The online apparel business is one of the most competitive, yet extremely profitable industries. People love shopping for clothes and there is no real limit to the number of clothes one can own. At the same time, t-shirts are among the most common apparels and there are thousands of competitors to deal with in this business.

In this article, we will take a look at the specific guidelines to launch a successful t-shirt selling company online.

Create Designs

The success of an online t-shirt store depends on the quality of the products on sale. There are two aspects to this. Firstly, it is important to find a supplier who can provide you with the t-shirts of the highest quality. Secondly, it is important to come up with unique designs that customers shall be interested to pay for.

Websites like AliExpress can help you find suppliers who supply t-shirts. Once you find suppliers who are willing to print your custom designs, the next step is to come up with unique designs. The best way to do this is by hiring a designer who can produce new designs on a full-time basis. There are also free and paid tools that let you design t-shirts.

It is worth pointing out that creating unique designs alone is not enough. It is important to pick a store theme and create designs that align with the theme. For instance, if you sell t-shirts targeted at new dads, make sure your t-shirts are targeted at this niche audience.


The next step is to devise a procurement strategy. There are two ways to do this. Traditionally, eCommerce businesses design a limited number of t-shirts and get them manufactured in bulk. The produced goods are then held as inventory in warehouses till they are sold to customers. This not only limits the number of designs you can create, but also increase holding costs.

The more efficient way to do this is to dropship your t-shirts directly from the manufacturer’s shop. These are t-shirts that are printed on-demand. This brings down the cost of holding inventory to zero. Also, it enables your business to virtually offer an unlimited number of designs to your customers. You should however note that printing t-shirts on demand can be a lot more expensive than producing them in bulk. However, given the lower holding costs, the right procurement strategy depends on your specific situation.

Setting Up Your T-Shirt Store

A high quality website is absolutely critical to eCommerce success. Finding the right theme and eCommerce back-end can drive the success of your store. There are hundreds of articles on this topic and we won’t spend too much time here on this article. But in addition to this, it is also important to provide high quality visuals of your offering to customers.

For a t-shirt store, it is important to showcase how your t-shirts look on real people. But if hiring a model is expensive, then you can make use of tools that offer t shirt design templates online. This way, you could create a high quality store with minimal budget on models and presentation.


Marketing defines the success of any business venture. Selling t-shirts online can be extremely challenging given the huge competition. Traditional marketing strategies like SEO can be completely unrewarding while search advertising can be expensive. What however works quite well for this industry is social media marketing.

Social media relies on ‘discoverability’ and this presents t-shirt sellers with the opportunity to reach target buyers. Invest in creating high quality social media campaigns to promote your t shirts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You could start by advertising your campaigns to a small chunk of prospective buyers. In the long run however, your focus must be on gathering followers for your social media accounts. While Facebook and Instagram algorithms can make it difficult to reach all your followers organically, they are still a much cheaper way to market your product compared to advertising.


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