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How to Build A Shopify T-shirt store?

Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Drive 20-40% of your revenue with Avada
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T-shirts are not just a piece of casual wear, but also represent our personalities, desires, and identities. Due to this, t-shirts have become one of the most common products to sell online, especially for entrepreneurs and artists looking to start exploring a relatively low investment business.

With the popularity of the t-shirt industry, there’s no question that you’re going to face some competition. But by developing a brand for a particular market and designing the kind of t-shirt designs that your customers want, you will develop your own popularity online. In this guide, we’ll take you through every step of how to build a T-shirt store on Shopify.

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How to start an online t-shirt business

How to start an online T-shirt business?
How to start an online T-shirt business?

Here’s the good news: developing and launching a new t-shirt brand is relatively inexpensive and quick. If you already have designs that you want to sell, you can be up and running in as little as a couple of hours.

With the abundance of apps in the Shopify App Store, you can also connect your store to a t-shirt printer/dropshipping company in minutes and have a fully functional store ready to print and ship to your customers.

Read more:

Five factors to consider before starting a t-shirt business

Things to consider when starting a T-shirt business
Things to consider when starting a T-shirt business

Although the tools and technologies available today for designing, printing, and shipping your own t-shirts make it fairly easy to start, the hard part is building a brand to stand out from the competition. Combining rivalry with thin margins and creating an online t-shirt business is becoming a little harder than it would seem at first.

To succeed with your new t-shirt brand, you’ve got to make the right decisions from the start. There are several main elements to starting a successful t-shirt company. Each of these factors needs to be considered carefully before moving forward:

  1. Niche: being narrow will help you stand out as well as attract and target the right audience without burning out your budget.
  2. Design: Most people who buy graphics tees are looking for designs, logos, and slogans that resonate with them, expressing their thoughts and personality.
  3. Price: the price of the shirts and prints you use must be of the highest standard in order to create a successful company.
  4. Brand: A solid, interesting brand is essential to the T-shirt industry.
  5. Inventory: Handle your own inventory and take advantage of volume discounts, save time, and initial investment by paying for a print-on-demand service.

Let’s dive into each of the elements.

1. Niche

You might have heard a lot about this word, but nowhere is it more important to choose a niche than in the t-shirt industry. One of the most critical factors in creating a successful t-shirt company is the ability to stand out among the competition, and one of the best ways to do that is by appealing to a specific market or interest group. According to this T-shirt industry statistics, understanding the current market trends and consumer preferences can help you identify potential niches that have untapped potential.

Usually, categories like “t-shirts for people who like funny slogans” are going to be too large to tackle in a very established market. You ‘re going to want to tighten it a little bit more. An example of a more common niche would be t-shirts with funny slogans that appeal to doctors and nurses, or dog owners as seen below.

There are a lot of ways to identify and assess a niche, and here are some of them:

  • Visit the subreddits of your prospective niche and determine the number of members and the level of engagement.
  • Using the Facebook Audience Insights tool to estimate the scale of your niche on Facebook.
  • Check this list of common hobbies on Wikipedia for inspiration.
  • Consider your own interests and the communities that you are part of. See if that interest can be associated with a good niche.

2. Design

The last thing a customer would want to see in your store is a replica of a t-shirt template found elsewhere. Your designs don’t really have to be complicated, in fact, many of the best-selling graphic tees are very simple. They do need to resonate with your audience, however, and stand out.

3. Quality

Quality is the next most important factor in the success and sustainability of an online T-shirt company. Customers are disappointed by low-quality products, but just once and they’re not going to let you disappoint them twice. A design that fades and cracks or a t-shirt that shrinks and rips does not produce raving fans who come back and repurchase.

Although higher-quality t-shirts can cost more to manufacture, you can charge higher prices for the higher quality. The final quality of your t-shirt will be dependant on the material of the blank t-shirt, the printing method used, and the proper preparation of your design.

4. Brand

A solid, interesting brand is vital when it comes to doing business in the T-shirt industry. Your brand is a bond that will connect your niche, style, and price together. Creating a unique and likable brand is essential for businesses in a highly competitive industry.

When consumers have more options, it is highly important for an eCommerce company to have a distinctive presence to catch the interest of customers. If you have chosen a niche that reflects a certain lifestyle, you can apply it to your marketing and website to talk to the target customers.

5. Inventory

When starting a t-shirt company, most people either choose to purchase and keep inventory, take advantage of high-volume pricing and local printers, or use a print-on-demand service to handle inventory and ship off your plate. You can also pick a combination of both of them.

By keeping your own inventory, you can sell in-person more easily and potentially increase your profit margins, while with print-on-demand, you take a lot less risk. Weigh the pros and cons before you launch, and if you’re unsure, print-on-demand is still a low-investment way to test one of your business ideas online. Of course, if you have a budget for it, you can also invest in your own printer and set up an operation base.

