You've been successfully selling clothing on Instagram for a while, but as your venture expands, you're realising that social media features aren't quite cutting it anymore. It's time to take your business to the next level by establishing your very own online clothing store.
Because fashion is a visually-oriented industry, it's crucial to find an e-commerce platform that can cater to all your needs, from showcasing your products to promoting your brand. An ideal platform should also offer user-friendly setup and options for reaching new markets to ensure your business continues to thrive.
Give Rekisa a try — it's an e-commerce platform designed to help you launch your clothing business online from the ground up. Rekisa offers a forever-free Instant Site with an integrated store, or you can easily add a Rekisa store to your current website. This platform allows you to display your products, accept various payment methods (online, POS, mobile, and cash), run sales promotions, create email campaigns, and much more.
Once you create your online store, you can setup product tagging on Instagram, so your customers can click a link to purchase that awesome sweater in your store. That way they can do it by themselves without writing you direct messages. When your followers tap the product tag, they will see detailed description, price and link to purchase the sweater. Note that your Instagram account has to be approved for tagging products. Learn about best practices of how to prepare your business account for a review.
Establishing an online store with Rekisa is a significant step forward for your business. In addition to selling on Instagram, you can also expand your reach by selling on Facebook. In fact, you can integrate your Rekisa store with any website.
What's even better is the availability of the Rekisa mobile app for iOS and Android, which allows you to sell on the go. With the app, you can add products, process payments, manage your store, utilise a bar code scanner, and much more.
Initially, your Rekisa store will display sample products to demonstrate how the catalog might appear. As these are merely examples, you'll need to remove them and add your own apparel, accessories, and other items.
To delete the demo products upon creating a new account, simply select all the products and click Delete All Sample Products.
With Rekisa, you can not only build a catalog from scratch but also import an existing one. This feature is particularly useful if you plan to open a physical store someday, or if you already operate one.
Ensure your catalogue remains current and well-stocked. To prevent running out of inventory, activate inventory tracking in your Rekisa store. This feature is especially helpful for limited handmade clothing or one-of-a-kind items, such as rare vintage apparel. Once purchased, products will be marked as Out of Stock or hidden in the storefront, depending on your settings.
When it comes to apparel, the best way to organise your catalog is by creating categories. That will help your customers find the item they need right away, and your storefront will look neat. Click here to learn how to create categories to your store
The most obvious decision is to group your clothes into three categories Men, Women, and Kids. Depending on your business, you can create any categories that fit your purpose. For example, if you sell multiple items of clothing, you may group all your items by Dresses, Earrings, Shoes. Here’s an example of how Elizabethmorr has set up their categories
For each category, you can create a subcategory. It comes in handy for wide-stock shops or if you sell shoes, beauty products, accessories along with clothes. For example, you can create the ‘Rings and Necklaces’ subcategory inside the ‘Dresses & Accessories’ category.
You can create categories and subcategories, add images and descriptions for them in your Rekisa admin by going to Catalogue → Categories. It’s possible to assign one item to several categories/subcategories
Utilising categories is an excellent way to showcase specific products and boost their sales. The store's homepage is the ideal location to feature a selection of items, whether they belong to the same or different categories.
In your Rekisa store, you can effortlessly draw customers' attention by adding hot deals or new arrivals to the Store Frontpage category. This default root category appears as the Featured Products section when you create any custom category and assign at least one item to the Store Front page category. You can rename the Featured Products section and arrange the products as you see fit.
To provide more information about your clothing, consider displaying fabric details using product subtitles. This information will then be visible on both the product list and the product details page.
In the world of clothing, it's the details that truly matter: size, colour, materials, comprehensive descriptions, and captivating photos. Providing customers with abundant information fosters a stronger connection with your brand and increases the likelihood of a sale.
With Rekisa, you can include a wealth of details about your products, going beyond just the name, description, and images.
