Online t-shirt businesses are booming, and these Shopify t-shirt store examples below are no exception!
A quick Google search will bring up a ton of inspirational real-life stories of people who started on a low budget and created a profitable business selling t-shirts on Shopify.
In fact, in 2019 alone, t-shirt sales reached $154m according to this study.
There are a lot of t-shirt stores out there, but that doesn’t mean the market is too saturated!
People want high-quality, interesting t-shirts that allow them to express their personalities and allow them to connect with like-minded people, which makes it a great market for creative entrepreneurs.
If you can create a good-quality t-shirt – and market it well – you do stand to make money. Plus, starting a shopify store is easier than ever now.
We’ve gathered some of the best Shopify stores out there specializing in t-shirts, so you can see real examples of how to do it and do it well.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to setting up an online t-shirt business?
Keep reading …
How to set up a Shopify t-shirt store
If you’re new to Shopify, you might be wondering where to start. Don’t worry – we’ve got plenty of info to help you out.
Before you start up your t-shirt store, there are a few things you might want to consider:
Pick a Niche
There are so many t-shirt stores out there, which means picking a niche is vital. This will give your store a focus and an identity that will help it stand out from the crowd.
How to pick a niche? Think about what you enjoy doing. Is there a hobby that you love, or a special interest that you have? Maybe you’re part of a community and you’ve noticed the lack of interesting, funny t-shirts relating to it. Picking a niche that you feel passionate about always helps.
Maybe you’ve got a good sense of humor, or an eye for interesting graphic design. These things can help you to build a niche and narrow down what you want to create.
Create Some Designs
Let’s use the example of board gaming. There’s a thriving community out there of board gamers – and they can help you to figure out which designs will sell.
Go to Instagram, check out some hashtags related to board gaming. What are people playing? What do they really feel passionate about?
Again, it helps if you have an interest in the subject, too, as this will help you to come up with design ideas.
What matters the most is that the designs connect with the people you want to sell them to – so focus on that above all else.
Alternatively, search for your niche on Deviantart – you might be able to find an artist willing to pick up some freelance work there.
Choose Your Printing Method
There are two main choice for printing:
The DIY Method
If you want complete control, you can create each t-shirt yourself. A few options to consider include heat transfer printing, direct-to-garment printing, or screen printing. Each one comes with its own initial cost and learning curve.
Print on Demand (POD)
This is the easiest option, especially if you’re hoping to sell a lot of products. Print on demand websites will print, package, and dispatch the items for you – and there are a lot of them that integrate nicely with Shopify.
You can check out some of the best ones using our guide.
Test Your Products
Time for a bit of quality control. You need some examples of your products to photograph, but you also need to check how well made they are if you’re using a print-on-demand service. Give them a wash to see how they come out.
You might also want to test different fits of t-shirts to see which ones you prefer.
Build Your Brand
Now’s the time to head to Shopify! There are a few steps to creating a Shopify website, but on the whole it’s pretty simple (and you can check out our free guide on starting a Shopify store in under 20 minutes here).
As well as the store itself, you can create a sense of brand identity using social media. Instagram is a great choice as it’s such a visual platform. A well-curated Instagram feed can give a really strong sense of what your business is about. Look into other social media platforms too.
Of course, you’ve come to the right place if you want some examples. Below are 7 of our favorite best Shopify t-shirt stores out there, starting with the amazing Factory 43.
1. Factory 43
Factory 43 has a very strong brand that comes across the moment you enter their website:
Their website is well-designed, with animated graphics that really grab your attention. The design of the website itself (in terms of fonts, text, and logos) is stripped back – this allows the graphics to speak for themselves.
The products page has an incredibly simple but effective layout – the squares allow you to see the design of the t-shirt clearly before you choose to click on one.
Scrolling down their homepage, you can see how their products look on people in an image gallery – the photography is clear and sharp. You can also see their Instagram feed.
Right at the bottom you’ll find their brand story – this is short and to the point, but still gives you a bit of background to their business.
