Window shopping looks different in the year 2021 than from any other time because of online boutiques. Online stores are booming more than ever! Customers have the luxury of knowing all of a store’s available inventory without the pain of commuting to and searching through a physical store. The ease of filling up a shopping cart online and clicking the purchase button is more compelling than it ever has been before. It’s easy, simple, and preferable.
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Starting A Boutique
Are you someone that has always wanted to curate your very own store? Do you have a knack for picking a great selection of products? If so, you have come to the right place. In the following article, we are going to give you a realistic step-by-step guide to creating your very own online boutique!
What is an Online Boutique?
In order to start your very own online boutique, it is important to first gain an understanding of what an online boutique is. By definition, an online boutique is a small online shop that sells fashionable clothing, trendy accessories, and anything else the owner wishes to sell! Typically, online boutiques sell highly specialized products with a specific consumer in mind. Online boutiques typically have a higher price point than traditional brick and mortar department stores.
Online Shopping Craze
It’s not surprising to hear that online shopping is on the rise, especially in the United States. After the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers craved a shopping experience but were unable to leave their homes. In addition to that, consumers were kept out of physical stores through statewide lockdowns and fear of contracting the virus. The Coronavirus pandemic single-handedly put eCommerce, or commercial transactions conducted through the internet, at the forefront of retail. Most stores and brands have expanded their online presence as a result of the pandemic.
So, why do people prefer online shopping anyways? For starters, anyone can shop from the comfort of their own beds. For those that do not like to leave their homes as often, this is a huge draw to online shopping. In addition to not having to go anywhere, most online stores offer more product information and an option for next-day delivery. In short, online shopping renders a personal and simple shopping experience for all!
It is easy to understand why so many prefer online shopping to an in-store experience now. With a majority of people participating in the social media craze, it is more convenient than ever to find the products we want from the screen of our computers. Ecommerce, or commercial transactions conducted through the internet, is on the rise, and statisticians predict that its popularity will continue to grow. Websites, along with social media applications, are all starting to implement an in-app shopping experience for users. A great example of this is Instagram’s new checkout feature. Instagram users now have the ability to both enjoy social media and shop all in one place.
Retail is Profitable
Statistics reflect the World’s newfound love of online shopping. According to research, consumers spent a whopping $861.12 billion on United States retailers in the year 2020. This 44% higher than the $598.2 billion that consumers spent via online shopping in the year 2019. Online shopping represented 21.3% of the United States total retail sales last year compared to the 15.8% sales in 2019. Overall, the value of eCommerce apparel sites is projected to grow 100 billion U.S. dollars before 2021 ends.
How to Start Your Own Online Boutique
In this day and age, it is feasible for anyone to achieve their goals. If your goal is to open your very own online boutique but you do not know where to start, this is for you. Here is a realistic, step-by-step tutorial to starting your very own online boutique.
Step 1- Find Your Passion
The most important step to starting your own online boutique is to have passion and drive. There are times when the taxes and paperwork are going to stack up and passion truly is the only thing that will keep you motivated. Running a business requires more work than one might expect, and it is not easy if you do not truly love what you do. If you are struggling to think of an idea for your store, consider the hobbies you enjoy doing the most! This can give you an opportunity to fully immerse yourself and teach others about the things that you love.
Step 2- Network, Network, Network
If you cannot tell already, networking is everything. Even if you know everything about the product you are selling, you might not know how to design a logo or set up a payment system. In these cases, connections can be extremely helpful. Whether it be your friends and family or old coworkers, you never know who might have the resources to help you. If you are inexperienced with networking, here are a few ways to expand your own connections.
- Make a LinkedIn account and join groups that are relevant to small business owners.
- Attend conferences for small business owners and entrepreneurs. This is one of the best ways to learn everything you need to know.
- Join online communities and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are going through a problem with your process, odds are they probably have too. Learning from a community is a great way to expand your knowledge.
Step 3- Digital Marketing
Given that your business will be completely online, digital marketing is an integral part of the process. As a small business owner, you do not have to have knowledge in every field, but it helps to have knowledge when it comes to marketing. After all, this will be your main source of advertisement for your boutique. Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to learn marketing skills online. There is information everywhere on search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, social media, and a plethora of other helpful topics available at the tip of your fingers. Below, we’ve listed a few websites that are helpful for learning digital marketing.
- LinkedIn Learning– With one low, flat monthly fee and have access to expert-led courses, since it’s all offered at a flat rate fee, LinkedIn Learning is a cost-efficient option.
- Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google-Google’s digital marketing course is completely free and offers users a 26 module program. The course includes everything from exercises to real-world examples for users to learn from. In addition, it also comes with a recognized certification at the end of the program.
- Digital Marketing Career Blueprint– Plenty of sites teach courses in digital marketing, but it is rare to find one that teaches you how to apply your new skills to get job offers. This is one of the top courses for digital marketing because it actually helps you make a career with your new skills.
Step 4- Finances
Just like it is important to understand how to market your store, it is just as important to understand your finances. Fortunately for you, there are also a number of classes you can take online to gain more knowledge. Some concepts that you may want to consider researching are your credit score, the different types of business loans, and managing your own budget.
Step 5- Manage Your Time
Managing all of your responsibilities can be daunting when you are your own employee. It can be very easy for different tasks to stack up, so it is important to manage your time accordingly. Not only will it make your life as an owner easier, but it will also keep your business running more smoothly. Here are a few tips for keeping organized on a daily basis.
- Do not improvise! Set a schedule and stick to it- One of the worst things you can do for yourself is to start working without a schedule. Before you sit down to work, consider mapping out how you plan to spend your time for the day. This can be extremely helpful when it comes to productivity.
- Organize your personal space– It can feel impossible to complete even the simplest of tasks when your workspace is cluttered. Try to make an effort to remove that clutter. You’ll thank yourself later!
- Delegate-As a small business owner, you should hire people that your trust to take care of some of your workloads. Do not be afraid to reach out for help. After all, you are only one person, and sometimes we all need help.
- Make a Calendar-This might seem like an obvious step to enhancing your time management skills, but it is not always utilized. Calendars are a great way to keep important dates in order and ensure that you are not missing any deadlines.
It is not easy to start and run your own online boutique but is extremely fulfilling if that is your passion. The most important step, however, to start your own online store is to have confidence! After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, how can somebody else? Now, get out there and show the world what you are made of!
- How do I start an online boutique?
- What are some skills I need to start my own online store?
- Why are more customers shopping online?
- What is an online boutique?
- How much has online shopping grown in the last year?