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Published on May 24th, 2017 | by Guest

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How to Launch Your T-Shirt E-commerce Store in a Day

If you’ve made the decision to take your t-shirt shop online, you may think you have a huge project ahead of you. While setting up a t-shirt e-commerce store isn’t necessarily a “cinch”, it doesn’t have to be a year-long project either. There are key factors you need to take into account to ensure you can launch successfully, but if you implement the roadmap described here, you can be done in a day.

So what does it take to launch a t-shirt e-commerce store? Let’s get started.

Building the Framework of Your E-Commerce Store

You have two options – you can build your site yourself or use an e-commerce platform provider. If you choose the self-hosted option and want to build the site yourself, you may find that this post is no longer relevant. There are thousands of considerations you will have to comb through on your own and an equal amount of dollars that will need to be invested in getting that site off the ground.

Option two, however, presents several great options that can be seamless and cost efficient. Consider setting up a Shopify online store, where you can use pre-built features to create a customized shop. Magento is another solution that makes it easy to get up-and-running right away. These take coding out of the equation and enable you to select a theme, add your products and start selling immediately. These platforms also handle PCI compliance (compliance to PCI standards is required for any store that accepts credit cards online), making selling online a breeze.

Designing Your E-Commerce Store

Now that you have the basic functionality in place, you need to decide what your online store will look like. Do a quick Google search to get a sense for existing themes and see if any might suit your needs. Also browse the themes on whatever platform you choose, as there are plenty of very capable designers that have pre-built themes optimized for e-commerce. You’ll want your theme to be tightly coupled with your product offering and appropriate for displaying your different styles of t-shirts. Some questions you will want to consider:

  • Is the theme responsive? Will it display well for people who view on a mobile phone?
  • Does it fit my brand style?
  • Does it allow me to feature “hot products” above the fold?
  • Does it have “visual appeal” factor?
  • How much customization is enabled?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you should be able to narrow your choices down to a decent shortlist of options. Ask colleagues and friends to weigh in on which design they think is best. It can be helpful to have an outside source offer an opinion.

Once you’ve finalized the design, you need to finish site setup. This includes payment gateway integration, which may already be built-in to whichever platform you’re using. Be sure that shipping information (including fees) is entered in correctly, as well as any other charges.

Start Adding Products

You’re getting there! The next step is to add products to your e-commerce store. Assuming you already know which t-shirts  you’re going to sell online and don’t need to search for suppliers, you just need to enter product details onto the website. You’ll also need to ensure you have a way to track inventory so you don’t end up selling t-shirts that are out of stock. For Shopify users, services like Oberlo can be implemented to streamline dropshipping if that’s what you use. There are marketplaces full of inventory management apps, regardless of your platform. Do your homework and choose the one that works best for you.

And that’s a wrap. You now have a functional t-shirt e-commerce website that you can start selling from right away. Obviously, your journey does not end there; you’ll want to find great ways to market your product and find new customers. The good news is that the hard part is over. Your strategy can switch gears toward increasing sales and growing your business.

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