Building a website for your new t-shirt business is easier than you think.
Let’s explore the multiple options you have when designing your t-shirt business website and what advantages and disadvantages you might encounter for each option.
Online or real world?
Your first task is to decide whether you would like to use your website to sell online or if you would like to use your website to promote your offline sales.
What are the benefits and downsides of selling online and offline?
Selling online opens up more potential buyers. The market is much larger and allows you to reach people located throughout the entire world. However, selling online also presents some difficulties. Online customers have more options to choose from online, making the market more saturated for you. These online customers are more price-driven and don’t care as much about face-to-face interaction.
Delivery charges can also be expensive. Make sure you look into delivery charges to realise how much it would cost you per transaction. In fact, Royal Mail postage fees are rising and private couriers are typically only cost effective for larger items.
You must also keep in mind that sellers are subject to Distance Selling Regulations. It is important to abide by these regulations, so you don’t encounter any problems in the future.
Selling in the real world
If you setup your company to only sell t-shirts offline, you open yourself up to several benefits. However, you close yourself off to a larger market, and therefore less potential customers.
Selling offline allows you to maintain higher prices because you are able to focus more on service and the quality of your product. You are often able to make a sale simply by speaking to customers and many people still enjoy trying on their t-shirts and feeling the material before they purchase them.
Keep in mind that selling offline does not mean that you shouldn’t have a website. Your website is like an online business card. It adds credibility and allows people to find you online. You can also showcase your products and show credibility through testimonials or reviews. Regardless of where you sell your t-shirts, you should have a website.
Should you buy a website or subscribe?
One decision to make with your website is whether you want to purchase your website or pay a subscription.
A subscription-based site is the newest form of website building. It has cheaper upfront costs but can become more expensive over time. You typically pay a monthly fee between £3/month and £25/month.
When choosing a subscription-based website you don’t have access to the source code, so there is minimal customization. Businesses with special or unusual features may find these unappealing.
Hiring a developer
Most people hire a developer to build their website. Once you pay for the website, you own it. You then have access to the source code. Therefore, you are able to customise the site and add unique features that wouldn’t be available with a subscription-based website.
The website can then be designed to your own specifications. The only downsides to buying your website outright are that if the website has e-commerce functionality or other complex features, it might require extra ongoing costs for security.