How To Start An Online Clothing Business In The Philippines

By Yesh Quijano    May 6, 2024       min read

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing Your Niche and Business Model: Identify what type of clothing you want to sell and who your target market is for your clothing business. Consider leveraging dropshipping platforms like Printful, Printify, and Gelato to minimize upfront costs and inventory management.
  • Establishing and Marketing Your Store: Whether it’s on Lazada, Shopee, Zalora, Shopify, or a combination of various platforms, create an appealing online store. Use effective social media marketing to increase your brand’s visibility and attract buyers.
  • Delivering Value and Customer Service: Develop a unique brand identity, offer compelling products, and prioritize customer service. Remember, happy customers can become your best promoters.
  • Considering Physical Store Expansion: If it aligns with your business plan and financial capability, opening a physical store could broaden your reach and offer a unique shopping experience to your shoppers.

Do you love the fast-paced world of fashion? Want to make your mark in the busy fashion industry world?

Are you wondering if starting a clothing brand is a good business idea?

You’re in the right place.

Every step can be exciting, from finding your place in the busy fashion sector to setting up an ecommerce business.

You may have thought about the benefits of dropshipping, or you may still be looking into different ways to run a business. No matter what, we’re here to help you find your way.

So, are you ready to start this journey and turn your fashion dreams into a thriving online clothing business?

Hold tight because we’ll show you how to make it in the fashion industry.

Here is your guide on how to start an online clothing business:

how to start an online clothing business in the philippines

Step 1: Choose a niche

Getting into the fashion business without a specific niche is like getting lost in the woods without a map. Your niche tells you where to go, which helps you make business decisions.

What type of clothing do you want to sell?

Decide first what clothes you want to sell. This could be anything from streetwear to high fashion, from activewear to clothes for pregnant women. Align this with what you’re good at and passionate about to make a business you’ll love.

Who is your target market?

Next, define your target market. Who do you want to sell to? Teenagers? People who work hard? New mothers? To make products your customers will wish for, you need to know what they want and need.

What is your budget?

Lastly, think about your budget. How much money can you put in? Your budget affects how you choose the quality of the clothes, how you market them, and even how much stock you can buy at first.

By picking the right niche, you give your online clothing business a good start. So take your time, do your research, and follow your heart.

Step 2: Do your research.

faceless female seller cheking in clothes for sale

Once you’ve found your niche, it’s time to do your research to build a successful online clothing business. It might seem like a lot of work, but your hard work will pay off when your business does well.

Find suppliers.

First, look for suitable suppliers. Your business’s suppliers can make or break it. Some things that will affect your choice are the quality of the materials, how reliable the delivery is, and how competitive the prices are. Think about both local and international suppliers to find a good balance between price and quality.

Research the competition.

Next, research your competition. The clothing industry is saturated, but don’t let this discourage you. Instead, study what your competitors do well and where they fall short. This will help you carve out your unique spot in the marketplace.

Find out what customers are looking for.

Lastly, find out what your buyers want. Market research isn’t just about monitoring trends; it’s also about getting to know your customers’ wants, needs, and problems. Use surveys, social media, and even one-on-one conversations to get to know your target audience.

If you research, you can make good decisions that will give your clothing business an edge.

Step 3: Consider Dropshipping

female online store packing order clothes in boxes

Dropshipping can significantly help people who want to start an online clothing business but need more money. With this type of business, you can sell clothes online without keeping them in stock. But does it seem too good to be true? Let’s take it apart.

Here’s how it works: When a customer orders through your ecommerce business platform, you send that order to your supplier. The product is then sent straight to the customer by the supplier. That’s all there is to it!

Dropshipping lowers the initial cost and eliminates the hassle of managing inventory and shipping. But things sometimes go poorly. So you’ll need to choose your suppliers carefully based on how reliable and reasonable their products are.

If dropshipping sounds like your cup of tea and you want to start an online clothing store with less financial risk, remember that the customer is always right. Here are a few sites that make it easier to dropship:

  • Printful
  • AliExpress
  • Spocket

If dropshipping is an excellent way to start your online clothing store with less financial risk, you might also be interested in Print on Demand (POD). But, again, this model is beneficial for businesses that sell clothes.

POD is similar to drop shipping but has a unique twist: you design and sell your products one at a time under your brand. As a result, there is no need to buy in bulk or keep an inventory. This is great because you can offer various unique designs without paying anything upfront.

