Building an online store is not like the movie “Field of Dreams.” If you build it, they will not come. When you build a successful online boutique, you need to earn people’s clicks and cash.
There are roughly 24 million online stores out there. But less than a million of those generate annual sales of more than $1,000 per year. So there are more failures than successes out there.
How do you succeed? How do you build a successful online boutique? Keep reading to learn some of the most common mistakes people make and how to avoid them.
Choose Your Platform
You will have two choices: Shopify and Magento.
These are the two major platforms in this marketplace, and either can help you build a successful online boutique. Each has their own pros and cons.
Shopify’s growth is absolutely massive. More and more people are choosing them for their simple ease-of-use, and the proof is in the numbers. Shopify’s revenue grew to $151.65 million, which was up 75% year over year
At the same time, the number of users selling on Shopify grew to well over 500,000, an increase of 67% year over year.
It’s also relatively inexpensive.
- $9/month + 2.9% + credit card fees
- $29/month + 2.9% + credit card fees
- $79/month + 2.6% + credit card fees
- $299/month + 2.4% + credit card fees
Why would you choose Shopify? Because you’re not super-tech-savvy and you don’t want to have to worry about building or coding.
Shopify is simple and turnkey. They provide amazing templates to make sure creating your store isn’t that much harder than making a PowerPoint presentation.
A lot of people choose this option because they have a very well-established and trusted name in the marketplace. Most of these people also likely have some sort of the technical background and want total control of their store.
Shopify is eating up more and more of the market share, but there are still well over 200,000 live sites currently using Magento.
In terms of cost, Magento is free to start, but you have to buy your own hosting. And if you start to really bring in the traffic, you could be looking at $18,000 per year for enterprise-level tiers.
Optimize Your Store
To build a successful online boutique, you need to SEO the heck out of it. Over 35 percent of all consumers start their buying process through Googling what they want.
So if you’re a company like Woven Label HK, you want Google searches for woven products to point to your site.
How do you do this?
1. Build a Process and Stick to it
You need to build a list of best practices for building product pages, so it’s done the right way every time.
SEO success comes from consistency and repetition. You can’t really measure your success if you’ve done 4 different things on 4 different product pages.
This is particularly important if you have more than one person adding products to your store. Everyone needs to be 100% clear that there is only one way to do things, so you can ensure everyone is doing it the right way.
2. Optimize Each Page
Yes, you need to do this, even if you’re using Shopify plus. A lot of people think that it pre-optimizes your product pages for you. It does not.
You still need to do the work. That includes making sure your keywords are:
- In the page title
- In the first paragraph of the description
- In your image’s caption, alt text and even file name
- In your meta description
Creating an SEO checklist is a good way to ensure that you (and your team) do things the right way the first time and every time after that.
How to Leverage Social Media
If you want to build a successful online boutique, you need to send traffic from your store from social media. That’s the way traffic should flow, never the other way.
A lot of businesses will have social links on their online store, that say “Like us on Facebook.” Why? You already have the person in the place where they need to be. Why would you send them away?
That’s the equivalent of owning a restaurant, and when someone comes in asking for a table, you send them outside to look at a bus ad for your restaurant.
Have Real Conversations
The secret to selling your goods on social media is not trying to sell anything at all.
People on social media hate the hard sell. So avoid it at all costs.
Join groups and conversations, and contribute, without the hard sell. Make people laugh or smile and they will follow you. If you can answer their question and provide real value, the sales will take of themselves.
Of course, you will share lots of a create pictures and posts about your products, but half of your social media strategy will take place away from your own accounts.
Be active and be present by commenting on other people’s posts, and offering real insight and entertainment wherever possible. Just leave the sales pitch at home.
Respond to a DM Right Away
if someone reaches out to you on social media, this is as qualified a lead as you’re ever going to get. So don’t waste it. Get back to them right away.
84% of people who reach out to a business on Facebook expect to hear back within 24 hours. And a lot of people won’t even wait that long before exploring other options and looking up your competition’s site.
Let Us Show You How To Build a Successful Online Boutique
Of course, this is just a start. Success in e-commerce and online sales is never achieved; It’s simply maintained. You have to work at it every day.
And you shouldn’t do it alone. How can we help you? Click here to contact us to find out.