In today’s post we’ll look at one of my favourite types of content to create, the online boutique case study.
You’ll get a detailed overview of the how my client Ashleigh went from idea to income using Shopify.
We’ll look at the process, challenges, and what she was able to achieve in a short amount of time. Because after all, those are the type of insights that make an online boutique case study insightful and valuable to you, the reader.
Now before you dive into this breakdown of what we did, why, and her results, I want to give you the opportunity to check out what Ashleigh had to say.
How to Choose a Niche for Your Online Boutique
Ashleigh is my kinda chick!
Smart, sassy, and stylish, when she reached out to me to discuss the idea she’d been kicking around for her boutique, it was clear from the get-go there was going to be a massive amount of synergy.
If fact, even from week one, I could see she was going to be the perfect client to write an online boutique case study about as she was committed to the process, and fully showed up each week
A definite bohemian goddess, it wasn’t really surprising she decided to launch her online fashion boutique within that niche. It naturally suited her own personal style and aesthetic, so it was a great fit.
And while Ashleigh had a full time job, it was clear she wanted to tap into her creativity and passion for fashion, to create a residual form of income that would eventually replace her full time income.
Who wouldn’t want that right?
After our initial discovery call – which is how all Brazen Profit Lab coaching relationships start out – the decision was made that we were a good fit, and we got down to business.
Naming Your Online Boutique
When we started working together Ashleigh had nothing but a name. Interestingly though, she was one of the few clients who came to the table with a name so good, there was nothing I could do to improve it.
See we have a rule here at Brazen Profit Lab, your brand name must be easy to say, easy to spell, and easy to remember. I’m sure you can agree, the name: LIVE BOHEME meets all those requirements.
Now one of the things that make Brazen Profit Lab 1-2-1 coaching successful is that, rather than a bunch of out-of-date tactics, we:
- Create a strategic plan of action
- Decide on weekly deliverables
- Identify the tools needed to execute
- Then…. we get down to business
How to Curate Collections for Your Online Store
In order to create some structure and guidelines during the product buying phase, it was decided that we would create 3 strong muses that she would then use to form her collections around.
Blake Lively: Cute, sweety, super feminine boho babe
Zoe Kravitz: Edgy, daring, cheeky, sexy, boho babe.
And my personal favorite…
Vanessa Hudgens: Stylish, chic, trendy, chilled, boho babe
She used Pinterest to make it easy to formulate these collections. Then using the BPL markup formula, Ashleigh was able to edit down those collections until she had the pieces she could markup profitability, whilst still appealing to the budget of her ideal target customer.
Focusing on dressing her muses, meant she was able to kept her collection edits tight and small. This included 5 tops, 5 dresses or skirts, and 5 pieces of jewelry for each collection, which meant she launched her store with 45 pieces.
My approach with purchasing inventory is that less is more, at least in the beginning. Think about it?
Wouldn’t you rather have to scramble to buy more product, than be sitting on thousands of dollars worth of inventory, cracking your brain for how you will sell it?
A supply problem is always better than a demand problem.
How to Create a memorable Brand For Your Online Boutique
All to often I see new store owners launching with rather shabby looking stores that they themselves wouldn’t buy from.
Ashleigh already had such a strong visual aesthetic, that she didn’t take much convincing to focus on making her website as chic, polished and easy to navigate as possible.
There are a couple of things which go into pulling together a strong online presence.
- Your brand colours and fonts
- Your product pictures and visual aesthetic
- Your website theme
Shopify have a great selection of both free and paid themes, and during one coaching call we spent time discussing what to look for in a great theme that you’ll be happy with as your business grows.
We originally choose a premium theme, but we also tested out a free theme and, as luck would have it, Ashleigh found that this free theme fit her needs.
The best part was having her hunch confirmed, when on launch day she got a lot of praise for how clean and easy to use her website was.
Way to save money, sis!
How to Create a Social Media Strategy For your Online Boutique
When Ashleigh reached out she hadn’t yet claimed her social media pages, so that was one of the first things I encouraged her to do. We then dedicated a session to devising her social media strategy and finding the right hashtags for her.
Now of course your strategy will change as your brand grows, but as Ashleigh quickly learned, it’s important to have a plan from the beginning for how you will grow your following and convert them into customers
Ashleigh started from zero, and without using a single spammy tactic her Instagram profile has been growing each day.