Craft detailed and SEO-friendly descriptions
One challenge of selling clothing online is that customers cannot touch the fabric or try on items. However, you can enhance their shopping experience by crafting engaging product descriptions that win them over. Begin with the basic information found on tags:
Clothing type (chinos, skirt, dress)
Style (V-neck, skater, long sleeve)
Sizing (incorporate a chart if possible)
Fabric composition (90% cotton, 10% polyester)
Care instructions (if necessary)
We cannot emphasise enough the significance of high-quality product images when it comes to clothing. While we often buy clothes out of necessity, many purchases are driven by the irresistible appeal of a beautiful garment. Nothing encourages a purchase more than a stunning photograph.
Here are some tips on how photos can help you captivate your customers:
Upload multiple images showcasing different angles, including front and back views, so customers can thoroughly examine the item.
Offer close-up shots to highlight specific areas or draw attention to intricate details, particularly useful for lingerie or wedding dress stores.
Use white paper as a background and bright natural light or a soft box to create clear photos that reveal every detail. This approach is also beneficial for capturing small items like accessories.
Don't limit your shots to the garment alone; showcase how it looks on a model to give customers a better sense of the fit and style.
No matter if it’s a kid’s fashion or wedding dress, items in your shop will have several variations of size or colour (maybe fabric, too). To showcase all possible variations of a product on one product page, you have to create product options and product variations (each possible set of options for a product makes a variation).
Size, colour, material, or maybe even uploading a file for a custom print on T-shirt — it’s all options that you can add to your products.
Adding an option to an item in your Rekisa store is a simple process. Go to the Catalogue →Products page of your Rekisa admin and choose your product. Then go to the Options tab, enter the option name, and choose the input type. For size, choose Size type. For colours, you can choose Radio Buttons and fill in the proper colours.
Let’s take a closer look at what you can set up with product options in your Rekisa store:
Size, colours, materials, sleeve length, and other variants of shapes and forms. You can include all these options on the product page. Enter the option name and choose Drop-down List, Radio Buttons, Size, or Checkboxes from the Input type drop-down in the Options tab. Check the Do not preselect default value box, so your customers can make their choice before adding the product to the cart.
To change the price depending on an option (e.g., silk shirt cost extra R300 compared to cotton one), add a price modifier for each option’s values. You can assign price modifiers to drop-down, checkbox and radio buttons option types.
Use this option to let customers design their own customised T-shirts. With this option, your clients can upload a picture or photo to print it on the clothes. To do that, enter the text into the option name field, like, Upload your photo, and choose Upload Files from the Input type drop-down. Check the Required option box, so your customers can upload a file before adding the product to the cart. This is how options can look at the checkout.
Each possible set of options for a particular product is a variation of that product. For example, M-size red T-shirt is one variation, and L-size red T-shirt is another.
In your Rekisa store, you can create an unlimited number of variations for every product, each with its own image. You can also set a separate SKU and quantity in stock for every product variation for better inventory management.
Of course, options themselves can be variations. Let’s say you sell black cocktail dresses. They all are the same colour, but the size varies. In that case, L-size dress and S-size dress are variations of one product.
Product variations are significant for apparel stores since they help you:
• upload different photos for every product variation to help your customers choose the right item
• set different prices for different variations
• track inventory with unique SKUs and stock levels of variations to prevent running out of stock or overselling
• Online payment. Payfast, Paygate, PayPal, Whoosh, Mobipaid— you name it. In Rekisa, you can add one or more payment options to the checkout. Payfast comes equipped with features such as Mobicred, RCS, Onsite Payments, Subscriptions and much more so your customers can pay you in various ways. Check out the full list of payment methods in your Rekisa Dashboard
• Offline payment. You can also add methods to accept credit cards offline or cash on delivery. You can accept payments with your mobile or tablet device through Sell on the Go app for iOS.
If your delivery personnel use other contactless POS terminals, you can set up an offline payment method like ‘Credit Card offline’ in your store so that customers can choose it for their order.
Each time you secure a sale, you'll receive an email notification, a push notification if you're using the Rekisa mobile app, and the order will be displayed in your My Sales →Orders page. Prior to shipping the order, you can review important details such as the item's size and colour, preferred shipping method, payment status, and more on the Orders page in your Rekisa admin panel.
