Well, hello there, budding fashionistas and aspiring entrepreneurs!
If you’ve clicked on this post, chances are you’re about to take a fabulous, glittery, yet slightly terrifying leap into the enchanting world of online boutiques. Or, maybe you’re just curious. Either way, welcome to our crash course on “How Much Inventory Should I Start With An Online Boutique?”
Just it back, relax and let us guide you through the maze of deciding how much inventory you need. After all, we wouldn’t want you running out of those bestselling skinny jeans now, would we?
How Much Inventory Do I Need To Start An Online Boutique?
The amount of needed inventory depends on many factors, but you can come up with a number by considering these factors:
This is one of the most significant factors in deciding how much inventory you’ll need. Whether you have large capital or a small budget, always spend wisely.
On a shoestring budget, say $3,000 or less? We advise going for one pack and one color per style. This buying method will help you find products that have the potential to become best-sellers, thereby easily balancing your purchase list in the future.
Got a fatter wallet? Resist the urge to splurge. Stick to a maximum of 3 packs and 3 colors per style. Why? It’s all about broadening your fashion show runway (aka your product catalog) without overfilling the backstage.
Your business model
Here, we have two main characters – the Inventory Holder and the Dropshipper. Each has its quirks, charm, and pitfalls.
The Inventory Holder: You’re the master puppeteer. You control the strings, ensuring the marionettes (products, in our case) dance to your tunes. The drawback? The dreadful fear of overstocking – that’s equivalent to buying 50 pumpkin pies for a party of 10.
The Dropshipper: You’re the wizard behind the curtain. You take orders, pass them to your supplier, who then ships them to the buyer. Overstock? Out of stock? Poof, disappeared! But alas, control over service quality may also vanish into thin air.
The selling area
If you have identified your favorite products after the first wholesale import, do not rush to import goods for the second time. Gauge your market’s size and plan your next steps first.
If your selling area is large nationally, you should prepare a larger inventory to avoid customers having to wait too long.
In the second batch, prepare based on the available budget and the quantity of the most popular products in the first sale. From there, you can estimate the subsequent batches of goods.
The number of categories
Are you a boutique generalist, boasting of diverse categories, or a specialist focusing on a niche? The more categories, the more items you’ll need.
Start with your core categories, such as clothing for a clothing store. Once you’ve established a loyal customer base and steady finances, then feel free to add on those sparkly accessories, trendy shoes, and other categories.
This is the last factor that you’ll need to evaluate.
Best-seller is usually the most steady source of income for businesses. Therefore, you should import a decent number of best-seller products and accompanying goods.
The second type of product you should bulk import is seasonal clothes, such as jackets, life jackets, etc. These products are essential because customers usually buy clothes based on the weather.
Finally, remember always to enter new goods in small quantities for testing. This action will help reduce the risk if customers don’t like your new product as much as possible.
3 Tips For A Successful Online Boutique
1. Know your customer
So, you’ve figured out your inventory. Great job! But there’s more to the runway than just the clothes. The showstopper is always your audience, or in boutique lingo, your customers. Can you describe them? Their age, personality, tastes, whether they are cat or dog people?
Try to visualize your target customer personas. You can research through Google trends or small surveys to achieve this. Research can be time-consuming, but it will benefit the business in the long run.
2. Invest in packaging
Packaging is significant for every fashion business. Beautiful packaging can leave the perfect impression on customers.
This is a valuable form of branding for you. You don’t have to overdo it, but make sure each order is packed neatly and delivered to customers in perfect condition.
The way the item reaches your customers can increase the repurchase rate. If you do well, they may even recommend your store to their acquaintances.
3. Have a professional website
Let’s talk about your website – the virtual storefront of your business. It should be stunning and professional.
Imagine this: a customer visits your website, excited for a shopping spree. Instead, they’re met with slow load times, a clunky user interface, and a messy display of products. That’s the equivalent of showing up to a fashion gala in mismatched shoes and last season’s fashion. Yikes!
So, glam up your e-commerce website like it’s the hottest spot in town because, in the virtual world, it is! After all, no one wants to shop in a dingy, disorganized store, even if it’s online.
Lights, Camera, Conclusion!
“How much inventory do I need to start an online boutique?” It’s the million-dollar question, as hard to pin down as the latest fashion trend. Inventory management is like the backstage choreography at a fashion show – it requires precision, flair, and a careful balancing act.
But remember, your dazzling inventory needs an equally impressive stage to shine. That’s where we, Tigren, step into the spotlight. With our years of expertise, we’ve twirled numerous fashion businesses into the limelight (check out our portfolio here). If you’re on the hunt for an e-commerce website that’s as fashionable, attractive, and user-friendly as your products, we’re your reliable backstage crew.
So here’s the bottom line: starting an online boutique is no small feat. It’s a thrilling journey, one that requires patience, passion, and yes, a little bit of inventory know-how. But with this guide in hand and the right team at your side (hint: that’s us!), you’re well on your way to a standing ovation.