Here are some sites that both dropship and print-on-demand:

Each platform can be a great help, making adding dropshipping and print-on-demand to your online business easy.

Whether you use dropshipping or print-on-demand, remember that the customer is always right. Your main goal should be to ensure customers are happy and build a base of loyal customers.

Now, you’re one step closer to starting your online clothing business.

Step 4: Register your business.

women's clothes in a clothing shop

Now, let’s talk about formalities. A legal business builds trust, essential for getting buyers and partners. So this is how you do it:

Register your business name

Register the name of your clothing line business with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This gives the market a clear and creative expression that resonates with your audience and is crucial to connecting with them. Consider what kind of impression you want to make before choosing a name.

Obtain a Mayor’s Permit

Get a permit from the mayor’s office in your city or town. This official document tells the law that you can do business in your area. Please plan because the time it takes to process can change.

Secure a Barangay Business Clearance

Register for Barangay Business Clearance from the barangay where your business is located. This clearance, often a requirement for the Mayor’s Permit, shows the local government that you follow local rules.

Register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

And the last step is registering your clothing line business with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). This registration is essential because it lets you give customers receipts to build trust and openness.

Starting a business can be daunting, but by taking it one step at a time, you’ll be on your way to opening your dream online clothing store!

Step 5: Product Development and Branding

clothing tag and green leaf as eco-friendly flatlay background, sustainable fashion and brand label concept

Setting up your online store is like opening a store in the real world, only this time, it’s online. To get and keep shoppers, you need a store that looks good and is easy to use. 

Your online clothing business is about making new products and building a brand. They make you stand out in a crowded apparel market and give people a reason to buy from you.

Develop a unique brand identity.

To be able to stand out from other clothing stores out there, start by giving your brand a unique name and look.

Your brand is more than just your logo and slogan. It’s how your shoppers feel when they do business with you. It’s what you believe in and what your story is. Make sure it speaks to the people you want to reach.

Create a compelling product lineup.

Next, make a line of products that people want to buy. Then, align your products with what people want and what is happening in the market.

Here, the research you did before comes in handy. Keep up with fashion trends and think about classic pieces you can wear repeatedly.

Focus on product quality.

Lastly, focus on the quality of the product. Quality clothes bring in customers and make them want to stick with you. Think about adding value to your clothing product line by letting people customize it or adding unique features. These could be anything from eco-friendly materials to personalized embroidery.

Your online clothing business is built around your brand and products. By putting time and effort into this, you can make a business that doesn’t just sell clothes but also gives buyers a unique style and experience.

Step 6: Set up your online store.

online ecommerce website or store on smart phone screen

Setting up your digital store is similar to opening a physical store in the real world, with the added benefit of being able to do business online. To get and keep customers, it’s essential to have a store that is appealing and is easy to use.

Choose a platform.

Choose a platform first. Many online shopping platforms exist, such as

  • Lazada
  • Shopee
  • Zalora
  • Shopify
  • Etsy
  • WooCommerce
  • Facebook Shops/Marketplace

Each platform has features and fees, so consider your small business needs and budget. For example, do you need a high level of personalization? Or do you put customer service first?

Design your store to reflect your brand identity and add your products. Remember, the design should be user-friendly and appealing to your target audience.

Design your store.

Next is to design your online clothing store. The way your store looks should match your brand. It should match your brand in every way, from the colors to the fonts you choose. Remember that simplicity and ease of use are essential.

Add products.

Lastly, put your products in. It’s crucial to have good photos, descriptions, and prices. Include everything a customer needs to know to decide whether to buy.

Remember that your online clothing store is the first thing a customer sees about your brand. So make sure it sticks with them and makes them want more.

Step 7: Market your store.

working women at their clothing store

Once your online store is running, you must tell everyone about it. You can reach your ideal buyers and make more money with good marketing.

Use social media.

Social media is crucial to all online business owners in today’s digital age. Use social media as a first step for your marketing campaign. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are great places to show off your clothing line and talk to your consumers.

Regular posts, compelling images, and stories that people can interact with can significantly improve your brand’s visibility, which will help your clothing business.

Run advertisements.

Running online ads for your clothing business can reach more people on other social media platforms or through Google AdWords. Make sure your ads are aimed at the right people to get the most out of your money.

Affiliate Marketing Program

Marketing isn’t just about making people aware of your online clothing store; it’s about turning that awareness into sales. And one decisive way to do this is through affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing involves partnering with individuals or businesses who will promote your products on their platforms. When a product sells through their referral, you pay them a commission. This way, you only pay for results.

