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E-Commerce, Web Businesses/Best Approach to Launch Online Boutique

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Question
Hello,

Thank you so much for making yourself available for advice. I truly appreciate it.

I wanted your opinion on the best approach to launching an online boutique while mitigating financial risk.

I'm launching an online plus size clothing boutique and am trying to minimize upfront costs on inventory.

I'm considering taking the pre-order approach by having customers placing their orders on my website, then I would submit the orders with the manufacturer once the minimum order requirement is met.

The manufacturers don't drop ship, so they would send the merchandise to me and I would send the merchandise to the customer. The customer would be informed of delivery timeframe for pre-orders on my website at the time of order.

this idea makes sense to me, but I'm a bit nervous about it and wanted some outside opinions.

To increase exposure, I would launch on Groupon and create some social media pages and create engagement there.

Any thoughts on this idea? What are the risks and benefits?

Answer
Hi Melanie,

I support your jump into e-commerce!  I started my first ecommerce business the same way my suppliers didn't want to dropship, only wholesale

so what i did was....like you said, i listed their 250 products, and told customers it would take 5-7 business days to receive them.  When I got an order, I'd order AT RETAIL price from the supplier and then 2nd day air it to my apartment, and then 2nd day air to my customer.

This of course lost money on the first couple months, but I learned which products were good, and then I dropped those that didn't sell from my website and then only listed those that sold well.

If you can pre-sell your products like groupon, that is even better, but I guess it depends if you think your customers can accept those terms.

Maybe you can try both ways?

E-commerce, just like any business, is about figuring out the best selling products, and the best ways to attract the customer.

Mike

E-Commerce, Web Businesses

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Michael Michelini

Expertise

selling on ebay, selling on your own website via ecommerce, listing on google adwords, landing pages,

Experience

Since 2003 I have been doing marketing and sales for technology companies. In 2004 I started my own online ebay and ecommerce shop. I have fun and good (and bad!) experiences with ebay, amazon, google adwords. In late 2007 I opened a company in China, where I source products for ecommerce as well as build and promote my US and China online shops.

Organizations
Shadstone Limited - helping American companies build their Chinese Social Media Startup Weekend, Shenzhen, China organizer hero meets hero Chinese Foreign Trade federation

Education/Credentials
Google adwords certified professional, masters in Tech management, bachelors in engineering management

Awards and Honors
Google Adwords Certification eBay powerseller

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