It’s also evident how much her followers love her content from the high amount of likes and engagement she gets on some her most popular posts.
But social media isn’t just about vanity metric to make you look good and feel cool. It’s about how you will take that initial interest and transform that into a connection, that converts to a sale.
Ashleigh followed the right strategies leading up to (and beyond) her launch. And even with relatively a small audience, she had the level of sales many new brands with much larger audiences could only hope for!
How to Build Your Email List For Your Online Boutique
If you’ve been reading my content for any length of time, you’ll know I’m all about building your email list. So this was something that we focused on.
There are several different ways to build your mailing list, so let’s look at the ways Ashleigh used to build her list prior to launching her online store.
During the research and development and site build phase we started out by having an email capture landing page on her domain url. This encouraged people to sign-up to be notified when she launched, in order to get a discount.
Now she’s launched and open for business, she has a pop-up on her website to encourage new visitors to join her mailing list and she entices them to sign up by offering a sweet discount.
I always encourage people to have a landing page within their social media profile link, and also to set up their Google analytics and Facebook advertising pixels early.
Without going into too much detail, this is important as it gives you access to important data that you can use to your advantage later on down the line.
I also always encourage you to use the right tools for the job, and the email service provider I would recommend is Klaviyo.
I see many people build their list, then fail to actually email and monetise that list. That’s not the case for Ashleigh though!
I’m subscribed her to her mailing list, and get a thrill to see her regularly emailing her subscribers with snappy emails designed to engage them, bring them back to her website, and generate sales.
How to Host a Social Media Giveaway For Your Online Boutique
Done the wrong way, a social media giveaway can be both a waste of time and money.
One of the most important things when planning your social media giveaway is deciding what your objective is.
You’re able to use giveaways to build your social media followers and also your email list subscribers. It’s also important to have a clear daily plan of what you will do promote your giveaway so that it gets as much reach and attention as possible.
Launching Live Boheme
Now no online boutique case study is complete without looking at the results, so let’s get to that.
Ashleigh initially planned to launch Live Boheme in June. However, there was so much going on in the world, both domestically and globally, that we both agreed it just wasn’t the right time.
Ashleigh pushed her launch back to July 1st, and used this time to review everything she’d done and catch up on outstanding tasks. Every business owner will know there are ‘always’ outstanding items on your to-do list.
Ashleigh, and myself included, were incredibly happy with how her launch day went.
I mean, check out these numbers and tell me if you wouldn’t be feeling proud of yourself if your launch week went like this.
Because truth be told, there are many business owners who launch to not a single sale. Not even from their bestie!
This wasn’t the case for Ashleigh. As you can see from this email she sent me, in her first week alone she made 17 sales.
Ashleigh was very consistent in promoting her brand, and one of the things I love about her marketing strategy is, how she shows you how to style the pieces in her collection.
We also included jewelry within her collection as a way to include lower cost items. But this was also a strategic way to increase the potential of upping her AOV – average order value – with new customers.
Happy Live Boheme Customers
Having a active and pretty instagram page is great, but let’s be honest, the goal for your social media activities (if you’re a brand) is to generate sales.
As a new business owner it’s both validating and exhilarating to see your customers sharing their purchases on social media, especially when they tag you.
User generated content is great because, not only does it add another dimension to your social media. It also adds another layer of credibility and social proof to your business, which makes potential customers more confident to make a purchase from you.
After her launch Ashleigh and I sat down to discuss the coaching process, and she shares her experience in the video you can see below.
You should also check out her online store, to see how everything we’ve just reviewed looks in real life.
Can I Write my Next Online Boutique Case Study About you?
So guys, we’ve come to the end of this online boutique case study. I hope you’ve found it not only informative and helpful, but also inspiring to see how women, just like you, are going after (and achieving) their goals.
The truth is, building a successful online boutique in any industry is a process and takes a lot of trial and error. But it’s important to remember that you’ll miss every shot you don’t take.
So if you’re ready to shoot your shot and launch your online boutique using Shopify, I can probably help you, just like Ashleigh.
Click the link below to schedule a free discovery call, and let’s take the next step to help you go from idea to income and launch your online boutique.