E-commerce and independent clothing - 2011

Like many industries, the web has completely changed the fashion industry. It is becoming increasingly easy for anyone to find manufacturing online to create high quality fashion. The internet also allows small independent clothing brands to market to people all around the world. However, although the e-commerce sector as a whole has been growing tremendously, online apparel hasn’t experienced exactly the same level of growth. Based on Forrester Research, US online retail grew 12.6% this year to $176.2 billion. U.S. online sales are required to reach $278.9 billion by 2015. However, only 9% of clothing is sold on internet, while 50% of computers can be purchased online and 40% of books are sold online.


The nature of e-commerce is tough for apparel. The general model for online retail is to buy products in volume and also to sell items at the lowest price possible. This presents a problem for clothing brands; apparel companies wish to protect their brand value and don’t wish to undercut their brick and mortarstores in pricing. Many brands open their own webstore to sell directly to the customer. However, emerging artists and designers are now finding that they must do it all: designing, marketing, sales, building a website, managing a webstore, and run a warehouse.

For customers, there isn't any one place to safely obtain many amazing independent brands. There is no way to tell how reliable a completely independent seller will be. The best artists and designers don’t always make the most reliable seller.A new online streetwear store, DopeHut.com,is providing a unique solution for apparel brands. Instead of creating designers fulfill orders, DopeHut combines e-commerce with low-pricewarehousing.

“To run an e-commerce store, you have to be consistently committed to providing great customer service. That’s the beauty of the internet, if you suck, customers will easily find someone else to purchase from. Too many brands handle e-commerce themselves like a secondary thought; often ignoring the customer’s buying experience. We attempted to create a platform that can help independent clothing brands run easily, in the end focus on providing great customer experience” says Felix Cheung, CEO of DopeHut. New websites like DopeHut.com are representing a new generation of e-commerce websites which are pushing innovation and changing the client experience.