by Ngoc
September 7, 2021

How to open an online boutique: Simple steps to start & grow successfully with high profit

With the convenience and security that online stores provide, it’s no surprise that clients would rather browse via their smartphones than drive to the store. Furthermore, without any expense for a physical store, ecommerce makes it simpler to start a business and earn money. Of course, you still need to put your effort into starting your business. In case you want to open a boutique shop. But you don’t have any idea for starting your business. So you have to read this article carefully. In this blog, ArrowTheme will help you answer the question How to open an online boutique by providing simple steps to start & grow successfully with high profit. If you are ready, let’s explore right now. 

Overview 

Let’s understand the definition of an online boutique before we get started with how to open an online boutique. It’s a little store that offers attractive clothing or accessories over the internet. For entrepreneurs, opening an online boutique is a highly profitable business venture. According to Statista, the online retail market for apparel and accessories will earn over $153 billion in revenue in 2024. In addition, the sales of ecommerce apparel in the US is expected to reach $100 billion by 2021.

How to open an online boutique

Furthermore, online fashion sales accounted for nearly 30% of overall retail ecommerce sales in the US in 2019. Nowadays, more and more people are shopping for clothing, shoes, and accessories online. Because many brick-and-mortar stores are temporarily closed due to Covid19. 

How to open an online boutique

So as you can see, now is a perfect time to open an online boutique you’ve always wanted. We’ve found some key features that will help you answer the question How to open an online boutique easily.

Before starting an online boutique

It’s difficult to  open an online boutique. Therefore, you should consider some things as following:

  • It takes a lot of equity to start an online boutique: You won’t be able to make your first sale right away. However, your business can grow step by step. 
  • You’ll deal with difficulties, particularly if this is your first business. It’s necessary to keep motivated and set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Consider the legal aspects of your business: Look into what licences and government restrictions you’ll need to run your business. In case  there is no specific license required to own a boutique. However, you also may require a local, county, or state license for taxes, inventory purchases, and trademarking a brand name.

A plan is very important to open a successful online business. Therefore, let’s take a look at how to open an online boutique.

>>> RELATED:

How to start an ecommerce business from scratch: The complete guide in 2021

What do you need to open an online boutique?

Passion

Do you enjoy exploring vintage shops on weekends? Do you like matching your shoes to your outfits? If that’s the case, your passion for fashion will help you succeed. Because it’s not easy to run a small business. Therefore, you need enthusiasm and motivation to keep going while you’re neck deep in tax papers. So, before you invest any time or money, make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing and have the enthusiasm to succeed.

Network

Your network is one of your most precious assets. Because you might not know how to design a professional logo, even if you’re an amazing jewelry designer. However, you can contact people who know how to perform these things — and enlist their help — by using the power of networking.

To get you started, consider the following suggestions:

  • Join up for LinkedIn or other small business groups
  • Join a professional organization, such as the America’s Small Business Development Center Network in your area (SBDC).
  • Attend the conference to meet with other shop owners and businessmen.
  • Join an online community to ask any questions and get motivated.

Remember to reach out to your friends and family as well. They’re a fantastic way to expand your network.

Digital marketing

Learning about digital marketing on the internet is now easier than ever. You may use some excellent sites to learn about SEO, advertising, social media, email marketing, and other topics. Here are a few options to consider:

  • On a wide range of topics, DigitalMarketer offers anything from tips and tricks to comprehensive certification courses.
  • HubSpot Academy offers a comprehensive library of online certification courses including from content marketing to digital advertising.
  • Easy-to-follow video courses provide an introduction to digital marketing subjects on LinkedIn Learning.
  • You can also look for blogs that discuss digital marketing or watch expert YouTube videos.

Business finances

Before you open an online boutique, it’s useful to have a knowledge of your initial costs. Therefore, you can learn how to handle your finances by conducting research online and enrolling in courses. You should concentrate on the following points:

  • Recognize your credit score.
  • The various kinds of business loans.
  • What is the best way to manage a budget?

Time management

You’ll quickly burn out if you can’t manage your time. As a result, make this a top priority in your life and work on it. Also, you should take advantage of the numerous books, apps, and tools related to time management.

Confidence

You must have confidence in order to run a successful online store. Believe in yourself and don’t let negative thoughts hold you back. You should read the story of Sylvester Stallone’s struggle to get Rocky made if you haven’t already. Thus, you may draw inspiration from his story and keep in mind that you can continue running even when things get difficult.

How to open an online boutique?

Choose your product niche

Finding out your product and niche is the important part. You want to reach out to a small, specialized group of people. Here are some ideas for your business:

Apparel:

  • Fashion clothes
  • Kids clothes
  • Athletic clothing for men.

Jewelry:

  • Necklaces
  • Rings
  • Earrings.

Accessories:

  • Handbags
  • Sunglasses
  • Caps
  • Shoes
  • Scarves

However, it wouldn’t make sense to sell women’s bikinis in the men’s athletic shorts and shirts stores. In case you want to maximize your revenue and build your online boutique. So you should provide items that keep your buyers coming back to add new items to their shopping carts.

