A Step-By-Step Guide To Starting A Uniform Business Online: Part 2

 

This is the continuation of our series of posts on how to start a uniform printing business online. 

In the previous blog post about launching your custom uniform business, we discussed market analysis, identifying your ideal customers, and finding a niche.

Today, we will move forward with the steps needed for the website launch, such as choosing the right eCommerce platform, considering ideal flow, enabling personalization, and promoting your store.

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Let's move on!

Choose an eCommerce platform for your store

To list your products, accept online payments, and manage orders, you'll need to launch your online uniform store. 

Start by finding the best eCommerce platform you'll use for this.

There are two ways.

 

Choose from ready eCommerce platforms

You can use ready eCommerce platforms, which allow you to set up the website quickly without any coding, fill the product catalog, and go live.

There are multiple types of eCommerce platforms:

Hosted - eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Adobe Commerce (Magento), BigCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, etc.

Such a platform provides an eCommerce as a Software as a Service (SaaS).

"Hosted" means that the application or platform is hosted on the provider's server and doesn't require installation on your premises or further hardware management.

The hosted platform is easier to start with and helps avoid substantial upfront costs for the e-commerce platform deployment.

This type is also best for those who do not want to deal with technical aspects and maintenance.

Commercial - eCommerce platforms such as nopCommerce, some versions of Magento (Adobe Commerce), etc. that are free but provide copyright removal keys.

This means each page of, for instance, the nopCommerce store will contain a "Powered by nopCommerce" link at the bottom of the footer if you do not purchase a copyright removal license.

Open-Source - eCommerce platforms such as WooCommerce and OpenCart, which have open code available to the public.

Best for those who want complete control and the ability to customize the solution according to their needs. 

Statista states that Shopify, Squarespace, and WooCommerce are currently the most popular eCommerce platforms in 2023. 

When choosing an eCommerce platform, we recommend paying attention to the following:

SEO

When you're just starting your online shop, your prospects should be able to find you on Google.

The platform you choose should be SEO-friendly, allowing you to correctly implement your technical SEO to make your website visible to crawlers and drive organic traffic.

You can also able to start your website blog to rank for more keywords and provide value to your customers by posting great content.

Speed

Website speed loading is a top factor for users when they make online purchases, especially from mobiles.

For instance, if the page loads over 3 secs, it leads to a high bounce rate and low conversions. Ensure your chosen platform has good speed performance and core web vitals stats. 

It also makes sense to use a theme that meets your requirements while does not add a ton of code to your pages, which can slow down your store.

Security

Website security is essential when you want to look like a trusted source for your customers. 

Ensure the e-commerce platform is secure and supports HTTPS/SSL certificates so your customers can make secure payments.

Customization

The ability to customize is vital if you want to meet your and your customer's specific needs. 

The eCommerce platform should allow you to customize your shop per your requirements.

For example, you might need to customize the theme to meet your branding, create personalized buyer journeys, and offer intuitive payments. 

It can also be helpful if the platform provides API you or your developers' team can use to connect with any OMS, CRM, or product customization plugins to automate your business processes.

Choose an eCommerce platform that can handle the volume of orders and provides easy-to-use tools for personalization, managing orders, payments, and shipping.

Build a web-to-print website from scratch

Sometimes, ready eCommerce solutions do not fit as they cannot cover your business needs fully. 

In this case, the alternative option would be to build a web-to-print website from scratch tailored to your requirements and branding. 

Custom-developed eCommerce solution gives you complete control and limitless possibilities to make a specific journey for your customers, set pricing logic according to your business model, create the website design you wish, and implement powerful SEO. 

A tailored solution also gives you independence from any providers as, in most cases, you own the code of it. You can manage it on your own or with your developers' team.

If talking about uniforms or apparel, you might need to work with the manufacturer, so you should send order details to the producer. 

The process becomes more challenging if you work with many manufacturers, so managing this process manually takes time and effort. 

Out-of-the-box eCommerce platforms and plugins either do not provide or provide some default production management functionality. 

Custom development allows you to get a solution that meets your specific workflow automating a complete cycle of your uniform printing business.  

