Starting an online venture for your business is always exciting! And, if it’s an eCommerce business – there are a lot of thoughts, research, and work under it. Creating an online boutique website is no different! However, if you’re all new to it, there might be many questions on how it works, how to get started, what things are required, and everything in between.
In this article, we will briefly mention 10 steps to get started with your online boutique website right away! We will be creating this website using WordPress. WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS), powering around 40% of the websites on the web. It integrates beautifully with eCommerce making it a perfect suit to create online stores.
But before getting started, let’s take a quick look at what an online boutique is, what the market outlook of this business is, and how you can create one of yours.
What is an Online Boutique Business?
An online boutique is an eCommerce business that sells clothes, jewelry, and home decor, for special occasions. It is a business where individuals prepare others for their great days, like wedding ceremonies, prom, birthday celebrations, and such.
They differ from malls, standard clothing stores, and your regular eCommerce store.Boutiques are focused on selling limited pieces embroidered with self-preparation. They are hand-picked by the owners themselves.
An online boutique is an extension of the traditional store, making it available on the web for website users to purchase a dress or find out about your business online. Going online, you can aim for a larger audience, and the number of users on the internet is vast.
Why should you Create an Online Boutique Store?
Now, the question is, is an online boutique store really necessary?
The answer is yes!
The probability is that you don’t have to have a physical store; instead, all these orders and selling can be done online. This saves you a wholesome amount of money and features you in starting small, i.e., less capital. And, with online, you can reach out to a larger audience.
You can do your business anywhere around the world with ease. Let’s look at some stats about boutique stores’ current market outlook.
The impact is positive!
Statistics show the global market for online retails is $5.7 trillion as of 2022 and is projected to have a hike of 56%, making it $8.1 trillion by 2026.
This is huge!
These factors are highly driven by factors such as the popularity of eCommerce in recent days, the availability of mobile devices and high internet speed, and the increasing number of customers who are comfortable doing online shopping.
With the increasing boom in eCommerce retail, it is an excellent possibility for you to make it big for your boutique business.
How to Create an Online Boutique?
Now that we know what an online boutique is and its outlook on the current market let’s dive into the process of creating one. We have covered ten steps ranging from selecting a niche to names, logos, domains, hosting, themes, plugins, and WooCommerce integration. We will also suggest a template to get you started immediately without spending much on designing and layout.
In the end, we will discuss how you can market your online business. So, let’s get started!
Step 1. Select a Boutique Niche
Important thing first, boutique business is huge, ranging from wedding clothes to kids’ special dresses to birthday celebrations and prom. While it can be a good idea to cover every aspect of the boutique, unfortunately, it becomes tough.
A few suitable boutique niches are
- Home Decor
- Accessories and ornaments
- Beauty products
Therefore, we suggest selecting a specific niche and then moving your business ahead!
Not only clothes, but boutique ranges from apparel to accessories to beauty and home decor. Therefore, be sure of what you want to use your hand on! We suggest considering your idea, experience, area of expertise, and skills before coming up with a niche. Along with that, it’s essential to decide on what you would like to sell, who your target audience is, and how you can improve your business.
Step 2: Come Up With a Name for Your Boutique Store
Now, the next important thing is the name. And that is why we’ve mentioned it in the second major step.
The truth is – there’s no business without a name. Every business has its name. Selecting a name for your business can take more work than you think. Millions of websites exist, each with a unique name or domain extension. We suggest using a name that reflects your brand identity and your boutique.
Along with that, a name should be simple and easy to remember. There’s no use in complexing the name of your business. You should come up with two to three alternatives as well. If the domain already exists, you can choose and name your business.
We’ve mentioned a few tips on how you can come up with a good name for your boutique website:
- List out the names that you think might be a good suit
- Use a dictionary to find out the meaning of all the names
- Avoid using names that represent a trendy brand.
For example, there’s a big name for the business Walmart, so naming my business Walmart might sound a bit inconsiderable.
- Check out whether the names of such domains exist or not.
- i.e., Coming up with a name, is time-consuming, as you might want to keep the name of your business in check.
We suggest spending plenty of time and finding a good name that suits your online boutique perfectly.
Step 3: Secure a Domain Name and Web Hosting
Now, comes the part, where you register your online business on the web and search for a hosting platform to host your website.