To find a specific niche for your online boutique, consider the following questions:

  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  • What is a common disappointment for you?
  • Is there anything you can sell that is relevant to your hobbies?

You’re already starting to create your business by narrowing down your passions and researching those concepts. It will help you in market research and determining how to best position your boutique for success.

Decide a suitable platform for your online boutique

Because you’ve got a product to sell. So now it is time to open an online store. There are some fantastic choices that make creating an ecommerce website really simple without experience.

Magento

Magento Commerce is an open-source eCommerce platform for B2C and B2B with enterprise power, unlimited scalability. It enables you to create the best customer experiences. Therefore, your online store can increase sales. Magento provides everything you need for success in an increasingly competitive market, regardless of your business’s size or objectives. 

Magento General Feature List:

  • Powerful tools for marketing, promotions, and conversion
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Catalog Browsing
  • Order Management
  • Site Management
  • Catalog Management
  • Product Browsing
  • Checkout, Payment and Shipping
  • Customer Accounts
  • Customer Service
  • Mobile Commerce
  • International Support
  • Analytics and Reporting

Pricing:

Magento is a powerful ecommerce platform developed for large organizations. The three Magento bundles are listed below, along with the overall cost of your website:

  • Open Source Magento ($15,000+)
  • Magento Commerce ($22,000+) 
  • Magento Commerce Cloud (about $40,000+)

You need to pay around $15,000 to install Magento Open Source. Web hosting, extensions, and employing developers to help code your site or fix difficulties all contribute to this cost.

You have to pay around $22,000 for Magento Commerce if your business earns less than $1 million in gross sales revenue. Whereas Magento Commerce Cloud will cost you around $40,000. The more money you make, the more you have to pay (more on this later).

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress ecommerce platform that is open-source. In case you already have a WordPress website and want to build your online boutique up and run quickly. So this is a perfect choice for you. Furthermore, experienced developers and website managers can control WooCommerce with ease

 WooCommerce General Feature List:

  • Because WooCommerce is open source, you have complete control over how your store is designed and managed.
  • There are various free Core Payment choices as well as more than 100 premium payment gateways to select from.
  • You may add hundreds of extensions to help with shipping, accounting, marketing, and more.
  • You may get help operating your store from a huge network of WooCommerce Meetup groups.

Pricing:

The WooCommerce plugin itself does not require any payment. However, hosting, an SSL certificate, and other things that ecommerce platforms like Shopify provide in their pricing are not included with WooCommerce.

Shopify

Shopify is likely the most well-known of the several ecommerce platforms. It is a great choice for small business owners trying to quickly build an online store easily. 

Shopify General Feature List:

  • To create your website, choose from over 70 professional and responsive themes.
  • If you choose Shopify Payments, you can avoid the extra transaction fees that come with using a separate payment gateway.
  • There are over 4,100 integrated apps for expanding your online store’s features and functionality.

Pricing:

Shopify also offers a number of low-cost pricing options. Additionally, they offer Shopify Lite for businesses that only sell on their existing blog site.

Basic ShopifyShopifyAdvanced Shopify
Monthly price$29$79$299

In case you want extra features added to your plan. You can upgrade your Shopify account. 

Building your business plan

It’s now time for you to build your business plan. This will be your road map, the steps you’ll take to achieve your dream store. The following are some of the most important parts to include in your online boutique’s business plan.

Market analysis:
  • Potential market
  • SWOT analysis of your business
  • Competitive analysis
Business model:

It’s time to choose a business model. The model you select will also influence the kind of business licenses you’ll require. Most online shops for apparel and accessories will use one of four categories following:

  • On-demand printing: When a customer puts an order, you simply add a brand or design to your clothing. You can do it yourself or hire a third-party printer to do it for you.
  • Cut and sewn to order: Because you’re manufacturing everything yourself. So you have to pay a salary for anyone to do it for you. tThis is the most time-consuming and expensive of the models.
  • Printed on a private label: Private label, often known as white label, refers to a collaboration with a manufacturer to create a product. After that, you may add your business’s logo.
  • Dropshipping: Dropshipping takes the lowest quantity of capital. However, it also deals with the most competition. Dropshippers are basically middlemen who place orders with a third-party organization for delivery to a customer directly.

>>> RELATED:

Types of ecommerce business models you should know to start highly profitable ones

Financial plan:

This section of your business plan is where you estimate your expenses and revenue. It includes: 

  • Income statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow statement

In case you don’t know how to compute these figures. So now is a great time to call out to your network and find out anyone can help you with this financial planning.

Marketing plan:
  • Price: What are your product pricing, and why did you decide that way?
  • Product: What are you selling, and how do you differentiate your products from the competition?
  • Promotion: What do you do to show your products to your target market?
  • Place:  Where are you intending to sell your goods?

Choose a brand name and domain.

Now is the moment to give your online boutique a name and turn it into a reality. While you don’t have to use this name indefinitely, rebranding can be very expensive. So keep these suggestions in mind when deciding on a name for your business.

