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The implications of eCommerce globally have changed customer preferences and the way of shopping. Every business sector has leveraged the power of digital presence and shifted from a brick-and-mortar approach.
Online availability is a success factor for businesses, and beauty/cosmetic supply is no exception. If you want to succeed in this billion-dollar industry and wondering “how to start an online beauty supply store,” you are in luck. You have set your sights on a lucrative business to invest in and grow.
This mini-guide will tell you how to start a skincare business online and get your idea rolling.
Why Sell Cosmetics Online?
The world will remember 2020 as a year when the Covid-19 pandemic crippled almost every business and economy. However, eCommerce was the silver lining that businesses leveraged, including the beauty sector.
Although the restrictions due to the pandemic have eased, the use of eCommerce and online shopping has become permanent. Beauty store retailers and sellers have developed new marketing strategies to attract customers.
eCommerce is on the rise and is the most prominent motivation for sellers to start an online beauty supply store. Some other reasons that sellers consider for their online beauty store business include:
- Increase in popularity of self-care products since customers have started focusing on their well-being
- There is a high rate of customer retention since the use of beauty products has become a part of daily routines, increasing the customer lifetime value for the products
- Online influencers have transformed the perspective of beauty products and self-care through product reviews and tutorials. Retailers can increase their brand recognition through creative marketing ideas in a short time
Opening an online beauty store is not very difficult as platforms like Shopify allow setting up small-scale shops and listing products to start selling. A professional Shopify development company can set up your online store quickly. Bringing the right brand to people that fulfills their expectations is the key to beauty store business success.
How to Start an Online Beauty Supply Store?
The beauty product market is enormous, with fierce competition. Every brand that wants to join the industry has to prepare well, plan, strategize and understand the risks involved. When approaching online store builders like Shopify, professional Houston web development services may take care of technical aspects.
However, as a store owner, you need to consider a few key steps to select the right products and make your brand available to a targeted audience.
Consider the steps given in the guide to understanding how to start a skincare business online with better chances of success.
Select a Niche First
An advantage of indulging in the beauty care industry is an assortment of products ranging from hair and skin care to nail art and decoration. If you think about starting your online beauty store, you should know that you have all the bases covered.
As an entrepreneur, you can pursue every product, which may seem like a viable choice. However, starting with a “less is more” approach and selecting a specific niche is better. It will be a cost-effective decision and allow you to dive deep into the niche-specific audience and their preferences.
Conduct Market Research
The selection of a niche relies heavily on market research. You can conduct research directly with existing clients (primary) or collect information from open sources (secondary). Both these research types allow you to gain insight into the market status, target audience, trending products, and more.
Once you have niches in focus and data available on each, it is time to finalize a niche. Consider a few qualities in mind to make your final decision. These include appealing to specific audiences, distinction, and aligning your skills and talents. If a niche fulfills these factors, then you can go ahead and finalize it for your business.
Decide Business Model
Now that you have a niche selected with a data backup, the next step in your beauty store is to decide on a business model. You have various options to choose from as your model, and you can select them according to your convenience. Some of the successful online business models include:
This model eliminates the need for personal inventory, warehousing, and logistics, making it best for new businesses. Shoppers place their orders at your store, and the seller sends them to third-party suppliers. The supplier then ships it directly to the customer. The profits vary depending on the price of sourcing and sale price to the customer.
Private label model allows a company to develop a single product without a label and sell it to numerous brands. Since no label exists, each brand can place its name on the product. The model is time and cost-effective and can help quickly start a business.
Through this model, you have legal rights to products you manufacture and sell as you desire. You have your brand name for each product, but the challenge is to find a trustworthy partner to collaborate with, so this model is best for corporations.
Through this model, you buy products and store them in a warehouse to sell them on your online store. It is a challenging model to master as you must invest in purchasing, warehouse, and management tools. However, you have total control over inventory, product quality, shipment, and compliance.
You can select a business model that fits well with your investment budget, skills, time, and availability.
After deciding on a niche and a business model, the next step is to select products within that niche. For instance, if your niche is hair care, then you need to select a product that fulfills the demand of a specific target market.
