"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
T-Shirts are not just a type of casual wear but articles of clothing that often reflect our identities, personalities and interests. Keeping this in mind, many entrepreneurs have started selling customized t-shirts online. This business has become a popular choice for many entrepreneurs who are looking to explore a relatively low-investment business to begin.
According to the latest reports, the size of the t-shirt market in India is estimated to be at Rs 23,211 crore and is expected to reach Rs 61, 954 crore by 2027.
So as you can see, with the popularity of t-shirts and the increasing number of online t-shirt businesses, there’s no doubt that there will be a lot of competition. But by creating the kind of t-shirts that your customers want and building a brand for a specific audience, you can be successful online.
There are several critical elements to starting a t-shirt business. If you are wondering how to start selling t-shirts online then look no further, we’ve got you covered. Here are some important factors to consider before you start to sell custom t-shirts online :-
1. Niche –
You may have heard about this term a lot, but choosing a niche for your brand is the first important step in the graphic t-shirt industry. Niche relates to a product or service that will appeal to a small and specialized section of the population. There are certain ways to find a t-shirt niche :-
- Search online platforms like Wikipedia or Pinterest for inspiration.
- Use Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to gauge and understand the size of your niche on Facebook.
- Consider your own interests and the communities you belong to, you may just find the right niche.
2. Design –
Most people who purchase graphic tees are looking for designs, graphics and slogans that reflect their personality and opinions. Make simple, original designs that people can easily connect with. The last thing a visitor would want to see on your website is a copycat version of a t-shirt design that already exists somewhere else.
Also, always ensure a quality print having a transparent background, the right image sizes that are large enough to cover the actual print area of the t-shirt. Note that your exact specifications will vary depending on the type of printer and printing technique used.
3. Quality –
How do you ensure a high quality t-shirt? Well, as with any other product, quality really matters. It plays an important role in the success and sustainability of an online t-shirt business.
A high quality t-shirt might cost more to produce but can also command a higher price. Keep in mind that customers are willing to pay for high quality products, especially in the apparel sector. So it’s a win-win situation for both the buyer and the seller. The final quality of your t-shirt will depend on the material of the blank t-shirt, the correct design file and printing technique used.
4. Brand –
Having a strong and compelling brand is vital in the t-shirt business. Your brand should be a promise that will bring together all your choices including your designs, niche and quality.
When customers have more choices, it becomes even more important for a t-shirt business to have a distinguishing presence to capture and retain their attention.
If you’ve selected a niche which embodies a certain lifestyle, you can incorporate the same into your marketing strategy and website to speak to your customers. In this way, building a brand that is unique and likable should be your priority if you want your business to thrive in this highly competitive industry.
5. Inventory –
While starting an online t-shirt business, most people either opt to buy and hold inventory, taking advantage of local printers and bulk pricing, or they use a print-on-demand service (like Printrove) who take care of all the inventory management and shipping so that you don’t have to do it yourself. But you can also opt for a mix of both these methods.
By holding your own inventory, you can easily sell in-person and potentially improve your profit margins. On the other hand, with print-on-demand you take on less risk. Weigh the pros and cons before you begin, and if you’re unsure, print-on-demand is always a safer option as it’s a low investment way to test your online business idea. And if your budget allows, you can also invest in your own printer and set up a base of operations.
It’s never been easier to show your creativity through your own online t-shirt business. Whatever niche you choose to serve or however ambitious you decide to be with your t-shirt designs and quality, an online t-shirt store makes for a great first business option for budding entrepreneurs.