People love to shop. Doesn’t matter which country or which state they belong to, they love to spend money on themselves. Especially, if I talk about females, shopping is the essence of their lifestyle. Ladies can survive happily without eating food but cannot shop for anything in a month. If you are looking for an idea for starting a business then what’s better than starting an online boutique? In this article we will briefly discuss how to start an online boutique business by applying simple steps.
Why You Should Start an Online Boutique
People’s choices and preferences change a lot in all these years. Boutiques are much different 3 years ago, even 3 months ago also. Before proceedings, let’s understand the meaning of an Online Boutique. An online Boutique refers to a small online store that is established to sell fashionable and trendy clothes, jewellery and more items. According to Statista, 75% of buyers shop using an online platform and think with Google states, 63% of the shopping journey starts online. To meet all these needs of people, starting an online boutique is a good option.
Online Boutiques by the Numbers
Do you know, the first documented online purchase was made in 1994. Till then, the digital shopping industry has changed a lot. According to Statista, eCommerce sales can be expanded up to $6.5 trillion by 2023.Online boutiques can charge a little higher than traditional brick-and-mortar stores but can be seen as the most preferable source of shopping by people.
Skills and Traits Needed to Start Your Online Boutique
You must be thinking that starting an online boutique is tough and risky. But let me tell you one thing- it isn’t, trust me. You only need to study the exact steps on how to start an online boutique and have to develop the below-mentioned skills:
1. Passion and Drive
Are you the one who loves to match the right pair of your shoe to your outfit? Or loves to experiment with trendy accessories with your regular blue jeans and a white crop top? And also, Are you the one who acts as a fashion guider to your family and friends? Then the online boutique business is the right direction for you.
Not only for starting an online boutique instead of doing anything in your life, having a passion is essential. Because it is going to keep you in motion when you are not liking the paperwork or you are not willing to learn any important new skill to run your online boutique.
2. Business Finances
A successful businessman is one, who knows how to manage their finances well. You need to manage your business finances properly as it is important for its long life. You need to understand the below-mentioned terms for the smooth running of your online boutique.
- How to manage a Budget
- Understanding the fundamental of credit scores
- Different types of business Loans
Business is a result of successful networking. A bigger network means a bigger revenue generation system. You need to improve your network size to perform all the activities with more ease.
For example- you are a fashion designer and are going to start an online boutique. For this, you need an attractive marketing strategy for the pre-promotion of your online boutique but unfortunately, you don’t need the right marketing strategy. If you have a good network, then there might be a person who can help you with his marketing skill. Thus, networking is beneficial for starting an online boutique.
Below mentioned are some ways that you should use to expand your network;
- Improve your connectivity on social media by connecting with various people of similar fields.
- Attend different conference sessions to connect with more people.
- Join different online communities to ask your query and also to get inspiration.
- Become the part of different associations
- Expand your private network as much as you could do.
4. Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is an important skill to learn for starting an online boutique. Even, not only boutique, it is essential to learn for starting every type of business. There are various platforms that you can use to learn digital marketing effectively. Also, you can read various blogs on digital marketing strategy to increase your knowledge on the same topic.
5. Time Management
If you can not manage your time, you can never manage any business. Management is the key factor for self-employment. Without time management and not setting the priority of your time can lead to failure.
So, time management is important while starting an online boutique.
Whether you are about to take part in a speech competition or going to start an online boutique, confidence is an important factor for everything.
No matter what the situation, stay confident!
Hope you have understood all the skills and traits, you required to start an online boutique.
Let’s examine all the steps for starting an online boutique and interesting boutique business ideas to perform exceptionally well in this field.
We are guiding you with the set of 10 steps on “How to Start an Online Boutique”
1.Decide your product niche.
“You cannot control anything by trying to control everything.” It is not just a statement rather a life lesson for business persons. The same is crucial for starting an online boutique.