By incorporating an affiliate marketing program into your strategy, you’re employing a third-party sales force to drive more buyers to your store. This can be a cost-effective and efficient way to grow your e-commerce business.

Step 8: Provide excellent customer service.

African-american girl leaves good customer review

Excellent customer service is the unsung hero of any successful online business. In a time when shoppers have many options, your excellent customer service can make you stand out.

Respond to inquiries promptly.

First, make it a top priority to answer questions quickly. Whether it’s a question about the size or when an item will arrive, a quick answer shows that you care about your buyers.

Resolve issues quickly and fairly.

Next, find quick and fair solutions to problems. Problems will always come up, but how you deal with them matters. Be honest, tell the truth, and always say you’re sorry when you need to.

Go the extra mile to make customers happy.

Lastly, go above and beyond to make sure clients are happy. This could be anything from putting a personalized thank-you note in each order to giving them a discount on their birthday. Small things like these can turn a one-time buyer into a huge customer base who returns repeatedly.

SEO is the Key to Online Visibility

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for your online business. This process makes it easier for potential buyers to find your store when they look for products you sell. In addition, when you understand and use SEO strategies, like using keywords and good content, your website’s ranking on search engines will increase, bringing more organic traffic to your store.

Consider Opening a Physical Store

A woman looking at clothes assisted by a sales lady

While the Internet is an excellent place for your clothing company, you might also want to open a storefront. Having a physical store can give your buyers a unique shopping experience and give you a chance to show off your clothes in a real-world setting. In addition, this could bring in new customers who like to see, touch, and try on clothes before they buy them.

To open a physical store, however, you must spend a lot of money on rent and setting up the store. It also includes other business tasks like running the store, hiring staff, and keeping track of inventory. So, planning and doing a thorough financial analysis is essential to see if this option fits your business model well.

Remember that the location of your clothing store is critical. A good place in an area with a lot of traffic could bring in more shoppers and lead to more sales. Having an online and a physical store can also bring more attention to your new clothing brand and help you reach more buyers.

Remember that your business plan and long-term goals should align with your choice to open a store. It’s not about choosing between an online store and a brick-and-mortar store. Instead, it’s about finding the right balance for your brand.

Dive Deeper: Leave Competitors In The Dust With These Success Factors

woman working in a cafe

As we learn how to start an online clothing business in the Philippines, let’s look at two more important factors that can make a big difference in the success of your own e-commerce business.

Mastering Online Visibility through SEO

Visibility is critical in the world of online business. To get more buyers and make more earnings, your online clothing store needs to come up in search engine results when people look for products you sell. So if you’re looking for a place to get away, this is the place for you.

SEO is the process of improving how your website and its content show up in search engine results. It’s a complicated field that requires much knowledge about search engine algorithms, keyword research, and strategically creating content.

If you run an online business and SEO sounds like a lot to handle, don’t worry. We’re here to help. Our team specializes in making SEO plans for online businesses like yours that fit their needs. Please message us here to learn more about our SEO services.

On the other hand, if you want to learn SEO as a business owner, SEO Training Philippines is a great place to start. The courses teach you everything you need about SEO to improve your online visibility.

Building Trust with Online Reviews and Testimonials

Online businesses work because people trust them. Customer reviews can increase trust and show how good your products are, which can help you sell more.

Get happy customers to write reviews and respond to good and bad feedback. This shows you care about your customers’ thoughts and want to improve.

Customer service that goes above and beyond is the unsung hero of online businesses. It will help you stand out.

If you think about these things, you’ll be on your way to starting an online clothing business in the Philippines.

Final Thoughts

Working women at their clothing store while packing orders

Starting an online clothing store line can seem scary, but it can be an exciting journey with research, careful planning, and a healthy dose of passion.

Remember that in the fast-paced fashion world, you will always stand out if you stay true to your brand and put your customers first.

Never forget the wise words of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel: “To be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

So here’s to creating a line of clothes as unique and unforgettable as you. Time to step out and take over the fashion world!

About the author 

Yesh Quijano

Yesh Quijano is an entrepreneur and digital marketer who's been in the game for over 11 years. He started several businesses and helped countless others reach new heights. His goal is to make digital marketing for SMEs simple, accessible, and effective. When he's not working, you can find him cuddling with his two cats.

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