Have you been looking for new ideas to start an online business? Want to create a niche for your brand but not sure where to begin?
How about finding a foothold by starting an online footwear business?
After all, as an extension of fashion, it is one of the most demanded online shopping categories. After China and USA, India ranks third in demand and consumption of accessories for the happy feet. Also, India is the second largest producer of shoes.
So, you have all the staple elements that make a stable business, viz; a good demand as well as the availability of the product in demand. Now, all it takes to build a business idea is a detailed business plan and smart marketing strategies.
Ready to start your journey by stepping into the online footwear business?
If you are nodding yes, you certainly have considered this as a business option. All that you need now is access to well-documented research so that you can make an informed decision and plan a successful business.
In this blog, we bring for you a comprehensive market analysis along with tips for starting, managing and growing your online business in a hassle-free manner. So, without much ado, let’s begin with the forecasts that will help you plan the trajectory of your business in the years to come;
Forecast For The Footwear Market for 2019-2023
- Global revenue for this industry segment amounts to $119,104m USD in 2019
- Global online footwear market to grow at a CAGR close to 5%
- Asia Pacific region contributes to 53% of the online growth
- The market size will grow by $3.26 billion for the period
- The Indian footwear market is expected to grow annually by 12.6% (CAGR )
The forecasts are very encouraging and with buying online becoming a global fad, it offers great opportunity to take the business beyond borders. Also, since this is a need-based industry it has a better chance at success in the fast-growing economies like India.
The Key Drivers Of Online Footwear Business Growth
In the past few years, Ecommerce has become the new normal for shopping. The natural progression of Ecommerce into m-commerce made things even easier. The easy-breezy shopping experience on mobile devices gave more freedom to online shoppers. The ability to place orders on the go has given the right tools in the hand of the modern shoppers to indulge themselves.
This contributed further to the growth of many online industry verticals that were traditionally run in brick and mortar shops. Some of the key drivers of this trend are;
- Rapid growth of internet penetration and smartphone use
- Exponential growth of ecommerce and m-commerce channels
- Growth of fashion and lifestyle industry gave a boost to the footwear industry
- Foray of traditional offline businesses into ecommerce world
- Growth of urban population and double income families
- Ease of online shopping across the generations especially, millennials
- Greater use of digital payments across the globe
- Increased use of customized shoes for sports and fitness
- Easing of logistical challenges enabling seamless deliveries
Challenges of Online Footwear Industry
The key drivers clearly indicate that this industry is going to witness steady and stable growth in the coming years. This makes it a good niche to invest in and take advantage of the ecommerce boom.
However, despite the bright forecasts every industry has its own set of challenges. If you are aware of these before taking the final plunge you can also work out ways to find a solution for these barriers.
So, before further ado, let us check out some of the major challenges faced by entrepreneurs planning to foray into the online footwear industry;
- Finding a solution to build an online store that works well on all devices
- Scattered and unorganized custom footwear manufacturing pockets in India
- Maintaining an updated inventory in sync with changing fashion trends
- Seamless and timely product delivery
- Minimizing product returns due to size, appearance or comfort issues
- Effective use of old-stock without losing the profit
- Competitive pricing to stay ahead of other players
- Multiple payment options like online payments, net banking, payment wallets and COD
- Managing omnichannel presence and sales of your online store
All of these challenges can be overcome with strategic business planning and aligning the right resources. Let us see how to find a solution for them and start
Putting The Best Foot Forward: How To Start An Online Shoes And Footwear Business
So, all set to start that dream online business? Well, with the ever-growing sales figures of ecommerce, this is a market that has ample opportunities despite the stiff competition. All you need to succeed is a well-charted business plan and the right tools at your disposal.
Wondering if it is as simple as it sounds?
Well, with StoreHippo by your side, it’s really easy to create an online store and get customers to your website selling trainers, stilettos, flats, sandals, crocs and much more.
So let’s check out a step-wise guide to starting your business;
Decide Your Business Model
This is the first decision you will have to make as the rest of the plan will revolve around it. To begin with, you will have to make a decision whether you want to deal in branded or custom made products for your business. If you are not sure about either, going for a mixed catalogue will be a good approach as it will ensure regular orders thanks to the popular brands and also ensure big ticket conversions for your custom footwear products.
Once you have decided the final business model, do some market research and find reliable suppliers for your branded as well as custom products. This is the most crucial step as it will help you offer a rich product list to your customers.
Also, since the competition in this industry is stiff you need to define your unique value proposition that sets you apart from your competitors. You should plan your branding efforts around this USP and make your customers feel connected with it to make a start on the footing.
Create An Online Store Just For Your Business
What is the first thing that your visitors notice about your website?
The theme and the design layout!
The way your homepage is designed leaves a lasting impression on your visitors. By choosing an aesthetic theme aligned with your brand goals you are taking the first steps towards making your website stickier. By customizing your look and feel you create a brand identity that goes a long way in attracting and converting visitors.
Also, use your website to strategically place your marketing campaigns, new arrivals, bestsellers and products on offer. Along with this, when you create an online store, take extra effort to ensure a good UI/UX. Offer your customers easy navigation, quick search, multiple product photos and videos, accurate size charts, user reviews on product pages to help your customers make an informed and quick checkout.
Leverage The Mobile Commerce Potential
We know that customers keep switching between devices throughout the day and more than 70% of product searches begin on a mobile device. Also, depending on the industry vertical 50% to 80% of sales come through the mobile channel.
By taking the mobile commerce route you can not only sell more footwear but can also reach to a wider market. All you need is a site that works well across devices of every size and configuration. Additionally, if you can build a PWA store that looks, feels and works like a mobile app you have the added advantage of reaching out to customers even on poor internet connections and basic smartphones. This simple step can grow your business manifold by bringing more customers to your website.
Market Your Footwear Brand For Success
Despite having the most product-rich catalogue and the most competitive prices you cannot have a successful business if your store is not visible to your customers. To create a brand value for your business you need tools that help you with SEO and let you optimize your site quickly.
Also, you need handy yet powerful marketing tools to run a mix of marketing strategies. Some of the features and tools that can make your marketing success are, third-party integrations to run mass mailing campaigns, promotions and discounts based on coupons, customer retargeting tools like automatic abandoned cart follow up, real-time push notifications etc. .
Make Payments Easy
Make it easier for your customers to buy footwear from your online store by setting up multiple payment channels. Multiple payments options help you convert better by offering a frictionless checkout for your customers.
StoreHippo ecommerce platform offers comprehensive ecommerce services which are not only limited to building your online store. You also get to choose from a host of reliable and secure payment gateways at no additional cost. This allows you to offer multiple payment channels which include card payments, net banking, payment wallets, COD etc.
Reach New Markets With Integrated Logistics
You best-laid plans to run a successful online footwear business can be marred if you do not plan a smooth and seamless supply chain to deliver your goods. Timely product delivery not only helps you build customer goodwill but it also creates a good reputation for your brand by word of mouth.
Also, when you work with multiple logistics partners you can choose the most suitable delivery partner to optimize your cost and delivery time. This, in turn, helps you offer FREE shipping and other offers which are known to boost conversions.
StoreHippo offers you automated and discounted shipping options using multiple shipping partners. This helps you take your footwear products to new markets and widen your customer base.
We know that any business can be successful if we make a well thought out business plan and support it with the right technical solution. Storehippo ecommerce platform gives you the right tools and solutions to run your online footwear business. Built on mobile first principle the next generation ecommerce platform offers a 360-degree solution to create an online store designed for success.
So, what are you waiting for? Jump on the ecommerce bandwagon and start your online store right away by opting for a 14-day free trial from StoreHippo.