The first and most important step for starting an online boutique is deciding your product niche. Targeting a specific audience by focusing on a particular product niche can lead you towards the path of success. Also, thinking about your potential customers is Some of the niches are;
- Vintage Clothes
- Children Clothes
- Plus Size Women Clothes
- Men’s Clothes
- Ethnic Wears
- Metalwork Rings
- Stained Glass Earrings
- Hand-beaded Necklaces
- Women’s Purses
- Men’s Hats
- Children’s Shoes
- Handmade Scarves
There could be more categories but the thing that you have to understand that expanding in a particular niche is good while starting an online boutique. For example- if you are running an online boutique for women’s clothes then it will be more effective to expand in the section of women’s accessories or shoes than opting for the men’s section.
2. Find the best eCommerce platform for your online boutique.
As you have decided on the niche of your online boutique, the next step is to find the best eCommerce platform for your online boutique. Below-mentioned is some of the platforms that you can use to build your online presence.
- Traffic Tail
Traffic Tail is the best platform in India for every type of business. No matter what the size and nature you are planning for your online boutique, Traffic Tail is there to support you with its incredible services. Some important key benefits of Traffic Tail;
- 24*7 support
- Full control of activities
- Effective price plans
- Up-to-date tools and technology
- Excellent guidance
- Amazing services
Shopify is an excellent and well-known option for small business persons who are looking to launch quickly. It provides incredible services. You can access its services anytime & anywhere. Its price rate differs as per plans.
Plans Monthly Price
Basic Shopify $29
Advanced Shopify. $299
(You need to pay additional charges for additional services)
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress. Although you don’t need to pay anything to use it charges the cost of hosting, SSL, premium themes etc. You can check all the paid services in their plans like Shopify, Traffic Tail and more platforms like them.
3. Create a business plan.
The third and one of the most important steps for starting an online boutique is Creating a business plan. Without an excellent business plan who cannot perform up to the desired level. You need to focus on the below-mentioned stages while creating a business plan.
a) Market Research
Researching your market well is very important for the effective working of your online boutique.
- Conduct a Proper Market Analysis
Conducting a proper market analysis is essential while creating a business plan. By doing so, you can examine your potential buyers, their preferences and their purchasing behaviour. This is something that can help you to determine:
Do your products have a good scope in the market?
How big is your existing market?
What is the growth rate of the market?
Perform it best to know your customers properly and serve them best.
- Complete Keyword Research
Keyword research behaves like your address. If you provided the exact one, you can be found easily. The right set of keywords is very important to show your online boutique on the top of the search engine. Keywords can be defined as the words that people type to search for a specific product or service.
For example- if a lady wants to shop for an ethnic dress and she wrote “best shopping sites for ethnic dresses in Delhi” is the keyword.
If you have chosen the right set of keywords then it might act as a blessing for you. So, choose keywords while starting an online boutique.
- Perform a SWOT Analysis
Performing a SWOT analysis is important for starting an online boutique. Wisely make the table of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for a better understanding of your business.
b) Choose the Appropriate Business Model
Till now, you have chosen the product niche and the right eCommerce platform for your online boutique, and have researched your market, now it is important to choose your online clothing store, business model. There are major four types of boutiques business model which you can select;
- Print-on-Demand Online Clothing Store Business Model
- Custom Cut-and-Sew Online Clothing Store Business Model
- Private Label Online Clothing Store Business Model
- Dropshipping Online Clothing Store Business Model
- Print-on-Demand Online Boutique Business Model
Print-on-demand is the easiest and the cheapest type of online boutique. It is the type of online clothing store which prints logos and designs on blank appeal on demand.
It includes a variety of types and colours. It is a custom t-shirt printing model that is going to broaden $10billion in sales by 2025.
- Custom Cut-and-Sew Online Boutique Business Model
It is the type of online boutique model that concentrates on establishing a business from scratch. It includes all the mandatory steps starting from pattern making to sourcing your fabric etc.
In this type of online boutique model, all the decisions are taken by the business person himself.
