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How to Start an Online Boutique: A Beginner’s Guide

Opening a boutique is a life-long dream for many young designers and fashion enthusiasts out there. The price of renting out a storefront, however, often shatters those dreams.

Luckily, there is a simpler way to make them come true – starting your online boutique.

While it basically serves a similar purpose to a conventional boutique, creating an online boutique is much cheaper and easier too.

We are going to tell you how you can build your dream boutique with Zyro and reach financial success.

How to Start an Online Boutique in a Few Easy Steps

The first step of creating a charming and fully-functioning online boutique is similar to creating a typical online store.

You need to choose a hosting provider, pick a CMS, get a domain name, and create your website.

Fortunately, Zyro simplifies the whole process by keeping everything in the same place. You will get hosting, a domain name, a template library and everything else to get you started right away.

Zyro Home Page

In addition, as a website builder, Zyro also allows you to create a website easily with a drag-and-drop tool that makes your chosen template highly customizable.

All you need to do is choose a template, adjust it as you like, then go live.

With Zyro, you don’t need to delve into the technicalities. Instead, you can focus all of your energy on creating your dream boutique.

Sign Up with Zyro

To start using Zyro, you need to register a free account. Then, simply sign in using your registered email and password.

Zyro Singup page

Zyro offers simple pricing – the free version and the premium plans.

The free plan has a library of templates, SSL certificate, 24/7 customer support, and free hosting, while the PRO Site plan includes all of those features, plus 3 GB bandwidth, 1 GB storage, and an ads-free website.

Choose a domain name for your online boutique on Zyro domains page

Zyro also provides a domain checker that allows you to find and purchase the perfect domain for your website.

If this is the first time you’re creating a website, picking a domain name can be quite intimidating. Since a domain name is vital for your site’s branding, you have to think carefully before registering it.

To help you decide, here are some tips.

  • Pick a short, easy-to-type name. Most popular websites around the globe use short names, like Wikihow, Bing, or Bitly. Avoid using symbols, slang, or numbers because those are hard to remember and difficult to type.
  • Mix and match words to create new ones, such as SoundCloud or Facebook.
  • Use the exact name of your company/store/product, if you have one.
  • Use a keyword related to your niche. For instance, if you are creating a website to sell old cars, you can use www.classiccars.com or www.oldcars.com.

Following these tips will help you find the perfect domain name for your brand-new website.

If. by any chance. you already own a domain somewhere else, Zyro allows you to transfer your domain. All you need to do is enter your domain, click Transfer and follow the process.

Please note that you are going to need the EPP code to finish the transfer.

Once you receive an email from your domain registrar, Zyro will start the transfer process that can take up to five working days.

Pick a Website Template and Customize It to Your Liking

Once your account is set up, it’s time to pick out the right template for your site. Ask yourself: what are you going to sell at your store?

Knowing your own product before creating your online boutique will help you pick the appropriate template.

Zyro provides plenty of templates with various themes. The niches range from a wedding invitation website, personal profile, startup company to a photography template and so on.

Choose templates that fits your boutique

Since your goal is to build an online boutique, you could choose a template specifically designed for fashion.

However, you can pick any template, since Zyro allows you to customize anything and everything within it.

Before making your choice, here are a few things you should keep in mind when setting up an online boutique.

  • Make sure the template fits your products. For instance, if you will be selling wedding dresses, you may want to use a template that has good color contrast to bring out the color of the wedding dress.
  • Make sure the template has lots of visual elements. When visiting an online boutique, people expect to see a handful of examples of your work. Thus, use a template that’s photo-heavy.
  • Pick a theme with a simple layout. Keeping it simple is the best way to create an online boutique. You do not need a lot of features to sell boutique products.

All of Zyro’s templates have already been optimized for ecommerce and have a responsive design. That being said, Fashion & Apparel, Photography, and Bakery templates are particularly good for creating an online boutique store.

June Template preview

Zyro has a grid system to enhance the drag-and-drop experience. You can edit almost all of the elements on the chosen template to create a website that fits your brand exactly.

To edit the template, hover your mouse over the template and click Start Building.

Zyro Template Page

You will be redirected to the website editor. On this page, you are free to customize almost everything — switching out images, editing text, adding new elements to the page, or even deleting unwanted sections.

To copy, delete, or replace an image, click on the target image on the template, then choose another one.

Zyro Summer Essentials Page

You can also do the same with text – select the target text to edit, copy, replace, or delete it.

If you want to replace the image, Zyro provides 1+ million of free images, thanks to Unsplash. Just click Change Image and you can start browsing the free library or upload your own.

