Dreaming of Opening Your Online Store? Here’s Your Checklist

1. Decide what you’re going to sell

Before you start doing anything, think of the concept itself. You have to have a clear image (at least in your head) of what items you are thinking of selling, what prices you are going to offer and who is your ideal customer.

2. Choose if you’re going to hold your own products or use dropshipping

Carefully decide and calculate if you are thinking of buying your goods in advance. Why? Because you may find that it would be more reasonable to choose dropshipping. How does it work? When you sell a product, you purchase the item from a third party and they ship it directly to the customer. In this way you don’t have to manage your stock and handle the merchandise yourself.

3. Brainstorm your business name and buy a domain

It make take you awhile to come up with a unique name for your brand or service. Try to keep it as simple as possible. Customers engage in labels that are easy to type and remember. When you are finally satisfied with the name, you need to buy a domain to make your website look professional. You can find many different providers online (I used Webhuset.no). Take note that it may take up to 24 hours to confirm your domain. After that you can easily connect it to your website.

4. Find a platform to create your website, the one which suits you best

The most popular ones are Shopify, BigCommerce, Weebly, WIX or WooCommerce. I guess Shopify is the most popular one this year, but personally I like WIX the most. It is modern, simple to use, and it has way more tools and plug-ins than the other ones. But feel free to explore and compare your options!

5. Set up the most necessary features

Your main page is going to be judged like the cover of a book. Keep it simple, neat and easy to navigate. Browse your favorite online stores to see how others do it. You might also find inspiration for other features!

Don’t forget to set up your contact form. It’s extremely recommended, since it makes it easier for potential buyers to ask questions and for you to give them an outstanding customer service. You may also use a live chatbox. In that way you can answer questions even faster.

Implement payment methods. Credit card payment is a must have, since it’s still is one of the most used paying methods in the world. For this I recommend using Stripe. Don’t forget to add the popular PayPal or whatever payment method is popular in your country.

6. And last but not least: your marketing plan

It’s time to find out how you are going to bring traffic to your website and turn your visitors into customers. I highly recommend using e-mail marketing. It’s easier to attract someone’s attention by promising them awards. For example offer a discount or a free shipping and in return, ask them to sign up to your mailing list. My advice: do not spam people with e-mails, cause it takes only one click to unsubscribe. Your efforts might go nowhere.

Also, consider writing a blog. It helps boosting SEO. Blog posts that specifically use a variety of SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site.

Congrats! You made it through the checklist. Don’t forget to keep your site up to date. Good luck!

Thank you for reading,

Deimante Kros

3 European Beachwear Brands That Use 100% Recycled Materials

Summer season is just around the corner. Let’s make this season a green one. Wondering how? By investing in sustainable swimwear brands.

I discovered some of the nicest European brands that use recycled material: Econyl. It’s made from recycled fishing nets, plastic bottles and other plastic debris found in the ocean. By recycling, we are not increasing the demand for plastic and are helping to give new life to what otherwise would have to end up in the trash.

These are the top 3 of mine:

  1. ilovebelove
Website: https://en.ilovebelove.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ilovebelove/

”We believe in lasting aesthetics, creating timeless and versatile garments, with refined lines, where beauty and comfort converge, with the influence of our Mediterranean roots.
We use natural and sustainable materials in our collections. Our swimwear collection has the highest quality Italian recycled fabrics. We control the entire production process of our garments. All handmade and 100% local production.”

2. COCOTAM

Website: http://www.cocotam.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cocotamswim/

”Our swimwear offers a modern approach to feminine silhouettes. The color palette is inspired by earth tones with a hint of fantasy including nude, red and deep rose tones. All garments are handmade in Lithuania using Italian ECONYL Lycra of the best quality. The fabric is produced from discarded fishing nets and other plastic waste found in the ocean. It is long lasting, chlorine and sun resistant, which minimize the waste.”

3. PURA Clothing

Website: https://www.puraclothing.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/puraclothing/

”Today, textiles are still being produced under inhumane and environmentally damaging conditions. Our goal is to contribute to a more sustainable textile industry. The PURA parts not only look stunning and underline the beauty of every woman, but it is also extremely important to us to focus on sustainable and fair production. All parts are made by hand in Switzerland and Italy using the softest, most beautiful and highest quality Italian fabrics (100% recycled).”

Do you know more sustainable swimwear brands which are based in Europe? Please, let me know in the comments below.

7 reasons to start blogging

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
  1. It’s a good way to organize your thoughts, improve your writing skill and learn new things. It may work as a personal journal to clear your mind. As you find yourself thinking about new ideas, the first thing to do is to write it down so you can sit and expand your thoughts later without worrying of forgetting it. Also, by looking for new blog post ideas, you may get to learn things that you probably wouldn’t know without blogging. Don’t forget that you may also become a better writer!
  2. If you have a business or other acitivity, it’s a great way to create content and attract audience. The most important thing is to find a concept for your business blog that engages the readers and makes them want to check out what you or your company is offering or selling.
  3. You might create opportunities for yourself. You may get noticed and get offers to collaborate or even a job! How amazing would it be to earn money from writing without expecting it to happen?
  4. Tell your story or write about something completely made up. Let you creativity flow! Isn’t amazing to have someone to tell about your life? Where you come from, where you grew up, what are you doing with your life or your accomplishments… or just write stories about things that have never happened! Once you get a hang of this, who knows, you might even write your own fiction book!
  5. You will inspire others. Blogging takes your personal time and energy. Once you start posting consistently, you will start getting readers one by one coming back for more, because they will see that you’re dedicated to what you do. It’s an amazing feeling of giving and think of all the positive comments you will get.
  6. You will meet new people. Everybody knows how easy it is to meet people online. The blogging community is friendly and encouraging one another to succeed. Follow, comment, reply and you might make new friends for a lifetime!
  7. You will become more confident. The scariest part of blogging is starting itself. Start by taking baby steps and over time, you’ll reveal more and more of yourself to the world… and eventually you’ll gain confidence in who you truly are and what you do.

