Why sell socks online
Starting your own business can be overwhelming as every industry seems to have an endless supply of competitors. There’s no denying that success can start to feel like a pipe dream, but this couldn’t be further from the truth - at least when it comes to selling socks. If you’re thinking socks are a small part of the average person’s wardrobe, you may be right. However, the market share they take up in the apparel & fashion industry is big. In fact, Expert Market Research has valued the global socks market at nearly 45.1 billion in 2020, and expects to grow 6% between 2021-2026 likely due to an increased demand for health and fitness socks.
Selling socks is a good beginner product for new business-owners. Like graphic tees & phone cases, socks are easy to market to a niche. Think about it, everyone of all ages wears socks. With so many aesthetics, functions & demographics, it’s easy to find a niche corner of the market to sell to.
How to make socks to sell
If you decide to start selling socks online, it’s important to know what is required to create quality products. The truth is, creating higher quality socks may require a bigger investment up front as you explore materials and dyes, and any designers, prototypers, and manufacturers you want to work with. Once you establish the right supply chain to make your socks, you’ll want to calculate how much profit you make for every pair of socks you sell, once you subtract the cost of labor and costs associated.
If you choose to explore other manufacturing alternatives, you can purchase custom-printed socks from Printful at around $12, that need to be sold for $15-$20 to make a significant profit. On the plus side, users tend to be willing to pay a bit more for unique items designed by their favourite artists, so if you’re able to build a big enough social media following around your art, the higher cost shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Read on to explore other options for tapping into this market and selling socks online.
How to start a socks business
To start selling socks, you’ll need to think about the types of socks you want to make and who it is you’re making the socks for. Are your socks made for a particular function like working in cold conditions, or are they targeting athletic performance? Deciding on all the above will help you create the right sock business to achieve your goals.
Follow these three tips to further establish your business:
Decide who your target market is. Knowing who you’re wanting to sell socks to is crucial for developing a sock business that resonates with a select audience. For example, if you decide to make trendy socks for millennials, you’ll need to create a brand and marketing plan that resonates with that age-group online.
Establish the types of socks you want to make. You can choose to make socks out of any material, shape, size, or style. Once you know who your target market is, you can start to design your socks for that audience. For example, within 2020, there was a rise in socks created for diabetic patients who needed socks specifically made to maintain healthy feet and circulation. These socks have specific requirements in order to aid the customer. As you explore sock variations, it’s best to decide on a particular style or function to build trust with potential customers.
Decide on your market niche. A great way to explore and define your product niche is by looking at successful competitors within your niche and identifying what makes their product unique. You don’t want to copy the same idea, but this exercise will be useful in understanding the market and what helped other brands become successful online.
How to sell socks online
Once you have your brand established and have completed setting up your online store, it’s time to start thinking about marketing your business online. The internet is a vast ocean that fills exponentially with online communities on Instagram and Facebook groups. Chances are, some of these online communities include people who will want to buy your socks. As a small business, you’re in a good position to take advantage of:
- Finding communities interested in supporting local businesses in your area
- Finding ways to participate in community related events, markets, and other local opportunities to promote your business
- Connecting with other small businesses and learning from their experiences
- Gathering feedback from your customers and community
Being actively involved within online communities and potential customers will help you understand what kind of content and products you need to include in your branding and on social media. Don’t forget to like, comment and follow users with similar interests as people in your niche. This is an easy way to bring exposure to your brand to users who might be more likely to follow you. Once you’ve worked on building a significant following and have built their trust in your brand, you can get a bit more sales focused with your posts. But stay conservative in your approach. You can promote products to your users, but remember that if your content starts to feel too spammy, you’ll notice your follower count starts to go down.
It’s a good idea to start with a discount, or even better, a free product. Consider offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal, or holding a giveaway in exchange for an email address. It’ll help generate leads and also give your audience a positive glimpse of your brand. You may even consider giving rewards to customers who promote your brand on social media. For example, a discount to customers that post pictures of them using your socks. Just make sure they’ve tagged your brand-profile in the post.
How to wholesale socks
If you’re looking to explore other options for your sock selling business, wholesale socks could be a way to go. Marketplaces like Handshake help you explore ready-to-sell sock brands available (at a discount) to sell on your online store. This option could be great for anyone looking to learn more about the market, and to help eliminate costs associated with creating more products. Using the wholesale process is a great way to focus on growing an online business with an established market niche, and lets you focus more on curating a variety of products for a specific audience. You may find that you want to eventually create your own products after having visibility into what sells on your website.
How to dropship socks
As a small business, it can be tough to manufacture socks and hold your own inventory. If you’re looking for ways to streamline packaging and fulfilment, then dropshipping might be for you. Companies like Oberlo give you the freedom to dropship socks affordably since you only pay for goods that customers order instead of buying inventory in bulk.
If you're more inclined, you might consider designing the socks yourself and then dropshipping them using a print on demand company like Printful. If you’re looking to start dropshipping already designed socks from AliExpress, there’s a wide variety of socks you can get for around $3 a pair. Similar designed socks at popular fashion retailers sell for around $12-$15, so setting your price a little lower than that is enough to keep your prices competitive while still making a profit.
Can I sell socks on Shopify?
What do you need to start a business?
How do I start selling socks?
How much should I sell socks for?
How much does it cost to start a sock business?
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Is selling socks profitable?
If you decide to dropship through AliExpress, here are a few tips to set yourself up for success.
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