Hi all, I’m not an expert by any means and I started a clothing shop from my parents’ basement. It was initially meant to be a side thing where any income at all was nice, but I’ve seen a lot of growth the past few months so wanted to share things I did when starting:
Easy/cheap marketing: 1) create your Instagram and buy a couple hundred followers. I know that this is very frowned upon on here, but I personally think it’s important. I would be reluctant to follow a brand new page that only had a handful of followers, whereas a couple hundred seems authentic and changes the overall impression of the brand page. You will eventually acquire authentic followers and you can also cater your ads to whatever audience you want, but having some to start off is definitely helpful in enticing others to follow you 2) create a brand aesthetic: who is your target audience? Do you want to have a classy image, or a cool retro one? Choose this and stay consistent, meaning don’t post quirky neon photos one day and then modern sleek ones the next. Also plan your photos using an app (like planoly) so you can have a nice brand aesthetic and steady post schedules. Also use your own content!!! If you dropship, at least buy one of each and take your own photos. I can spot dropshipping pics in a heartbeat and it really takes away from your brand image. If you don’t have a lot of your own content, post inspo pics between product posts 3) FOLLOW, COMMENT, LIKE!!!! I’m not joking when I say I used to leave hundreds of comments a day. And not just flame emojis, but real comments so they know I’m not a spam account. I even had friends log onto my account and comment when they were bored lol. I was commenting, posting, liking, following every day and had days with 130+ authentic followers because of these engagements
Customer service: DON’T COUNT YOUR PENNIES! These are some things I do
1) When I first started, I would bulk order little “gifts” I included in every single order. Free jewelry, or socks, or hair accessories etc. These are all super cheap when bought on ali, but it leaves a huge impression on customers. How often have you received something free with your online order? 2) thank you cards with personalized discount codes. Hand write a thank you card and give them a discount on future orders. A 10% discount won’t make or break you, but it will make your customer feel special. Instead of running big sales all the time, build personal connections and give individual discounts 3) be generous with refunds! This part can be understandably frustrating but the long term customer retention is worth much more than the loss of the sale. I often refund an item if the customer isn’t 100% happy, but I still let them keep it. A customer is past their 30 days – annoying, but will it really bankrupt you if you accept it anyways? Obviously gauge the situation, but be fair and generous. It will come back to you in other ways! 4) reward good customers. Have a repeat customer? Send them a free top with their order! Build that rapport and relationship with them 5) be honest – if you have an active discount code but you see a customer didn’t apply it, refund the discount amount. You’re showing honesty and decency in a time where you could have made an extra buck 6) upgrade shipping. Sometimes it only costs me a few dollars to upgrade a customers shipping from standard to expedited – do this!
Basically my biggest customer service advice is don’t cheap out. Be generous, be kind, and be grateful! It will come back:)
Hope these can help anyone starting off