Want to know how to start an online boutique with no money?
You’ve always wanted to have your own online boutique. Your dream has hit a snag because you don’t have a single cent to spend to make it come true. Don’t worry, the early stages of your store don’t have to cost much, if anything at all. That’s right; it’s possible to start an online store for free.
There are several techniques you can do to begin the process of setting up your store and then going live with it. if you have the drive to succeed, then something as petty as not having any money isn’t going to stop you.
5. Find Hot Products in Your Niche
You must come up with a formula that produces results when searching for products that are selling like hotcakes. You’ll never make any money at all if you don’t sell anything. How do you know what is selling the best?
The first thing you do is identify the sellers who are selling the most products. Then, you take a look at what they’re selling. You will want to visit their store at least once a day, if not more. Sometimes sellers will buy traffic and run products for a short time to see how well they’re doing.
If you see a product on a top seller’s site for an extended period, then you can pretty much guarantee that it’s selling. You can also look for the top sellers at Alibaba and AliExpress to see what people are buying the most.
It will take you a little while to be able to spot the items that sell the most, but the investment of time on your part will be well worth it in the end.
4. Reverse Engineer What the Top Marketers Are Doing
You want to study every single thing about your competitor’s sites. Pay attention to their titles, descriptions, product pictures, and maybe even check out the source code of their pages.
Try to figure out how they’re getting traffic to their store. A free tool like Ubersuggest might provide valuable insight as to what the site owner is doing in terms of SEO. A quick search in Google will also show if the site has any social media accounts.
Check out how they’re running their social accounts and try to determine how much traffic, if any, the store gets from them.
You will also want to look to see if the store has a blog. Many store owners utilize blogs as a means of getting free traffic from Google. If the site does have a blog, pay attention to how they make their posts. How long are the posts? Do they include images or videos in the posts?
All of this information is vital because that’s what they’re doing to bring in traffic to their site. You can rest assured that they’re not putting forth so much effort on their blog or the pages of their store if there is no traffic coming in.
3. Learn How to Drive Free Traffic to Your Boutique
Free traffic is what will enable you to eventually venture off and buy paid advertising. Most of your big boutiques thrive off of bought ads, but in the beginning, they were probably feeding their store free traffic. You should be aware that it takes time to build up traffic no matter what your source is.
If you’re planning on using Google as your primary traffic source, then it will take you at least six to nine months to start seeing visitors pour in. Social media might produce quicker results, but it’s still going to take you quite a bit of time to build up an account.
YouTube is probably the number one free and fast way to get traffic. YouTube is fast in that you can send traffic to your boutique after a few months of starting your channel. It still takes time for a YouTube channel to grow, but the length of time is nowhere near as long as getting organic traffic from Google.
You may also receive a slight SEO bump by linking to your store in the description in your videos. It’s a good idea to make videos around products and to send traffic directly to their pages.
2. Take Advantage of Shopify’s Free Month
Shopify gives you one free month to try out their service. Can you make enough money your first month to pay for the next month? Probably not, but who knows.
You might be able to get your store started and learn the ropes within the first month. Also, a month is quite a long time, and it’s possible that you could earn some money freelancing to pay for your next month. If you want to go the Shopify route, then there aren’t too many options available to you.
The first month is free; then you’ll have to pay for it. The good news is, Shopify Basic only costs $29 per month along with some other fees. You only pay the fees if you make sales, so only pay 2.9% and $.30 if you make a sale.
Almost everyone these days, which starts up a boutique, does so on Shopify. Why? It’s because they handle everything from hosting your store down to the transactions. The whole process from the customer landing on your page to them receiving their product is streamlined with Shopify.
There is a price you pay for this convenience, but it’s one of the cheapest options around. It’s only free for the first month, but the investment is well worth it if you’re serious about having a boutique on the internet.
1. Find Free WordPress Hosting That Allows You to Use WooCommerce
Some free hosting providers will allow you to install WordPress. You might find one that will allow you to use the free WooCommerce plugin. If you can find such a host, then make sure that they have HTTPS since no customer is ever going to buy anything from you without it.
It’s also essential that your site has an SSL or HTTPS because most of the popular browsers are now blocking sites that aren’t secure. If your free host doesn’t have HTTPS, then tree to find another who does.
You need to be aware that free hosts come and go without any notice. It’s not unheard of for someone to spend a month or two building their store only to find it vanish without a trace. Free hosting companies are known to be unreliable, and that’s why you should prepare yourself for the worst when using them.
Who knows, sometimes a free host might only be a guy running an old server in his basement or worse, he’s using his computer as a web host. Nothing is surprising when it comes to free hosting and you’ll learn that after using a couple of them.
Do Everything You Can to Buy a Domain After Making a Little Money
If you’re going the free route, then you aren’t going to have your own domain name. Boutiques must have a domain name that they can remember. A long free URL from Shopify or a free host isn’t something people are going to remember.
You want repeat customers, and the only way you can do that is by having a brandable URL. You also will want to either buy paid hosting or use Shopify once you have a few sales coming in every month. You need the freedom of using a paid host and also the stability that it offers.
Shopify is the best route, but you can host a domain, WordPress, and WooCommerce on an inexpensive shared hosting plan that costs a few dollars per month at the most.