Zyro Change Image Feature

Moreover, Zyro allows you to add new elements, including buttons, texts, images, videos, maps, and paragraphs. Click on the Add Elements button located at the left top corner of the editor page.

Zyro Add Elements Feature

Once you have finished editing the template, click on the Publish Site button on the top right corner of your website. Do not worry, even if you forget to save your progress, your file will be safe since Zyro has an autosave system.

Moreover, Zyro allows you to edit multiple templates via one account.

All your projects will be saved on the Your Websites page. You can preview, duplicate, delete, or create a new site from this page.

Zyro Your Websites Page

Content is King – Handle With Care

Having a good-looking and functional website is not enough.

You need to add content to fuel your site, but make sure that the content is original and interesting for your audience.

Original content is good for SEO, while interesting content generates the traffic you need by attracting your target audience and converting them into paying customers.

Content can anything: images, text, video, multimedia…

Here are some tips to have quality content on your website.

  • Create a content post schedule. Do not let the weather dictate when to put out new content. Make a clear schedule or a content calendar and stick to it.
  • Follow the trends. Being creative is all fine and dandy, but follow the latest trends and build on them too.
  • Create SEO-friendly content. Good SEO quality ensures your content gets more traffic. Read up on some SEO optimization tips to boost your page rank on the search engine results pages.
  • Update your old content. Content that’s getting lots of views needs to be refreshed or revised regularly to keep it fresh and keep it relevant.

One thing is for sure: all content requires that text is produced, in the form of web copy, video scripts or image headings.

But what do you do when you’re simply not good at producing content?

Zyro’s AI Writer can help. It’s an AI content generator you can use for content generation or when you’re building your website.

Simply select the text block element and click on the yellow icon on the right side of the editing toolbar.

Zyro AI Writer Icon

The AI Writer covers a wide range of niches, including fashion, sports, health, food, and art. You can set the topic, category, and type of text and the AI will create multiple texts you can use.

Zyro AI Writer Category Selections

The text generated by Zyro AI Writer is 100% original. The algorithm used is programmed to spew out SEO friendly writing in a matter of seconds.

Once you find a bit of text you like, click on Insert text and it will be moved automatically to your website. At this point, you can edit the piece to make sure it fits your needs.

Zyro AI Writer Generated Paragraph

Create Your Products and Make Them Shine

Your product is the star of the show. That being said, your potential customers will not convert into paying ones if your product is not presented properly.

Here are some tips to help your product the get the attention it needs:

  • Use multiple photos. Photos or pictures give assurance to people who intend to make a purchase. Using a single photo may not be enough to convince them.
  • Give a clear description. Good pictures are not enough — you have to write a clear description of your product. For instance, if you are selling clothes, you have to describe it in as much detail as possible.

Furthermore, the key to a successful online business is communication.

You must be able to respond to your customer questions as quickly as possible. Thus, providing a live chat to interact with them is the best thing you can do.

Promote Your Store

It goes without saying that promoting your store is the core aspect of your business. With adequate marketing efforts, you can expect your sales to steadily increase over time.

That being said, promoting an online store needs a solid combination of hard work, patience, and strategy. Since there are literally thousands of fashion stores on the internet, the competition is cut-throat.

Luckily, the internet is vast and there are nearly 2 billion digital buyers around the globe. Even selling your product to a mere 1% of that number would make you a fortune.

To get closer to reaching that number, you need to start getting your site visible on the web – the topic of the next section.

Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Since online businesses rely heavily on search engines to attract customers, you want to make sure that your store ranks high on search engine results.

To put it into perspective, there are about 3.8 million Google searches every minute or 5.6 billion per day.

There are various ways to boost your site’s SEO. Here are some of the lowest hanging fruit:

  • Use relevant keywords in your content. Nowadays, there is a variety of tools that can help you find the perfect keyword for your business, such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and KWFinder.
  • Make sure all links in your site are working. Broken links are known to have a very bad effect on SEO.
  • Use internal links. Link your existing content pieces to articles that you’re writing now. Internal linking is simply better for SEO.
  • Use the correct header tags. While it sounds trivial, using appropriate header tags does help you rank high in Google. Create one H1, then use the H2, H3, and H4 as you see fit.
  • Create a mobile-friendly website. A website that works well on mobile devices ranks higher in Google. Luckily, if you build your site with Zyro, you do not need to worry about this because all of Zyro’s templates are mobile-friendly.

Another factor you must take into account when dealing with SEO is that Google ranks fast websites higher. Thankfully, Zyro is not only fast to build — it is also fast to load.

Zyro Speed Rank

Use Social Media

Social media has evolved to become more than a platform to express oneself. It’s becoming a personal branding machine and a reliable advertisement channel.

