I always love the sentiment of “never let a good crisis go to waste.” What a crisis teaches us is that there are new ways to do things that have been done in the past. I echo the sentiments from Annah that the rag trade is tougher than ever. Notwithstanding this crisis, the world is looking hard at the apparel sector from all sorts of perspectives including sustainability, values and principles, longevity and how unique the product is.
Online retailing requires strong storytelling and a reasonable pocket to build brand awareness and a collective of raving fans. It’s pretty tough. Likewise, this COVID crisis means apparel retailers are not going to necessarily be looking for heaps of new brands, and their dollars will be tight, so what they buy will be likely very hand to mouth.
Without knowing your product, what I can say is the last thing the world needs is more of the same. But let’s assume you have found an incredible niche in the market like All is for All – a fashion retailer focused on fashion for those with disabilities. Incredible and a clear gap in the market.
How one local fashion site became a world first in accessibility
You said you have got great ideas, now is a perfect time to sure up that research:
– Offer uniqueness – why does the world need YOUR product? Where else are they getting their need fulfilled now?
– Range and offer: depth and breadth – how do you create new news to get customers to lean into your offer again and again?
– Cost of raw materials
– Production and design costs
– Packaging, storage and distribution
– Souce supply of all of the above
– Costing model
– Operational overheads
– Storytelling and content creation
– Compliance – especially if you are claiming ethical or sustainable platforms
– Retail channels to market – stockists, website and web stores, social and digital media, marketing and promotional activity
– How are you going to connect with customers (ie. sales funnel if you need distribution) – what materials will you provide them
– Size curves and seasonal timings – are you going to time production for a specific “season” – if you are going to keep stock on hand low, how quickly can you replenish/make stock
– Photography – how and costs
– How are you going to get everything done
– Full costing model and pricing (plus markdown strategy)
– Think about policies and process; refunds, returns, make sure you comply with Fair Trading Act and Consumers Guarantees Act
– Terms of payment: if you use things like Layby, Afterpay, etc there is a cost to these which either erode margin or your factor into your pricing
– If you are thinking bricks & mortar there is so much more to consider as well
Best of luck and if you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org