7 of the Best Shopify T Shirt Stores We’ve Seen (& what they can teach you)
Are you thinking of starting your own Shopify t-shirt store but don’t know where to begin?
Shopify is a great platform for launching and managing an online store – and starting a t-shirt store on Shopify is an excellent way to dip your toe into the world of eCommerce and earn some money.
In this blog post, we’ll review the 7 best Shopify t-shirt stores we’ve seen. We’ll break them down so you can learn what makes them successful and implement the same strategies on your own store.
From choosing a niche and sourcing products to setting up payment and shipping options, we’ll cover everything you need to know to give your store the best chance of success. So, if you’re ready to turn your Shopify t-shirt business dreams into a reality, keep reading!
How to start a Shopify t-shirt store 101
Starting a t-shirt store on Shopify can be a great way to turn your passion for design into a successful online business. Here are the basics of how to get started:
1. Choose a niche
In the context shopify t-shirt stores, your niche refers to the specific group of people who are interested in a particular type of t-shirt or t-shirts related to a particular theme or topic.
For example, a niche for a shopify t-shirt store could be “vegan t-shirts,” “t-shirts for cat lovers,” or “t-shirts with quotes from classic literature.”
By focusing on a specific niche, an online t-shirt store can target its marketing efforts towards a specific group of customers and differentiate itself from more general stores that offer a wider variety of t-shirts.
When selecting a niche, consider the following 5 factors:
- Passion: Choose a niche that you are passionate about. This will make it easier for you to come up with designs and write content for your store.
- Demand: Consider whether there is demand for t-shirts in your chosen niche. You can do market research to see if there are already successful stores in your niche, or use tools like Google Trends to see if there is interest in the topic.
- Competition: It’s important to consider the level of competition in your chosen niche. If there are already many successful stores in your niche, it may be more difficult to stand out.
- Profitability: Make sure that there is potential for profitability in your chosen niche. This means that people are willing to pay for t-shirts in your niche and that there is room for you to make a profit after accounting for production and marketing costs.
- Target audience: Consider who your target audience will be for your t-shirts. This will help you narrow down your niche and come up with designs and marketing strategies that will appeal to them.
Start by brainstorming a few ideas Then see how your ideas fit into the above five criteria. If an idea satisfies all the criteria, it’s worth testing!
2. Find a supplier
Next you’ll have to find a supplier. There are a few different options for sourcing t-shirts, including:
- Purchasing blank shirts in bulk
- Printing them yourself
- Using a print-on-demand service that handles production and shipping for you
Each of these three approaches has pros and cons. But in our book, the easiest way to start is by using a print and demand company.
This is because using print on demand means you don’t need to invest money upfront in printing equipment or inventory.
Sure, you may get a lower profit margin. But you’re also taking significantly lower risk. So if you’re starting out, we recommend using a print on demand supplier. Here’s 8 solid options to check out:
- Apliiq Dropship
- Lulu Xpress
- JetPrint: Print On Demand
3. Design Your Shirts
Now for the fun part – designing your awesome t-shirts. There’s two ways to go about creating great designs – the first is to create the designs yourself. If this what you want to do, here’s a few tips we’ve learned from successful t shirt store:
- Keep it simple: Simple designs are often the most effective. Avoid adding too many elements or using too many colors, as this can make the design look cluttered.
- Use high-quality images: Make sure to use high-resolution images in your designs. This will ensure that the final t-shirt looks crisp and clear.
- Consider the print method: Think about how the design will be printed on the t-shirt. Some printing methods, such as screen printing, work best with simpler designs, while others, like direct-to-garment printing, can handle more complex designs.
- Test your designs: Before adding your designs to your store, it’s a good idea to test them out on a physical t-shirt to make sure they look good in real life.
- Get feedback: Ask friends and family for their opinions on your designs. This can help you identify any areas that need improvement before you launch your store.
- Use design software: There are many design software programs available that can help you create professional-looking t-shirt designs. Some popular options include Adobe Illustrator and Canva.
