Is now a good time to start a shoe business online? More than ever.
The global footwear market is a multi-billion dollar industry with the revenue projected to reach $138M by 2025. Stable market growth and the trend for innovations in this sector make selling shoes online a viable business idea. If you approach the whole thing with proper savviness and responsibility, you may introduce the next market-defining ecommerce startup.
Latest trends in the footwear market
The global footwear market growth is primarily due to the high demand for comfortable and stylish footwear. Innovative design and advanced developments are in demand here as well, so many emerging sellers have equal chances to reach success in the niche.
Eco-friendly leather shoes
Leather shoes are considered a premium product and have a significant market share. With the buzzing eco-friendliness, however, providers started distributing high-quality leather look made of environmentally friendly materials.
Sports above all
The footwear market is traditionally divided into sports and regular footwear. Increasing public awareness of the importance of health and fitness is driving the demand for sports shoes. The sports segment is expected to have the fastest CAGR of 4.4% from 2019 to 2025. So if you’re planning to start a sneaker business online, now is the right time.
The popularity of events such as the Commonwealth Games, the Olympic Games, and FIFA is growing, which also has a positive effect on the popularity of this category of goods. Companies are launching specialized sports products to grow their customer base. For example, PUMA has recently unveiled the evoSPEED 1.3 Graphic lightweight soccer shoe concept.
Vintage is back in trend
Shoes with prints and brogues are predicted to reach the new level of popularity by 2025, and companies are trying to meet consumer needs by offering custom-made shoes. American footwear suppliers Bright Idea Design Studio, Inc., Explicit Shoes Inc., and Simply Feet are striking representatives illustrating this trend.
Shoes are categorized into men’s, women’s, and children’s categories. The male end-user segment accounted for the largest market share in 2018 and will continue to dominate the forecast years. The main factors driving this segment are the rising costs of fashion and clothing.
However, the women’s segment is expected to have the fastest average annual growth rate of 4.3% from 2019 to 2025 due to the increase in the number of people working worldwide. Improving living standards, especially in the emerging markets of the Asia-Pacific region, will further expand the segment.
Profitability of selling shoes
An average online store selling shoes makes around $800,000 in sales, generating over $100,000 of pure in-house profits. That means that you are looking at a huge return on investment reaching 50% when you are considering launching an ecommerce store to sell shoes online.
How to start an online shoe business
Do you have what it takes to start selling shoes online in the rich market segment? We will point you in the proper direction and help start things off step by step.
Step #1 – Write a plan
Create a business plan to sell shoes online. Decide what exactly you are going to sell after carefully studying the market.
Step #2 – Build a website to sell shoes online
How to start selling shoes online? Build a website! You can sell your products via existing marketplaces at the beginning of the journey. But if you plan on expanding your business and building your brand, you will need a recognizable, secure website with unique design.
Step #3 – Purchase products
Purchase products through wholesalers and distributors. Study all offers and choose the best one. Start with 10 sizes for each shoe style to provide customers with a wide choice of products.
Step #4 – Design great customer experience
Selling shoes online business is based on quality customer service. For online stores, it implies a user-friendly website: adding product filters, setting up the cart and checkout page, providing personal customer accounts, and offering customer support to clarify details and confirm purchases.
To enable online payments, a payment gateway API is required – it’s best to provide several payment methods, e.g., via PayPal, Stripe, Google Pay, and other popular gateways. To provide shipping options, check drop shipping rates or use FedEx or UPS for standard and overnight shipping requests.
The best place to sell shoes online
Are you wondering how to sell my designer shoes online? Or how to sell shoes from other brands? If you don’t have your own website yet, here are your options as to where to sell shoes online.
The undisputed leader among the existing web marketplaces. Amazon is currently ranked higher than Nike on the list of top retailers for men’s shoes as well. Moreover, the platform offers one of the easiest ways to sell shoes online.
Another renowned giant that can act as a great platform for selling shoes. Though sellers here sign up even before they are able to list any items forming a competition to reckon with, the traffic is worth it.
Kixify is a free site that focuses primarily on letting you sell shoes online. To sell sneakers for cash on Kixify, you need to create a showcase. There are no setup or placement fees and you can create your store for free. After selling the product, you will have to pay an 8% commission.
