How To Start Selling T-shirts Online Using E-Commerce Store

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Published: 10th January 2017
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Why Choose T-shirts?

T-shirts are lightweight garments which drape on your body like a second skin and is very comfortable to wear. Most tshirts are made from Cotton, Which make tshirts feel warm and relaxes your Body. T-shirts are used by People of all Sizes and Ages from Newborns to Toddlers, Kids, Boys, Girls, Teens, Men and Women. Tshirts make up a major share of a household's wardrobe.T-shirts also come in different Styles , Cut and Finish. Food and Clothing are the basic needs for every human being and Tshirts make up much of the Clothing Diet. Hence we have huge market potential for Tshirts in any market around the World. Creating a Tshirt Brand and selling tshirts through retail shops was not so easy task until recently, where you can start your Tshirt Brand in very short notice and hire a Tshirt Drop Shipping Company that Ships All over the World (99Prints.in) and Start Selling your Own Branded Tshirts using the Internet through your Own Stores (Shopify.com, OSCommerce, etc) or Other Online Marketplaces (Amazon, Ebay etc) without any Hassle.

Important points to Note:

Competition is going to be Tough, So please stick to the basic Thumb rules below for a Successful Business:

* Sales is Directly Dependant on the Quality and popularity of T-shirt Design / Art work

* Tshirt Quality and Price must strike the right balance.

* Provide Quick Shipping & Delivery with trackable reputed couriers

* Make sure that your Customer gets the Best Support where and when He/She needs them.

Tips To Achieve Success :

In an e-commerce eco-system, there are multiple critical elements that make a successful entrepreneur. Concentrate on each of below elements before proceeding to next step.

Start with a Specific Concept or Theme

Be unique and innovative but always remember to Select a theme for your Tshirt Designs. Stick to this Theme or Themes when you start or else you will get lost in the Ocean of Innovation and Creativity without any practical Results. In short select a theme and base your designs based on these themes so you can have an edge over your competitors and you can build more themes from there on.

For Example:

T-shirts with slogans are having a broad set of customers and are common among T-shirt retailers. Try to be more specific with Slogans like University slogans, College slogans, College Course related slogans, etc,.Try to be a more specific in what you create and that will help you to stand out from others. At the same time this will help you focus on a specific set of audience with minimum marketing expenses.

Designs Determine Your Sales

Everyone that visits your Online website Store will be looking for unique and attractive designs to Purchase. So make sure your designs stand out from the competition and combining it with a unique theme will make it a rare and special collection of beautiful designs. Any design that you create should blend with the Tshirt fabric background , so choose your T-shirt base colours wisely for each and every design, Since every factor affects the final outcome. Stick to basic and simple designs to start with as the best-selling tshirts always have something in common, which is Simplicity.

Build Your Brand

Your brand name plays a significant role. Building a unique and customer likable brand is an important for all kinds of business in a current competitive world. It becomes extremely important for an online selling industry, because customers have more choices to select and shop online.Your brand must reflect your Theme OR Company Motto OR What's Your Brand Stands For or All of them.Try to mention your Brand Name Distinctly and Boldly where and when possible with your Products, Packages, Invoice, E-mailers etc.

Deliver Quality Products

The next most important factor in being a successful online t-shirt store is by creating a huge band of loyal customer base. Every T-shirt Brand has been trying to achieve this in its own right. To have a fan following for your Brand that the quality of the Products should be Excellent in terms of Styling, Material, Finish, Stitch, Printing and Service. Make sure you have a quality Drop Ship Supplier (99Prints.in) who can understand and achieve the same.

Concentrate on T-shirt Quality

There are lots of quality aspects and print technologies used to manufacture tshirts. Quality is a primary factor to your brand building, so it's important and source a good tshirts Supplier.Speak to your T-Shirt Drop-Shipping supplier (like 99prints.in) and make sure your demand only the premium quality t-shirts from your brand. Selling a quality product will get create a loyal customer base with lots of repeat orders and thus sustain a successful business.

The quality of the t-shirt depends on following factors like Colour, Material, Thickness of fabric (GSM - Grams per Square Meter), Fit and the T-shirt should retain all of the above after Laundry. So do a complete background check for T-shirts Dropshippers on their t-shirt quality, get some sample from multiple suppliers and access them and then select your T-shirt supplier. (99prints.in is a T-shirt Dropshipper for Premium Quality Tshirts)

Choosing The Right Printing Technology:

There are multiple options for printing on T-shirts.
- Direct to Garment (DTG) Digital Printing
- Screen Printing &
- Heat Transfer Photo Printing

Direct to Garment (DTG) Digital Printing

Digital printing (DTG - Direct to Garment) is the process of printing digital images directly onto a wide variety of garments or fabrics. DTG printing produces higher resolution prints better than screen printing technology.

Merits:
- DTG Machines can Print up to 22 million Colours
- DTG Prints can be printed up to a Resolution of 600 Dpi(Photo Prints) compared to 80 Dpi for Screen Printing.
- DTG Prints are quick for short Production Runs as low as One Tshirt /design, as they are easy to setup.