- Private Label Online Boutique Business Model
Private Label Online Boutique Business Model is the mid-point of both the above-mentioned online store business models. Here, you buy blank cloth items and print customized designs over them. It is more cost-effective than the print-on-demand online boutique model.
- Dropshipping Online Boutique Business Model
Dropshipping is a cost-effective online boutique business model where you don’t have to deal with bulk products. It is more like a print-on-demand online boutique business model.
c) Financial Planning
Now, the third important step of creating a business plan for your online boutique is to do proper planning of your finances. Your financial plan must have the answers to the below-mentioned questions.
- What is your capital and how you are going to spend it?
- What are the different types of business loans?
- What is the division of funds you are going to spend on different activities?
- What are the ways of revenue generation?
Also, you can add more questions related to your finances.
d) Marketing Strategy
Last but not least, choosing the right marketing strategy is important to create an effective online boutique business plan. Marketing is an essential component for the growth of the business. Today’s time is the time of digitalization so it’s better to choose digital marketing services than traditional ones. So, make sure to choose the right marketing strategy for your online boutique.
Also, you can take the help of Traffic Tail for the best marketing strategies.
Visit https://traffictail.com for more details.
4. Select a name and domain for your online boutique.
Now, the next step comes as choosing the best name or you could say domain for your online boutique. You need to fulfil the below-mentioned conditions for choosing the attractive name for your online boutique;
- Short in Length
The most important key factor while choosing the name for your online boutique is that it should be short and meaningful. Lengthy names are hard to remember and meaningless domain names can degrade your vision and goodwill in the market.
For example- Armani, Nykaa, Chanel- these are some brands and you can see that they are only one word.
So, while choosing the name for your online boutique, you have to ensure that it must be short and meaningful.
- Must Represent Your Niche
Another important factor while choosing the name of your online boutique is that it must represent your niche. For example- if you are planning to start an online boutique for accessories and you have to choose the accessories related name.
- Must be Available
According to a survey, at least one website launches every second and you cannot choose the one, already presented on the internet. So, your domain name must be available.
Hope you have understood all the essential conditions for choosing the perfect domain name for your business.
5. Locate and get your clothing suppliers.
You need reliable suppliers while starting an online boutique to supply your products on time and safely. After implementing the above-mentioned steps, another important step is to locate and vet your clothing suppliers wisely. This is the step where your products come into existence. Focus on three steps while choosing the suppliers for your online boutique.
- Quality Check
It is a fact that quality overlaps everything. You should focus on choosing the suppliers that are supplying the right quality products to your customers. Make sure that the quality of your products should match with your brand name, otherwise you will lose anyway.
- Reviews of Suppliers
Reviews matter a lot for everything. You should focus on choosing suppliers who have good reviews.
- Level of Support
Supportive suppliers are the choice of every customer. You need to work on the skills of every supplier to make sure quality service.
6. Create your website with an online store builder.
After following the above-mentioned steps, another step is to design an attractive website including all the essential features for your website. Website creation is the essence of your online store. You need to build an attractive website for your online boutique. Make sure to add the below-mentioned features while starting an online boutique;
- Choose the right themes and plugins.
- Don’t forget to add payment methods.
- Design a good landing page.
- Your website should be responsive.
- It must have a minimum loading time feature.
You must integrate the above-mentioned features for creating the website for your online boutique.
7. Add products and descriptions to your online boutique.
Your online boutique is nothing without proper products and descriptions. For example- you are selling women’s ethnic outfits, so it is important to give a proper description of them.
Also, you can add different blogs related to it. Like what kind of jewellery you should carry on the Mehendi function in the coolest way. Don’t forget that a good description will help customers to make a positive decision for your products.
8. Launch your online boutique.
As we are reaching the end of the steps of starting an online boutique; the second last step is to launch an online clothing store.