Flyp connects you with a professional salesperson who does all the “dirty” work for you. Flyp Pro sellers help you sell goods for a commission and provide compensation upon each item sold. Here, professional photos will be compiled for you, the most relevant applications for each brand and style will be selected, delivery and customer service will be handled.
The RealReal is a luxury consignment store that serves brands such as Michael Kors, Gucci, Chanel, and Calvin Klein among others.
You can work through this platform in several ways:
- Schedule a free home pickup (if available in your area);
- Submit your items to The RealReal with a free prepaid label;
- Visit a luxury goods office in person to drop off your merchandise.
The team made up of over 90 experts will be helping you provide services. The amount you earn depends on how much you sell in a particular month, with average payouts ranging from 50% to 55% of the price.
StockX is a website that sells sneakers and apparel. Sellers list an item for sale or can put it up for auction. The item is then sent to Stockx, which validates all items before handing them over to the buyer. Each seller will pay a 3% processing fee and seller’s fee. The seller’s commission depends on how many sales you’ve made. If you don’t have a history with StockX, they charge the highest commission of 9.5%. If you have 30 sales with $10,000 worth of items sold, your commission drops to 8.5%.
Craigslist was among the first ever online platforms for buying and selling used shoes and other goods. It is still incredibly popular and, not least, is free for shoe sellers. The downside is that the site does not offer verification and security features. Craigslist shoppers can be unreliable.
Etsy is an online marketplace where you can design and sell shoes online. The website specializes in handmade or vintage items, including shoes, clothing, and accessories. This site is specifically aimed at people looking for unique clothing items rather than popular brands. Etsy reaches 45 million buyers worldwide. There is a $0.20 fee per item, plus a 5% transaction fee and payment processing fee.
Custom website to sell shoes online
The best place to sell shoes online may as well be your own web platform. This is the best solution if you want to grow, create your own customer base, and make truly promising profits.
How to build your own website to sell shoes online
Choosing the right ecommerce platform is basically your answer to how to sell shoes online and make money. With the wrong choice, a platform with insufficient capacity will limit the growth and success of the online store in the future. That is why it is extremely important to consider all the specifics.
Let’s start by understanding what makes Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce as top options in the first place, and if they really solve the problems of ecommerce store owners. While all three of them serve the same purpose, they are completely different.
Magento is one of the most popular eCommerce suites in the world. We highly recommend it as we have specialized in creating Magento-based sites for years. A self-service platform serving thousands of stores with a huge user base that includes everyone from store owners to the biggest brands. Magento was founded in 2007 and offers a free version (Community) and a premium version (Enterprise). The platform is very flexible and grants endless possibilities for customizing your online store to sell shoes. We recommend reading our guide on pros and cons of Magento for more details.
Shopify has also amassed a sizable user base and caters to the needs of retailers who don’t care too much about the technical aspects of things. You can create dynamic online stores with Shopify in minutes. It is pretty simple to figure and is focused on providers looking to be exclusive and high-status in the market. With that, respective pricing comes along.
BigCommerce is another eCommerce platform from the “big three”. This is a great option for small- to medium-scale businesses on a budget. BigCommerce user base and industry ratings are growing steadily. To use BigCommerce, you have to pay a monthly subscription fee for the hosting infrastructure. The platform also offers small- and medium-sized businesses the ability to manage their online stores without worrying about hosting issues.
We believe that Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce are some of the worthiest eCommerce platforms out there. A recently released report on the current state of the eCommerce industry showed that there are nearly 240,000 domains registered on Shopify. On the other hand, around 160,000 websites are powered by Magento, and BigCommerce powers around 25,000 websites. For most cases, we recommend choosing Magento as the most balanced solution.
Before you start selling shoes online, it is important to write a business plan, avoid common pitfalls, and be confident in the success of your business. For our part, we are ready to provide you with excellent opportunities for creating sites. Elogic is an ecommerce development company helping businesses succeed with relevant and powerful tech solutions.
We hope you find our tips for creating an online shoe store helpful. Start your business and make a profit, and we will always help you in creating the best web project. Contact us to get a consultation or a project estimate.