The demand for quality shoes has continuously increased over the years, and the pandemic has caused many of them to be sold online. In fact, Research and Markets reported that the global footwear market size was estimated to be at $365.5 billion last year, and will reach $530.3 billion by 2027. Men’s footwear is responsible for a significant portion of the total revenue — both today and in the future.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to put up an online shoe business for men, now is the time to dive in. Below are tips to help you get started.
Do your research
Before anything else, take your time in planning out this business. Do your research, and know what will sell in the market you are targeting. Dig into fashion trends if you need to. One way to stay up-to-date is to keep an eye out on large fashion shows and celebrity sightings. These events often showcase trends before they even hit the market.
You can also join, study, or even partner with online communities to get the latest updates and information. In this regard, SoleSavy members are not only given the opportunity to become a part of a passionate sneaker community but receive the latest industry updates as well. Some analysts also provide advice on the constantly changing shoe industry. Here, you can also build your network and release collaborations with fellow members.
Design your product
Online stores rarely find success in selling all types of products. As such, it’s more practical to focus your efforts on a particular shoe type, like leather shoes, loafers, and sneakers, and sell those. Narrowing down your product will allow you to focus your resources on studying the preferences and trends of a specific demographic.
Use a business plan to iron out the finer details of your chosen product or group of products. It should detail your target market, pricing, funding sources, profit projections, and other aspects that will help you sell your shoes.
Plan your marketing strategy
Being one of more than 700,000 small businesses here in Massachusetts can make it difficult to stand out. But if you learn to market your online shoe business effectively, it’ll be easier to attract customers. Find out where your potential customers are, so you can be present in those online platforms and interact with them through engaging content. For example, are they on Instagram? Facebook?
Men’s fashion bloggers and social media influencers like Adam Gallagher can also boost your business. Be sure to choose those who fit your brand philosophy well, so they can properly reflect the kind of products you offer. For example, Gallagher’s fashion sense is curated for high-end consumers.
Register your business
Finally, it’s time to register your online shoe business. At this stage, you will need to decide the type of business structure you will pursue. For instance, you can form a sole proprietorship if you’re entering the industry alone or even a partnership if you are conducting business with two people.
Each structure will have a different set of business licenses and permits you need to apply for, so be sure to contact your local town or city office to ensure that you have them all. The requirements are all submitted to different entities as well. A certification of the organization would need to be sent to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, while licenses go to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
There are many steps you need to go through before you’re ready to operate your online shoe business. But as long as you plan ahead, things will progress more or less smoothly. Besides, the real challenge is sustaining your momentum and thriving in the long run.
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Finley Gilbert is a social entrepreneur and writer by profession. He covers entrepreneur, business and startup stories for EntrepreneurMindz.com