Finally, after choosing the niche, selecting the best online boutique business model, creating the business plan and creating the website for your online boutique, selecting the vendors; it’s time to launch your online boutique. Consider these four steps before launching an online boutique:
- It is important to define your complete launch strategy.
- Focus on practising setting your social accounts.
- Hope you have tested your email marketing technique and automation.
- Keep a proper report on your google analytics and google ads account.
9. Begin mass marketing
And now, the second last step is to fetch traffic for your online boutique. It is necessary to bring traffic to your online boutique. You should use all the strategies of digital marketing such as SEO, SMO, PPC, Content Marketing, Influencer Advertising, Email Marketing and the rest all to bring organic traffic to your online boutique.
10. Revise, reinvent, and renew.
Till now, you have done everything from choosing a niche to launching your online boutique store. Now, it’s time to revise all the strategies to make the necessary improvements and to check what is working and what is not.
Choose your strategies wisely and properly to ensure the proper functioning of your online boutique. Reinvent strategies and reinvest in all the required marketing strategies.
- Build Engagement for Your Online Boutique
After successfully performing the above-mentioned steps for starting an online boutique, it is essential to build a proper engagement. As it will help your, customers, to revisit you again and again.
- Add on about us page
It is very essential to mention yourself on your website. It helps your customers to trust you and also to differentiate you from others. Mention the story that inspired you to start your online boutique and what are your visions about it.
- Blogs Section
Sharing an extra piece of knowledge will not take anything from you instead it will help you to build authority in front of your customers. For example- if you are running an online boutique for toddlers collection, then you can share an extra blog on “use these hacks to keep your little one protected from these sunny days.”
- Relationships with other brands
Maintaining successful relationships with other brands will ensure high engagement that will help you to build trust and authority with your customers.
- License and Registrations Required to Start an Online Clothing Boutique
There is a list of requirements that need to while setting up a legal online clothing Boutique
- Setup Entity
- Pvt Ltd or LLP
- Payment Gateway
- Website Policies Section
How to Scale an Online Boutique
After understanding the process of starting an online clothing boutique, it’s time to understand the scaling of online clothing boutiques. Below mentioned are the steps:
- Make sure of the solid foundation of your boutique.
- Having a good knowledge of your eCommerce KPIs and metrics is a must.
- Develop a good strategy for continuous customer satisfaction.
- Keep a proper inspection of the activities of your competitors.
- Focus on designing inventory management for growth
- Endeavour on upgrading fulfilment for increased demand.
- Do a proper scaling of your shipping pricing techniques
- Work on boosting your customer service
- Do an adequate scaling up of your eCommerce marketing.
- Formulate a creative, comprehensive review and UGC strategies to build trust, loyalty and authority.
- Enrich your backend systems.
- Prepare incredible strategies for facing future challenges.
Q1- Which Business Model Should You Choose?
It completely depends upon your vision and goal what type of products your online boutique is going to offer. Still, there are four types of online boutique models;
- Print-on-demand online boutique model
- Custom Cut-and-sew online boutique model
- Private label online boutique model
You can choose any of the above-mentioned models for starting an online boutique.
Q2- How Much Does It Cost To Start A Clothing Boutique?
Again, it is dependent upon your goal which type of online boutique you wanted to start. Costing to build an online clothing store depends upon the business model you choose, the services you need, and the type of store you desire. Various services consist of different pricing plans.
If you are willing to start an online boutique in an affordable price range then choose Traffic Tail, the best website designing and digital marketing company offering services in a cost-effective method.
Q3- How Much Profit Can A Boutique Business Expect To Make?
It completely depends upon your vision and also what kind of online boutique you wanted to establish.
Q4- How To Name Your Clothing Boutique?
Naming your online clothing boutique isn’t a tough task. The only thing you have to do is to fulfil the above-mentioned steps of choosing a domain name for your business.
Q5- How To Retain Customers For Your Clothing Boutique ?
You can retain customers for your clothing boutique by offering them good quality services, remarkable after-sale services and creating engagement with them by sharing useful information.