How to create a T-shirt store on Shopify Step by Step

How to create a T-shirt Shopify store
How to create a T-shirt Shopify store

Now that you’ve got your t-shirt designs in hand, made your mockups and validated your idea, it’s time to create your shop on Shopify. It’s fast and simple to set up a T-shirt store Shopify, and you can start a 14-day free trial.

There are a number of print-on-demand t-shirt services that integrate directly with your Shopify store, enabling you to start ordering in no time. These companies will print and distribute your t-shirts to your customers on your behalf every time you receive your order. There’s no need to buy or keep any inventory upfront, making it a perfect way to start an online T-shirt business. Even better, you can use your design on other printable items, such as mugs and tote bags.

There is a range of t-shirts available through the following print-on-demand companies:

Read more: Printful vs Printify: Which Print-on-demand is Better?

Choose the right theme

With these best T-shirt Shopify themes, you can start your online business in no time at all. Stop the hassle of doing something from scratch when you can make the most of a top-notch, sleek, and easy-to-use site canvas.

All the themes you find here are completely functional and ready to be used out of the box. They come with versatile, highly scalable web designs that cater to various tastes by default. Of course, you can easily perform additional customizations and improvements to your brand, and you won’t have to do a single string of code.


Avone Theme
Avone Theme

When you start a T-shirt company, building an online store to drive your creations can take place in a little breeze. After all, when you see what is possible with Avone, everything is history. This strong, realistic, and scalable solution is for all of us. You don’t have to be a specialist to start setting up your online shop. Anyone can make it a reality, whether it’s a total novice or a pro.

With Avone, you get a set of 18 separate homepages and heaps of other inner page templates. You can mix and match that which is available and call it a day. You can also mark and customize Avone with your creative touch. Other treats include a super menu, product countdown, filtering, quantity post, fake sales count, and an Instagram feed. Avone also takes care of all the technological aspects.




Yanka theme
Yanka theme

Yanka’s modern and contemporary look will instantly hook your customers up. With 18 different samples from your homepage, you can enjoy a fast start to something spectacular. Thanks to its versatility, you can easily use Yanka as a Shopify theme to sell T-shirts. You could find a prototype that works out of the box for your project, but you can still customize it further. Instead of starting from scratch, select Yanka and make an immediate difference.

You’ll find a lot of features in the package that come at no extra cost. You ‘re just going to save $1,000 with Yanka! From the Megamenu, Instagram shop, and wishlist, to compare, fast view, and GDPR enforcement, it’s all part of Yanka. Let Yanka do the magic and drive your tees to a new height. Last but not least, exposure to a qualified team of experts is also what you get as a customer of Yanka.




Zeexo theme
Zeexo theme

Zeexo may just be one of the most popular T-shirt Shop themes we have in this set. Let’s face it, not all of the platform canvases come with 108 demos! In addition, Zeexo also releases an extra one each week. I know you’re looking at one heck of a Shopify theme that will easily satisfy your needs. And these homepage canvases are just one aspect of all the wonder that Zeexo has to bring.

In addition, with a one-click download, you can kick things off instantly. You can make any configuration adjustments happen without touching the file. Thanks to the live builder and configuration, Zeexo editing is a little bit of a breeze. Zeexo is also designed for all modern computers, web browsers, retinal screens, fast loading speed, and SEO.




Blackery theme
Blackery theme

We may claim that Blackery is the second biggest Shopify theme we’ve got here based on home page designs. There are a hundred of them, each looking new, competent, and very eye-catching. With Blackery, you can bring to life just about any eCommerce website you like, including one that is exclusive to the sale of T-shirts. There are also loads of other page templates in the kit that simplify and speed up the operation. Let’s focus on the hype.

Eighteen headers, sixteen footers, eight product pages, endless scroll, and live order updates are other Blackery treats. You’ll soon know that there’s nothing Blackery lacks. It offers all the essentials for an online T-shirt store to run comfortably as a beginner. Launch your online project with the implementation of the spectacular Blackery.




Molla theme
Molla theme

If you’re interested in cleanliness and innovation, Molla is the Shopify theme for T-shirts that will do the trick. For just a small investment, you can now have a strong eCommerce page that will carry your tee company to new heights. If you’re starting a new or existing brand, let Molla take care of your online presence. Multiple index and internal pages are waiting for each user to find the right look that suits their ideas quickly. You ‘re not even going to want to change something, as Molla is coming out of the box.

What’s cool about the themes we’ve got here is how simple they ‘re to use. In other words, you can get things going in the right direction by clicking a finger. Of course, there’s no need to learn how to code and do design work. With loads of headers and footers, a variety of applications, good results, a blog section, and a host of other amenities, Molla is a pack of treats that you should consider.



Install basic apps

Tidio Live Chat

Tidio Live Chat
Tidio Live Chat

According to MarTech, over half of the customers are more likely to buy if the platform has live chat, and customers are also more likely to return. You can use the power of live chat with the Tidio Live Chat app, as well as chatbots (up to 100 free automation events) to set up automated messages to address popular questions and monitor sales 24/7.

