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Starting an online clothing business in the Philippines is one of the most common and lucrative endeavours, especially for aspiring business owners. It is a great opportunity because the fashion trend is ever-changing, resulting in consumers always needing new clothes. As a result, they will always be buying as long as you have something new to sell.

Hence, online clothing stores are one of the most profitable ecommerce businesses today. And according to statista, the Philippines is forecasted to outperform both Indonesia and India in their retail ecommerce sales growth in 2022.

But of course, with great opportunity comes great competition. So it is important to first understand how to set up and run an online clothing business to help you penetrate into this saturated market, and be successful. Continue reading to discover our step-by-step guide to help you get started.

 

1. Start with Market Research

 

Market research is always the first step to starting a business, both offline and online. This will help you determine the feasibility of your online clothing business and give you an idea of the type of clothes that are in demand.

Here are a few topics to consider when conducting your market research:

  • What type of clothes do Filipinos usually buy online?
  • What are the popular online clothing stores in the Philippines?
  • How much are Filipinos willing to spend on clothes online?
  • What are the delivery options available from shortlisted suppliers?
  • Trends in the clothing industry
  • Local and international competitors
  • The target market’s spending power
  • Preferred online shopping platforms

Seek for insights and answers of these topics by checking out online forums and websites dedicated to fashion in the Philippines or join online groups and communities related to online businesses and ask for advice from more experienced online sellers to assist you.

Aside from that, always consider your target market not just based on their demographics but also locality. This is because the online business has the potential to reach a global audience, not just within the Philippines. There are platforms like Lazada Global and Shopee International that can help you to reach global audiences.

But do note that customers from different countries have different preferences, so only pursue selling your clothes online internationally if you have the bandwidth to cater to these different preferences.

 

2. Choose the Type of Clothing Product to Sell

 

Choosing the type of apparel to sell can be difficult since there are so many options available. But with insights from your research, it should give you an idea of the type of products to sell, who is your target market and shortlisted suppliers.

Know Your Target Market

Not all Filipinos have the same taste or requirements in clothes as there are regional differences that you need to take into account. For example, if you’re targeting consumers in Metro Manila, you might want to focus on selling more formal wear, catering to those who are attending business functions in the city.

Right Price, Right Product

The price of your apparel is also something to think about. Your source of clothing supplies should not be too costly, which will result in a low margin business. On the other hand, do not also sacrifice product quality for a cheaper price. Generally, consumers do not fancy apparels that are made of poor quality.

Find Suitable Suppliers

In order to strike the right balance, always compare quotes provided from suppliers that you’ve shortlisted from your research before making your final selection.

Apart from product quality, do consider their price as well to calculate how much markup you can reasonably add so that the price of your clothes are affordable for your target consumers.

 

3. Register Your Company

 

In order to operate your online clothing business in the Philippines, you are required to register your company with the local government. There are 4 business requirements you need:

  • Register your online clothing business name with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
  • Register for a Mayor’s Permit
  • Register for a Barangay Business Clearance
  • Register your business in The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

These 4 requirements should be obtained in order.


 

4. Setting Up Your Online Clothing Store

 

There are different platforms in the market that can enable you to set up your online clothing store. To help you on your selection, always consider your budget, technical skills and the ease of use when it comes to product inventory upload.

Some of the most popular options are Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento.

Shopify

It is a turn-key solution that includes everything you need to launch an online clothing store. It’s easy to use even if you do not possess any technical skills, and it comes with a wide range of features to help you run your ecommerce business efficiently.

The downside of Shopify is that it can be more expensive at the onset than other options, given that it runs on a subscription based model.

Type of business owners suitable for this platform:

No coding experience and has some budget to set up the store.

WooCommerce

A popular option for online stores as it’s free to use and integrates with WordPress, which is a widely used content management system.

The downside of WooCommerce is that it requires some technical skills to set up and can be confusing for non-technical individuals. It also requires a lot of different premium plugins to achieve certain functions, which increases the operating cost of launching an ecommerce store.

Type of business owners suitable for this platform:

Basic coding experience and require specific features for your online store.

Magneto

Another popular option for online stores as it’s free to use and it includes a wide range of features.

The downside of Magento is that it is even more technical than WooCommerce to run and manage. And it doesn’t have as much developer support as the other two options.

Type of business owners suitable for this platform:

With coding knowledge and has experience setting up an ecommerce store.

Free Online Store Builder

And for new business owners who have limited budget and experience, there are also alternatives for you including free online store builders such as Shopboxo.

Like Shopify, you can launch your online clothing store all within the same platform, even on your mobile device if you download the Shopboxo App.

Setting up your ecommerce business takes just a few clicks.This is possible because we are leveraging existing templates and designs that are popular with ecommerce websites, so you get a store with the core functions you need without the developer price tag attached to it.

And did we mention that the app is free with no hidden fees or subscriptions?

It’s designed to help budding ecommerce owners launch their websites easily, without having the need to stress about budget.

So Shopboxo might be the perfect choice if you plan to set up an online clothing shop but with a very tight budget and have no prior coding experience.

 

5. Preparing a Marketing Plan

 

As with all other business niches, the final piece of the puzzle to operate your online clothing store successfully is how to market it. There are many different types of marketing strategies, and selecting one largely depends on your budget and target audience.

Social media platforms are a good starting point for businesses with limited budgets. As the majority of these platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok are free, it does not require deep pockets to run a marketing campaign. These platforms also have a wide audience reach, so it can definitely help to increase your brand awareness.

Affiliate marketing is another option to consider if you have good margins from your products. This allows you to factor in some budget to start an affiliate marketing program by getting a third party to market your products, and in return pay them a commission fee if your product sells on their platform.

Since there are so many different types of marketing strategies, it is important to always reassess your marketing campaigns once you have sufficient data to determine what is the most effective method for your online clothing business in order to maximise your marketing budget effectively.


Start Your Online Clothing Business Today

 

Now that you understand the essential requirements to start your online clothing business in the Philippines, it’s time to create your own ecommerce store and penetrate into the world of online selling.

And if you want to try it out without investing too much money into it, why not use Shopboxo? You can manage and sell your apparels online on one platform that has everything you need to start your online clothing business, for free.


Common Questions About Online Clothing Business

 

Is online clothing business in demand in the Philippines?

Yes, the online clothing business is in demand in the Philippines and the demand will likely grow. According to Statista, revenue in the Apparel market amounts to US$4.85billion in 2022, and the market is expected to grow annually by 5%.

Is online selling legal in the Philippines?

Online selling business is the same as all brick and mortar stores. The government regarded it as a legitimate business and the necessary documents and permits are still required before you can operate.

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