Instagram Frontpage

As an online boutique owner, unleashing the full potential of social media as a marketing tool is a must.

Data shows that 60% of buyers have been influenced by social media when buying a product. In addition, 40% of Twitter users made a purchase based on a tweet.

To make the best out of social media, follow these tips:

  • Choose your platform wisely. You do not need to join all social media platforms. Just a few should be enough as long as they are relevant to your target audience and are managed properly. For an online boutique, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest should be a good start.
  • Avoid over-promoting. Even though you have created a special account to promote your business, it is not wise to blatantly advertise your product in every post. Try the simple 5 to 1 rule – make one advertisement after posting five engaging content pieces.
  • Be active and interactive. Posting on social media once every two months is unacceptable. You have to be active to boost your store’s online presence. You must also respond to your customer questions or suggestions on a daily basis. That way, your audience will grow much faster.
  • Be creative. The very core of social media marketing is creativity. You will not get anywhere with a dull and generic post. Try creating a viral post, inventing a social movement, coming up with a funny catchphrase or using colorful graphics.
  • Invest. Social media like Facebook or Instagram allows you to launch Ad campaigns on their platform. Even though it is not free, paid-advertisement is effective to enhance the spectrum of your business promotion.

Aside from these tips, it is essential to note that gaining social media attention needs time. All you can do is be consistent throughout the process.

Build an Email List and Create Frequent Newsletters

Email marketing is one of the best promotional methods in modern business. With around 3.9 billion users worldwide, email is the holy grail of digital marketing.

Building an email list is a must if you want to take advantage of this platform. To get started, you can create a subscription form or put a newsletter subscription column on your page.

ZyroexampleNewsletter Subscription Form

You can also get your customer’s email addresses when they make a purchase, or persuade them to subscribe to your newsletter by providing a special discount or offers.

These methods are commonly used by lots of big brands, such as Nike, Adidas, and Zara.

Nike Newsletter Subscription Form

Once you have acquired hundreds or thousands of your potential customer addresses, use email marketing services such as Constant Contact or Drip to send a huge number of emails in one-click.

Moreover, the email marketing service usually provides extra features to help you grow your business. For instance, Mailchimp gives you custom email templates, advanced marketing tools, and multiple marketing channels.

Give Discounts and Coupons

Conventional marketing methods, such as handing out discounts and coupons, are still effective in attracting customers from various groups. Thus, offering limited-time discounts on special occasions like Christmas, Black Friday or Thanksgiving is a great way to promote your online boutique.

Discounts or special offers ignite the sense of urgency in the buyer’s mind. They also trigger the customer’s impulse by forcing them to make the decision of buying a product here and now.

From a psychological perspective, this phenomenon is known as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Here are some great tips for using these marketing methods:

  • Provide a free shipping option. There are lots of potential buyers out there having a hard time when it comes to making a decision to buy something, just because of the shipping fee. Providing a free shipping option when they make a purchase for a certain price is the best strategy to make that purchase happen.
  • Offer a bundle product discount. This method allows you to sell the products that are less popular or piling up in the stockroom. Make sure that the products in the bundle are relevant to each other. For instance, if you want to sell a swimsuit, you can bundle it up with sunscreen or swimming goggles.
  • Give a discount for the next order. Repeating orders from your customers is the best way to keep the cash flowing. Invite them to do so by giving a special discount for their next purchase.
  • Give a special offer to the first order. Getting a new customer means that you get a new channel for gaining profit. So, give your customer a special offer for his/her first order. This method has been implemented by big brands like Adidas and Zalora.
Adidas Newsletter Subscription Email Form

Start an Online Boutique Today

Creating an online boutique is the most sensible way to realize your dream of running a boutique business without having to spend a huge amount of money up front.

That being said, developing an online business requires lots of hard work, patience and relentless experiments on marketing strategies.

Let’s recap:

  1. Get Started with Zyro. With its easy-to-use website builder, AI content generator, and a wide selection of free templates, you’ll have a website set up in no time.
  2. Pick a domain name. Your online business starts with a great domain name.
  3. Choose and edit a website template. Zyro provides various templates you can use to create a website. Pick one, then customize it to your liking.
  4. Add content to your site. Content is the fuel of your site. You need to create content that goes well with your niche. For an online boutique store, your content should not stray far from fashion news, trends, or tips.
  5. Promote your store. There are numerous promotion methods, such as social media and email marketing. However, since you are operating your business online, you should first optimize for search engines. And finally, to improve your bottom line and nurture your business for long term success, you should combine, develop, and modify various business strategies.

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