Introduction: A Fashion Ecommerce Guide
Check you out, being awesome and starting your own online store! Kudos to you for making the jump. But now what? Creating your own fashion empire from scratch is a tall order, and it can be tough knowing where to start. Which is why Material (and a few of our fabulous fashion influencer friends) wrote this guide to show you the ins and outs of building your own brand.
About this book
“Fashioning Your Retail Empire Online” is your step-by-step guide for creating, designing and managing your online store. We’ve got experts in both worlds of fashion and ecommerce to walk you through the process of setting up shop. From figuring out what to sell, to marketing, to designing your storefront, we’ve got your back. Let us show you how to dominate even the most basic ecommerce tasks in faster, better and more stylish ways.
What you need to get going
OK: so you want to open up your own online store. Awesome! While we’re totally going to walk you through the ins and outs of doing your thing, there are a few bases to cover before you get started:
Marketing plan: We’ll help you with this in Chapter 1, but you should have a general idea of what you want to sell, whom you want to sell to, where you’ll get your product and who your competition is.
An ecommerce provider: Unsurprisingly, we’re gonna toot our own horn here. With Material, you can get your store up and going in minutes, all without any cost to you. No ads. No transaction fees. Nada. Additionally, we have Stripe payment processing built right into our interface, so that removes one more item off your to-do list.
Product source: The goods have to come from somewhere! Look into wholesalers, flea markets, your personal sewing studio…wherever you think you can best find (or make!) your products.
A SHIPPING CARRIER: If you’re shipping stuff out yourself, you’ll want to set up an account with UPS, USPS, FedEx or whichever shipping company you like best. (But don’t worry: shipping is a bit of a science, and we’ll show you some shortcuts in Chapter 5.)
Time: While you may not need a boatload of cash to start your store, you will need a good amount of time to really kick butt. Creating product listings, photographing items, marketing your store and helping customers can (and will) take a good chunk of your time. But never fear: we’re here to help you learn to manage it all.