Uniqueness:

If you want to stand out in a crowd, come up with a unique name. Return to your customer and see what they are concerned about? Is it possible to add it into your brand name? To decide a unique name, you can tap into the emotional and aspirational aspects of your ecommerce business.

Personality:

For example, in case you want to sell T-shirts with humorous sayings on them. So you can create a brand name that make people laugh. This will make your brand name memorable.

Memorable:

After you’ve come up with some distinctive and personable ideas, the following step is to make sure people remember them. As a result, this is another chance to reach out to your network and collect feedback on your ideas. For example, you can see how your name would translate to the customers in another country. If it is wrong, you can make changes before deciding.

Availability:

When you’ve come up with the perfect name for your online boutique, but it’s not available. You also won’t be able to use it. To confirm that you can use your business name, let’s check for trademarks, domain name availability, existing social media, and more.

Deciding your clothing suppliers

Here are a few things to think about when evaluating suppliers:

  • The clothing’s quality: Does the clothing’s quality meet your boutique’s standards ? You also can ask the samples to see clearly about their products like look, feel,…
  • The level of support: Make an effort to speak with them. Therefore, you can assess their communication style.
  • The supplier’s feedback: Is there a track record of success for the supplier? Look for reviews online or ask anyone who has collaborated with them previously to get the comment. 

Getting ready to open an online boutique

1. Choose a suitable theme for your online store

Firstly, you have to choose a stunning theme that is designed for an online boutique. Most ecommerce platforms such as Magento, Woocommerce, Shopify offer both free and paid theme options. Therefore, you may customise for your business. Besides that, if you want to update the code in your theme, ArrowTheme’s Developers will help you do it.  

2. Add items and descriptions

After you’ve set up the basic theme, you can start adding your products. Moreover, you may use the keyword analysis you did for your business strategy. This will improve the SEO of your product descriptions.

Also, keep in mind that your product pages are an opportunity for you to show off your personality. For example, you can give advice on how to wear the outfit to potential customers.

3. Create policies for checkout.

These are the rules for your online clothes store. This also includes your shipping, returns policies, and promotions programs.

4. Decide on the payment methods that will be accepted.

Choosing the appropriate payment gateway can make a big impact in the success of your boutique. They ensure the safety of credit card transactions and simplify the checkout process. Therefore, you can provide a better client experience.

Ecommerce platforms integrate with a number of payment gateways. As a result, your buyers may pay using their preferred method, such as PayPal or Apple Pay.

When it comes to payment, you also focus on calculating sales tax. Because you have to pay sales tax even online shopping in your state or the customer’s state 

5. Choose a shipping method.

Finally, you must set up shipping in order for your fantastic products to reach your buyers. This is one of the most important issues of your ecommerce store.

Amazon has set a very high standard. Customers want to receive their orders as fast as possible. However, this is not easy for lots of new online stores. Besides that, if shipping costs are expensive, they may abandon their cart.

Starting an online boutique

After you’ve created your online boutique website, you can set up whatever you need to open your online store 

1. Marketing your online store

You can begin your marketing operations after you’ve completed the initial push for your online shop. Here are some suggestions for promoting your store:

Using Email Marketing:

  • For abandoned carts, send a series of emails.
  • Emails of welcome
  • Encouragement emails
  • An email for a new customer
  • Customer email series that is sent out regularly
  • Receipts for online purchases sent through email
  • Re-engagement via email

Using social media to boost traffic

Paid advertising, such as Facebook and Google, is used to increase traffic and conversions

2. Optimizing to improve conversions

There are some methods to gain consumer trust when you don’t have any sales:

  • Share the human side of your business.
  • Content helps to build relationships.
  • Highlight the excellent return policy.
  • Provide specific product information.
  • Create a FAQ page to solve purchase concerns.
  • Identifying and resolving the issue that affects trust.

3. Using data analytics tools to figure out what’s going on

To run a successful business, you’ll need to understand how to use analytic tools like Google Analytics, Shopify Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and so on.

Examples

VICI

online boutique business plan

VICI is a Shopify store with a goal to make on-trend fashions available to all ladies at an affordable price. VICI, which was founded during the Great Recession.  Its online store shows clothing, dresses, and accessories, as well as popular trends like Florals & Frills and Bride To Be. Customers may gain style inspiration for their everyday wear by browsing through limitless choices of colorful, stunning clothes chosen by the VICI style team.

Elka Collective

starting an online boutique

Elka Collective’s boutiques are created with layered textures and natural tones to suit their clothing designs. They also use visuals and descriptions that will appeal to their ideal consumer, who “seeks quality, trendy, and comfortable clothing to fit her lifestyle.”

Do you want to open your own boutique shop?

Now you have the necessary abilities, a great business plan, and a flexible ecommerce platform. So that is the moment for you to open an online boutique. However, if you feel it is still difficult, you can find out some ways to help you do it. ArrowTheme is one of the perfect options for you to build your dream store. Coming to ArrowTheme, you don’t need to worry about anything. Because we will provide the best Ecommerce development services for you. So don’t miss this opportunity. 

ArrowTheme is always ready to help you!

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