4. Hire a t-shirt designer for your store
If you’re not comfortable designing your shirts yourself, you can always hire a designer to create your tshirts for you. Here’s our best advice for getting a designer who’ll meet your expectations:
- Determine your budget: Before you start looking for designers, it’s important to know how much you are willing to spend on a designer. This will help you narrow down your options and find designers that fit within your budget.
- Create a job posting: Go to UpWork and create a job posting for a t-shirt designer. Include details about the job, such as the type of t-shirts you need designed, your budget, and your timeline.
- Search for designers: Use the search function on UpWork board to find designers who have experience with t-shirt design. Invite these designers to apply to your job posting.
- Review portfolios: Look at the portfolios of the designers you are considering hiring. This will give you an idea of their style and whether their work is a good fit for your project.
- Choose a designer: After reviewing the portfolios and talking to several designers, choose the one that you feel is the best fit for your project. Make sure to discuss the details of the project and agree on a price and delivery date before starting work.
5. Build Your Shopify T-Shirt Store
Now that you’ve got a couple of quality tshirt designs, it’s time to build your store.
- Sign up for a Shopify account: Go to the Shopify website and sign up for a new account.
- Choose a plan: Shopify offers several different plans, ranging from a basic plan to more advanced plans with additional features. Choose the plan that best fits your needs.
- Create your brand: There’s quite a bit that goes into creating a professional and recognizable brand. We’ve covered the process in depth with examples in this post for when you get to this step.
- Set up your store: Once you have signed up for an account and chosen a plan, you can start setting up your store. Choose a theme, integrate your print on demand app, add other essential apps like ReConvert for upselling and customize the look and feel of your store.
- Set up payment methods: Shopify integrates with a variety of payment gateways, such as PayPal and Stripe, to make it easy for you to accept payments from customers.
- Launch your store: Once you have added your products and customized your store, you are ready to launch. Click the “publish” button to make your store live and start selling your t-shirts online. You can use a coming soon page if you’re not just ready to launch yet.
6. Market your Shopify T-shirt Store
Sadly, the maxim of ‘build it and they will come’ doesn’t always apply in the world of ecommerce. You’ll need to develop a marketing strategy to promote your Shopify store and make sales. Here are some tips for marketing your Shopify t-shirt store:
- Use social media: Utilize social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to reach out to potential customers and promote your store. Use hashtags and interact with users to get your store in front of more people.
- Use email marketing: Collect email addresses from customers and use email marketing to send out newsletters and promotions.
- Run promotions and discounts: Offer promotions and discounts to encourage people to purchase from your store. This can be especially effective for attracting new customers.
- Use influencer marketing: Partner with influencers in your niche to promote your t-shirts. This can be a powerful way to reach a large audience and drive sales.
- Use Google Ads: Use Google Ads to run targeted advertising campaigns to people who are searching for t-shirts online.
- Optimize your store for SEO: Make sure that your store is optimized for search engines by using relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions, and by having a well-designed website with good user experience.
To learn more about each of these methods and how you can use them in your business, check out this post we wrote on ecommerce marketing.
7 Best Shopify T-Shirt Stores For Your Inspiration
Okay, now that you understand what’s involved in starting your own Shopify t-shirt store, let’s jump into our favorite t-shirt stores, and learn the secrets behind their success.
1. SassySpud – Best T-Shirt Store for Vegans
SassySpud is an awesome Shopify t-shirt store that shows how important niche selection is. They market to a very passionate audience: vegetarians and vegans. Choosing a passionate niche audience like this makes selling much easier.
See, for many vegetarians and vegans, their dietary choices are part of their identity. SassySpuds gorgeous tees allow their customers to express themselves, and flaunt their unique personality to others.
What’s more, SassySpud really understands their audience. The designs are clever, funny and usually pretty trendy for whatever their audience finds cool in a given season.
