Six steps to start your Shopify t-shirt business

Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 4 min read

T-shirts are the most basic items in our closet, yet they are also the most popular pieces of clothing to reflect our identities. Its low investment and high profit are the two reasons why the T-shirt business always attracts online merchants and entrepreneurs.

If you want to start a Shopify T-shirt business, check the article below! We will reveal six steps to build up a successful online store.

Step 1: Select A Niche

It is necessary to narrow down your target audience and interest group, and that’s the reason why selecting a niche is the first step to build up a Shopify T-shirt store.

For example, you can’t say that you want to focus on customers who are keen on funny slogans. That category is too broad. Instead, tighten it a little bit, such as making T-shirts with funny slogans related to domestic pets like ThinkPup and the product below:

1. A T-shirt with slogans related to domestic pets of ThinkPup.png

There are many methods to find a niche for your brand, such as:

  • Consider your hobbies and find out whether its communities is big or not
  • Visit subreddits on Reddit and pay attention to ones with high subscriber and engagement rates.

Step 2: Search For Quality T-Shirt Material

Sacrificing quality for higher profits sounds pretty tempting; however, that will prevent customers from coming back to your shop again. Is it really worthwhile to destroy your brand’s reputation just to get a little bit of money?

If you want to work in this business, the quality of T-shirt material must always be your paramount consideration. Selecting a quality T-shirt material includes some factors, such as fit, softness, weight, material, size, and color. For example, Alstyle has been trusted by many merchants for their wonderful blank T-shirts:

2. Alstyle_s blank T-shirt.jpeg

Step 3: Produce Your T-Shirt Designs

Now it’s time for the design, something that only belongs to you and helps you stand out from other T-shirt merchants in the world. Here are some useful ways that you can consider to get your own T-shirt designs:

Search For The Best Selling Designs

If you are stuck with the ideas, google the words “best sellers T-shirt” or “most popular T-shirt design”. You can learn about popular trends and if fortunate, you can find some inspiration from those famous designs.

You can visit several websites like Redbubble, Kickstarter T-shirt Campaigns, Zazzle, or SnorgTees for consultation. You can also check Google Trends to know what topics are currently attracting most people on the Internet.

3. Redbubble.png

Employ A Designer

After coming up with an idea for T-shirt designs, you need to turn it into reality. If you know how to produce designs by Adobe Photoshop or other similar programs, that’s great. If not, you can find professional designers to do that for you. Look for them at the design communities like Behance and Dribbble, or through freelance networks like Upwork or Freelancer.

4. Search For Freelancers On Upwork.png

Purchase T-Shirt Designs

Buying pre-made designs is the fastest way, but its disadvantage is that the designs might be bought by other people as well. Therefore, your products will look familiar and will be difficult to stand out.

Some famous T-shirt graphic marketplaces you can visit are Designious, Creative Market, GraphicRiver, and Tshirt Factory.

5. Creative Market.png

Step 4: Make A T-Shirt Mock-Up

The function of a mock-up is that it helps customers imagine how the designs will look like when printed on a T-shirt. You can order a sample and take its photographs; or you can create a digital mockup by some T-shirt templates online, as the picture below:

6. A T-shirt Digital Mock-Up.jpg

People tend to use Adobe Photoshop T-shirt templates most due to their quickness and multiple layers that allow them to change the T-shirt’s colors easily. Another mock-up software is Placeit with the same function but doesn’t require you to download and learn about Photoshop.

If you still find it difficult and time-consuming, visit Fiverr and look for someone reliable to help you make a mock-up.

7. Placeit.png

Step 5: Validate The Designs

This step will ensure there is a group of people who are really interested in your designs.

You can validate the designs by utilizing personal social networks - upload your designs on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media and see how your potential customers react to them. Another way to take this step is Reddit. Its countless subreddits help you find a target group of consumers easily, and you can ask for their thoughts before investing money into the business.

8. Fiverr.png

Step 6: Build Up Your Online Store

T-shirt print-on-demand services are a great and convenient choice. Those kinds of services will print and ship the products directly to your customers, so you don’t need to worry about transportation or inventory. Moreover, they can also print your designs on other things, such as phone cases, tank tops, stickers, or mousepads…

For more details about how to start a print-on-demand business, check this article.

That’s the last step you need to carry out. Now you can be confident to start selling T-shirts online!

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