These are the recently released pieces by French giant fashion house Dior in their Resort 2020 collection made with the African print fabric.
Back in 2017, another international fashion designer Stella McCartneysent models strutting down the runway in her Ankara pieces at the Paris Fashion Week. So the world is gradually waking up to the beauty of these fabrics we don't regard.
I've broken down this article into a 5 part section so people can easily understand the prerequisites of setting up their ecommerce store.
Below are the 5 parts of this thread
- Product/Look book
- Website (ecommerce store)
- Dollar payment channels
- Advert (Facebook/Instagram)
For there to be an ecommerce store, there has to be a product and in this case our product is clothings made from Ankara fabrics.However, this is not limited to clothings alone but accessories made with Ankara eg shoes, bags, bangles etc.
So how can local fashion designers leverage this trend to promote their brands internationally?
Just continue reading.
To be able to get international attention for your Ankara pieces, you'll have to create an Ankara look book that showcases your best works done with Ankara. I've had several people DM me to ask what a look book is.
A look book is a pictorial presentation of a designers body of work showcasing his/her design to the public.
Creating a look book involves several creative people who work together to achieve a common goal which is to present to the public a look book that'll appeal to them and generate sales for the brand.
Those involved are; the designer who creates the designs, a model(s) who wear the outfits, make up artist, a stylist, an art director and a photographer. After the look book is created, it is then presented to the public through various means eg social media, blogs, fashion shows.
For the sake of this article, this look book is designed to be presented to the public for sales purposes through our ecommerce site.
In order to showcase this to prospective customers abroad, we'll be opening an ecommerce store with the world's largest ecommerce platform Shopify.
Shopify is an easy to use ecommerce platform that easily allows you launch your ecommerce store, upload products, collect payment etc.
using a single dashboard to manage orders, shipping, and payments anywhere you go.
Once your store is set up, you can now upload your look book to your store.Endeavour to give a succinct description of each product.
Your business social media profiles will be added as links on your store as this is where traffic will flow from into your store and purchase can be made.
This is a typical example of what a well designed Shopify store looks like. I'm sure you like these, now imagine your Ankara store looking this beautiful 😁
This has to do with shipping orders from your customers abroad to them where ever they are "in the abroad." There are a couple of logistics company that ship goods abroad for businesses. A few are EMS, UPS, DHL, NIPOST amongst orders. Research one that gives the best price by kg and destination.
A few people on my tweet earlier made mention of how logistics eats deep into your profit but here's how to deal with that.
Let's assume an Ankara blouse on your store sells for $100 and shipping cost is say $30 to $40, you can use an FS (Free Shipping) strategy to woo people to buy goods worth $300 and above and get free shipping.
With your customers buying more, it'll give you more profits to cover your margins after paying for shipping.You'll have to do your calculations to know how much worth of goods your customers have to buy to be able to cover free shipping.
Isn't that amazing?
The standard means of payment in stores like these is in dollars. For you to be able to have a store where everything runs seamlessly, you'll have to set up your payment means. I recommend using @theflutterwave for this.
Alternatively, you can use PayPal.
Many people are of the opinion that PayPal doesn't work in Nigeria but trust me PayPal works here when you meet the right people to put you through.
However, you must be careful of the transactions u carry out using the PayPal account as any suspicious transaction or funds deposited in your account might get your account blocked but if transactions are solely from Shopify which also partners with PayPal then u have no issues
My friend who is an internet market with many years of experience will be available to assist you in setting up your PayPal account. You can send me a DM in that regard.
Now that we have our product sorted out, look book ticked, store already designed, logistics on stand by and how to secure our bags $$ sorted next is how to get customers to see our products.
Advert to our store will be done using Facebook ads. Facebook still remains the biggest social media platform in the world and houses most of our customers.
The adverts we'll be running will be properly targeted (targeting is almost everything in Facebook advertising) adverts set up to reach an audience that'll be interested in your product.
Aside the targeting, a captivating ad copy with a clear CTA (call to action) Will be necessary so as to enable customers come into your store and check out your products.
These adverts will also be connected to your Instagram account so as to get a broader reach and increase your chances of making sales. Google ads and YouTube video ads as also a great way to market your store to foreign customers.
incase you are new to facebook Ads, we have a lot of articles on how you can start learning about FB ads today , Facebook advertising, Targeting Your Ideal Buyers With Facebook Ads, Sell Anything Using Social Media Ads
So that's it on the ecommerce store set up.
I hope you've been able to gather enough to start your own ecommerce store.
Like I said earlier, my tech friends and I as well as my photographers have designed a service that'll help Nigerian fashion designers set up and run their own store.
We'll be covering everything for you from creating your look book, creating your store, arranging the cheapest
logistics, opening an account for you to receive your cash and advertising your store on your behalf.
For now this is only available to 10 people who're ready with their Ankara pieces for their store.
If this is a service you'll be interested in then kindly DM me.
With that we can call it a day