A lifestyle article on ‘The Independent’, a popular online publication, states that socks are the new shoes, and I couldn’t agree more.
Since the last couple of years, socks, to everyone’s surprise, have become a fashion icon to everyone’s surprise. You will see many celebrities, from Justin Trudeau to Justin Bieber, whose socks game is on point.
This rising popularity of funky, custom socks has led to entrepreneurs either including custom socks in their existing catalog or starting a full-fledged socks printing business.
The latest market reports are proof of the growing demand for socks. The global market is likely to grow at a CAGR of around 5% during 2021-2026.
If you are one such business owner wondering about starting your socks business, this guide has got you covered!
Everything Comes Down to Your Target Audience
Want to host a hit birthday party? Keep in mind the age and interests of your guests. Want to have a successful comedy show? Again, know your audience’s demographics.
In the same way, when starting a business, the first thing to do is identify your target customers. That will help you position your product and brand that best fulfills the needs of your end customers.
This stage is where you decide if you want to have a one-stop-shop or you want to narrow it down. For instance, you can offer a wide range of socks categories from sports socks to socks for special occasions.
Or the other option is to choose a niche category like socks for corporate clients or socks only for kids between 5-10.
The option you choose depends upon your business requirements. But if you are just starting, it is a smart choice to have a niche approach.
It will enable you to serve your customers best, and steadily help become a market leader in your niche.
For example, CustomSocks specializes in providing socks for corporate companies. Their clients include top organizations like Microsoft, Cisco, etc.
Design & Material Play a Huge Part in Buying Decisions
Once you know your target market, the next step is to decide the type of socks you can sell. This part covers all the details on that subject.
Choosing the material is not as difficult as choosing the designs. You can have a combination of different materials like cotton, wool, nylon, polyester, and so on.
What’s important to focus on is the design of socks, as it can make or break your business. Choose socks designs that your target market prefers.
There are various online resources available to help you understand the latest trends. Below is a list of some current trends:
- Floral prints
- Tropical motifs
- Socks with pop culture references
- Bright colors
Other places where you can find design ideas are social media platforms. Check on Instagram, Pinterest using relevant hashtags to know what actual customers are posting.
Once you have a list of ideas, validate the demand for each.
You can integrate it with the backend of your eCommerce admin panel. For instance, if your store is built on WooCommerce, you can easily integrate a WooCommerce Web to Print Tool.
Enable Product Customization as a Unique Factor
Shoppers want to play an active part in the process of designing products. That’s why many businesses are enabling product customization on their online store.
Using Product Design Software, shoppers can create and buy custom products in minutes. You might wonder about the need to have such software when you can sell ready designs?
No matter how amazing your socks are, customers want to have them entirely tailored to their choice.
A Product Design Software puts the control of designing in customers’ hands. It, therefore, helps enable confident purchases and enhances customer satisfaction.
It also cuts down unnecessary back and forth between you and your customers to finalize a design before a product goes to printing.
You can send price updates in real-time, leverage artwork proofing features to minimize errors and generate print-ready files. Other features to look for in a Product Design Software include:
- Artwork manager
- Ready-to-use design templates
- Clipart library
- Custom font manager & text editor
- Custom image upload
- Background and image editor
All of these will ensure better productivity and timely delivery of your products.
If you are looking to enable customization, you can partner with a reliable Web to Print Solution provider.
Their end-to-end solution will not only help you build an online shop but also integrate Product Design Software.
Either Build a Store from Scratch or Leverage Ready Web to Print Store
A beautiful and well-functioning website is a must-have to run a successful store. There are two common ways you can go online.
One is to custom develop a website. You can start by choosing an eCommerce platform like Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and such.
Choosing the best eCommerce platform depends on a lot of factors like cost, themes, user experience, customer support, features, and so on.
If you do not want to follow this extensive process of custom development, you can choose to have a ready Web to Print Store.
The store comes with all the features you need to run an online store smoothly. By using different storefront themes, you can design a custom website as per your business logic.
Typically, a Web to Print Solution includes storefront features, a functional Design Tool, payment modules, marketing tools, and other third-party integrations.
Your website is the first interaction potential customers will have. It is important to give them a seamless shopping experience to win their trust. Below are some latest eCommerce trends:
- Increase in mobile shopping
- Rise of voice search
- Multiple payment methods
- Increased use of video content
- Chatbots for great shopping experience
Managing Suppliers, Print Infrastructure, and Such
There are several other aspects other than building a website that you need to consider when you start a socks business.
First, you need to find suppliers for your products. When choosing suppliers, some important points to consider are price, quality, etc.
Printing, packaging, and shipping are other points to consider. You can choose to handle all the aspects by yourself or choose to have a print-on-demand business model.
The print-on-demand industry is speedily growing. Here, you partner with print-on-demand service providers like Printful or Printify, who will take care of inventory, printing, and shipping.
It is a low-risk business model as you need not stock any inventory. This also helps you experiment with different other products.
Socks can be a very profitable business idea if you have the right roadmap and tools. These are some crucial points that you need to consider before starting a sock business online.
Apart from these, it is equally important to pay attention to marketing your online store. With thousands of businesses selling online, gaining traction has become a major hurdle.
Apart from the traditional ways of marketing like SEO, social media, etc., let customer experience be your brand differentiation.
Shoppers might forget a product, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
By enhancing their shopping experience at every touchpoint, you can not only enjoy customer loyalty but also generate word-of-mouth marketing to drive sales and build a successful brand.