Now, more than ever, your business must have an online presence. While it may take a little creativity, brick and mortar boutiques can stay open in this season by shifting your sales online and your operations to home. Here are a few things to consider as you take your boutique online.
1) Reassess Your Brand.
You probably worked very hard to create an atmosphere in your store. What were you trying to accomplish with that? How were you encouraging people to come in and shop? Do you already have a logo?
You need to take these questions and ultimately think through which pieces of your business can translate to the digital shopping experience.
2) Think About Your Audience.
This is a two-fold question.
1. How can you continue to serve your customers at this time?
We are ALL in self-isolation. Personal connection matters now more than ever. Be helpful. Create a community through social media. Be positive and find ways to enrich their lives.
2. Is it time to refresh what audience you are trying to reach?
Going online means no borders or barriers to reaching people. You can reach anyone, anywhere. Think about how you can extend your boutique outside your typical physical boundaries.
3) Let’s Get Online.
1. The Website Essentials
Buy a domain.
Find one that represents your brand well. Make sure it is easy to spell. If your preferred name is not available, get creative with it. Maybe add your city or state to the end (ExampleShopTX.com or ExampleShopDFW.com)
Once you have done that, forget paying a techie to code you an expensive website. Don’t worry about the upsells. Move on to the next step.
2. Building Your Online Store
Grace & Lace trusts Shopify to host our online store. We encourage you to use them as well. They offer a free 90-day trial right now during the COVID-19 crisis.
Here is their quick start guide to setting up an online store. In this article, you’ll learn how to get started, what pages are most important, and tons of other resources.
3. Get Those Emails
Use a service like MailChimp or Klaviyo along with a pop up on your website to gather emails and incentivize purchases.
Here’s a helpful handbook from Klaviyo on how to build your email list the right way.
4. Let Your Customers Know
We assume, especially if you’ve followed these blogs, that you have a social media presence. It’s time to let them know! Your site is up and going. If you already have an email list, send a grand re-opening email to them as well. This could be an excellent opportunity for a flash sale to help bring in a little extra revenue.
We love our wholesale business owners. We hope this gives you a little more clarity on how you can keep things moving during this season of shelter-in-place.