September 25 2020 – Admin Gretrix
At the end of the day, fashion is all about expression. The clothes that you wear are meant to be a way to show the world what you love, who you are, and how you like to live your life. It can be very difficult to create a look that you want if the only places you are shopping are big box retailers like Target, Walmart, or stores in the mall.
The fashion and retail clothing markets are inundated with people trying to sell the biggest brands and the latest trends. What if there were an alternative that allowed people to shop for niche, chic clothing at a low price that is sure to stand out?
Enter the boutique, a way to shop for clothes that separates you from the crowd. Boutique shopping is a fun way to expand your horizons, try new things, and create outfits that really set you apart. What if you run a boutique? How are you expected to find the unique and fashion-forward clothing that everyone is shopping for? Well, here’s how.
Step 1: Do Your Research
The first step in looking for any type of product is figuring out what versions of that product are even worth your time and money. For example, you can google boutique clothing and just spend your money on anything, but that will fail to actually create the type of vibe you want for your boutique. Instead, you have to set apart the time to actually find a supplier that will provide you with the items you need.
The last thing that you want to do is dive directly into a very saturated market after having done no research. Once you start your research, compare the results you find. Create a list of pros and cons for each supplier, and then compare everything. Not all suppliers are created equal, and this is especially true in the boutique and clothing selling communities.
Alternatively, if you know somebody that already sells boutique clothing, speak to them. Be willing to ask questions and take notes. Pick their brain based on where they shop, who they are willing to work with, and what their acquisition process looks like. And if you don’t already know somebody who runs a clothing boutique, check out social media. Tons of people use social media sites like Instagram to actually host their online storefront and use the marketing tools that are built in to grow their brand, so look around and decide who to speak to based on that kind of research as well.
Step 2: Determine Your Market and Perspective
Because clothing is such a saturated market, you want to make sure that if you are going to sell clothing online or in a retail boutique, you have to be prepared to carve out a very specific niche for yourself. Determine who you are going to market your products to, figure out what they want, and then give your boutique a unique perspective and voice that will allow you to actually make way into selling the products that you acquire to sell. For example, depending on your geographic location, you may be limited in what you can actually sell. If you live in the north, you might not be able to sell summer items for as long. If you live on the East Coast, selling surfing gear will limit the amount of interest in your products as well. Basically, it is important to decide exactly what you want to sell, who you want to sell to, and then make it yours. Make it personal, give it a message, and make it something you can be both proud of and passionate about.
Step 3: Making a Decision
It is important to keep in mind that no two suppliers are going to be equal, and none will have the same stock. When it comes time for you to make your decision, you may decide that going with one or more wholesale suppliers may be best for you.
Determine the MOQ (minimum order quantity) of the suppliers that you narrow it down to, because that is also an important factor to keep in mind. Depending on the throughput and business that your boutique can actually do, you may have to narrow your search. Some wholesale boutique suppliers mandate large order quantities that you may struggle to resell. So make sure that when you make your decision, you are keeping this very important factor in mind.
Other Minor Factors to Keep in Mind
Here are some final minor factors to keep in mind as you look for boutique providers and suppliers:
- Shipping times: make sure you verify your supplier’s shipping times because they can greatly vary especially with larger orders. So with that being said, make sure you are never caught with your pants down due to an order not coming in when you expect it to. Check payment terms as well, as those are quite important. Make sure you can make payments on your schedule and on your terms rather than being yanked around.
- Supplier location: the majority of wholesale suppliers are actually overseas, with a great number being located on mainland China. This will limit not only the stock that is available if your boutique is run in America, but will also limit the shipping window and payment options that you might expect. You might want to consider “dropshipping” which is a term used to describe when you purchase stock on an order basis. So essentially, if you get an order from a customer, the supplier will directly ship it to your client. Dropshipping can be extremely financially viable. This takes the stress off of you when it comes to the shipping and logistics portion of running your own boutique. You can focus directly on your marketing and business relationships instead, which will free you up to actually focus more on the customer. There are several benefits to purchasing your supply from the United States, listed here.
- Quality: Sometimes, it might make sense to prioritize quantity, but when you are creating a boutique to sell clothing with your perspective attached to it, you want to make sure that the clothing you are investing in and trying to sell is actually quality. The last thing you want is to spend money on clothing that your customers are going to complain about because it instantly all fell apart. Make sure you invest in creating relationships with suppliers that actually provide quality options.
At the end of the day, the decision is entirely up to you. The internet is full of options, and you are sure to be able to get your hands on products that work for you. Just make sure that you are making wise choices, looking at your market, comparing suppliers, and above all, prioritize your customers. The relationship you create with your customers will be what drives further business, grows your market share, and spreads word of mouth, which will in turn grow your client base as your customers share their favorite outfits and point all their friends your way! Hopefully this points you in the right direction with purchasing boutique clothing from suppliers and you feel confident in making the decisions you need to make to jumpstart your next boutique season.