De-Merits:
- The Print Cost is Higher compared to Screen Printing
- Machine maintenance and ink costs are Very high

Screen Printing Technology

Screen printing is the most widely used methods of t-shirt printing. Screen printing is the process of printing an image on fabric, paper or some other object by pressing ink through a silk screen with areas blocked off by a stencil. The design that needs to print is first split down into separate layers based on the different colors. All those layers are then transferred onto a screen, the screen will have holes so when ink is pulled across the screen, it gets pushed through the holes to our t-shirts. This process will repeat until the whole design is finished.

Merits:
- This is the Cheapest Printing Technique
- Screen Printing is a very Simple Technique so anyone with basic knowledge can Screen Print.
- Large Variety of Dyes and Print materials can be used to achieve different Print results like Plastisol Dyes, Reactive Dyes, Flock Effect, Puff Effect, Glitter Effect, Foil Effect and much more.

De-Merits:
- Screen Prints are limited to 12 to 16 Colours, but 4 to 6 on an Average per design.
- Screen Prints take a lot of Pre-Processing time to set up and hence a time consuming process.
- Not feasible for Single or Small Volume of Orders.

Heat Transfer Photo Printing

Heat transfer photo printing technology is the process of printing on special transfer paper, then using heat press or home iron boxes to transfer it into t-shirts. Heat transfer photo technique will give you better resolution, but it does not require the large budget spending or set up costs. The heat transfer photo printing option is best suited for home made custom tshirts.
This process is very easy one,
===>Take a Print out of the image + Press it on t-shirts using heat pressure = Printed T-shirt

Merits
- Compared to other printing options, heat transfer photo printing requires only less expensive start-up and set up costs.
- It simply needs an inkjet/ laser printer, heat transfer papers and Iron Box /Heat Press
- In this method we can print bright, full-colour images on a light colour t-shirts quickly and easily.
- This printing option is an excellent way of producing a limited volume of customized t-shirts
De-Merits:
- Heat transfers have a shorter lifetime and do not last long on T-shirts
- If suppose the heat transfer paper can be low quality then it affects the quality of print output
- Due to the nature of the heat-bonding process, t-shirts must be washed with care, to retain the appearance of the designs.
- Heat Transfers Photo Prints cannot be done on all types of colours, fabrics and materials


T-shirt Embroidery (Not Printing)

Embroidery is the process of reproducing a specific art on a t-shirt using a needle and a thread. Embroidery is used to add company logos and monograms to T-shirts and Hoodies. Embroidery gives a very Premium appeal to the T-shirt.The Art or Design that needs to be Embroidered on the t-shirts are first digitized into multiple stitches using an embroidery software and then fed into the Embroidery machines. The right Colour of thread is selected and the Tshirts are Stretched with Clippers and loaded onto the Embroidery machines. Then the machine makes a Zig-Zig movements creating thousands of tiny stitches re-creating the original art.

Methods to Collect Creative T-shirt Designs

The designs on your t-shirts must become popular, attractive, likable by your customers. Before you start, study the current fashion trends, analyse what is missing and what designs are doing well both in online and offline stores. Below are a few ways to make a good design Collection.

Develop Your Own Designs by Hiring Professional Designers

If you have an idea about some t-shirt designs on your mind and you have knowledge in designer software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, etc or similar programs then you can produce some simple designs by yourself.
But if you do not possess any design skills, you can hire one with those skills create your designs.

Collect Designs from Designer Communities

You can browse the Internet and find several Designer Community Forums and Blogs veer.com, thedesigninspiration.com, muse.drewwilson.com, etc. with lots of talented designers. You can ask them for advice or hire some designers or get your designs done by them using that Community forum.

Collect Designs by Hosting Design Contests & Campaigns

You can collect a unique and innovative design by hosting design contests & campaigns on your website. It is the best option to collect specific theme based designs from different types of designers. You can motivate your participants by awarding the with cash prizes or their design printed free t-shirts or commission sharing on each t-shirt sale.

Try with Freelance Websites

You can also try with some popular freelance website networks like freelancer.com, odesk.com, elance.com etc.. to get hire a designer or get your designs created.

Buy Designs from T-shirt Graphic Marketplaces

If you're facing trouble to hire a designer, as a last resort you can purchase pre-made designs from design selling websites. The only one problem with such designs is that you do not own the copyrights of that design, and any can make a similar purchase of the designs. You can just google it to find a list of t-shirt graphic design sellers.

Creating Your Design Mock-ups on T-shirts

Now that you have your designs ready, you need to create a Tshirt Design Mockup for Manufacturing and Selling Purpose. For this you need to get the Blank Tshirt Image Templates from your T-Shirt Drop-Shipper (99Prints.in), Place your designs on top of the blank tshirt templates where it needs to be printed (Using Adobe Photoshop or similar software) and you are ready to go. If you need some assistance you can use this free online Mock-up creation tool to Select Your Product and Start Creating your Mock-up and hit share and send it to your email.The mock up will be downloadable from your Email. Tool link

Review Your Designs

Before spending a lot of money and efforts on marketing your new t-shirt designs, you must first collect reviews about your designs, whether it likable by customers or not.Post and share your designs on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram etc. and collect reviews from your friends and Colleagues.