At LiveArt, we provide custom development services for print businesses. We can build robust and scalable solutions for your requirements, including custom eCommerce integrations. 

Share your requirements brief with us, and our expert team will get back to you to suggest the best fit for your particular case.

What's essential in your online custom uniform shop? 

If you want to enhance your business, your website should not only be a powerful tool for building an online presence and selling uniforms directly. 

Firstly, it should be a place where your customers' needs will be fully met, especially if we are talking about the personalized uniforms niche.

When customers are looking for custom uniforms, they want easily communicate their requirements: how the uniform should be colorized, what colors should be used, where the logo should be placed, which fonts should be used, and how the player roster list should look.

For B2B businesses, this process is time-consuming for both sides since such customers often order uniform sets with different designs rather than 1 item.

So, they expect an easy way to personalize uniforms on your website and ensure the items will be printed according to their needs without any returns or reprints.

Plan your customer journey

To provide the best service and satisfy customers' needs, you should understand how customers purchase products and what's important to them.

The ideal customer profile you might prepare earlier can give you a better understanding of what your customers expect from your online shop and how you can craft the ideal flow for them.

Start with the following questions:

1. Will the customer use ready templates or design uniforms from scratch?

2. Which customizations can the customer do? For example, the most common scenario is colorizing uniform panels, adding one or more logos, adding a names&numbers list, choosing a font and its color, and selecting sizes.

3. Can customers preview customization in a live mode or just choose options?

4. Will you provide any limitations, such as minimum or maximum order quantity?

5. Will the customers be able to order the uniform online, or should they contact you for the quote?

When creating an ideal flow, ensure it's user-friendly, intuitive, and responsive to mobiles. 

These points are crucial for customers and directly affect conversions and customer experience.

Enable personalization with jersey design software

Today customers want to be a part of the creative process when ordering custom products and expect brands to provide them with such an opportunity. 

Moreover, they are willing to pay more for exclusive and unique products made especially per their needs.

Product customization is an excellent opportunity to enhance customer experience and increase loyalty. 

To provide the best personalization experience, consider involving uniform design software, which can be your unique selling point. 

This web-to-print software with various features allows your customers to design uniforms online, see changes live, and order the design. 

By putting the personalization process in the hands of your customers, you can free yourself from permanent calls and back-and-forth emails. 

High-resolution output files you receive after customers submit their designs allow you to print the uniform according to customers' needs, saving your time and reducing print errors.

 

 

With LiveArt jersey design software, you can provide such a level of personalization to your online shop. 

The tool is simple to use while providing powerful features your customers can use to communicate their needs via the design process. 

The designer is responsive to all devices, allowing your customers to create designs on the go. 

You can start with an out-of-the-box solution if it meets your needs or request a tailored web-to-print solution if you have specific requirements and want a unique customer journey.

Contact us for a free consultation to find the best fit for you.

Market your online uniform shop

Once you launch your store, it's time to tell your prospects about it and get the first leads.

You can use different marketing channels, for example, organic search engine, social media, email marketing, paid marketing, and display advertising.

You can start by building social media presence. When doing it actively, this activity can drive traffic to your website. Social media is also an excellent chance to know your target audience better.

At the same time, start working on search engine optimization to rank higher on Google. However, consider that SEO takes about six months to provide results.

It's a long but reliable process that can bring you consistent organic traffic for free.

There are three main directions you can start with: 

1. Do keywords research to understand which keywords you should use for your titles,      description, and content to bring you traffic relevant to your business;

2. Implement correct technical SEO - make sure your pages are indexable and crawlable by Google;

3. Use internal linking to help crawlers understand your site structure and simplify navigation for your customers.

If you need immediate results, you can start with Google Ads or Facebook ads, which allow you to target your specific audience. 

If you work with B2B, we also recommend collecting as many reviews as possible, gradually building customer trust and long-term relationships. 

The bottom line

The sports uniform industry is growing consistently.

Starting a uniform printing business online can be profitable with a deep understanding of your target audience and the right tools to solve their pains and provide a great customer experience. 

Share your requirements with us if you want to explore how our jersey design software can streamline your uniform business and improve communication with your customers.

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