How to Start an Online Clothing Boutique 

 March 17, 2021

By  Matthew King

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Are you passionate about clothing? Do you think that you have what it takes to run a business? Have you been sketching your dream outfits?

If so, you should consider opening an online clothing boutique.

With so many people shopping online, now is the best time to consider starting an online business. It’s not as difficult as you may think.

To learn more about how to open an online business, keep reading. We’ll cover everything you need to know.

1. Choose Your Niche

Every business needs a niche to fall in. Some of you may already know exactly what you want to sell, but others may have no idea.

Even if you’re going to be selling clothing, there may be a specific type of clothing that you want to sell. Here are some common niches in clothing:

  • Vintage clothes
  • Children’s clothing
  • Plus-sized clothing
  • Athletic wear
  • Women’s clothing
  • Men’s clothing
  • Juniors’ clothing
  • Maternity

The list goes on and on.

As you’re developing the clothes that you want to sell, you should think about whether or not you’d like to niche down on a specific or a few specific categories of clothing. You may also want to consider whether or not you’d like to sell jewelry, accessories, and other wearables with the clothing that you’re selling.

As you’re deciding what kind of clothes and other wearables you’d like to sell, think about the kind of customer that you’d like to target. This can help you determine the right kind of clothes and aesthetic that you want to stick with.

2. Pick an Ecommerce Platform

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All online stores have an eCommerce provider behind them. If you want to make sure that your business is going to be as successful as it can be, you need to make sure that you choose the right eCommerce platform for you.

There are plenty of platforms to research and choose from. This includes the following big three:

  • BigCommerce
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce

These are the most popular platforms, but you can look at others that you may enjoy more.

The bottom line is that you want to partner with a company that is going to support you and your business for years and years to come. This isn’t about a large company (the eCommerce platform) dissolving a smaller company (your online boutique).

The eCommerce platform should work well for your company and vice versa. It’s a partnership, so you should choose the right platform based on your company’s needs, not on popularity.

Best eCommerce Platform to build your store.

3. Build Your Website

Once you’ve chosen the eCommerce platform of your dreams, you should get started on building your website. There are countless website builders out there that make creating a website easy.

Some eCommerce providers give their users the ability to create a website on their platform. So, you may want to check if the provider that you chose gives you the ability to do so.

If not, there are a ton of other website builders to choose from. Take a look at popular platforms like WordPress and Squarespace to figure out which platform is right for you.

Once you’ve chosen the right platform, get to work on website building. Find a color palette and theme that goes along with the kind of brand that you want to make around your company.

Keep your target audience in mind as you’re doing this. Think about what they would want to see while shopping for your clothes.

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4. Create Your Business Plan

If you’re opening an online clothing boutique, you’re starting a business. This means that you need to create a business plan. This is especially important for those of you who need funding for a business.

Overall, a business plan helps a business owner lay out all of their goals. The plan breaks everything down into plenty of steps for the business owner to work on achieving.

By having all of the details of your business laid out, you can help yourself understand your vision while also explaining that vision to others who may want to know about your business. Creating your business plan is one of the most important steps when it comes to starting an online business as an entrepreneur.

Here are some of the main elements that belong in a strong business plan:

  • Extensive market research, including a definition of buyer personas, an analysis of the current market, complete keyword research, and a look into the competition
  • A strong business model, which may include your printing resource, custom cut-and-sew claims, the definition of the terms of the private label that you may use, and/or the dropshipping terms you’re under
  • Clear financial planning, including documentation of personal investment and outside funds, anticipated expenses of the business, product pricing, and expected revenue
  • Savvy marketing strategy, including your plan for the press release, social media marketing, audience targeting, and more

The more descriptive your business plan, the more likely it is that an investor will help you and your business out.

5. Finalize the Name of Your Business

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Your business name matters. Depending on the success of your business, you may be stuck with the name forever.

We’re sure that some of you dreamers have a few name ideas floating around in your head. Now is the time to finalize which name you want to go with.

Before you get too excited, you need to make sure that the name that you want is original, memorable, and personable. If you’re copying another business’ name or not bringing personality to your business, the name isn’t likely to catch on with today’s consumers.

We also highly suggest that you check whether or not the name that you want is available as a domain name. If not, you might want to consider changing the name.

Using the same name as another company can cause legal damage and make finding your company confusing for customers. It’s smartest to have a domain name (website name) that matches your business name.

Get brainstorming and find out what the best name for your online clothing boutique is.

6. Hire Clothing Suppliers

Whether you’re making all of your clothes by hand or not, you’re going to need a clothing supplier of some kind. As you’re researching supplies and trying to choose which one is the best one for you and your business, you should consider three qualities:

  1. The level of quality you’re looking for in the clothing you’re going to sell
  2. The level of support that you need and want from the supplier you’re going to work with
  3. The reviews of the suppliers that you’re researching

Take your time with this step. Nothing beats having a great supplier that can get you everything you need.

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7. Master Ecommerce SEO

Now that you have everything laid out, you need to read about eCommerce SEO. This is the collection of tips and tricks that are going to get visitors to come to your website from search engines.

By creating keyword-rich paragraphs and descriptions for every single page on your eCommerce website, you can bring more and more people in every day. Make sure to add quality pictures of the items that you’ve chosen to sell.

8. Launch Your Online Clothing Boutique

It’s time to launch! You’ve got your website built, your clothing items laid out, and your funding in place.

Publishing your first website can be terrifying, but the hard work will pay off. Keep your head high and keep focusing on your dream.

9. Market Your Business

Now that you’re published and out there, you need to market your business. Without marketing, your business isn’t likely to get much traction.

Consider creating pages and profiles on social media for your business. Share the items you sell and give consumers an inside look into why you started the business and what your dreams are. Relatability is extremely important in today’s market.

The more that you interact with your customers, the more business you’re going to bring in. Build Your Audience from Scratch

10. Revise as You Go

Now that you’re launched and running, you’re going to make mistakes along the way. It’s not great to hear, but it’s true of any and all businesses.

All you can do is revise as you go. Make changes when you note that something isn’t working and follow these best practices for startups.

The more that you adapt and grow, the better your business will be. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take chances.

You should also be regularly reaching out to your customers so that you know what you need to work and improve on.

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Start Your Business!

Now, you’re ready to officially start your online clothing boutique. You’ve read everything there is to know about getting started with the business side of running a clothing store. Now, you have to put it into practice.

Even though you’ve read a lot, you’re probably still feeling lost and worried. That’s completely normal for a new business owner. That’s why we run a small business forum.

If you join our small business forum, you can learn more about how to run a small business every single day.

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