What we really love about Factory 43 is the fact that their homepage gives you an immediate sense of quirky humor – which then reflects in their t-shirt designs and social media feeds. They obviously choose their designs with great care, which gives them a strong visual identity.
Again, the brand identity is really strong here. Shelfies have chosen a niche – all-over prints – and ran with it. You can’t help but laugh when browsing some of their products.
The homepage is great because it showcases collections. The website is very easy to navigate and makes it simple to find something to interest you. For example, clicking on ‘cats’ brings up this page:
This makes it simple to find something that suits you (or the person you’re looking to buy a gift for).
Again, the store design itself is simple – bold black text and a lot of white space – which allows the products to shine.
This is another brand with a very strong visual identity. The homepage for Thatshirtwascash is striking – it has a more complex design than the others on this list so far, but it creates a great impact.
Their store is easy to navigate, and the prominent search bar is great.
Again, by finding and focusing on a niche (in this case, quirky and bold t-shirt designs), they’ve been able to show their brand identity straight away.
Scrolling down their homepage also gives you an idea of their brand (‘TL;DR Stay Weird’ is their slogan).
They run a great community on Discord, encouraging their customers to vote on new t-shirt designs. The ‘retiring soon’ section creates a sense of exclusivity, too.
We love Shirtwascash for the community vibe it gives – they connect with their customers in a unique and meaningful way.
We wanted to showcase a store that sells cheaper t-shirts, and TextualTees is a great example. The designs are not as high in quality as the others on this list, but their brand identity is still strong.
They advertise the word ‘cheap’ in their meta description, so customers looking for cheap t-shirts will be able to find them easily. Their focus on slogans and pop culture give them a sense of brand identity, plus they’re quick to jump onto the latest big trend (hence the influx of Baby Yoda t-shirts at the top).
Again, the website is super easy to navigate, and collections will bring up a range of $5.99 t-shirts in a variety of pop-culture related categories.
The Organic T-Shirt is a great example of how photography and well-chosen words can give a really strong sense of brand identity.
Scrolling down their homepage, you’ll find models wearing their clothes outdoors in a variety of settings (in the park, on the beach, etc). The focus of their website is very ‘natural’ and stripped back.
Their products mostly consist of motivational slogan tees or dresses, and the designs are simple, but they focus on showcasing their eco-credentials. Customers can easily see the materials used for each product. They also have a section about social responsibility.
We like this one because it gives a great example of how clearly advertising your ethics as a business can encourage like-minded customers to shop with you.
Quick warning – if you don’t like adult content, stay away from this one! Efukt isn’t afraid of edgy humour, and this is a huge part of their brand. Again, the design of the website is very strong.
The logo is striking and looks good on the products, too:
As well as the logo, they also have the owl as a symbol for their brand, and he pops up on products, on their homepage, and appears while each page loads.
The website is fairly stripped back – again, allowing the products to speak for themselves – and they don’t give much away in terms of their brand story. What you see is what you get, and it works well.
7. Think Pup
Love dogs? Think pup!
The brilliantly simple name of this t-shirt store allows the customer to immediately understand what it’s all about. These t-shirts are made by dog lovers, for dog lovers – and it shows.
The owners of the business clearly understand the market. The products get pretty specific (the ‘Corgifornia’ t-shirt appeals to, well, corgi owners in California – so that’s a pretty good example of how to dig deep into a niche!).
They also have a pretty cute blog that will appeal to their customer base. They’ve also got a very nicely curated Instagram feed, and using the hashtag #thinkpup, customers can have their dogs featured on the feed.
All in all, this is an example of how focusing on a specific niche can bring in a loyal customer base – and we love it for that.
Hopefully this has given you some inspiration to go on. The great thing about opening a t-shirt store is that you can afford to be unique – so don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to creating your brand.
If you’ve never opened a Shopify store before, don’t forget to check out our guide on how to do it here (7 steps in 20 minutes and you’re good to go!).
If you’re ready to get going, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial of Shopify here.