Apparel E-commerce Business Formats and Concepts

Online apparel stores are grooming in India. In the online marketplace, there are many big players as well as small sellers like individual designers. Now e-commerce business is not only selling ready-made garments online but the apparel business has taken many different forms to provide end-consumers a new experience. 

At the same time, some entrepreneurs are exploring new things with internet and IT solutions. Many e-commerce businesses only focus on niche products to provide the best designs and a variety of designs in the specific niche as per customer’s test.

Amazon India homepage
Are you interested in staring online clothing business? Read this post to learn various formats of the apparel e-commerce businesses and business concept.

#1. Businesses having own e-commerce site and sell designs by posting web catalog: 

This type of e-commerce businesses either outsource inventory (apparel) or garments are made by the same company. Most of the international brands have such e-commerce business. Like, Many exiting garment manufacturers (exporters) are joining in the online market place by introducing own brands and selling their products online.
Yellowfashion homepage

Also see: 101 Online Clothing Shopping Sites for Indian Shoppers

#2. Business owners take 3rd party services to create online store/ mobile store and sell designs.
Like, provides services to small size business (brands) to sell their product online. Service providers handle payment gateway, and shipping responsibility. In this case, product promotion and marketing can be done though the service provider. Being an entrepreneur create your own store by using online tools line.

#3. Online marketplace: 
To reach a wide range of customers you can choose online market place and sell your apparel products. Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal, Shopclues are few example of online market place. Sell your apparel product on major e-commerce portals. Many manufacturers (small size) those don’t have their own e-commerce site and could handle such thing, choose online marketplace to sell their products. Even big brands are selling their product through these online market place.  

#4. Multi-brand online stores: 
E-commerce sites Those sell only fashion products (majorly apparel products) for various existing brands. Like Jabong (Fahion products) and Myntra 

There are many other ways to start an e-commerce business for selling apparel products. In this post I have shared few business concept – they are not just selling apparel products but also involving customer to design the products.

#5. Custom Print T-Shirt: 
In this business format, the site allows customer to upload and edit the t-shirt design (for print and embroidery design on the t-shirt, polo or in other apparel products) and select the base color from the available color options. The e-commerce company print the desired design on the blank t-shirt and send it to the customer.

Also Read: An interview with a Custom print T-Shirt e-commerce business

#6. Custom Fit Women Clothing (Eshakti): An e-commerce site with a different concept. Main market USA. Manufacturing done in India. Only supply women clothing in various categories.

Business concept (process) -
(1) Buyers/end users pick a design from eShakti collection 
(2) Customer enter their measurements 
(3) Customize design (if they wish to)
(4) E-Shakti manufacture the garment from their suppliers
(5) Customer receive custom design clothes in 12-18 days
eshakti homepage

#7. Customers are a kind of sellers

Business concept :
(1) This site ask customer to design a t-shirt (Print design) and place order for certain quantity. Single piece order is not accepted. 
(2) Customer can promote his design and creation and reach out buyer. They can sell their design to their network through promotion and launching a campaign. 
(3) Customer set the selling price and earn great profile from sale. 
(4) A customer is responsible for selling the design they are promoting.

Freshmonk homepage

#8. App based custom t-shirt ( Snaptee): 
Snaptee is the first mobile app that enables buyers/customers to create your own custom T-shirts with just a few taps on your smartphone.

Business concept: 
(1) Customer download snaptee mobile app 
(2) They design images/picture for t-shirt design or they can select images from their mobile photo gallery 
(3) Snaptee print the design and send to the customer (4) customer can share their design in social network.
Snaptee homepage
These are a few out of many other online apparel business formats. Learn more and get inspired by reading success stories published in the Shopify blog.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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