Fast fashion means slow death for the planet

We all love a new garment to renew our closets once in a while. Some of us – even more often than that. But before we head out into the sales for those irresistible deals and discounts, we should stop and think a little about how it affects the environment.

Clothing industry is at the forefront of environmental pollution, exploitation of people and low-wage pay. It is the second largest polluter in the world, coming second to oil. There are so many clothing collections presented every season, but not everyone knows how much toxic waste is being released to the nature due to distribution of the garments.

WHAT IS FAST FASHION?

It is the mass-production of clothes, often inspired by recent trends seen on the runway or celebrities sold for an affordable price. The maximum number of times people wear clothes from fashion giants like Zara or H&M are roughly around 20, because the garments wear off fast due to quite poor quality and cheap fabrics. This is the reason a huge amount of clothing is thrown out and new clothes are bought to replace them. Due to social media influencers and fashion marketing it keeps growing and growing. Sadly, where is demand there will always be supply.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

HOW DOES IT AFFECT OUR PLANET?

  • About 70 million trees are cut off to produce such materials as viscose, modal fiber, and sorrel.
  • The cotton growing farms consume the most of pesticides, not to mention water use and contamination.
  • An average american throws out about 30kg of clothing per year.
  • A quarter of the world’s chemicals is used in the textile industry.

One of the most popular fabrics used to make these clothes is polyester. It does not cost much and has wrinkle-free properties. At the same time it is a synthetic petroleum-based fiber, meaning it is made from non-renewable resource. When the garments get thrown out, it takes more than 200 years to decompose causing the growing of landfills.

Soone or later the toxic substances get into the water, also reaches the water that we drink, which means that we are slowly poisoning ourselves. Not to mention inevitably changing climate because of the contaminated coasts and oceans.

The other major problem is the amount of unsold clothing. In 2017 H&M was accused of burning 12 tonnes of garments. A lot of donations have gone to Africa, South America, and some countries in Asia. But in the last couple of years, some African countries, like Uganda and Kenya, have banned the importation of secondhand clothing. The reason for this is they are building their own textile industry and they cannot compete with the very low price of imported goods. Even if it would be for the good of their people.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/environment-costs-fast-fashion-pollution-waste-sustainability-a8139386.html

IS FAST FASHION SLOWING DOWN?

Sustainable fashion has been growing these last few years. Many people get affected by pictures and articles they see online. They start buying long-lasting, in some cases a little bit more expensive clothes, which are made from recycled materials like for example discarded fishnets and other plastic waste found in the ocean, recycled rubber or organic cotton.

As people become aware of the issues, more brands have started to promise more eco-friendly business practices to keep their customers. Zara has been aiming to stop sending all unused and unsold textiles to landfills by 2020. They have also started using recycled materials and ecologically grown cotton. H&M Conscious (products made using recycled materials) collection takes only 5% of their products, but they are meaning to increase it to 100 percent sustainability by 2040.

In spite of progress being made by brands to minimise their impact on environment, it is still predicted that the industry’s water consumption will grow by 50% and the amount of waste it creates will grow till 148m tonnes by 2030.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Ethical brands believe that the biggest issue is the consumer: it is either their lack of awareness of the issues or unwillingness to pay for sustainable products. The most important thing is to start doing little changes in your everyday life.

Slow fashion clothing production processes are aimed at maximizing the durability and sustainability and stopping misusing of employees and paying them appropriate wages together with maintaining their dignity, rights and security.

Photo by Gem & Lauris RK

Sources:

https://www.businessleader.co.uk/hm-and-zara-the-sustainable-fashion-brands-killing-the-environment/56166/ (Barney Cotton. 28 November, 2018)

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/environment-costs-fast-fashion-pollution-waste-sustainability-a8139386.html (Patsy Perry. 8 Januar, 2018)

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/hm-a-fashion-giant-has-a-problem-4-3-billion-of-unsold-clothes/ (Elizabeth Paton. 27 Mars, 2018)

https://www.greenmatters.com/style/2018/08/28/ybXGX/fast-fashion-impacts-environment (Koty Neelis. 6 September, 2018)

http://theconversation.com/it-may-not-be-possible-to-slow-down-fast-fashion-so-can-the-industry-ever-be-sustainable-82168 (Mark Sumner. 21 September, 2017)

https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/h-m-accused-of-burning-12-tonnes-of-new-unsold-clothing-per-year/2017101726341 (Vivian Hendriksz. 17 Oktober, 2017)

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/9/17/17852294/fashion-brands-burning-merchandise-burberry-nike-h-and-m (Chavie Lieber. 17 September, 2018)

Hello boss lady!

Welcome to your go to fashion and business marketing insider blog. My name is Deimante Kros and my plan is to keep you informed with latest marketing news. The main topics I am going to cover are fashion, brand management and developing and digital marketing. So sit comfortably and enjoy!

Photo: Pexels.com