It’s an exciting time to be a small business owner. Thanks to the internet, you can start a business from anywhere in the world. Many young people are starting to take advantage of this new freedom, especially in the field of eCommerce, in which it is possible to start a profitable business even with limited funds and experience. Because of its convenience and the nature of its products, eCommerce is booming. According to Business Insider, t-shirt sales amount to $7 billion of the total $85 billion revenue generated by the online retail market worldwide.
T-shirt businesses are becoming popular because e-commerce makes it so easy to have this type of business. Designing and printing t-shirts is not difficult, and with an online store, you can sell them across the world. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising, you can still build a successful t-shirt business.
Find a niche
Deciding on a niche is extremely important for any business, especially if you want to sell t-shirts online.
Here are some tips to help you decide which niche will work best for your t-shirt business:
- Think about what you like best. Do you like long walks along the beach? Maybe your next t-shirt could have a beautiful sunset on it. Love partying with friends? You could make a funny shirt that says “Never Hungover Again”. The point is choosing something that reflects you or something you’re passionate about because this will help you stand out and attract more customers.
- Check out what other t-shirt shops are already doing. Before coming up with a niche, see what other shirts are already selling and how popular they are.
- Use Ahrefs to find a relevant niche, but you can also use Keyword Watch to search for trending niches.
Source Quality Material
Quality. Believe it or not, the quality of your blank shirts will have a lot to do with how your design looks when you’re done designing it. Quality is so important because if your blank shirts are too thin, then your design might have a hard time sticking, and you could end up ruining an otherwise perfect shirt. Similarly, if your blank shirts are too thick, then your design might come out looking distorted or blurry. Online t-shirt printing can be very profitable, but there’s a lot of work involved. We get it. You want to spend more time focusing on your core business instead of sourcing quality blank shirts and online shirt printing services.
A business owner has to be very organized when buying its inventory and printing choices for its brand. Trust us; we’ve been through it. We’ve had our fair share of bad shirts and print jobs went wrong. Not all t-shirts are the same, and not all print jobs are the same. As we mentioned above, quality is paramount to your brand and its success, so it’s important to educate yourself and choose your blank shirts wisely.
Choose a selling platform.
You’re going to need a platform on which to sell your merch. You’ll need to choose a platform that fits all your needs. Shopify is a great platform for anyone new to selling. Setup is fast and easy, and they have a great support team.
Shopify has over 500,000 merchants using their platform. They also have hundreds of themes that you can use to customize your store.
Printful is great for anyone who already has an existing e-commerce store but wants to add merch as another avenue of sales. Printful takes the headache out of fulfillment, allowing you to focus on what matters…making money!
Teespring is great for anyone wanting to test the waters before diving in. TeeSpring is also easy to use, but it’s not nearly as full-featured as Shopify or Printful.
Design your T-shirts
At the moment, there are so many different choices that it may be overwhelming. If you have never had your own t-shirt business before, it may be a little hard to get started. There are a lot of variables to consider if you want to design and print your shirts. Are you going to print your shirts or use a screen printing company such as Thrive Screen Printing? Do you want to create custom graphics or use stock images? Do you want to use a t-shirt paper supplier, or do you want to source your fabric? Do you want to create shirts for events only and sell them at the event, or do you want to sell them online as well?
As you are probably aware, there is a lot of design work that goes into a successful t-shirt design. This can be very time consuming and annoying for someone who is not particularly artistic.
This is why we recommend using online tools and professional designers to help you out. You can use lots of tools to create a professional design like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, but these tools can be expensive if you are just starting. A good alternative is hiring a freelance designer on Fiverr or Upwork.
Keep in mind that the main benefit of using online tools and services is that they require little to no time investment from your end. However, it’s important to remember that the results will not be as good as if you spent a lot of time doing it yourself.
Now you have a mockup; you’re ready to get your potential design validated. It’s important to do this before you spend the money on ordering a bulk order of blank tees.
- First, you’ll want to gauge customer interest. You can do this by creating a small campaign on Facebook and Instagram. Promote your designs without using any call-to-action. You’ll get a sense of how popular the design is from the number of people that report it. If you don’t have a large enough following on social media, you can also have friends and family “like” and comment on your post as though they’re interested in buying it.
- Send your potential T-shirt design to a friend or family member who could use it. You’ll get valuable feedback from someone who isn’t trying to sell you on the concept.
- Review Websites and Forums for Other People’s Opinions and Feedback
Reddit and Threadless are two communities where you can post potential designs and open them up to feedback and critique.
Market your store
The following steps to help you get started:
- Research the best possible keywords to use for your T-shirt store. It’s a good idea to do some competitive research and see which search terms are already popular and how some of the top-ranking stores in your niche are marketing themselves.
- “Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) accounts for your store so you can track traffic and monitor its growth.”
- “Make sure that your store’s theme is optimized for conversions. This means optimizing elements like your checkout process and page layouts to ensure that customers have a smooth experience when buying products from your store.”
- “Start gathering reviews early. Once you have some positive feedback, you’ll have an easier time getting new orders.”
- “Write attractive product descriptions that speak directly to your ideal customers. Then, use targeted keywords in your description to make it easier for customers to find you in search results.
Driving targeted traffic to your site is essential to securing your first few sales. Not only will you need to build a strong list of subscribers who receive your email newsletters, but you’ll also want to encourage social shares and backlinks from other sites to rank well online.