Sourcing Inventory for Your Online Fashion Store
As online stores are becoming more popular every day, more businesses are shifting from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to online shops. The challenges of opening an online fashion boutique are much higher because the customers always want to see the product from all angles before deciding on a purchase. But a bigger challenge is to supply quality fashion products that keep your customers returning to you.
A great way to collect good quality products for your fashion business is to choose the suppliers wisely. There are various ways to source the inventory. But below are the five most reliable and convenient ways to source it for your online fashion store.
Fashion Trade Shows
Fashion trade shows or conventions allow you to connect to key personnel, influencers, and manufacturers from the fashion industry. If you are looking to enhance your network, try attending the next fashion trade shows. Hundreds of manufacturers set up their booths and showcase their fashion products. You can browse and choose which items you would like to sell through your online store.
Talking to the participants in trade shows allows you to connect with manufacturers and other wholesalers. It also gives you information about the product quality, materials, and pricing strategies. Even if you do not find your desired products on these shows, you can always use the contacts later.
Online wholesalers are one of the easiest options for stocking up your fashion business inventory. They offer a wide range of products and list some of the top brands. They usually tend to be large online marketplaces with various shops or pages. Each of these shops is owned by a particular brand or wholesalers. They enlist all details of a product and let you order in bulk. Often, discount rates are available if you’re ordering a large volume.
There are various platforms to choose from. While you might not find all high-end fashion brands here, you can find good-quality mid-range fashion brands. Beware of cheap replicas, especially when it comes to accessories such as jewelry, shoes, and wholesale handbags.
Manufacturers or Private Label
Sourcing clothing and fashion items directly from manufacturers can be helpful in many ways. You can check the quality of the material and manufacturing process up close, and at the same time, having no intermediary means you can cut costs and make more profit.
Trade shows and exhibitions are a great place to find clothing manufacturers. A simple Google search can also help you find a few notable ones. Check their reviews or previous history to gauge the quality of their services before you decide to sign with them.
Private label manufacturing companies create the product and let you tag your brand name before you sell it to customers. Like regular manufacturers, they have websites and are present on various online platforms. If you do not have personal connections, you can always reach out on their website for a quotation or request a visit to their factory to discuss possible trade opportunities.
If you have a business – such as a customized t-shirt store – that requires buying a certain clothing article in bulk, you might want to consider connecting with a manufacturer that can supply hundreds of plain t-shirts at an affordable rate.
If you want to operate an online fashion boutique without going through the hassle of managing an inventory, dropshipping is the way to go. Various dropshipping platforms list hundreds of clothing and fashion accessories wholesalers. You can easily start your clothing dropshipping business with a few simple clicks. Create a website, list your products, add as many pictures as the platform allows, and promote the products on social media to direct customers to your website.
As with other dropshipping businesses, the clothes and fashion accessories will be directly shipped to your customers upon order. Without the troubles of managing an inventory, you can direct all your resources and energy to build your brand and delight your customers.
Facebook Groups and Other Professional Social Media Platforms
Facebook has become a primary medium of communication for people across the world. Due to the large volume of users on the platform, there are more chances of finding like-minded people and entrepreneurs from the same industry.
Facebook groups are great for finding fashion item manufacturers. Search the platform with relevant search terms to find the groups that are best suited for your purpose. Check the number of members in each group to determine its activity status and authenticity. Active groups usually have a large number of users. Join them, and post your queries on the wall to connect with manufacturers and wholesalers.
Another way to find manufacturers is through LinkedIn. There are various groups and communities on this platform where you can find manufacturers from the fashion industry. LinkedIn is a more professional social network than Facebook, so there are fewer chances of coming across fraudulent manufacturers.
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