Have you always wanted to have a clothing and accessory store, but could never find the funds, time or space to get your idea off the ground? Have you been intimidated by the concept of sourcing and managing inventory or how to manage or locate a physical store? With today’s consumers accustomed to shopping for everything from toothbrushes to dog food online, starting a virtual boutique is easier than ever before.
Dream It Up
Any good business needs a plan. Think of a unifying theme for your online shop, whether it’s female empowerment, literary references or love of all things nature, then bring them to life visually. Consider hiring a graphic designer or artist to help you create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of art that will be visually appealing and test them out on potential consumers to see how they respond; do some market research to see what items are sold at various prices so you know what consumers are willing to pay. Once you’ve done this work, buy on printful.com all the custom-embroidered, high-quality products like throw pillows, hats, t-shirts and bags that will bring your vision to life.
Save on Space
The beauty of being a business owner in today’s virtual marketplace is that you can take advantage of the dropship phenomenon. Dropshipping is great for the business owner because it doesn’t require them to lease storage space, devote a large part of their home to storing goods and packaging supplies or stand in line to get orders in the mail. When you use dropshipping, you simply have an online boutique where a customer can browse through a list of your selected goods and place an order. A third-party creates and mails the item directly to the consumer without any inventorying, packaging or shipping activities on your part. This eliminates the need to find, decorate and fill up a storefront, as well as saving on costs from hiring employees and paying for utilities.
All the work of coming up with products, designs and production methods will be worth nothing if there are no sales taking place. Make sure you have people willing and able to buy your items by creating a vigorous online presence. Create a vision that will embody the style and goals of your store and make sure this vision is consistent across multiple platforms. Create a website and social media accounts and start by sharing these amongst your family and friends and getting involved in local business networks. If this grassroots marketing plan is not sufficient, try reaching out to influencers and websites you admire to see if you can create a cross-promotional campaign; you can also hire a marketing firm that will boost your online presence through targeted ads and search engine optimization.
Now that you know how quick and easy it can be to set up an online store without the hassle and expense of a physical presence, start brainstorming product and design ideas so you can start making your retailer dreams a reality.