22 Tips to Run a Successful Online Hair Extension Shop

Online Hair Extension Shop: The barriers to entry to becoming a retailer are coming down.

It’s easier than ever to break into the retail sector by opening an online store.

Almost all parts of setting up your store can be cheaply and easily outsourced or performed yourself.

As long as you have a proper business plan, a corner of the market you can make your own.

And a willingness to put in the hard work necessary to get up and running.

You can create a path to success in the retail world.

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Online Hair Extension Shop:https://www.pinterest.com
Online Hair Extension Shop

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1. Online Hair Extension Shop

The fact that hair extensions are good business is no disputable.

If you have where you can get steady and reliable stock.

But you do not have money for a brick and mortar stall.

Then you can comfortably start an online shop.

The key to profit in this business is publicity.

You should endavour to make use of your social media handles as well as your offline connections.

If you get steady customers, then your business has come to stay.

Online Hair Extension Shop

2. Come up with a domain name for your business.

It’s best to get a domain name that has the “.com” suffix, as that is the most common.

This is one area where you want to blend in.

  • Get your domain name as close to the business’ name as possible, and if you can’t get something that’s very close, come up with a new business name. It’s very important for your web address to be memorable and easily associated with your business.
  • Once you’ve come up with a name you’re happy with, register it with a registrar such as godaddy.com, wix.com, or one of the dozens of others. You’ll want to price this out, but it shouldn’t cost much at all. Registering the name alone can be purchased for as little as $8.

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Online Hair Extension Shop

3. Decide whether you want to use a paid software platform to build your online store.

There are dozens of professional software platforms that are available.

To help you build an online store from top to bottom.

Consider investing in one so that you have a site that looks and functions professionally.

  • Paid platforms are often expensive, but costs are wide ranging and come with a variety of options, so it’s important to shop around. No matter which software you choose to use, there are more upfront costs if you go the software route than if you tried to build the store from scratch by yourself.
  • However, it’s probably cheaper and easier in the long run. Unless your store is very simple, or you are a very savvy coder, you’re going to have to expand functionality at some point, which will involve buying software or hiring a third-party.

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4. Create your logo.

Find a vector logo that you like and buy any other vectors that you think will be useful in the design of your website.

You can find these at any stock image site, like shutterstock.com.

Vector-based images are images such as those made in Adobe Illustrator that are non-pixelated, allowing them to be shrunk or enlarged to any size without compromising aesthetic quality.

  • If you want custom graphics, you’ll need to hire a graphic designer. You can do this locally or online.
  • There are hundreds of graphics design firms online that design small images like logos for very low prices. Just do a google search and pick one you like.
  • Find a font that matches your logo for your business’ name and website’s text. If you designed a logo yourself, you can use the font from the graphic design program. If you hired a graphic designer, either ask them for some suggestions or just look around (www.fonts.com is a good option) for something complimentary.

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5. Design your website.

If you don’t go with a software program, you’ll need to design a website.

Do a web search for “free css templates” and browse the various sites until you find a free template you like.

  • CSS templates are beneficial because they reduce compatibility issues.
  • They are seen the same way across mobile and desktop platforms.

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Online Hair Extension Shop

6. Find a web designer.

If you decide to build a website from scratch.

You’ll need a web designer, which you can find in any number of ways.

There are probably hundreds that you can find locally.

But if you don’t want to leave your desk, check out some options at www.freelancer.com.

You may also have a friend or family member who can do this work for free.

The website designer will integrate your logo into the template and adapt the template for an online shopping cart.

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7. Choose how you want to receive payment.

Like many of the choices along the way, there are dozens of companies that allow you to process payments on your website.

  • Some, like PayPal, take the customer away from your site and lead them to their site.
  • Depending on the service you use, the transition can be more or less abrupt.
  • Other services, like Braintree, allow you to keep the customers on your website when they pay.
  • Some payment processing companies charge a percentage of each transaction (typically from 2.5%-2.9%), and some charge a flat monthly rate (typically from $10-$35 per month). Others use a combination. Using a service like Square, located at https://squareup.com, is a good simple solution that a lot of retailers use.

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8. Integrate a shopping cart into your website design.

You may be able to find a friend to do this or you may need to pay someone to do this.

They will need to know how you expect to receive payments.

Online Hair Extension Shop

9. Do test runs on mobile and desktop platforms.

Before you launch, you want to do as much testing of the website as is possible.

And test it on different platforms, Android, iPhone, PC and Mac.

  • Credit card processing is an area you need to pay special attention to.
  • You might only have one chance to make an initial sale with a particular customer.
  • Don’t blow it by not being able to open your virtual cash register.
  • Pictures need to be in the proper sizes and resolutions across all platforms, and they shouldn’t slow down functionality.
  • Make sure all the links on your website are working.
  • Try every available link on all of the different pages. Be thorough.

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10.Take photos.

If you stock inventory conventionally, you’ll have to take photos of your items and upload them to your shopping cart so that people can see what they are buying.

Use a high quality camera and take photos of the items against a neutral background, such as a sheet.

Pay attention to lighting. You’ll want your photos to look professional.

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11. Answer questions promptly.

This is a good way to keep customers happy.

Aim to respond to every question within eight hours, and sooner if possible.

  • To that end, make yourself available in multiple formats.
  • You’ll want to be available through email, phone, social media.
  • And maybe even a chat function on your website.

