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Opening an online makeup boutique can be an exciting and profitable venture when entrepreneurs approach it with a strong plan, determination and the right skill-set. Yes, it’s very competitive, as is any endeavor with the potential to generate a significant return. But taking a few minutes to learn how to sell makeup online like a pro will go a long way toward getting you started with some momentum.
Define Your Target Market
Cosmetics appeal to a broad range of people, primarily women, and girls. If you’re going to create a strong image (which is essential to the success of a brand), you’ll need to find a group within those categories you can serve well. The tone and tenor of your packaging and marketing efforts—plus the look and feel of your online store—will vary, depending on whom you decide to serve. In other words, to do well, you’ll need to first find your niche customer.
Find an Underserved Customer (or Create One)
One of the most successful cosmetics companies of the 20th century was the Johnson Products Company. Founded by George Johnson, publisher of Ebony magazine, the company specialized in hair care products and cosmetics for African Americans at a time when mainstream cosmetics companies were ignoring that segment of the market. As a result, Johnson Products Company became the first African American-owned corporation listed on the American Stock Exchange. Find an underserved slice of the market, pursue it relentlessly and you could repeat Johnson’s success.
Identify Trends Early
Cosmetics are a subset of the fashion industry, which is driven by trends. If you want to stand out, you’ll have to take note of the trends about to be embraced by your target market and ride the wave. Any good surfer will tell you the best time to mount a wave is as it is building. Keep your feelers out for emerging trends before they hit big so you can be there as they build to get the longest ride. In other words, become good at trendspotting, or find a partner who is.
Diversify Your Product Line and Bundle
OK, so you’ve got a line on a terrific eyeshadow, one you know will appeal to women in their early 20s. But eyeshadow alone does not create a look. Yes, you can make a strong case by emphasizing your focus on the eyes. However, if you’re going to maximize your potential, you’ll need to provide a full range of complementary products so they can create an entire look based on your offerings. As you’re considering how to sell makeup, group complementary products together so they can be sold in bundles to create a cohesive look. This makes the decision process easier for customers who are just learning to use makeup and those who seek the convenience of one-stop cosmetics shopping.
Consider Shipping Issues
The good news is most cosmetic items are very small, so shipping them is a relatively inexpensive undertaking. The bad news is cosmetics can be fragile, as well as vulnerable to extremes of heat and cold. With this in mind, you have to take extra precautions to prevent damage in transit. When you’re thinking of taking on a new product, one of the first questions to answer is how to pack it for shipping so it arrives intact.
Provide Cheerful Customer Service
Finally, when you’re thinking about how to sell makeup online like a pro, you must remember you’re dealing with a very subjective product. What looks good in someone’s imagination as they are viewing it on their screen may be less than optimal when they get it at home. You have to be ready to accept returns gracefully if you want to develop long-term relationships.