A domain name is the name of your website usually supported by extensions. Some of the most popular extensions are .com, and .io. Domains have a unique identities, and no domains are the same. Even when you come up with a name, you need to ensure that the domain is new and hasn’t been used by any business.
There are various domain hosting providers. We recommend going with popular domain registrars like Namecheap and GoDaddy. You can register your domain name under them and hurry! Your online business name is registered online!
Web hosting is where your website’s data is stored, to function online. You also need to obtain a web host when setting up your boutique store. It’s where you make your website available for everyone on the web.
Some popular web hosting types are shared, dedicated, and managed. Let’s take a quick look at each of these hostings and then decide which is the perfect suit for a boutique business.
This is where websites from numerous users can share resources on a computer server.
It benefits you by helping you save a significant amount of money. Shared hosting is a cost-effective form of website maintenance. However, it impacts the speed and performance from time to time.
Here is no such thing as sharing. You rent the whole server for your website alone. This is the most expensive hosting service. It optimizes your website’s speed and performance compared to shared hosting. It is because there’s no one sharing the space or resources with you.
Using dedicated shooting requires high technical knowledge to function and maintain. Hence, it might be someone else’s preference.
It is the ideal balance for a medium-level business that doesn’t compromise with speed and performance but needs technical knowledge too.
Everything is taken care of in managed hosting, from hardware to software, necessary to run a website. A team of specialists looks after your website and acts as protection for it, making periodic modifications and optimizing it.
This hosting service is designed to deliver exceptionally good performance and a fast-loading website. It costs less than dedicated hosting and more than shared hosting. We recommend going with Siteground. It offers all these types of hosting at a reasonable price.
And, it functions smoothly with WordPress and WooCommerce, making it simpler for you to set up your online boutique store.
It is one of the largest web hosting companies offering hosting and a free domain name for as less as $2.99 per month. You have the flexibility to purchase a domain name separately or with your hosting service only.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Siteground offers two different options: either to start a new website or migrate your website from another hosting platform. We’ll assume that you’re creating an entirely new website and suggest steps accordingly:
On the hosting account page:
- Select the Start New Website option.
- Select WordPress from the options available under the applications (You can also select WordPress + WooCommerce but we don’t recommend it for various reasons).
- Enter your access credentials.
Save these credentials later to log in to your website.
- Click on Continue to proceed with the installation.
Upon completion, you’ll see the above page:
Here, you can view three different options: to view your website, to access the WordPress admin, or go to the site tools. But now that you’re on the page, you’ve successfully installed WordPress.
Most of the hosting services offer WordPress installation with few clicks. In the case they don’t you’ll have to manually install it. We would recommend choosing a plan that offers WordPress installation. Doing it separately can be time-consuming and tricky for beginners.
Step 5: Select a WordPress Boutique Theme
Now, comes the part, where you select a theme. A theme offers design, features, layout, and elements to your website. So, we suggest going with the one that best suits your boutique.
There are hundreds of responsive themes available for you, and among them many are free. We highly recommend using the Astra theme. It is a fast, lightweight theme, widely popular for its features and responsiveness.
Further, it fully integrates with WooCommerce allowing you to create a full-fledged eCommerce website in no time. And, the best part is, the Astra theme has a beautiful boutique starter template available for you to install in a minute.
You can easily tweak and customize them to fit the needs of your website.
- Head to the dashboard of your WordPress website.
- Select Themes > Add New.
- Search for Astra on the theme search box.
Once the theme appears
- Install and activate the theme.
Once Astra is installed, it is now time to install the complementary plugin, Starter Templates which allows you to import the pre-designed website in a single click.
- Head to Plugins > Add New.
- Search Starter Templates on the plugin search box.
- Once the plugin appears.
- Install and activate the plugin.
To get started:
- Head to Appearance > Starter Templates
- Click on the Build Your Website Now
There are three different page builder options available: Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Gutenberg.
- Select the suitable page builder and proceed further.
On the next page, you can find 240+ pre-designed demo templates!
- Select the template that fits your needs.
After you decide upon the template, proceed further by adding a logo if you have or you can simply skip the step.
- Complete all the steps as asked.
Upon completion, you can view the demo imported to your website and what it looks like.
Once the demo is imported, you can customize it to your preference by heading to Appearance > Customize. Now, there’s a very little bit left for you to customize and personalize with the pre-built templates.
Step 6: Install WooCommerce
Around 92% of WordPress eCommerce websites are powered by WooCommerce, making it the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress.
