There are many reasons why starting an on line lingerie store is ideal for a new entrepreneur. If you elect to use a drop shipper, the business can be started for about £650. Compete with other lingerie e-commerce stores by specialising in a niche market, providing a professional website and offering prompt, discreet and tailored service.
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Things you need
- Business permit
- Business plan
- Packaging supplies
Identify a niche for your lingerie store. Conduct research on line to find a hole in the market that your on line shop can fill. For example, you may look to service women interested in fetish lingerie, busty women or plus-sized women. Visit forums, such as the Lingerie Post, blogs and product reviews on lingerie-oriented sites to gain valuable insight into popular items or areas that women feel need to be served.
Determine whether you will hire a drop shipper to store and deliver the lingerie to your customers or whether you will store your goods at a leased facility or your home. While a drop shipper may cost you more, much of the work is done for you. However you will have less control over the inventory and business. Develop a business plan that defines your target market and outlines the logistics of your business while detailing your expenses.
Establish your business and obtain a sales tax permit and federal tax identification number, which will allow you to attend trade shows. If you intend to operate as a sole proprietor, you may need to obtain a “Doing Business As” (DBA) permit. Contact your County Clerk for information. Contact a business insurance provider to purchase liability coverage. Your current provider may be able to connect you.
Find wholesale lingerie suppliers. Both the drop ship lingerie company and a lingerie manufacturer will provide you with product photos and descriptions to use on your website. Attend lingerie trade shows or review industry magazines.
Secure a facility for housing your lingerie if you don’t intend to utilise a drop shipper. Rent a storage unit or small storefront or house your inventory at home in a secure garage.
Purchase a website. Features to look for include the ability to generate coupons, newsletters and gift tokens, the ability to export product data to eBay and other sites, 24-hour customer support, adequate bandwidth for your inventory, shipping calculators, bulk import product tools, ability to accept a variety of payment methods and the ability to add logos and images.
Design your site. If you lack search engine optimisation skills or can’t seem to come up with a suitable theme, consider hiring a college graphics student to help you design your site. Don’t just toss a bunch of images onto your site in a hodgepodge style. Instead, a theme with the right amount of text, relevant graphics and images and a suitable colour scheme will present the professional image you should desire. .
Organise your site so that customers can easily navigate by size, colour, body shape, price or style. If you have lucrative brands, you may want to organise by brand. Give detailed product information to reduce returns and exchanges. Consider implementing a virtual dressing room, where customers can better gauge how something will fit.
Set up a PayPal account or other merchant account for accepting on line and off-line payments.
Implement measures for retaining your customers, such as sending out a monthly newsletter, hosting an annual sale or e-mailing coupons.
Set your business apart by offering free exchanges for certain items and prompt delivery. Consider having a chat service on your site, open during business hours, which clients can use to ask for suggestions or for customer support.
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