Niche selection aside, SassySpud has also built a strong brand through a color palette, copywriting, imagery and typography that appeals to their target customer. The light pinks and powder blues & emojis galore create an unmistakable feel that you won’t forget.
SassySpud also mixes in quality lifestyle photography (as above). Taking photos like this requires more effort. You need to order the product and set up a simple shoot. But such images help SassySpud stand out from competitors who just rely on digital mock-ups.
🔑Key Takeaway: You’ll stand the best chance of success when you understand the niche you’re selling in. Then, once you have awesome designs, think about how you can build a brand that resonates and always go a step further than your competitors.
2. Factory43 – Best T-Shirt Store For Graphic Design
Factory 43 is a Seattle-based screen printing shop that produces unique, illustrated t-shirts, wall art, stickers, puzzles, and more.
The store’s product page is designed in a simple yet unexpected way, with most of the product information displayed on the left side of the page and images in the center.
One thing we loved about Factory 43 is that they use an incentivised pop-up. When I was leaving the site, I got served this 10% off pop-up which I can claim in exchange for my email:
This is an awesome way to nudge first time customers towards a purchase. As well as capture the contact details of leads who are interested in buying your prints.
Moving on, Factory 43 utilizes a customized version of Shopify’s Blockshop theme, which utilizes the full width of the store pages to create an immersive shopping experience.
What’s more, Factory 43 excels in their use of a minimally customized Shopify theme, innovative product page design, and beautiful original illustrations. The moving page elements on the homepage also add to the overall shopping experience.
🔑Key Takeaway: Add an incentivized pop-up to your store to lure customers and interested shoppers deeper into your sales funnel.
3. Homefield – Best T-Shirt Store For Collegiate Tees
Homefield caters to a large American audience by focusing on college students and alumni. They offer vintage-inspired designs for over 120 colleges and universities across the United States.
One thing we really loved about Homefield is their website navigation. Customers can easily locate their school by using the top menu to browse alphabetically or by visiting the “all schools” page. Menus are logical and easy to navigate, plus their search function works impeccably.
Another awesome thing Homefield does is leverage reviews to build trust with shoppers. On product pages and their home page (see below), Homefield heavily slathers on the social proof.
Glowing reviews like these give customers the confidence to complete their order. Think about ways you can showcase customer testimonials to increase buyers motivation and make more sales.
🔑Key takeaway: Use an app like Loox to implement automatic review collection. Use these reviews on your website & also in your marketing communications to add legitimacy to your brand.
4. BeCause Tees – Best T-Shirt Store for Environmentalists
BeCause is a family-owned company based in Northern California that sells shirts and hoodies featuring prints inspired by local wildlife.
For every purchase, 10% of the proceeds go to a planet-saving cause of the customer’s choice, and the company also plants 10 trees. This is awesome because it aligns the brand with their customer’s values.
One thing that BeCause does well is cross-sell and upsell. When you add a product to cart, you see a pop-up that offers you to skip the printing queue for $6.99 and get your order faster. This is a clever upsell that doesn’t require any additional investment on your part.
Another tactic to take inspiration from here is that BeeCause has a free shipping threshold of $75.
This is important because it’s the price of two printed tees, plus another $5. So, if people are going to buy 2 tees, they’ll be much more likely to pick up a third item to cross the free shipping threshold – bumping the AOV higher without much effort.
🔑Key Takeaway: Use upsells on your product pages and thank you page to boost your average order value. Then, add in a free shipping threshold thats’ 5-15% more than your median order value to pump order sizes even higher.
5. Self Care is for Everyone – Best T-Shirt Store for Mental Health
Taking care of your mental health and self-care has become super popular in the past few years (which is wonderful!).
Self Care is for Everyone is an awesomely branded Shopify t-Shirt Store that’s capitalizing on this trend. Seriously, check out this increasing trend line on Google Trends:
Remember when you’re doing your niche research that a strong signal of demand is a graph that follows a similar pattern.
More than a trend though, Self Care is for Everyone is trying to make a real difference in the world by donating a whopping 10% of their net profits to mental health and suicide prevention organizations.
