To run a business online, you need to have a great idea, a deep knowledge of your product, and a website that will turn casual clicks into repeat sales. As a fashion maven, there may be an opportunity for you to turn your passion for vintage clothing and accessories into a profitable ecommerce shop. But if you’ve never built an online business before, there are some things you’ll need to know in order to be successful.
Keep These 5 Tips in Mind
Ecommerce is competitive no matter what you’re selling. But when you drill down into a niche as specific as vintage clothing and accessories, things get even more challenging. You’re vying for a place in a small market where there are already some fairly established brands. Here are some tips for standing out:
1. Trust is Incredibly Important
Trust is a key ingredient to success in vintage sales – especially when it comes to jewelry. There are a surprising amount of fake items in circulation and buyers are aware of the challenges that come with purchasing high-priced items. For every high quality vintage piece of jewelry – such as this rare antique J.E. Caldwell Ring – there are dozens of fake “designer” rings – like Tiffany & Co. knockoffs.
The one time you fall for buying a fake piece of jewelry and try to pass it along to your customers will be the last. It takes years to build trust with your customers and only one bad sale to ruin it.
2. Content is Currency
Succeeding in ecommerce – regardless of the niche – is all about visibility and traffic. And in order to organically attract people to your product pages and listings, you need to make an investment in content marketing. While writing may not be your strength, it doesn’t have to be. With a little practice and diligence, you can build a content marketing strategy that will serve you well. You can also refer to Moz for an interesting set of content marketing tutorials.
3. Don’t Lose Sight of Trends
When it comes to vintage, trends come and go quickly. The last thing you can afford is to fall behind, lest you get stuck with a bunch of inventory that can’t be moved. You need to be capable of spotting trends before they emerge (or right after). This gives you time to find inventory and get it priced right.
4. Get the Pricing Right
Speaking of pricing, this is critically important in vintage sales. Unlike some industries where pricing is directly tied to worth, pricing in this industry is much more closely connected with marketplace demand. Price too high and you’ll find it impossible to move your inventory. Price too low and you’ll run yourself out of business.
5. Go Beyond the Sale
Treat every sale like it’s the most important sale of the day. Don’t just have transactional relationships with customers, but engage them on a personal level. The more you’re able to connect with customers and satisfy their desires, the more likely that they’ll give you repeat business.
Make Your Online Vintage Shop a Success
Success isn’t going to come right away. In order to be successful running an online vintage shop, you have to be patient and focus on the right things. While it’s fun to brainstorm shop names, create a logo, and handle all of the little design aspects of the business, don’t forget to put in the work and establish a sustainable foundation. It takes effort, but you’ll be glad you did in the months and years to come.