Overview on how to build a boutique website.
Learn how to build a boutique website. Chances are you have come across this website because you have a boutique business and are looking for a way to expand online. Or you have an online boutique but want more traffic.
My name is Sam. I’ve spent the better part of the last decade helping businesses market themselves online. Last year we put the finishing touches on the branding for our wholesale boutique jewelry company and started selling directly to small boutique stores. Along the way, in my conversations with boutique owners, I have realized that most owners, even successful ones are at a loss when it comes to online sales. Your success is WHITL’s success. That’s why today I am going to teach you the very basics of starting an online eCommerce business.
Find your boutique customer.
Who is your customer? I ask boutiques this every time I go into a new store. The majority of the time owners have little to no idea. They generally assume that the local community is their customer. They are not wrong but not being able to answer this question means that you are leaving money on the table. E-commerce and in fact, most new businesses have become niche. This means that people online, your competitors, already know who their customer is working to reach them how they want to be reached. It is your job to be better. Defining who your customer is is the first, basic step to creating a successful eCommerce website that generates the revenue required to make it worth it.
Choose a platform to build a boutique website on.
This website, yes the website you are currently reading this on is built on the WordPress platform. Shopify, WIX, Squarespace & Joomla are a few others. Every major domain provider now has some kind of platform to build websites on. I tend to steer people clear of platforms like WIX and Squarespace because their builder interfaces tend to make SEO more difficult and are limiting. But we will talk about SEO later. I use WordPress because there is an unending amount of resources, tutorials and plugins available that can help make you a successful eCommerce owner.
If you choose to use WordPress I will recommend a basic set of plugins to help in your success.
This is by no means a list of everything you will need to be successful. But it is a good starting point to build a boutique website.
Develop your boutique brand.
Now it is time for the fun stuff. Another great thing about WordPress are the literally thousands upon thousands of themes available. Pick one that fits your brand and get started.
Build your site pages including your homepage, product category pages and setup
Start thinking about how you want to advertise now. Develop some creative ideas for advertising and develop some landing pages. These are pages based around a specific ‘call to action’ or ask of your customer.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of making your website appealing to search engines such as Google. A few basic things to remember:
- Don’t try to trick search engines. They do a good job figuring out what your web page is about. You are primarily concerned with having enough content to make sure your pages are relevant across the spectrum of what you do.
- Don’t focus on one type of content. You may be a good photographer, you may be a good writer. Work at developing those skills you don’t necessarily have. Vary how you get your point across to make content interesting for different types of users.
- Be descriptive. A good product page has 300-1500 words. A good goal to have is at least 1000 words. Make sure to add an FAQ area to your product page as well. This can help you to overcome objections or answer questions before they ever happen.
- Take more than one photo. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 1 technical photo and 1 in-use photo. I usually do not post a product with at least four photos.
Remember that people on your eCommerce site don’t have the luxury of holding your object in their hand. They need help visualize owning it. The more ways you can describe it to them the better opportunity you will have to make a sale.
Keep in mind when you are writing to pay close attention to your writer’s personality. Keeping a consistent experience is important to your users and will help to keep people coming back.
Advertise your boutique.
When you are first starting out a good rule of thumb is to do one thing well. I help business owners all the time who are trying to do email marketing, Facebook ads, Instagram, Twitter, Google Ads, and even Content Marketing and doing none of them well. Generally, unless you are a multi-million dollar company, you do not have the revenue to justify having a paid staff to handle marketing. If you are an established business and do not know which to pick a good rule is to look at which one already works best and focus your energy there.
This is by no means a complete list on how to build a successful boutique business but it should give you the basics to put together a basic website and begin to do your own research.
We have committed to writing about internet branding because we value the relationships we have with our boutique partners and want them to grow as businesses. If you find value in our advice and our products please consider becoming a wholesale partner.