E-commerce had been making steady progress for several years, but Covid gave it the push it needed to become a global phenomenon.
Online shopping has substantially changed the way we shop or sell things as it is easy and convenient for both sellers and buyers. This is why it’s so popular in 2022.
Starting a boutique is a great way to dip your toes into this vast online world of opportunities. It may look like a daunting task but it is a simple one in reality.
In this article, we will discuss how to set up an online boutique in three simple steps.
So without any further ado, let’s just get into it.
Pick a niche
First off, decide what you are going to sell.
And if you haven’t decided on what products to sell, you should ponder over ideas and determine which one piques your interest.
Utilize your creative powers
There are many options to choose from when trying to sell boutique products.
For example, many famous boutiques have made their name by selling stuff like jewelry, bags, decor, etc.
Here are some popular boutique categories to help fuel your creativity.
- Clothing: Formal, vintage, bridal, children, and custom designs.
- Jewelry: Precious gemstones, custom unique metalwork, gold, and handmade jewelry.
- Bags: Handbags, wallets, purses, custom-designed, and handmade bags.
- Accessories: Rings, unique hats, scarfs, and sunglasses.
- Decor: Paintings, wall clocks, lamps, cushions, vases, rugs, and centerpieces.
Before you finalize a niche, you should conduct market research to get an idea of the demand for each section.
Tools like Google Trends can help you carry out this research. It is a great tool that informs you about current market trends and helps evaluate product demand.
With Google Trends, you can search for a term and see if it’s trending or not.
Plus, you can also filter your results based on location, time period, categories, and platform.
In this case, the demand for bridal dresses has increased slightly over the past 12 months, which means it is safe to start with this niche and then slowly expand to the others.
For further research, you can look into other boutique brands and learn things about your competitors like:
- Products – See what products they are selling and how they are performing. Learn about their bestsellers and regulars.
- Consumers – Research their customers’ demographics, motivations, problems, interests, and buying patterns to form an ideal buyer’s persona.
Select a name and logo
Pick a name that represents your niche and is unique. Your brand’s name should be catchy and easy to remember.
Opt for a one or two-word name – the fewer the words, the better the name. Also, keep in mind that you’ll have to buy a domain name for your brand at some point.
Once you have decided on your brand name, it’s time to create a logo for your boutique.
Your logo should be recognizable and straightforward. Don’t go overboard with the details and designs to the point that it isn’t pleasing to look at, let alone remember.
We recommend hiring a graphic designer to design one for you. However, if you don’t have the money to hire one, you can use free online logo generator tools.
Choose a product sourcing method
Now that you’ve figured out what you’ll sell, it’s time to fill up your inventory.
To smoothly run a boutique, you need a trustworthy and reliable product supplier to fulfill customer demands.
Make sure you work with suppliers that have a good track record and excellent customer service.
Let’s look at how you can source products for your boutique online.
Suppliers are resellers that purchase things directly from manufacturers.
Pros of sourcing from suppliers
- Suppliers typically sell in-demand products, so there is a high chance of success when you source from them.
- You can get products from suppliers and start selling them right away.
Cons of sourcing from suppliers
- The quality of the products may not be up to your standards sometimes.
- Other boutiques can sell similar products. It’ll be hard to differentiate your products from theirs.
Manufacturers are the ones who create the products.
You can team up with manufacturers to create unique products. It will give you more flexibility and creativity.
- It is cheaper to manufacture a product than to purchase it from a supplier.
- You can manufacture unique products to distinguish yourself from competitors and make a name for your brand.
- Creating your boutique’s products is a time-consuming process.
- Manufacturing is a backbreaking process as you’ll have to continuously monitor the production process to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Choose an online selling platform
To open an online boutique, you can either build a website or sign up for an online marketplace to connect with potential buyers.
Online marketplaces are a great way to connect with a well-established audience ready to make a purchase.
Popular websites that people trust and shop from include SeeBiz (duh!), eBay, Alibaba, etc.
- A marketplace saves you the hassle of marketing as it is already flooded with customers.
- Most online marketplaces verify their sellers, which helps eliminate fraud.
- Many online marketplaces will charge a commission on every sale that you make (not us though).
- Extreme competition on online marketplaces will make it difficult for your brand to stand out (we can create an appealing and unique storefront for you).
An e-commerce website is a great way to give life to your brand.
You can create your own website through e-commerce website builders to make this process fast and easy. Or you can hire people to make one for you.
- Gives you total control over the store and how to deal with customers.
- Provides easy customization. You can add new helpful features for customers and replicate your brand theme throughout your website.
- Requires you to set up everything from scratch.
- Takes a lot of time and money to attract customers in the beginning.
We’ve covered the necessary steps to open an online boutique successfully. Now it’s your turn to follow them and bring your boutique to life.
In the end, the best brands are the ones that can capture the attention of their target audience. Make sure your boutique fulfills that through its products, customer service, and consistency.