Your next step in order fulfilment is to ship the order to a customer. You may consider that shipping is something not so important to think through. But it actually is! A well-built shipping strategy can save you costs and achieve customer delight.
Determining whether to charge customers for shipping largely depends on your business size and budget. Here are some options to consider:
• Free shipping. Most loved by shoppers but can burn a hole in your pocket. You can offer free shipping as a limited-time special offer. Another option is to slightly increase prices in your store to cover up expenses for free shipping. You can offer free in-store pickup or a curb-side pickup for local customers, so they don’t have to pay extra.
• You can encourage customers to buy more by offering free shipping over a certain subtotal amount.
• Charging your customers. You can charge buyers the exact shipping costs that you are paying to the carrier. For this, you can set up your store to receive automatic shipping rates from carriers (USPS, FedEx, etc.) at checkout. Or you can manually add any carrier’s shipping rates based on sub total or weight.
For small-scale stores, it's advisable to concentrate on the city where the store is situated. This approach simplifies marketing planning and proves cost-effective, as there's no need to invest in extra inventory, showrooms, or long-distance deliveries. In this case, local delivery and self-pickup (or curb-side pickup) are the most suitable options.
For a medium-sized store, you might want to expand your shipping range to cover the entire country or even ship internationally. In this scenario, you can select specific regions, cities, or zones to deliver your orders. With your Rekisa store, you can create custom shipping zones using countries, states, zip codes, or by simply drawing boundaries on a map.
Shipping (along with packaging) can be your secret weapon for transforming one-time buyers into loyal customers. Your objective here is to ensure a smooth shipping experience. To achieve this:
• Alleviate concerns and stay updated. One of the main causes of customer anxiety is the uncertainty about when their order will arrive. To ease their worries, offer the ability to track their package at anytime. Simply assign a tracking number to the relevant order, and your customers will receive it via email.
• Even if a carrier doesn't supply a tracking number, updating the order fulfilment status to Shipped will prompt an email notification to your customer, informing them that their order is en route. Additionally, you can display an estimated delivery date during checkout in the shipping setup, so buyers know when to anticipate their orders.
• Consider packaging. Attractive packaging can generate word-of-mouth from satisfied customers. People often share delightful or impressive moments on social media, so aim to make an impression.
While unique packaging isn't always necessary, if you sell trend-setting apparel, pop-star merchandise, or accessories, creating eye-catching packaging could be a worthwhile strategy.
There's likely nothing more enticing for customers to refresh their wardrobe than a tempting discount. Offering discounts can benefit your store by attracting new customers, clearing out last season's items that are no longer in style, or boosting revenue.
You can set up a variety of discounts in your Rekisa store:
• Sale prices to certain items
• A cross-wide store sale
• BOGO(F) — Buy One Get One Free
• Special discounts for groups of customers
Choosing the type and timing of discounts depends on your business objectives. You might consider running a store-wide sale at year-end when events like Black Friday and Christmas are approaching. Alternatively, you could set up a limited-time sale for a particular category, such as clearing out winter clothing during the summer season. The most effective way to determine the right discount strategy is to experiment with various tactics and observe what yields the best results.
Emphasise the sale by incorporating a countdown timer that displays the remaining days or hours before the sale concludes. You can use the Countdown Timer app from the Rekisa App Market. The countdown timer will be visible in the product description on your product page.
Additionally, you can enhance social proof by showing the number of users who have purchased a specific item. With the ZotaBox, you can demonstrate to your site visitors that your store is bustling with activity. Whenever someone makes a purchase, a small popup will appear with relevant information.
Not only can you establish discounts for all customers, but you can also provide individualised coupons for discounts, free shipping, or a combination (discount + free shipping) on specific products and categories. A customer can input this unique code at checkout to receive their personal discount.
Remember to promote your offers, as your customers need to be informed about your enticing deals. You can utilise product ribbons or banners on your website. However, to truly increase online traffic, it's essential to communicate directly with your customers via emails and social media. Let's dive into those strategies.
Whether it’s about an on going sale, a new summer collection, or even your brick and mortar (or online) store has been opened today, the people should know about it. For that, you need to promote your store and acquire new customers.
