A guide to opening an online boutique

Online boutiques are enjoying a huge surge in popularity thanks to the current pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Having an online boutique can provide a steady source of income while physical shops are closed. Here we look at how you can open your own online boutique as an easy step-by-step process.

Finding a target audience

Before you even begin to decide how the boutique is going to look, you need to define what sort of style your boutique is offering. You want to establish a one-of-a-kind look that is cohesive with the product lines you intend to sell. Take a look into who your target audience would be ideally and use this to create customer profiles that reach all of the criteria.

Naming the boutique

There is only one shot in naming a business. Think about this step very carefully because once it’s done there’s no turning back! Focus on words that will accurately represent what you are trying to sell and communicate the feeling of your brand.

Secure a domain name

Once the name of your boutique has been established, you will want to buy domain names online as well as on social media. You can use services such as names.co.uk to buy the best domain names for your online boutique. Remember that any names used in your domain should also translate over to social media so make sure your selection works across all platforms.

Decide on shipping and inventory

Will you have stock on hand or are you going to rely on drop-shipping? If you do want to store products, you will need to have the space available to store any items in stock. If you plan on working with dropshipping suppliers, you will need to ensure they can meet your needs in terms of delivering products on time to your customers.

Identifying the right suppliers will take a lot of research. When you first order in the stock, limit that first order to just a few items until you have launched the boutique and get a feel for what your consumers really want.

Design the website

Once all of the key business decisions have been made, the online boutique actually has to be designed. You want to have a site that draws in visitors and entices them to explore the entire product range on offer. Using website builders can be a big help if you’re inexperienced in this area and there are online shopping platforms that are just as effective too.

Testing and Launching

Now that the website is built and the stock has been sourced and ordered, you will want to test out your online boutique before launching. Do a trial of packing and shipping your products and then test the site as well to see if orders come through properly. Announce your grand opening across all social media platforms to make sure your target audience doesn’t miss out.

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