Are you planning to take your boutique business online but don’t have any idea on how to do that? Do you need a full guide on how to start an online boutique? If yes, then continue reading.
This article will tell you how to plan, start, and develop your clothing business into a profitable business.
Of course, starting a boutique is one thing and taking the fashion store online is another. So before you start looking for the right products and building a business brand, here are some things that you have to consider.
While starting a profitable online clothing store may sounds difficult to you, by the time you finish reading this tutorial on how to start an online boutique, you’ll realize that it is nothing serious.
How then can you start a boutique business in the first place? This is simple and the answer isn’t far fetch. Please, do read on!
How to open a boutique online.
In this guide on how to start an online boutique; you’ll be exposed to different important aspect of venture creation techniques.
Every single thing; ranging from business plan template down to using brand ambassadors — if any — to help build and promote your boutique business on the various social media platforms.
Read also: How to start a successful fashion designing
How to start an online clothing store
Without further ado, below are the simple steps and approach on how to start an online boutique with ease and without encountering any problem along the line.
By and large, opening your own online store where you sell clothes and wear doesn’t mean you’ve established a “make money quick” scheme.
Hence, starting an online boutique from the scratch requires patience and persistent, do know and understand that carefully.
1. Plan your online boutique
The moment you decided to conduct a research on how to start a online boutique, you should have it in mind that you’ll need an effective business plan.
But you don’t have to get it wrong, that you’re to write an online boutique business plan doesn’t mean it has to be lengthy.
The kind of business plans your new business establishment requires is quite different from that of others.
You only need it to serve as a guide that’ll always keep you on the right track. And at worst, to use it in pitching for a business funding.
But if you have already taken care of the business fund aspect, then a lean business plan should be able to solidify your online boutique planning process.
How to Write an Online Boutique Business Plan
Read also: How to make money online
There are variations of business plan in the world of online clothing business or boutique, and they include;
- Lean Planning
This is very simple and straight forward. This type of business plan doesn’t require much muscle. Within an hour, you should be done planning for the business.
You should write this type of online boutique business plan if you already have an offline presence and you just want to take your business online.
- Elaborate planning
Writing this type of business takes time. It entails writing and highlighting how to start a online boutique from the scratch down to the future plan and progression.
This type of online boutique business plan is required if you’re starting the online clothing store from the scratch.
However, whatever the type of business plan you’ve chosen to write based on your situation, you can learn more on how to write a perfect business plan here.
2. Decide on the suitable platform for your clothing business
The next thing in line is to decide on the platform on you will start your online boutique business.
It’s up to you to decide if you want your boutique business to the take advantage of the massive organic traffic on Etsy.
Or, if you will have your own website where you’ll be able to control the affairs, layout, audience and the overall shopping experience.
The two options have their up and lows; but it all comes down to the nature of the wears you sell, the percentage of control you need in respect to designing your personal online storefront.
3. Give your online boutique a name.
Another important thing that needs a critical attention on how to start an online boutique is generating name that worth it for your business.
Endeavor to choose a business name that you’re in love with. This aspect of starting a online boutique wouldn’t cost you a fortune.
Make sure you pick a name that you’ll be proud of and your target audience will feel comfortable pronouncing it.
This may sound funny but some online boutique businesses have business names that are a bit cringe-inducing.
While the process of picking a perfect name for your online business enterprise may seems frustrating and time consuming, you’ll have to chill and take your time. It doesn’t cost a life time.
Read also: How to pitch and get your business Funded
4. Create a unique and aesthetic style.
Here’s the fun part on how to start an online boutique. It is high the time you paddle into your online boutique image curation.
As this may sound like business branding, it’s quite different from it. Curating your online clothing store means developing your own online business’s personal style.
Something different from that of your competitive. A new wave and style that is not known to anyone in the industry.
This can best be done by identifying your ideal audience, what they want, like and hate.
What colors, styles, fabrics, articles of clothing, jewelry type, footwear and the types of hand chain that appeal to them the most?
While you may wondering if all these questions really matter, they does for one important reason and that is aesthetic cohesion.
Everyone want his boutique to be different and tell a nice story.
Let your online boutique look unified on the phone screen and let your visitors start thinking about the kind of “story” your fashion items will tell.
