The fashion business is one that appeals to many women, especially if they have a keen eye for up and coming styles. Being able to predict what will be the next “big thing” in fashion is a gift and can be a key to making lots of money. However, being fashion savvy is only one attribute that can set you apart from the competition. There are other important factors to consider when opening a fashion boutique.
Opening A Fashion Boutique#1: Shifting Shopping Trends
It’s no secret that the shopping trends have shifted quite a bit over the past decade. Those fashionistas that ravaged the boutiques will now go online the majority of the time to buy their clothes and accessories. Of course, that doesn’t mean that owning a boutique would not be profitable. It simply means that you will have to be selective about location, stock, and your brand. People still shop at brick and mortar stores if the experience is worth their time and effort to get there.
Opening A Fashion Boutique#2: Is Your Shop Experience Unique Enough?
Unique fashion businesses, especially boutiques, are still able to offer a shopping experience that often surpasses chain retailers and e-commerce stores. The success of this type of retail shop depends greatly on how well the owner maximizes the elements that stand out.
You’ll want to consider small touches that only a boutique can offer, such as personal shopping, sumptuous and comfortable dressing rooms, flattering lighting, and genuinely engaged service from staff members. An exemplary shopping experience entices customers to return frequently and increases your credibility as an independent retailer. This alone helps to increase word of mouth advertising, which is still a huge marketing plus.
Opening A Fashion Boutique#3: Is Your Shop Secure?
Unfortunately, running a boutique requires a savvy strategy for coping with shoplifting and potential robbery. Shoplifting costs major retailers a huge amount of money every year, which can largely be absorbed due to their size. As a small, independent retailer, you won’t have that luxury. Your options for running a secure shop will be fewer simply because your budget will be less. That said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use some basic techniques. Things like video access security and security tags for all garments may be your best sources for limiting theft.
Opening A Fashion Boutique #4: Is Your Pricing Competitive?
This question is somewhat rhetorical because, realistically, small boutiques won’t be able to compete on price. As a small business owner, your overhead will be higher, so you will likely have to charge higher prices than your megastore competitors. We also have to consider that you also won’t be selling the same things that they do. Remember, unique products and service are your valuable assets that warrant higher prices. People will pay them if the perceived value is there.
There are definite challenges to running an independent boutique, but these challenges can be overcome. There will always be a place for boutiques in the fashion industry, as they offer a level of service and experience that large chains and online stores just can’t compete with. Focus on being yourself as you develop your product line and brand. After all, there is only one you, so the unique aspect should be there.