s nothing wrong with differentiating and serving niche markets, but you also want to make sure you represent your target market and ideal audience.
Scope Out Your Competition
Scoping out your competition offers insights into the streetwear industry, but it also helps you identify gaps in the market. Ask yourself what they’re doing well and how you can create a better product and customer experience. Take note of what clothing they sell, their marketing, photos, and how user-friendly their website is.
Spending time on your competition’s social media channels also provides insights into what their customers are doing. Study which posts and photos their audience responds to the most and what they’re saying. Beyond social media, you can also do some sleuthing to find online reviews. See what customers are saying, both good and bad, and make notes of how you can improve upon that customer experience.
Poll Your Target Market
If you’re already selling clothing and other items in your ecommerce store, you’re ahead of the game. Send out an email newsletter, survey, or post a call for feedback on your social media channels. Find out what type of streetwear they want, their favorite brands, and their preferred designs or customizations. The more detail you can gather, the easier the launch process will be.
Even if you don’t have a built-in audience, you can still poll your target market to gather more information for your streetwear line. Looking at Reddit or Facebook Groups are a few places to start.
Keep Your Overhead Low
Starting or scaling a business takes time and money, neither of which are usually available in excess. Research shows that 66% of small businesses deal with financial challenges, with 43% citing operational expenses as their most significant expenditure.
There are always free and cheap ways to launch and run a business. Print-on-demand (POD) helps create high-profit margins with quality products. Our production and fulfillment services are also reliable and fast to scale with your ecommerce business. Best of all, you don’t pay any upfront costs and earn money when your products sell. There’s no inventory to store or added expenses.
Know Your Printing Options
It is crucial to understand your printing options and how they impact the quality of your designs and products. Otherwise, you could end up with poorly designed products and high returns. Click the link below for a breakdown of some of your printing options:
Craft a Marketing Plan
Developing a marketing plan may feel intimidating, but you can start small and scale with your streetwear line business. Start by spreading the word on social media or your existing email list. But to get the momentum going, you need to get in front of an engaged audience that already fits your target market.
Partnering with influencers who already love streetwear and posting photos of products are great places to start. Depending on the size of their audience, you can expect to pay a flat fee, a percentage of sales, or exchange products for exposure. Another option is finding like-minded businesses that are not competitors. For example, a skateboard company, YouTube channel, or company that only sells sneakers may be interested in a collaboration.
Generate Some Buzz
Whether you’re still trying to launch your business or are struggling to keep sales going, it’s always a good time to generate some buzz. Run a contest where entrants can earn extra points to win by spreading the word on social media or passing on the promotion to friends. Apps like Rafflecopte, Shortstack, or SweepWidget can help manage the details of your contest and entice your audience to spread the word to increase their odds of winning free products.
Offer Exemplary Customer Service
The customer service you provide is just as important as the products you create. Research shows that 90% of Americans factor in customer service when deciding whether or not to do business with a company. Offering a live chat option, checking in with customers about their orders, and doing whatever you can in your power to make things right go a long way in building trust with your customers.
Study Your Results
Even if your business is thriving, studying your results and data is essential. Otherwise, you’re missing valuable opportunities to refine your process and identify strengths and witnesses in your business.
Study which pages are drawing in the most customers and from which channels. You may find you can skip advertising on Instagram and focus your efforts on TikTok instead. Or you may see that dozens of people aren’t finishing their checkout process. An abandoned cart app enticing customers to complete their order or revisit the user-friendliness of the process could all improve your sales.
Refine Your Process
As your streetwear line business starts making sales and selling, it’s time to refine your process. Look at everything from which products you’re selling to how you handle your finances to make informed choices about your business. You may discover you’re spending too much time on social media and not enough time following up with customers.
It’s also possible to save time and money by relying on tools to keep your business organized and free up more time in your industry. Outsourcing your bookkeeping, using project management tools like Monday.com, and setting up automated “zaps” on Zapier to streamline your business are all ways to simplify your business and make it more efficient and profitable.
What are your best tips for starting your own streetwear line business? Let us know by leaving a comment below!