However, the selection of products depends on a few variables, such as target location, demographics, demand, and trends. The best approach is to select the ones with better buyers’ reviews.
Pro Tip: Avoid branded categories as they already have their presence and will prove difficult to promote. Additionally, go for a price range between $50 to $100 as this bracket has a high-profit margin and demand.
Start Working on Beauty Supply Store Layout
Now comes the online aspect of “how to open an online beauty supply store,” which is to set your online store layout for the website. Your website is the point of interaction between your business and customers, so it has to appeal to visitors. You can approach a professional developer and have them design a website on WordPress or use a SaaS solution such as Shopify.
You can set your website running in almost an hour using WordPress, but it cannot customize or make changes to the store. WordPress themes are monotonous.
If you use Shopify, you can get an immediate, ready-to-launch website that you can customize accordingly and add products.
However, SaaS platforms have a monthly subscription fee that you must pay according to the selected package. You must consider a few factors to ensure your website appeals to your targeted audience.
- Website Themes and Templates for aesthetics and appeal
- Logo for brand identity
- Landing pages with a uniform design, clear images, and necessary content
- A domain name that is easy to remember and fits well with your business
- A user-friendly navigation panel that gives a pleasing experience to visitors
- Robust privacy and data security measures
- Updated product listings
Registering the Business
You are near completing your “how to open an online beauty supply store” process. You must register your online store to let the concerned governing know that you will operate under legal boundaries.
Registering a business also confirms that you will abide by the laws set by the government and pay taxes accordingly. Your whole effort may go to waste if you do not register your business as it will negatively affect your store or may lead to fines/penalties or closure in extreme situations.
Reach Out to Customers with Marketing Channels
You have your niche market selected, products listed, and your website ready. It is time to start promoting your store to attract your targeted audience. Without promotion, there will be no customers, and without customers, there is no business. Think about marketing as an essential part of your store setup journey, as it will set business value for customers.
Ensure you have planned marketing campaigns and strategies so your audience knows what you offer.
You can utilize multiple online marketing channels to reach your audience and convert them into customers.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media marketing is the most frequently used and cost-effective method to promote your online store. The advantage of SMM is that it allows you to set your campaign according to your location and demographic preferences, making it easy for customers to reach out. Social media also allows you to create a community and directly indulge in discussions to make your availability known.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization allows your website to rank higher in search engines and become an industry authority. There are various optimization methods such as content development, aesthetic and design changes, speed optimization, mobile phone optimization, app development (services that offer mobile app development Houston can take care of this), and others. Select keywords that fit well with user search intent and use them in content to reach your customers.
Content marketing enables you to reach out through constant blog and text publications that answer specific customer queries. Adding new content keeps your store fresh with high rankings in SERP so customers can reach you easily.
Beauty influencers can help you promote your store among their followers. Influencers have thousands of followers who try out the product endorsed by their online icon. Influencers can review your products on their pages/channels or set makeup tutorials using your products. The sky’s the limit, as there is nothing better than having your target market look at your products from an influencer’s viewpoint.
Case Study – Miss Spa
Miss Spa, a USA-based online beauty store owned by Kate Kimmerle, delivers affordable skin care products and face masks to meet women’s beauty needs. Miss Kimmerle is a beauty enthusiast who has dedicated her expertise to providing clean, cruelty-free, and dermatologically safe beauty products. Miss Spa is her answer to people who think that a woman cannot run a successful business independently. This is where she harnessed the power of online stores and digital presence to make herself known.
She set up the store alone with little knowledge and has since grown into a prominent name in the beauty product community. She is a motivational icon for anyone, irrespective of gender, to take a step forward and take advantage of digital shopping to run their successful businesses.
Conclusion – Start Selling Online
Since the modern world has rapidly transitioned to digital sales, it is impossible to imagine a brand without an online store presence. Beauty products have become a multi-million dollar industry with a lucrative opportunity for small business owners to grow. The guide presented above gives you all the steps necessary to start your beauty store and reach your targeted audience. Use your creativity and entrepreneurial skills to make your business valuable and well-known online.