Starting an online boutique during a pandemic like corona is tricky. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, eCommerce is getting a huge traffic spike in both good and bad ways.
The best way to set up your boutique online is by creating unique products. By the time of writing, pet beds, swimwear, and fitness products are the best sellers. So, you’d need to do your research and plan everything from the first steps, to the marketing.
In this post, we are going to be discussing three crucial tips for starting an online boutique during the corona pandemic.
Let’s jump into it!
1. Find best-selling clothing and accessories
Amazon eCommerce business grew its revenue for the US from 900 million to 1+ billion between April and June 2020.
During the coronavirus situation, the first thing to check before getting your business plan ready is finding a product that sells. While all types of clothing products have an audience base, a particular product line spikes during pandemics.
For instance, work from home accessories on Amazon are selling rapidly at this time. Similarly, when it comes to clothing, products like loungewear, swimwear, comfortable home clothing, kids clothing, and coronavirus protection clothing (masks, gloves, etc.) are selling more than other products.
On the flip side, some industries like travel, cinema, and tourism are facing a huge fall.
What’s more, many fashion brands are using creative design ideas for corona masks that match their clothing products to showcase their brand aesthetics.
Look for products that are the most likely to sell. It could be anything from kid’s clothing to accessories like face-masks, health tracking, fashionable bands, and more. Research thoroughly before getting started.
2. Find solid logistics and fulfillment service
The biggest downfall for eCommerce businesses during the lock-down is delayed shipment. While logistics services need to limit delivery times to ensure public safety, it is also not good for new brands. Currently, many products take anywhere from a week to a month to get delivered.
The good thing is that the clothing niche is considered not an urgent product, so the customers won’t mind the wait, but an excessive wait time might result in increased return requests. It is, therefore, advisable by eCommerce industry experts to target region-specific audiences first.
If you are running an inventory-based store and shipping internationally, then you should consider a good quality shipment service like FedEx. If possible, try to optimize your store for geo-targeting. Alternatively, try to start an online boutique with one of the following business models.
a. Dropship model
You can combine your Shopify store with Oberlo (a dropshipping service) to find and ship best-selling products directly to your customers via Aliexpress. Similarly, you can use another drop shipping service that delivers your product from the supplier to the customer.
b. Print on demand
A print on demand service is just like dropshipping, but it is specifically for T-shirts, mugs, and similar items. They will take care of both printing and shipping. All you need to do is design the product.
c. Amazon FBA fulfillment
You can create a WooCommerce store and integrate the Amazon dropshipping model with the Spreadr dropshipping plugin. The good thing is that Amazon will take care of the shipment.
3. Choose a reliable platform for starting your boutique
Once you have finalized the product suppliers and shipment, it’s time to select an eCommerce store for your business. However, it should not only be optimized for your business model but should also be cost-effective.
Starting an online store with WordPress is pretty simple. However, it is not the best option for dropshipping due to payment required for full access to the eCommerce functionality.
Shopify is a complete eCommerce solution for both dropshipping and inventory. While it may seem expensive, it is cheaper thanks to the free Shopify apps that add to the functionality. Plus, you will get premium support. Their basic plan costs $29 per month.
There are some free online boutique platforms, but there are a lot of limitations. Teespring is an eCommerce store that allows you to design and sell tees, mugs, and similar items. So, if you have an idea related to this and you want to test it out, you can go on Teespring and other similar free eCommerce platforms.
You cannot create a store you fully own with Teespring, but you can design custom products, add your margin, and sell it on their store. They will then give you a small payout if the item sells.
Final words on starting an online boutique
That was my take on starting an online boutique during a pandemic. In addition to all of the above, focus on improving ROI for your marketing. Paid ads on Facebook and Google should be optimized to target the right customer base.
Reach out to relevant blogs and narrow down your list for paid investment. Make sure to find the right product before creating a business plan. Next, verify your suppliers. It is now more important than ever to find certified suppliers that deliver high-quality products. Take your time to properly verify the supplier’s profile, then check the market for the new eCommerce marketing tactics.