Developing a marketing plan for a clothing store gives you a roadmap on how to get and keep customers, and how to make them happy by giving them what they want. The plan includes strategies that help narrow down the types of clothing you plan to sell while identifying the people most willing to buy the clothes. The plan also covers the prices you’ll charge for the clothing, and the ways you'll go about getting it to sell.
The plan must contain a thorough description of the clothing lines you want to carry, and a plan for obtaining the clothing from distributors or manufacturers. Part of defining your product requires taking a careful look at each of your competitors to determine their pricing strategies, the products they sell, and the benefits their lines offer. You need to differentiate yourself from these competitors so you stand out from a crowded market, such as becoming known for offering high-priced formal and business clothing, or selling discount clothing to outdoor enthusiasts.
You must know everything possible about your target market in order to convince them to buy your clothing. Find out the common characteristics, such as age group, income level, and the area where your customers are most likely to live or work. Determine how many times your ideal clients make clothing purchases and at what times of the year. You should also look at their lifestyle –– determine if your target customers are trendsetters or traditional buyers. Take a look at the media your customers pay attention to, as this helps determine where you will need to advertise.
The promotional strategies in your marketing plan start with your logo, and how it conveys the type of clothing you sell or the target market you want to attract. Then, you need to look at ways to promote your clothing line with sales promotions, advertising and publicity. The plan needs to include the frequency of your promotional efforts timed with your target market’s most likely shopping sprees, such as selling children’s clothing when school is about to start, or pushing bathing suits in late spring.
One way to track the success of your plan is to set goals that show how much clothing you want to sell and how many customers you want to attract. Your goals might include obtaining financing to buy more lines, introducing new brands, or adding on products associated with clothing, such as accessories and shoes. Review your goals on a monthly basis, and make changes to your strategies if you see that you’re not attracting enough customers, need to do more advertising, or want more variety in the clothing lines you sell to get people in the door.