4 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Clothing Brand


There are few things more exciting than launching your new online store.  You are literally teetering on the edge of your own clothing empire and nothing would feel better than flipping the site live and watching the sales roll in.

But wait, before you set everything live, take a quick moment to answer the following questions to find out if you are making some common, but potentially crucial mistakes:

  1. Did you design too many products to start? 
  2. Did you choose wisely when selecting the base garments for product designs? 
  3. Did you protect your profit margins? 
  4. Did you set up auto-renew settings for your labeling and branding subscriptions?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it is never too late to adjust your plans!

Did You Provide Too Many Print-on-Demand Product Design Options At Launch? 

This might seem counterintuitive, but marketing research has found that offering fewer products at launch to your customers leads to a higher conversion percentage and more sales in your store.  One of the most common mistakes a clothing brand makes is offering your customers TOO MANY options by having dozens, if not hundreds, of separate product designs available to their customers at launch.  And that doesn’t even include the color variants!

Always leave them wanting more, right?

The first issue with having EVERY product imaginable available to your customers at launch is that it will result in a very cluttered storefront that isn’t aesthetically pleasing to the eye. After you have uploaded all of the products that you want to offer at lunch to your website, does your storefront look like this:

How Will Your Customers Find the Product They Want?

Cluttered tools in a drawer are similar to offering too many products in your storefront.

or does it look like this:

Fewer Choices that are clearly delineated will help drive sales!

Like an organized and efficient closet, a simple and clean storefront with fewer options will help your customers to readily choose the products they like most.

The second issue with having EVERY product imaginable available at launch there being so many products that they like that instead of buying the one they like the most, they will favorite or bookmark the 20 products that they like but probably never end up buying any of them. Help your customers make up their minds to click the buy button by only offering a select few and choice product designs  having fewer choices helps to create a sense of urgency in the mind of your customers and a sense of urgency leads to higher conversion rates.

The third issue with having EVERY product imaginable available to your customers at launch is what room have you left your brand to grow moving forward?  If you already have product designs for every season and every type of base garment, how are you going to release new products to your customers with future drops and collections?   What new product launches are going to merit emailing all of your followers?  Remember to keep in mind reasons for future newsletters or emails to your followers and new product or collection releases are great ways to keep your clothing brand relevant and at the forefront of your customers’ minds.

What is the right amount of products to offer at launch?  There is no one right or wrong answer to this question. While we would recommend starting with somewhere between 3 to 5 product designs, we would not recommend having more than 10-15 to start. And that does not even count color variants of your product designs.

Always leave them wanting more!

Did You Review Current Nationwide Inventory When Selecting the Base Garment to Use in Your Custom Hoodie and Custom T-Shirt Product Designs?  

Recently, we added the nationwide stock and availability of a base garment to the product listing on the website.

Apliiq Stock Availability on Website

New level of transparency with nationwide base garment stock and inventory

Though current inventory does not guarantee future availability, we strongly recommend choosing a base garment whose stock levels are high to use in your product designs.

This is another advantage of not making every product design available from the start.  As you design new products for releases or collections to add to your store’s offerings, you will use the most up-to-date information available about which base garments will most likely not have stock issues.

Did You Protect Your Print-on-Demand Brand’s Profit Margins?

There are three things that we will ALWAYS charge you for when a dropship order is placed by a customer: the dropship cost to make the ordered products, a dropship order fulfillment fee, and the cost to ship the ordered products to your end customer.

As we will always charge you for shipping, have you protected your profit margins by passing along the shipping cost to your customer?  The video at the top of this domestic USA shipping rates help article walks you through the process step-by-step of how to setup shipping in your Shopify store.  If followed correctly, you will pass along 100% of the cost but no more to your customer.

Also, Apliiq is proud to ship to over 150 countries worldwide and here is an international shipping help article to reference as well.

Did You Set Up Auto-Renew Settings for Your Labeling and Branding Services?

Making small investments at the start of your brand to utilize our labeling and branding services can pay big dividends for your clothing line; however, it is also important to set up those labeling subscriptions for continued success as your brand grows over time.  One of the biggest missed opportunities by new Apliiq partners is that they do not set up their labeling services and subscriptions to automatically renew when their inventory gets low and this can lead to unnecessarily delayed orders or orders whose costs are higher.

For woven labels and embroidered patches, it is important to set up the auto-renew settings in your account as reorders of labels and patches can still take 2+ weeks to finish production and be ready to go.

Setting up the auto-reorder for these subscriptions will provide the time buffer needed so that orders are not delayed unnecessarily waiting on the new labels and patches before they can finish production and ship out.

Fortunately, it is very easy to set up all of our different labeling services for automatic renewal.  Here is a link that walks you throughhow to set it up for woven labels and embroidered patches.

For private labels and tagless neck prints, it is important to set up auto-renew settings so that you control the cost of the labels and prints to you instead of having to always pay the $2.50 pay-as-you-go per label cost.

Clicking on “buy more now” will give you the opportunity to buy private labels and neck prints in bulk at a reduced per label price, and if you buy some private labels, your remaining inventory will increase (red boxes).  Clicking on “change” will set up the the amount of labels or prints you buy when your remaining inventory gets below a certain threshold (green boxes):

Private Label and Neck Prints Inventory Management

The top of your Subscriptions page within your Apliiq account.

Private Label Inventory Management

After clicking “change” within the Subscriptions page of your account, you can configure your private label auto-inventory renewal settings