If you have been considering opening an online clothing boutique, or even creating an online store for your physical retail clothing boutique, you probably think that you need to hire a web designer to create a professional online store for you. But there are so many options available online to help you with this process that you can actually do it yourself with the right planning and online tools. To follow are some quick tips to help you get started.
Planning Your Design
Before you even think about launching your website, you need to do some careful planning. There is a lot of work and organization that goes into an online store and you don’t want yours to be overlooked by customers because you have forgotten an important element of your online store. Plan for the basics first. You need a great design scheme and layout, an organized method of arranging the items you have for sale, and an easy to use checkout system. These are the bare bones of a great online clothing boutique, so plan these things well before you do anything else. You can determine the design scheme and layout yourself. You just need a color scheme and a plan for what you want to appear on your homepage. Then you can plan your organization. For a clothing boutique, especially for women’s clothing, it’s best to organize things by types of clothing, such as dresses, skirts, outerwear, tops, and accessories. You might also want to include a section for new arrivals, or for sale items. But make sure that you always stick to your organizational plan.
Designing the Website
Some of the fundamental elements of apparel website design are the photographs of the clothes and the ease of the checkout process. To make sure you get great looking images for the items you are selling, invest in a good digital camera and take your time when photographing the apparel. It’s up to you whether or not to use models, but make sure that the clothing appears online in a way that is as close as possible to its actual in-person appearance. Then focus on the checkout process. You need to get some good point of sale software that will allow you to set up an online cart system and to take customer payments during checkout. Spend some time finding the best software that you can afford, as you don’t want your great new website to be abandoned by frustrated shoppers who can’t get their payments processed. Make sure that all systems are working before you launch your site so that you begin with a great reputation for an excellent online shopping experience.
Make sure that you test your site many times before you launch it. Go through the entire process yourself, from adding items to your card, to actually entering your credit card information, and completing the sale. Don’t stop until you have an order confirmation. If things don’t run smoothly during this trial, keep working on your site and don’t launch it until they do. It is very important that customers have a great first online shopping experience so that they will become repeat shoppers at your online boutique.