How to Setup an Online T-shirt Selling Store/Website?

Building and launching an online t-shirt store/website has become inexpensive and quick.

* You can choose from a gallery of ready to use web
templates with one-click app integration stores (Shopify, OS-Commerce, Open-cart, etc)

* Select your webpage template and start running your store within a few Clicks by following the Setup Guide

* After setting up your online store, you can connect with your T-Shirt Dropshipping service provider (99prints.in)

* Once you get your Store integrated with your T-Shirt Drop-Shipper, Upload your designs in your Online Store and Your Drop Shipper's Merchant Panel.

Now List the Products for sale and start taking orders and get your brand noticed.

Integrate different types of Payment Modes

* To boost your store selling you must offer different kinds of payment options to your customers. Most popular eCommerce store payment modes are Prepaid and Cash On Delivery(COD).
Online Prepaid Payment.

Using online prepaid payment mode allows your customer to purchase products from your store and make payments using their Credit Cards or Debit Cards or Direct Bank Transfer. You can easily integrate secured online payment by contacting popular payment gateway services.

For Indian (Domestic) Transactions you can use CCAvenue, PaisaPay, Paytm etc....

For International Worldwide Payments you can use PayPal, Amazon Payments, Stripe, Authorize.net etc...

Cash on Delivery (COD) Payment (INDIA ONLY)

All customers will not be willing to make online payments due to several reasons like
* Card security related issues
* Don't have Bank Accounts
* Do not trust your website

In Order to satisfy these kind of customers, you could offer another payment mode called cash on delivery (COD). This option allows your customers to make a purchase from your store and they can pay cash at the time of product delivery to the Courier company. The courier Company collects the cash and deposit it to our bank accounts or daily or weekly basis.

Tie-up with T-Shirt Drop-Shippers

* After building your own eCommerce store along with feasible payment modes, then search and integrate your Tshirt Dropshipper .

* There are several of t-shirt print-on-demand drop shippers (like 99prints.in, etc), you can directly integrate them with your ecommerce store.

* 99Prints.in is one of the leading t-shirt dropshipping company with worlwide delivery in 236 Countries.

* To integrate with 99prints you just need to Sign-up for your Dropshipping Account.

* Add your Designs with your drop shipper's Account.

* Add some cash credit into your account to Activate Order Placement.

* Start placing your Orders and Your T-shirt Orders will be Shipped, Tracked and Delivered.

Get your Marketing Plan Ready

Developing and launching your own website will not yield sales. The sales rate is based on traffic to your website and traffic is based on your marketing plan. A well planned and organized internet marketing campaign through a variety of targeted sites, will generate a good number of traffic and sales on your website.

To do this kind of well planned marketing you need to spend your time on research to find out your targeted customers.

By following below steps, you can easily create your online marketing plan that can be implemented immediately and start receiving sales success.

* Define Your Customers
* Choose Your Targets
* Plan Your Budget
* Create Your Ad Content
* Track & Monitor Your Ad Campaigns
Below are some of the few basic Marketing Techniques;
* Search Engine optimization (SEO)
* Online Press Release (PR)
* Google Adwords
* Facebook paid Adverts
* Social Media Marketing
* Blogging &
* Bookmarking Etc…

"The aim of marketing is to get customers to Know, Like and Trust you"
Offer Friendly Customer Service

"When you serve the customer better, there's always a return on your investment"
- Kara Parlin

The customer support is the backbone for all kinds of online business. Online ecommerce customer support is the process of assisting your customers in Placing, Tracking and Fulfilling orders when needed. The good customer service will increase repeat purchases and order to traffic conversion rate will improve.
You can use the following types of customer contact modes on your website to maintain friendly customer service.

* Specify your customer support Email & Phone numbers clearly on all pages at all Times.
* Use Live Chat Option
* Use Contact us form with Ticketing System
* Use your Social Media Pages to assist and receive any customer complaints and requests.

Product Pricing & Profit Calculation

Your Product Price is key aspect in making a business successful or a Failure.Calculate all of your expenses using spreadsheets and make sure you do not miss out on any of the Below costs.
* Calculate your costs for Tshirt-Drop Shipping
* Marketing
* Staff Salary
* Overheads
* 5% to 10% Order Returns from Customers
* Miscellaneous
Once all of this data is updated calculate your profit in terms of percentage of the Total Cost. Then add your Total Cost + Profit = Selling Price.

Collect Feedbacks from Your customers

"In business you get what you want by giving other people what they want"
- Alice Foote MacDougall
Customer Feedbacks are the information coming directly from customers about the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of your product or service. It gives you the clear idea about how to improve and address your customer needs and wants.

You can collect customer Feedbacks and comments using the below options.
* Online surveys (E.g. survey monkey)
* Online forms (E.g. Google Forms)
* Feedback Request Emails
* Direct phone calls to your customers
* Social network pages (E.g. Facebook)

Start Selling and Re-Access all the Above Strategies as Often as You can For Sustainable Growth !




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