Since I opened Wonderful Wherewithal boutique a grand total of 4 days ago, I have been loading myself with knowledge from Kitsy Lane reviews. I trawled the internet to find other people using the site, and I scoured for ideas and trends that would make my store pop. One of the things I’ve noticed over this rather brief spell is that despite having over 22,000 boutique owners, Kitsy Lane has a shortage of decent reviews. Most of the ones I could find were generic messages telling people the perks of setting up a store (with a link to do so), or people asking if it was worth it, with few replies.
Granted, 4 days doesn’t seem like a very long time to achieve anything, but David Blaine thought that holding his breath under water for 17 minutes was incredibly long. I’ve been pretty involved in my store since it opened, trying to find Twiends and Facemates, blogging, collecting information from Kitsy Lane Boutique reviews and fine-tuning the collections in my store. I feel like in that time I’ve formed some initial opinions and recommendations for new boutique owners:
1) Spend TIME on your store!
I’ve been a bit obsessed with stalking other store owners, and I’ve been happily surprised to see that they’ve made it easy for me by leaving their boutique store fronts nice and boring, and leaving bland Kitsy Lane reviews. You have to think of the customer here – why would they want to shop somewhere that looks and sounds like 20 other stores in the search results? If it looks amateur, would they even trust the site with their credit card details? Think of the times you’ve shopped online, and really focus in on why you chose that store. Then use those things to personalize your own shop. Don’t just settle for the template it gives you, choose one you like, change the colors, make it POP!
* Having trouble viewing other stores? Is it defaulting back to your storefront each time you click? Solve this annoyance in Chrome by right-clicking the link and selecting ‘Open link in incognito window’:
2) Utilize the Storefront Image.
I think the size is around 978 x 340 pixels. I say I think, because I just experimented in Photoshop until it fit. The Kitsy Lane interface allows you to crop, so it’s not a big deal breaker if it’s the wrong size. Make USE of the space, print your twitter name in there, maybe add a photo of an item you’re featuring for the week. Imagine if you left your Facebook cover photo and profile picture blank… you’d look dead boring! Treat your store with the same love and you’ll increase the chances of making friends and showing up in the KL search results.
TIP: When you’ve got your storefront image how you like it, save it as a PSD file (assuming you’re using Photoshop), then you’ll be able to easily swap out elements regularly and keep things fresh.
If you have a smartphone, get Tweetdeck asap. When I have a moment to ponder, I go on my phone and schedule a couple of posts. 64% of consumers have made a purchase decision based on social media posts, and 36% of all marketers have found a customer via Twitter in 2013, showing that a well-planned Twitter campaign could be the source of new customers in no time. Don’t know how to get started? Just jump in with both feet – search for people mentioning your keywords (boutique, jewelry, cute bracelets etc) and say hi! Pinterest is also a great one for showing off your style, and highlighting your fave boutique pieces. You can also write your own Kitsy Lane reviews and share them, and even invite others who are talking about the site to come and read them.
4) Keep a common voice
I’m Helen. I’m Helen in my blog, on my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. My font is Brain Flower and my theme color is #b1d2a5. Want to see a photo of me? That’s me on the left. I’m a shoe size 10. See, I want my readers to know it’s me in here, Helen. I’m a person, not a computer, and I’m happy to offer you human advice to assist your human purchase. My point is, be yourself and be consistent in all your accounts and customers will be able to relate to you easier. Online marketing is all about being personal, having a face and a voice, and that is what will sell your product.
5) Don’t give up
Have a sticky note by your computer with why you started your store. Each time you look at your ZERO customers notification and feel down, read the note and remind yourself that there is a reason, and it’s worth sticking with. The first sale seems impossible, until it happens, and then you realize that you DO have a worthwhile product and there ARE people who want it. You just need to sow some healthy seeds and water them regularly in order to produce a decent harvest.