Who are the products meant for? What are the perfect textures, ideal styles and the best colours of your products?
All these are what curating and aesthetic cohesion tends to solve. Knowing all these pieces of information will let you give it to your customers.
Hence, they’ll be happy with you and your brand.
Before you know it, you’ve won a customer who’ll be referring his friends and family to your online boutique.
Read also: How long should an ideal business plan be?
5. Get a unique business brand
In addition, you’ll have to build your online boutique brand the way you develop your products cohesive personal style.
That is to say, your online fashion store brand should be unique and this can be best done by combining your chosen name, cohesive product selection, your target customer, your website overlook and the social media platforms.
To do this, you’ll have to consider your business brand if it’s funny, bubble and girly with ideal feminine fonts, styles and colours?
An adorable decor, accessory boutique declaration, stationery and the likes are a perfect example of what your online boutique branding should look like.
Further more, your online clothing store brand should go beyond just picking any how cohesive flair of products.
Remember, your business brand is all you do, ranging from the fonts, styles and colours you use on your personal website, down to the various types of your social media post.
With all these in mind, your journey on how to start an online boutique will be fruitful and it’ll yield the needed result in no time.
6. Offer exceptional products.
Actually you can have a perfect branding for your online boutique store and even have the most curated and well cohesive online boutique ever; but if your products suck, that’s the end.
Essence, in the process of making your website visually appealing, always remember the economic benefits of displaying your products aesthetically.
Look for a high-quality photography with a good lighting, ideal backdrops, and good-looking individual — if need be — to beautifully model your products.
7. Define where to source your products.
Here’s one of the important aspects on how to start a profitable online boutique store. Since you’ll be selling some categories of products, then you need to decide where to source them.
This shouldn’t take most of your time, after all, you have an idea on the kinds of products to sell, the cohesive style and curative brand story, so finding where to get them wouldn’t be that difficult.
By and large, there are numerous ways to source for clothing business products, and the following should be your instance guide.
Stay in touch with that your favorite sellers on Etsy
If there’s ever any Etsy shop that you can trust when it comes to making gorgeous handcrafted items fit for your boutique, you can reach out to such sellers and see if you can strike a deal.
- Check on your local artists
In case you jam a particular product that cut your attention in your area, meet with the seller and buy the products on wholesale price.
- Search antique shops
Another interesting place to find products for your online boutique store is by scouring consignment and antique stores. If you come across any that suits your clothing boutique’s style, then you are good to go.
- Search eBay
Manufacturers from abroad and different part of the world often use the giant eBay to market their goods at an affordable price, hence, eBay can also be a perfect place to explore.
- Meet with a manufacturer.
Looking for a manufacturer that sells their products at wholesale and relatively affordable prices isn’t difficult to find.
So talk to a friend that knows a friend who manufacture clothes and enter into a contract.
8. Let how you’ll be shipping your products be defined.
Your journey on how to start an online boutique won’t be completed without mentioning the plans to ship out your products.
Having a working plan on how to ship the product to your customers is very necessary.
Let your shipping price be user-friendly and the delivery time be fast, only then will you see more customers patronising you.
9. Use the social media outlets to your advantage
Don’t hesitate to take full advantage of the social media, since you’ll be running an online boutique, visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram should be your best bet.
Sequentially, on your Instagram page, you’ll be opportune to share your store new arrivals visuals that’ll ultimately land you new prospective customers.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is a nice place to advertise your online boutique store too. There, you can add your store products and create an inspiring Pinterest page thereby driving huge lead to your store.
All in all, using the social media platforms wouldn’t just give your clothing store an online presence, it’ll also give it an exposure that will generate huge lead and visitors to your page.
Visitors that’ll buy your products and still visit again and again.
Read also: How to get business loan approved
10. Get at least a brand ambassador.
The lasting you’ll have to take care of on how to start an online boutique without encountering loss in the end is to try and have — at least — a brand ambassador.
Marketing your newly established boutique using the social media channels may not be enough, so consider leveraging your resources on blogger(s) too, to help promote your store.
With a well written business plan, cohesive style as well as a well blended business brand, your journey on how to start an online boutique will be soft and fruitful.