12. Create multiple payment options.

Don’t just take one type of credit card, and for goodness’ sake, accept more forms of payment than PayPal.

Make it as easy for a customer to give you their money as possible.

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13. Reward repeat customers.

Give out coupons, early-bird deals, and even a few freebies.

These types of incentives make customers feel appreciated and exclusive.

Reach out to these customers and get feedback on what they like and don’t like about the store.

And tie that into additional rewards.

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14. Determine your underlying concept.

Far more businesses have failed because they didn’t have a good business plan than have failed because they didn’t have a good website.

Regardless of whether your store is online or brick and mortar, a good business plan is critical.

  • Niche or mass-market? You need to decide what corner of the market you will serve.
  • Of course, niche services have an inherently smaller customer base than mass market stores, like Target or Walmart. Conversely, you need to be aware that mass market stores have large infrastructural advantages that allow them to sell products very cheaply, and you might not be able to compete.
  • The money has to come from somewhere. One of the first steps in your business plan needs to be figuring out where your revenue stream is going to come from. You can make money through ad revenue, profits on items sold, shipping fees, and even on financing. Decide on your various revenue streams and what proportion of the total they constitute early on.

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15. Create a comparative advantage.

The marketplace is competitive, so you need to give yourself an edge over the competition.

Develop a proficiency that other retailers don’t have.

  • Look at similar retailers. Go to other retailers’ websites in your field.
  • Pay attention to what they do well, what they do poorly, and what they don’t do at all.
  • Reviews and message boards are a great way to get a sense of this.
  • Focus on one thing. Particularly when you are starting out, focus on one thing to develop your advantage.
  • Get orders filled in less than a day; sell the highest quality; stock the most unique inventory; align yourself with a lifestyle. Whatever it is, focus on becoming the best at that one thing.

Online Hair Extension Shop

16. Make it original.

Originality here is distinguished from comparative advantage.

You want to focus on making the customer’s experience original in addition to offering a distinctive service.

  • Online commerce is different. Online commerce has advantages and disadvantages over physical commerce. A disadvantage is that it eliminates the advantages of geographic convenience. One laundromat doesn’t need to be different from another. It just needs to be close, because no one is going to travel 20 miles to do laundry.
  • Setting yourself apart is therefore critical. No one online retailer has an advantage over another in initial accessibility. As long as the customer has the URL, they can get to the biggest website as easily as the smallest. So there needs to be some reason why customers remember you and seek your shop out.

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17. Know your customers.

The more focused your service and presentation are, the better able you are to understand your customers.

You want to know as much about the target going in as you can.

As it will allow you to gain traction in the marketplace more quickly.

  • Why do your customers want to use you? As you’ve developed niche product offerings and targeted specific areas of the market, you can better analyze why your prospective customers want to shop with you. Armed with that information, you can answer the more important question, which is how you can adapt to better serve their needs.

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Online Hair Extension Shop

18. Decide how much you have to invest.

It’s the kind of thing that goes without saying, but needs to be said nonetheless.

Get out the calculator, take a look at your assets and liabilities, and decide what you can invest yourself.

Not a ballpark figure, but a specific dollar amount.

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19. Decide how to approach inventory.

It’s easier than ever to manage retail inventory, with an explosion of options in the past two decades.

Consider your options and decide what’s best for you.

  • Buying upfront is the conventional way to approach inventory.
  • You buy what you’re going to sell, hold it in a warehouse (or your garage), and hang onto it until it’s gone. It’s simple to understand, but it might not be the most efficient for your business.
  • You can also use a logistics provider. Logistics providers are firms that specialize in warehousing and shipping inventory. In this case, you buy the inventory, the logistics provider tracks it and holds it, and then ships it when needed.
  • Drop-shipping is the newest frontier in inventory management. With a drop shipper, you sell inventory that you don’t actually own. The drop shipper fills the orders for you. It’s very simple to use, but it can be more expensive, as you lose advantages from buying in bulk.

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Online Hair Extension Shop

20. Create a marketing plan.

Your marketing strategy will be an integral component of distinguishing yourself in the marketplace.

While you need a distinctive business model, you also need to let customers know about it.

That’s where marketing comes in.

  • Google adwords is probably the cheapest form of advertising for a start-up.
  • Customers see your ads when they search for a product that you sell, and you only pay when they click.
  • Social media marketing can be cheap or expensive, and it’s difficult to know if you’ll get what you pay for. You can hire a firm to do this, but you’ll want to research them carefully. Social media marketing is new enough that it isn’t down to a science, and a lot of firms that dabble in it don’t have a track record of success. You can also try and do this yourself, but it can be very time-consuming.
  • Guest blogging is a great way to raise your personal profile, and by extension, the profile of your company. Blogs are almost always looking for content, and if you’re willing to donate yours, you can get yourself in the spotlight for little to no-cost. Of course, it’s very difficult to measure the results.

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21. Develop a budget.

Now that you’ve done your pricing, add it all up.

Make a high budget, a middle budget, and a bare-bones budget.

Then pick and choose what’s most important to you, the parts of the strategy that will maximize the chances of success.

  • If the necessary capital is beyond what you can afford to invest, you can look to get financing.
  • Although you can look for financing from traditional sources, there are companies, like Kabbage and PayPal, that specialize in financing online ventures.

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22. More tips

  • If you need some start-up money for your online business, you can use loans from banks or lines of credit.

    You can also ask friends or family members to invest in your business.

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