What’s more, this store uses independent artists to create their unique designs. Full credit for each design goes to the artists, and they’ve paid over half a million dollars to the creators since founding!
One of the more interesting website features is the above pop-up, which offers a free downloadable mental health activity book. This content marketing approach is a nifty way to capture potential customer’s emails at a very low cost.
As with SassySpud above, this online store is colorful, and douses shoppers with a glow of purple as they peruse the stock. This aesthetic extends to the store’s instagram account – which is an impressive portfolio of how you can use user generated content to power-up your marketing campaigns.
🔑Key Takeaway: Defining your brand values, and sticking to them, helps you attract your ideal buyers and also make a difference!
6. Furriends Clothing – Best T-Shirts Store for Pet Owners
Furriends Clothing, a pet-centric clothing shopify store, began in Queensland, Australia.
The team behind it are a group of pet lovers who work at the same animal supply store. They started creating fun shirts for themselves to wear at work, but it quickly turned into a successful business.
They offer a wide range of shirts for not only dog lovers, but also for fans of other animals.
Interestingly, they offer customization options on many of their tees. You can add names, in-jokes and more to create a truly unique gift for the per lover in your life.
This is a brilliant example of how you can take your store one step further than every other t-shirt store in the pet niche.
Furriends also allow shoppers to split up their payments using the app Zip. SO instead of forking out $40 for a customized tee, shoppers can opt to pay $10/week for 4 weeks – which is a much more attractive offer.
🔑Key Takeaway: Small upgrades to your store like customization and multiple payment options can be the difference between a struggling store and a thriving one. Don’t sleep on apps that can help you outshine your competition.
7. ShirtBox – Best Shopify T-Shirt Store for Humorous Prints
With the cost of customer acquisition on the rise, it’s not always easy to make profit when selling a single t-shirt for $20.
Shirtbox understands this – so they’ve added a subscription element to their Shopify t-shirt business. Instead of selling one t-shirt, Shirtbox sells a subscription for £11.99/mo.
If we assume that their customer’s stay subscribed for one year, that means they’re generating £143.88 per sale on average. A lot better than generating £20 for one tee, right?
🔑Key Takeaway: Focus on customer lifetime value – think about ways you can get customers to buy more than once. Use emails & socials to keep customers engaged with your brand. Remember, it’s far easier to sell to existing customers than attracting new ones.
6 Tools to help you launch your Shopify T-Shirt Store
If you’re inspired to launch your Shopify t-shirt store, here’s a selection of tools to help you get set-up and ready to sell.
- Canva – An awesome free web-based design tool where you can create t-shirt designs, without needing to know the intricacies of Adobe illustrator. They also have a free course to show you the ropes of good design.
- Placeit – With this tool, you’ll be able to create amazing mock-ups of your t-shirts. The mock-up engine creates images that’ll look like you hired a professional photographer and models!
- UpWork – A great platform to find freelance t-shirt designers who can help you create next level designs. You can also find freelance marketers, Shopify pros and more to help you solve whatever problems arise.
- Printify – One of the most trusted print-on-demand solutions on the market. Automatically syncs with your store for easy inventory management and order fulfillment.
- Printful – Another big name in the world of print on demand with super fast shipping times. Always cross-check your chosen supplier against others to ensure you’re getting the best price possible.
- ReConvert – Use our Shopify app to Instantly add upsells to your store. You can use it to sell customers a pair of socks to go with their shirt, and overcome those dwindling margins!
Go Forth and Start Your Shopify T Shirt Store!
T-shirts remain a popular clothing item due to their ease of wear and endless customization options. Shopify t-shirt businesses that target a specific niche and execute it effectively can be highly profitable, as proven by the examples provided.
Now that you have the information required to sell t-shirts online, what are you waiting for? Every great success story began with someone jumping in and starting. You can figure out the resort as you go on!
If you have any questions or comments, drop them below and we’ll answer them as soon as we can! Good luck!