Now, that you’ve your website WooCommerce makes it possible for you to sell your products online. It is a free plugin that is functional to run well with WordPress. Using the plugin, you can add products, set up shipping and taxes, receive payments and more.
To install WooCommerce:
- Head to Plugins > Add New.
- Search for WooCommerce in the plugin search box.
- Install and activate the plugin.
Upon the activation of WooCommerce, you will be taken through a standard setup guide. It covers the basic setup of your store.
Step 7: Setup Payment and Shipping
To get started with your online boutique store, you need to set up the payment to receive the amount for the goods you offer.
Similarly, the shipping method is important to deliver the product. With WooCommerce, you can easily set them up. Setting up payments with WooCommerce is easy. It supports a number of payment methods like PayPal, credit cards, and bank transfers.
To set up payments:
- Head to WooCommerce > Settings from the dashboard of our WordPress website.
- Select from the options of the payment processor.
You can easily select the option you would like to enable on your boutique site.
In the same way, to set up the shipping method:
- Head to WooCommerce > Settings and select the Shipping tab
From the section, you can add shopping zones and rates for each. We suggest having a look at the cost incurred when shipping to various zones and setting the price accordingly. Upon completion, save the changes.
Step 8: Design the Necessary Page of Your Website
Now, that your website is up and you also have a payment and shipping option available, it’s time to start creating different pages to showcase your website.
To create a new page:
- Head to Pages > Add New from the dashboard of your website.
On the page, add a title, content, insert media, links, and more to make your page beautiful.
Once you’re done, Click on Publish button to make the pages live.
The pages you would like for your online boutique store include
- Homepage: The main page where your visitors mostly land.We suggest using an easy drag-and-drop page builder to create a stunning website that catches your visitor’s attention and beautifully showcases your products.
- Shop: This is the most important. You’ll be listing all your products on the page. Most of the sales happen on this page. The shop is generated by the WooCommerce plugin by default.
- About: Your visitors might be keen to know more than just your products. This is where you tell them more about yourself, and your business and showcase your team members too.
- Contact: It is a must for an eCommerce website to have any form of contact details on the website. A contact form or even a page work wonders in improving the bounce rate of your website. Using the contact form your visitors can quickly reach out to you with their queries.
- Blog: Want more traffic on your website? A blog page is a solution. You can publish articles, and blog posts about your niche, and grab the attention of your potential buyers.
- Terms of service returns, and shipping policies: eCommerce businesses vary in terms of service, shipping, exchange, and return policies.It must be crystal clear about the rules and regulations that apply when purchasing from you. This page is where you can inform your customers about everything related to purchasing.
Step 9: Add Products and Descriptions
Now that you’ve your website all ready, it’s now time to add products that you’re willing to sell through your online boutique store.
To add a product to your website.
- Head to Products > Add New
Add a product title, description, price, and images of these products. We recommend using a short description as well as other elements about your product.
The short description appears on the product listing page, while the long description only appears when the customer on your website clicks on individual products to learn more about them.
When writing the long description, be sure to include as many details as possible to define your products. It’s really important for clothing boutiques since customers can’t try these things before they buy. After filling in the texts, it’s as important as anything to add images supporting your product. Adding high-quality images is a must. People are likely to see the products they’re buying from multiple angles.
Once done, hit the Publish button. Now, the product on your website is live. You can follow this step, again and again, to add as many products as required.
Step 10: Publishing Your Website
After you complete all these steps from customizing your website to adding products to important apps to setting payment and everything, it’s now time to make it live.
- Head to Appearance > Customize
- Click on the Publish button
Now, your website is live and viewable by all the users on the web.
Growing Your Online Boutique Website
Creating and publishing a website is one thing, but it doesn’t ensure visitors and earnings. For that, you’ll have to look at the greater picture and decide on effective marketing plans, market research, and many elements.
Here we will discuss how you can grow your online boutique website.
Market research is equally important before and after launching your online boutique website. You might have done some market research when starting your website. You will have to do it even after the creation of the website. It’s what we call understanding the target audience.
You can create buyer personas, conduct a market analysis, do keyword research, and more. The more you understand your market, the more likely you’ll adjust in creating products that fit their need and increase the sales on the website.
One of the most valuable assets of any business is the network they create. Through the power of networking, you can find people who know what to do, and how to do it and can help you improve your expertise.