Free Trust Badges

Free Trust Badge
Free Trust Badge

Looking for more ways to create confidence with your Shopify store visitors? Free Trust Badges will help you do that. The app will build and show payment badges on your product pages so that users feel more secure that their details and transactions are secured.

Enhance your store with AVADA’s free apps

Having developed apps for eCommerce stores for many years, we, AVADA, have a deep understanding of what store owners need to build up a great store. With that knowledge, we have built a collection of apps that are must-have for every new Shopify store, no matter what industry you are in.

On top of that, despite knowing all the life-easing benefits that apps can bring, new store owners often have a budget limit, so they’d rather do things manually instead of paying for apps that get things done quickly for them. We understand that too, and we also believe that if new stores can have access to must-have eCommerce apps, they will be able to grow their store faster and have more budget for advanced apps later on.

This is why we are providing a collection of must-have apps that every new store should install, and all of these apps are FREE. These apps will help you run your T-shirt store much more efficiently. For example, you can use Proofo, our social proof app, to build trust with your customers and acquire reviews from those who have made a purchase. A T-shirt store will certainly need a size chart to help your customers pick the right size, and AVADA Size Chart will help you with that. If you want to offer free shipping to boost your revenue, you can get our Free Shipping Bar app to let your customers know you’re offering free shipping. This is just an overview of what our apps can do for your T-shirt store, and you can find out more about them in the links below.

All of these apps are now available on the Shopify app marketplace, so once you build your store on Shopify, you can go and grab them at once. Now, let’s review what our apps can do for you.

SEO Suite


SEO Suite app enables you to build elements of your on-page SEO effortlessly. It will help you optimize website photos and structures in a way that is most compatible with the Google Search algorithms.

Key benefits of AVADA SEO Suite

  • Free
  • Improve website loading speed
  • Faster Google index of websites images, content
  • Increase click rate with standardized meta tags
  • Auto-complete Google structured data for your website
  • No duplicate content
  • Control all web issues by SEO checklist
  • One-click auto-run, no technical skills required

Social Proof

AVADA Social Proof
AVADA Social Proof

81% of global customers say trust in a brand as their top buying consideration. Trust issues are one of the biggest concerns that you need to solve when it comes to eCommerce. There are many ways to create trust with website visitors. Showing dynamic customer interactions on your website is one of the easiest methods. This is why we build Social Proof.

Proofo - Social Proof Photo Reviews will show visitors’ interactions with your website in the form of pop-ups. These pop-ups are not the in-your-face type, but small ones that show up at the bottom left corner of your website. This design will prevent the feature from bothering your site visitors. There are many forms of pop-ups that Proofo can display.

Apart from showcasing social proof, Proofo also helps you collect features from customers who have bought from your website. “How?” might be what you’re asking. Proofo sends email reminders to customers who have bought but not left a review. It also sends reminders to those who have left a review but without a photo.

Size Chart

AVADA Size Chart
AVADA Size Chart

If you’re going to sell T-shirts on your Shopify store, size charts are an absolute must-have to help your customers choose the correct sizes for themselves.

AVADA Size Chart is very user-friendly; it has eleven presets available to suit all types of T-shirt products. All it takes is one-click to use any preset instantly.

Free Shipping Bar

AVADA Free Shipping Bar
AVADA Free Shipping Bar

Offering free shipping will help increase your sales and attract new customers. Free shipping is one of the strongest incentives that can urge customers to make purchases.

With AVADA Free Shipping Bar, you can have a banner on the homepage of your website so that your prospects can notice your offer immediately. There are also many well-designed modifications that AVADA Free Shipping Bar can do to satisfy your needs.

You can learn all about it here and download it (for free, of course) too.

AVADA Discount Code Generator

AVADA Discount Code Generator
AVADA Discount Code Generator

Apart from free shipping, providing discounts is another way to boost your revenue. With the default features provided by Shopify, setting up discounts is a little bit difficult. In Shopify, you can only have one single code for a discount. This can be a problem when you want to have multiple codes for the same discount. AVADA Discount Code Generator allows you to generate a load of different codes for your predefined discount rule.

You can download it here.

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Checklist Before Launching Shopify Store

Developing a new Shopify Store will take a ton of time and work. As there are lots of tasks to complete, it will be tough not to miss something important. This is why we have written an ultimate checklist that you can use as a reference before launching your fitness store. Check it out here.

Final Words

Building a Shopify T-shirt store will take a lot of time and patience. In such a competitive market like the T-shirt industry, you will need to design your Shopify store in a way that stands out among your competitors and appeals to your target customers at the same time. I hope this article has given you valuable information about how to build a Shopify T-shirt store. Please feel free to leave comments for further discussions. :-)

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Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.