Cosmetics are highly consumable items in Pakistan and around the world. If you are somebody with the interest and capital resources to launch an online cosmetic store in Pakistan, this post will provide you all the necessary steps and tips that you need to know before launching your online cosmetic store in Pakistan.
List of steps for how to start your online cosmetic store in Pakistan
- Develop a Business Model
- Inventory Management
- Narrow Down Your Target Audience
- Online Portal – Online Store
- Look into Security and Customer’s Trust
- Craft a Marketing Plan
- Build an Online Community
- Have a Return & Exchange Policy
Let’s take a look at every step in detail
1. Develop a Business Model
While selling cosmetics and beauty products are going to be your primary way of generating income, still you need to narrow down things a bit. Either you are going to sell imported products or locally manufactured items are the first thing that must hit the sheet of your overall business model. Importing cosmetic products requires up-front negotiations, finding reliable suppliers, and developing partnerships with brands that sell quality and skin care products. In addition it also requires you to identify the shipping mood and how your suppliers and vendors are going to ship their products into your warehouse. Your business model must clarify whether or not you will allow in-store shopping.
2. Inventory Management
Secondly, you must figure out how you are going to manage and display your inventory, meaning products that you are going to sell. Whether you will be selling in-store or just sticking to selling via your online portal. Either way, you need to have inventory in place, so that you can fulfill customer’s orders in a timely fashion.
3. Narrow Down Your Target Audience
When it comes to selling cosmetics, it is essential to figure out who your potential target audience could be. In fact, women but you can encompass men and ladies of various demographics. In addition, certain skin types require specialized cosmetics and skin care products that only skin therapists and dermatologists typically recommend to people.
4. Online Portal – Online Store
Selling online without an online portal is not feasible. Thus you need to have an eCommerce website where customers can come online and purchase your products. While developing a cosmetic store, make sure the domain name is catchy, brand-able and signifies the niche of cosmetics and beauty products.
For ecommerce website development, you need a professional web developer in house or you can choose to outsource it to a web development company. Various ecommerce development platforms are used for online store websites that depend on your budget but the most common among them is WooCommerce that offer multiple features such as cost effectiveness, unlimited customization, scalability and security options.
5. Look into Security and Customer’s Trust
If your site is not fully integrated and secured with proper security socket layer SSL certificates and various other elements, it may lead to repelling customers. Especially if you tend to engage customers in making online transactions for the products they purchase. In addition, you need to integrate safe and secure payment methods that ensure protection of user’s sensitive information such as credit card numbers ,passwords and account credentials from malware and cyber criminals.
6. Craft a Marketing Plan
Now that you are all done with it. It comes the time to market your store. Without a promising marketing plan, you won’t be able to make your store site visible to your target audience.
Primarily there are two ways that you can capitalize on marketing your ecommerce business.
If you have deep pockets with extra cash, you should consider running paid campaigns such as Pay Per Click (PPC) to get instant traffic. Though, PPC gets you quick and instant traffic as long as you are running them but the traffic stops the moment when your campaign runs out of money.
The second method is to consider search engine optimization (SEO), a widely practiced marketing strategy for small and medium level businesses that brings long lasting results. With SEO, you can divert traffic to your website organically with a manageable budget. Unlike PPC, search engine optimized stores stay on the first page of search engine results page where users more often click and convert to buying customers.
Reach out the customers in the person, interact with beauty blogs and influencers to build a more trust bond and relationship with them. You can use whatsapp chatbot and facebook messenger chatbots plugins that enable you to interact with your potential customers directly from your store dashboard. Doing so not only creates trust, but these plugins also allow customers to place orders through whatsApp and Messenger.
Cash on Delivery (COD) is another key marketing gimmick that many people in Pakistan prefer to go for. With low banking penetration and limited use of online transactions, COD can help you in grabbing customers that either feel reluctant to online payment or they don’t have the means to perform online payment to your store.
7. Build an Online Community
Make a community on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. These platforms have millions of users and can become key traffic sources for your business. Staying consistent on all your social media platforms is the key to making your audience remain engaged.
Advertise engaging contents that provoke people to take action and communicate your store’s identity with various marketing gimmicks like, new arrival, sales on discounts, black Friday sales and offerings on various festivals.
8. Have a Return & Exchange Policy
Customers usually prefer shopping from ecommerce stores that have a return and exchange policies. Thus it is essential to define your store specific policy for customers who wish to return a product for any foresable reason.