Getting traffic on your website is based on three foundational strategies:
• Social media
• Direct email marketing
Let people know about you by running ads. All you have to do is choose a platform you want to run your ads on, and then set it up. Piece of cake, right? The hard part is to decide what platform to use. Here’re the top 4 choices for apparel stores:
• Instagram. Your #1 choice since the clothes almost always represent a particular lifestyle, and lifestyle is all Instagram is about. So it’s an excellent way to promote your store here, especially if you sell one of a kind items. You can run an Instagram ad using Facebook Ads Manager since Instagram is part of Facebook.
• Google Shopping. A comprehensive solution for your business, since most people would search ‘Winter scarf’ or ‘Buy bikini’ in Google to find items they would like to purchase. Make it easy for your potential customers to find your store. With Rekisa, we make this option simple: you can run a hands-free promotion of your products with Google Shopping ads.
• TikTok. With highly involved audience, TikTok looks very promising for e-commerce businesses. Latch onto TikTok trends to break out on the platform. Learn more about advertising your brand on TikTok.
• Pinterest. Not an obvious one but with a can-do attitude you can drive more people to your website from your Pinterest page. You can use a Pinterest tag for your Rekisa store and score customers on Pinterest with retargeting ads.
When utilising social media advertising, keep in mind that people are likely to open your site on their mobile devices. Therefore, ensure your site appears well on screens of all sizes. You can always rely on Rekisa's Instant Site, which is designed to adapt seamlessly to any screen size.
Once you've determined the platform you want to employ, visit the Marketing page in your Rekisa admin to discover additional methods for increasing traffic. As you'll find, it's not just about attracting new visitors but also fostering loyalty among existing customers. Personalised emails serve as excellent tools for this purpose. Let's delve deeper into email marketing.
The first thing you need to do to start email marketing is to collect customers' emails. In Rekisa, your customers can accept to receive marketing from your online store by checking a checkbox at the checkout. Over time, you will form a list of opted-in customers to send out targeted promo emails.
Be smart about personalising email and not sending one-size-fits-all emails. Create your strategy based on the audience:
• Loyal customers. Reward them with discount coupons, secret deals, or early access to new products.
• People who abandoned their carts. Remind them about their unfinished orders. Offer a discount or free-shipping coupon to increase chances for finishing the order.
• Inactive customers. Remind them about yourself. For example, tell them about a new collection or items that might be interesting for them. It’s a good idea to include a special offer for them like free shipping or a percentage discount.
Offering benefits in personal emails is one of the best ways to drive visitors to your website.
Another effective method to promote your store is by creating a buzz on social media. Instagram should be your top choice, as your fashion-related business thrives on visual appeal. The key to success on this platform is crafting an eye-catching Instagram account that draws in fashion enthusiasts.
Here are some tips on how to get organic engagement:
• Showcase lifestyle, not just your products. Take photos of models in an environment that fits your brand identity the most. It creates a better understanding of your brand’s values and helps attract people who share the same aesthetic.
• Benefit from user-generated content (UGC). Showcasing your followers builds social proof with future customers by showing them that your brand is popular. It also generates loyalty by making current customers feel special and loved. You can post reviews of your items to stories and then add feedback on your site to build social proof.
• Add relevant hashtags. Use #sunglasses, #womensfashion, #printhoodies, or whatever hashtag suits your product lineup.
• Use different types of content. Post photos and videos, use stories, and reels.
Nolandu Couture shows not only clothes, but lifestyle
You can also run ads on the platform and use Instagram as a marketing tool.
It’s better to focus on one or two social media platforms, so your next best choice is Facebook. You can follow the same rules for maintaining Instagram or use Facebook to announce new arrivals, significant sales, and company news. Don’t forge to add your accounts to your online store.
Over to you
Clothing is among the most sought-after niche sin online business. With this guide, you now understand how to launch your apparel store from the ground up and what actions to take during each phase of sales.
Leverage this guide along with various Rekisa store tools and apps to build a loyal customer base, promote your store, and boost revenue. Don't hesitate –
Create your own clothing store on Rekisa now and embark on a successful online business journey!