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There goes a saying, ‘You can’t buy happiness’. But most of the women differ from the saying because they know ‘You can buy bags and that’s just about same. Selling bags thus is just like spreading happiness. In this article, I will take you through all that is required to set up an virtual store. So that you need not worry about how to sell handbags online – By the way in advance Happy Selling.
Be it a party, trip, casual outings or just mundane office, every occasion demands a different kind of bag. So, the number of people willing to buy bags is mind-boggling. With the wave of digital transformation, online e-commerce has evolved to be the right place which fulfils this requirement.
If you love bags and have a good expertise in them, selling bags online is a viable business opportunity for you. To sell handbags online there are a few tasks that need your attention. Some activities require a nudge of reverse engineering, and also it depends on your zest to become a pioneering leader in the fashion industry.
The following article intends to answer the question how to sell handbags online?
How your Instincts Help you Sell Handbags Online
In the book “Blink”, the author Malcolm Gladwell mentioned that great leaders are not those who process the most. If your business objective is right then your instinct will guide you to achieve immeasurable success. As an entrepreneur, you will be tested with hardship, forced to make multiple decisions in a short time. Not, every action/ decision could be thoroughly analysed and made. Your instinct will often be the bright light in the darkest times.
As an entrepreneur make sure that your personal radar is finely tuned to deliver the best possible customer satisfaction. Your instinct/ gut feeling will tell you what is best for your customers. For eg: Consider a scenario; your personal experience working with the fashion industry suggests that the new trend will be to towards sling bags than hobo bags. You are in a dilemma, and as a startup you lack the technology/ resource to implement advanced tools like behavioural analytics in your enterprise. Time being the essence of fashion industry you need to make quick/ risky decisions based on your instinct.
There are wide variety of bags available in the market. Then there are, different kind of materials and colours, plus there are different categories/ brands of bags available. It is one of the most important jobs of a seller to zero-in on the kind of bags they wish to sell. Stocking every type of bag doesn’t seem to be a safe option, but focusing on a particular range will help your buyers make their choice easy (Considering the fact you have your buyers persona set aside). Choose the brands and kind of bags you believe in. Trust your fashion instinct and go ahead with it.
Strike a Good Relationship with your Supplier
Your relationship with the supplier is the first major area where you can save money. To sell handbags online you need to be sure that you have the right bags listed in your inventory. Consider this, your virtual store is focused to sell high-end luxury bags like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, etc. These high-end brands are tagged with an average cost of INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,000. So as a luxury brand that offers premium products you need to make sure that the quality of what you sell is not tampered at any point. What when a first copy ends up on your inventory list, and unknowingly you sell to a customer. It will be a feast for the trollers, and your brand value will plummet.
Invest the right time and effort in building a good relationship with your supplier, as he should act as a stakeholder in your business. Continuous communication and prompt payment will take you miles in building an amicable association with the supplier. In turn, you will be able to ‘bag’ some good deals from your supplier.
Know your Liabilities
When you decide to sell handbags online, you save a lot of money considering the initial investment and expenses which are incurred in case of offline stores. However, selling your products online is definitely a different ball-game altogether. Following are few costs involved when you sell online:
- Storage: You have to invest capital to buy or rent a place to store your products. Frequent maintenance of the storage area is also very important to maintain the lifetime of your products. Being a part of fashion industry it’s important to make sure that you the look and feel of the handbags are not compromised. If the bags you sell has signs of wear and tear on it then there exists a high possibility that the customer may raise a complaint ticket, or even decide to take the matter on social media.
- Packaging: For your brand to succeed, you need to ensure that your buyer gets the product intact. Hence, the appropriate and a neat packaging is of priority. A well-oiled mechanism should be set up for this step in order to avoid losses and damage to the bags while they are being shipped. Keep in mind you are selling luxury bags online. Your target customers are premium luxury buyers. Every step you make should ensure that the sense of luxury is not meddled with.
- Shipping: Free shipping is a great strategy, it shows that even being a commercial entity you do care for prospects who interact with your business. This is a considerable cost which is incurred when bags are sold online. In most cases, you can set a minimum order amount, wherein an additional shipping charge is only levied when it’s below the set order pricing. Say for eg: No shipping charges for orders above INR 5000. A good market research is required to compare different charges and services provided by the courier companies. It is essential to develop a cordial relationship with the courier company that you are dealing with.
Note:- Since you are planning to sell handbags online (premium bags) make sure that the logistics partner will handle the products with care.
Your profit margin will bear the brunt of the above costs. Therefore, the selling price of your product should be decided by taking them into consideration.
Select the Right Platform to Sell Handbags Online
In the initial stage, It may seem a bit difficult to decide which platform to start with. The available choices need to be sagaciously scrutinised. There is nothing so flamboyant than a spiffy start. Every option that you come across will have its pros and cons. Whether it’s your decision to start selling through an e-commerce marketplace provider or to start an own a website.
The marketplace has a benefit of built-in store structure and a vast list of potential customers, which you can tap into. Also, the need for marketing is minimal. The marketplace has its own trusted traffic of buyers. However, the biggest
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disadvantage of such business models are;
- The competition from similar sellers
- The visibility of your brand is very low due to the other sellers
- Direct communication with your buyers is restricted
- A significant share of your profit margin goes to the marketplace.
Whereas, a personal website guarantees that the buyer is completely aware of your brand. This helps in building a loyal customer base. Enabling you to make sure that your virtual store could reach out to people who have interacted with your business. However, having your own website requires high initial investment and regular maintenance. The personal website also needs a terrific marketing strategy in place to make your brand visible to the prospective customers.
Depending on the available resources and the scale of your investment, the choice between the Marketplace and Website should be made. What I recommend is a holistic strategy. Where you make your online establishment available to a greater audience by making yourself available on multiple platforms.
When you sell handbags online you need to provide a certain freedom for the buyer to choose the method of payment.
In case of your personal website, one needs to set up a payment gateway. The charges levied by the payment gateways towards setup, maintenance and as well as a commission for every transaction has to be bored by the website. To target a particular section of buyers, one also needs to provide payment modes like cash on delivery. COD gives the end users greater flexibility. The customer only needs to enter into a commerce only when the product is delivered. As for startups, the end user can receive the product (handbags), make sure that it’s the same product he/ she ordered online. In case it differs the user can raise an objection to their itself.
Marketing Strategies to Promote Luxury Bags Online
There is no denying that selling bags online is a great business opportunity. But this also means the competition is equally tough. To stand out from the crowd, you need to make sure that your brand stands out and appeal to the buyers.
A good start means, your job is half-done. Your USP and branding will be your strength. To hit a home run for your business you need to market your brand well.
If you have your bags hosted on an e-commerce platform, you need to make sure that the individual web pages are designed properly (Homepage, product pages, category pages, etc). To increase the online traction, run attractive deals and offers on your website. Tag your discounts/ deals with retargeting ads. Set aside a dedicated budget to nurture and convert quality leads.
Marketing on social media is a must in today’s world. The presence of your brand page on social networking websites like Facebook and Instagram contribute largely to the sales. A great number of sellers earn the lion’s share of their profits by selling on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
A special attention should be given to easy-to-use communication channel for customers to interact with you. It is the easiest way to get instant feedback for any aspect of your brand.
So dive into the bags world and sell away!