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Starting an Online Boutique - Where to start?

Posted on July 20 2015

 

So you really want to start a fashion boutique but you don't have the capital to put down for hundreds of styles and a down payment on a building, so your screwed right? Not even close, in today's tablet/phone crazy and social media obsessed society many people are having more success opening an online boutique over a brick and mortar store. And it all comes down to one reason, the overhead, the cost for starting your online store is extremely low, to show you just what kind of overhead you will be dealing with let's get straight into the numbers when determining our domain hosting supplier.

You have many options these days to build a strong aesthetic and highly functional website.

My favorites and the companies I have personal experience with our:

1.) Volusion

2.) Shopify

3.) Yahoo Ecommerce Stores

Firstly all three sites are highly trustworthy and have over a decade of experience serving online retailers.  I first started out learning Yahoo's platform and really loved the easy system and product inventory control but it was later when I tried Volusion and Shopify did I realize how easy a website could be to build.  That is great news if your are not tech savvy! Numbers wise, a domain host company like Volusion can hook you up with a custom look for around 150 with no start up fees, then your going to be paying a monthly plan of 39.00 a month to keep the website up and going. They have Professional and advanced plans that go from 80/mnth to 300/mnth but from my experience the basic plan is all you need to get up and running and start making money. 

If your new to website building I would say the most important aspect of building a website is the customer service from all of the companies that might be your hosting supplier.  Yahoo ecommerce falls to the bottom of this list in this category, although it is 24 hour service you will have to wait up to one hour to get someone on the phone. A lot of Yahoo's tech support is commisioned out to India tech help companies and although this never bothered me I am well aware that this is not the preferred for many customers who may like to speak with an American based tech help company.  Shopify and Volusion on the other hand have all of their tech help centers out of America and although they are not available at all times of the day, when they are open they will assist you almost immediately.

In conclusion I hope you've realized that this is really going to come down to your preferences. I have simply weeded out a dozen or so companies and given you my top three companies to get started.  Lastly at 50 or so dollars a month to start your online store I would say anyone interested in starting a fashion boutique should create a website, even if you have the money to start a brick and mortar store!

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