From the internet to smartphones to the rise of online shopping platforms, today it’s easier than EVER to start a boutique from home. It can be a great way to earn some extra cash and let your creativity flow, whether you’re looking for some extra shopping $$ or your employment situation has changed due to COVID-19. No need to pay rent for a pricey storefront – nowadays, you can start a totally professional-looking boutique from the comfort of your home.
Shopify is an excellent, easy-to-use tool to help you start a boutique from home. It’s a little pricier than other platforms to start your online boutique, but it’s full of features and functionality that makes running a boutique a breeze.
Here’s how to start an online boutique from home using Shopify, step by step.
1. Get licensed
Even if you’re just planning on doing business online, you’ll still need the proper licensing and certification in order to sell wholesale boutique items and pay taxes. While requirements vary from state to state, it’s usually a pretty straightforward, inexpensive process.
2. Create your brand
As a boutique owner, you’re not just selling clothes – you’re creating a unique, recognizable brand. Come up with a memorable name, establish your brand’s values, identify the type of person you’re hoping to sell to, and create visuals that will set your brand apart from the rest.
3. Order inventory
An online boutique without any product is just a website! As you order inventory, keep your ideal customer in mind. Look for things you know they’d love to wear and own. Make sure you purchase wholesale boutique items from a reliable supplier – ”wholesale” doesn’t mean you’re getting the best prices available, so shop around. And especially as you’re starting out, it can be nice to choose a supplier with a really wide selection of products and no minimum order quantities (MOQs), like Supplied.
4. Create a Shopify account
Start a free 14-day Shopify trial to get started. Once your free trial has ended, you’ll pay $29/month for the Basic Shopify plan. (If you’re just starting out, that plan will probably be sufficient.) Shopify also comes with free webhosting and a free domain, though if you’d like to avoid a “.myshopify.com” domain that will come at an extra cost.
5. Upload products
Next, add your products to your Shopify website. Upload photos (whether they’re images you took yourself or ones your supplier provided), write a product title and description, indicate the price, and input shipping information to automatically calculate shipping rates. You can also organize multiple products into collections for easy shopping and to encourage multibuys.
6. Build your Shopify website
This is the fun part! Choose from plenty of different Shopify templates to easily build your online boutique. Focus mainly on the structure of the pages as you choose – you’ll be able to easily customize colors and fonts once you choose a template. Use this time to design and fill in key pages like your About, FAQ, and Home pages.
7. Figure out logistics
Set up shipping, taxes, and payment gateways. Choose what sort of payment options you’d like to offer and the regions your store will ship to. Figure out what sort of packaging materials you’ll use and how you’ll ship each item. And remember to run a test checkout before you launch to make sure everything’s running smoothly!
8. Launch your store!
Get ready to officially open for business! Spread the word about your boutique’s launch through social media, email, and good old-fashioned word of mouth. Sure, your Shopify store may not be perfect right when you launch, but you can always make changes later on – and besides, the sooner you’re able to start giving your customers what they want, the better!