Buying inventory for an online boutique is one of the most exciting stages of the process for a potential online boutique entrepreneur! It’s like going shopping at your favorite mall, but 1000 times better!
You’ll have access to more suppliers than you can count once you’ve established your LLC, received your EIN, set up your company bank account, and obtained your reseller’s permission. It’s tempting to want to see everything at a trade fair (or if you’ve purchased one of my wholesaler lists)!
But here’s the thing: purchasing inventory isn’t the same as going on a shopping spree! That’s because you’re not shopping for yourself; instead, you’re shopping for your client. You’ll wind up with boxes and boxes of stuff stacked up in your living room full of clothes you can’t sell if you don’t know who you’re selling to—every boutique owner’s worst fear.
You must be able to sell the stuff you purchase to turn your dream business into a reality. And you may only do so if you purchase correctly. When it comes to getting inventory for an online boutique, there are three factors to remember. So let’s start from the beginning.
Who Do You Want to Target as a Customer?
Before opening an online shop, the majority of novice online boutique entrepreneurs overlook this crucial step. However, it is one of the most costly errors you can make. You won’t know what to acquire or sell if you don’t have a clear image of your target consumer. And you never want to risk your money on a guessing game!
Answering this question will go a long way toward resolving any ambiguity. It will assist you in focusing your purchasing budget, creating a purchasing plan, and determining which vendors to contact (and those to skip). You’ll save money, time, and energy this way, and you’ll only buy items that your target buyer will like.
You don’t want someone to come into your store and buy a few items here and there. You want to organize your inventory so that a customer can quickly purchase whatever you have to offer.
When you know your consumer, you can use collections to your advantage. Curating products that work well together, from garments to accessories, is the ideal technique to gather inventory for your online store. You need to consider every facet of your target customer’s style to appeal to her.
Her favorite location to shop should be your online boutique. That’s because the items she buys should allow her to create a variety of styles. The more convenient you make shopping for her, the more she will spend. That’s a win-win situation!
Buy the Right Amount of Inventory
Inventory is a financial commitment. So, with what you buy and how you buy, you want to be strategic. I recommend getting a case pack for each style when you first start.
As you get more clients, you’ll have a better understanding of which sizes are most popular. When you know your customer’s size range, you may decide whether to continue with your present vendor or move to one that provides amounts in their case packs that meet your customer’s demands. You’ll get more bang for your dollars if you choose the proper source.
Perhaps you still have concerns, such as:
- What is the procedure for placing an order at a trade show?
- As a new boutique owner dealing with vendors, what can I expect?
- Or How do I put together collections that sell?
As a new boutique owner, you’ll need to connect with vendors, handle varying lead times, organize inventory, plan collections, and calculate profit margins, all of which can take months to learn and years to master.
Being the one who has to make all of the major decisions may be exhausting. And, as a former fashion buyer at a big store, where my selections had a direct influence on millions of dollars in inventory and sales, I’d want to show you how to shop like a pro!
In my In Stock to Sold Out masterclass, you’ll discover how to develop a collection that sells (rather than just picking random things you “like”), what to do during a trade show, how to price for profit, and much more!
But first, let’s go through what happens when you DON’T buy inventory appropriately: you’ll end up with unsold inventory that’s becoming older by the day, and you’ll turn to Facebook destash groups to sell the items at cost (rather than profit) to other boutique owners who are also not purchasing correctly.
It spirals out of control.
Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping products sell, attend In Stock to Sold Out and go through a strong course that will equip you with the practical information and tactics to buy with confidence.
You’ll be able to do things like:
- Save money and avoid frequent blunders made by novice online boutique entrepreneurs (such as having a living room full of items you can’t sell).
- Make more money from each customer you get (by upselling, cross-selling, and charging the correct retail price)
- Be self-assured in any purchasing circumstance and be considered as an industry expert (even if you are a complete newbie)
Plus, online boutique owners will have access to my revised price calculator and expanded buying lexicon.