Do you have a passion for making women feel more confident and sexy through fashion? If you do, starting an online lingerie store can be the best way to fulfill your passion and make a profit.
Before divulging the secrets of successfully starting this business, it is essential to note that online lingerie stores bear some advantages over traditional stores. You will be able to tap into a market of customers who feel shy the moment they step in a store, while you can also get the super-busy ladies who may not have the time to walk around the shops to buy lingerie.
So, how do you start?
1. The basics
There are several types of lingerie, from bikinis to brassieres, basques, corsets, thongs, hosieries, nightshirts, petticoats and tap pants. You must begin by determining the variety of lingerie you will be selling. You may want to begin with a small variety of frequently-sold lingerie, and as the business picks up expand.
Next, research the best-selling intimate apparel and lingerie brands, and find a reliable distributor or wholesaler. Women come in all shapes and sizes, so prepare to stock lingerie in every size.
It is all in the name: Just like offline businesses, online businesses face fierce competition. Large online retailers like Amazon and Etsy dominate the market, leaving small stores to work much harder. The trick to starting on the right foot is to get a good name. Sex it up. Let it revolve around your business niche. Something like Racyland Lingerie or Underneath Collections. I know you get it.
2. Get the paperwork done
What licensing and permits does your online business need? While specific regulations vary by state, you will typically need to register the name and address of your business, as well as obtain a sales tax permit from the state’s revenue collection agency. If you will be operating the business from your home, you may also need a home occupation permit. You can get an idea here.
It is important to comply with all relevant business regulations, so consult with your local government to know all the requirements.
3. Going online
Here, there is little room for error. Taking your business online is the most crucial step, and one which requires considerable investment in terms of money and time. Hire professional web designers and engineers to create a website that can meet both your business needs and enhance customer experience. It would be unfair to have a business called Racy Lingerie, and a website that resembles one that sells workshop tools. The look and feel of your website should match that of a high-street lingerie store.
Photos – lots of them—can contribute to the success of your business. The fact that customers can neither analyze the real product nor try it out makes them want to see the product from every possible angle. As such, your website should allow you to upload lots of high resolution images with ease. If you are not a good photographer, you may want to hire one. Also work with models that can show off your merchandise and spice up your website.
You may restrict your shipping boundaries to your local area in the beginning and gradually open your doors to national and international customers.
4. Penetrate the Web
Once your business is live, focus on building its web presence. It should be active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social networking sites you may find useful. As the business grows, you can invest in more models with a sizeable online audience, integrate more payment options into your website, and run big digital advertising campaigns.
Finally, strive to stay ahead of the competition by pricing your merchandise competitively and giving sales coupons.