If you’re new to networking, you can establish yourself on social media on popular websites and join similar communities. A friend or family is also a great medium to build your network. They act as a great resource in expanding the network. What we say is – the bigger the network – the larger the delivery.
Promote and Promote
Just building an amazing store isn’t enough if you’ve no visitors. Once you have a website, it’s now time to start experimenting with different types of promotions. There is a large range of marketing methods to brand your name.
You can try:
The mailing list is a direct line to your customers. With this, you can keep your brand fresh in the mind of your potential customers by sending out deals, coupons, and seasonal trends.
It’s a brilliant way to build a strong relationship with your customers over time.
Social Media Marketing
For your business to flourish in the social media area, you must advertise on social media platforms. Statistics show that there are around 3.5 billion active social media users and around 71% have a positive experience with a business on social media. Not only that, these people are likely to recommend your brand to their friends and family.
To start off, you can set up a Facebook Store, create an Instagram store handle, and prompt users to directly purchase from these platforms. Social media can be your second online store, with very less hassle.
In the case of boutique clothing items, they really shine on image-led platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. You can upload the image of these clothes and it can drive traffic to your profiles.
Search Engine Optimization
Optimization of your website is a must. It helps search engines find your website and recommend them to potential customers. here are various ways how you can optimize your website for better performance.
Partner With Other Brands
A great way to bring your business recognition is by partnering with other popular brands.
For example, if you sell accessories, you can partner with any other brand that sells clothes complementing each other business.
Further, you can perform cross-promotion on each other’s websites. The right combination of accessories and clothes appeals to customers to purchase both of them keeping the business in a win-win situation.
Revise, Reinvent, Renew
Now, that you’ve your online boutique store up and running in time, it’s time to dive into your data and analytics on what can be done better, what’s working the best for your website, and what’s not.
You can reach out to your customers for better understanding, and make changes that are for the best.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What’s best – a website builder or WordPress?
There’s no correct answer to that. We suggest considering your preference and technical skill in accountancy. While website builders can be the best suited for beginners it has got its own limitations. WordPress on the other hand is the most popular CMS giving you the flexibility and freedom to create a website of your choice!
Which is the best theme to build an online boutique website?
There’s no such thing as the best. It’s all about preference and your need. Someone very experienced might not want to do work that’s meant for beginners and vice versa. Comparing various features and functionalities, we recommended the Astra theme to build an online boutique website. The theme stands out for all the features it offers.
Is WooCommerce the best solution to build my online store?
Not only yours, but it’s the preference of 92% of eCommerce website owners who have built their websites using WordPress. The plugin is the ultimate solution to transform your website into a full-fledged online store. It comes with features like shipping, payment, products, shop pages, and more.
Do I need a business license to start an online boutique website?
Yes, all the business that runs on the web, sooner or later, has to have a business license. It’s necessary for you to sell your products. However, depending upon the place you reside, the guidance can differ.
Can I switch from a different page builder to WordPress and vice versa?
Yes, but it comes with lots of difficulties. It becomes near impossible for you to do it on your own. You have to hire a developer or someone experienced to migrate your website. And this doesn’t ensure having the same exact website. This is why we recommend being sure of the CMS you use for your website so that later you don’t have to switch to any.
The whole situation can be time-consuming and frustrating as your website might be shown as broken till the migration is fully done and your website is live again.
How can I grow my online boutique store?
Performing social media marketing is one of the best ways to grow your online boutique store. In fact, it might come as an appealing fact that many eCommerce stores prefer having a social profile to sell their goods instead of a website.
Build Your Online Boutique Store Today
Now that you know how to start your online bouquet store, all that’s left is to go and create one and start selling.
Starting your business doesn’t have to be painful, thanks to platforms like WordPress, themes like Astra, and plugins like WooCommerce. You can design and build your website in no time with easy drag and drop in 10 easy steps.
Let’s take a quick summary: we learned what an online bouquet store is, its market value, and how you can get started. We spoke about the need for powerful hosting that enhances the performance and security of your website, a theme that functions fast and improves the speed, and a plugin that integrates fully to make your website eCommerce compatible.
Further, we discussed importing demo templates, customizing the website, setting payment and shipping methods, adding a product to the website, and going live.
Finally, we overlooked the aspects of how we can grow the online bouquet business to do more. And in the end, we answered some frequently asked questions!
So, what do you think of this article? Which CMS will you use to create your online bouquet store? Is there anything we’re missing out on? Do let us know!