Creating a website for plus size women sounds easy, but in fact it is far more challenging than most sites.
Yes, it can be a hugely successful and profitable business to develop, but it is not for the timid.
Personally I’ve never been skinny, nor have millions of other women. No matter what angle you opt for, you will discover boatloads full of un-skinny women who will welcome your ideas.
With a bit of planning, this can indeed be a great long term success story, one that you can build on for many years to come.
DEFINING YOUR NICHE
First, and most importantly, narrow your topic. You cannot sell everything to everyone and keep it unique. Trying to be the online equivalent of an emporium makes you the mistress of nothing. Tackle an identified field, like
- Lingerie for plus sizes
- Swim wear
- Plus size style for young businesswomen
- Plus on a budget
- Snappy styling for older women
- Resort wear
- Weddings attire, for the bridal party and guests
To help you define the ideal market, do visit the free Master Class, “Your Ideal Client And Thousands More Just Like Her.” Better than anything else I know of, this will help you determine if your market is there, and how big that market really is.
One big caveat in niche-ing this topic: Beware of setting up an online shop for children or tweens or teens. It is very possible to do so, and do very well at it, but there are all kinds of rules about selling to children online, credit card approval, etc. If you do opt for this type of niche, be sure to check the legalities pretty thoroughly.
LOCATING YOUR PRODUCT
Odds are that you will set up affiliate links with existing manufacturers. There are a lot of advantages to being such an affiliate. The product will be made by someone else, and all of the shipping and financial transactions will be handled by the manufacturer. AND you will likely get free use of promotional material. (Also, if you opt to promote to teens, such an affiliation can guide you through the legal hoops.)
All that is nothing to sneeze at.
But don’t discount the possibility of incorporating your own designs as well, for this is where the big money will be.
As an affiliate, you will likely earn 5% to 15% of each sale, which the manufacturing company will credit to you. When you sell your own goods, the whole 100% of the sale comes to you. Even after deducting the cost of goods, you are still typically far better off selling your own product as much as possible.
The physical construction of a boutique site like this can be challenging. If you are working solely as an affiliate, you will typically need to link your Sales Button so it goes directly to the manufacturer’s site, and the manufacturer will handle the monetary transaction, credit card, shipping costs, etc. Easy peasy, right?
But what if your visitor wants to purchase two items? How does she get back to your site?
Or what if she wants to buy items from two different manufacturers? How can you easily handle the this type of transaction?
Or what if she wants to purchase something from a manufacturer, and something from you? Again, this complicates the transaction considerably.
I don’t tell you this to suggest that you not do this type of site. On the contrary, I think it really has huge potential. But not everyone has the technical expertise, or patience, to wade through these issues and find good solutions. Nor can I present you with direct solutions, for different manufacturing companies simply work differently.
Your best bet is to start small and see how the issues get resolved. For the manufacturer that you are working with, it may be no problem at all. Or the technical stuff may just get so overwhelming that it takes the fun out of a style boutique. You won’t know until you try.
GROWING YOUR BUSINESS
There are a number of ways to grow your business, such as:
AMAZON. Set your Amazon shop and become an Amazon vendor for your own products.
BECOME A MANUFACTURING COMPANY. You may be but a small manufacturer, but you can be a manufacturer.
SELL TO BRICK AND MORTAR BOUTIQUES. Taking your products to brick and mortar businesses, and being able to demonstrate strong online sales, can expand your business exponentially.
REPRESENT MORE MANUFACTURERS. Never, ever let yourself depend on just one manufacturer, no matter who it is. Broaden your business, and make it much more secure, by representing several companies.
ADD ACCESSORIES, ETC. Jewelry, shawls, sandals — there are dozens of options for added sales.
Okay, you are ready to strike out and do your own research and planning. The market needs your creativity, so go for it!