Looking to start your own ecommerce business? You will find plenty of experts recommending you get into the t-shirt market. Custom t-shirts are fairly easy to produce. They enjoy high demand, they are easy to ship, and they never go out of style. The only problem is this: the t-shirt space is extremely crowded.
How do you stand out in the crowd against so much competition? You could try to do it through pricing, but that would mean undercutting the competition so far that you don’t make a decent margin. You could offer free shipping, but a lot of companies do that. Licensing is an option, but an expensive one. So what are you left with?
The most effective way to stand out in the crowded t-shirt market is to find and develop a niche. Lots of companies sell t-shirts. On the other hand, very few of them make the effort to exploit a niche. Find your niche and you stand a chance of doing very well.
What Do People Love
To find your niche, first ask yourself what it is people love. Look at the latest trends in pop culture, sports, politics, etc. Find something that everyone is talking about but very few t-shirt companies address. Umai is a boutique t-shirt brand that has done just that. What is Umai’s niche? Anime.
Anime is one of the hottest genres in entertainment and pop culture. It generates billions of dollars of revenue around the world. It is so popular that studios and streaming services are falling all over themselves to gain market share. Even Madison Avenue ad agencies are turning to anime to reach a younger audience.
Strangely enough, there aren’t a whole lot of t-shirt companies that have chosen to exploit this market. Umai has. Furthermore, they have done so with a unique angle. That leads us to the next point.
Find Your Angle
It is one thing to find your niche. It is another matter to attack it from a different angle. You need an angle because your niche probably won’t be completely devoid of competition. And if you succeed, you are going to draw more competition into the fray. Your angle is what will maintain some semblance of uniqueness for your brand.
Getting back to Umai, their angle is original artwork. Umai clothing does not license anime or manga content from other creators. Their t-shirts and sweatshirts do not feature the most popular anime characters now appearing on streaming series. The company relies exclusively on artwork produced in-house. And it’s not amateur stuff. It is high quality, professional-grade work produced by a genuine artist.
Target Your Audience
Finally, having a particular niche and angle tells you who your target audience is. Play to that audience. Market using social media, blog posts, guest posts, and even videos. Focus your marketing on those venues where you are most likely to find your target audience. Do so consistently and you will draw people to your store. Then your products will hopefully sell themselves.
Understand that marketing is not a one-time thing. Long term success depends on continually getting the message out their time and again. You have to market for as long as you intend to stay in business, or your business will die. That is the way it works.
There is no doubt the t-shirt market is crowded. But there’s also no doubt that there is still room for more players. People love t-shirts; you cannot deny that. So succeeding as a t-shirt seller is possible. You have to find your niche, come up with an angle, and reach your target audience.