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10 Mistakes Online Shop Owners Make


10 Mistakes Online Shop Owners Make

Supplied makes it easier for small boutique owners around the world to access high-quality, affordable wholesale boutique items, whether to stock their physical store or IG shop.

As a brand new boutique owner, you’ve got things pretty much under control… but experience is the best teacher, and you don’t have a whole lot of that under your belt yet. If you’re not careful, you’re at risk of making one (or more!) of the 10 mistakes online shop owners make without even knowing it until it’s way, way too late.

You’ve basically got two options – you can learn the hard way, or you can learn from other people who have learned the hard way.

Whether you’ve already started an online boutique or you’re planning on starting an online shop in 2021, you’re bound to get some things wrong the first time. Making mistakes is a crucial part of being an entrepreneur, and as much as you may like to believe you’re superwoman, you’re only human. And you can come back from most mistakes even stronger than before. But doing the right thing the first time whenever possible could save you hours of time you’ll never get back (and not to mention loads of $$!)

We’ll go over 10 mistakes online shop owners make when they’re getting started and what you can do to avoid them. (You’ve got this!)

1. Not having a business plan

If you don’t have a plan, you’re planning to fail. Before you start your online boutique (or at least very early on!), you’ve got to make sure your boutique is on the right track to make money. Take the time to identify the opportunity, the market, your competition, your ideal customer, what you’ll sell, and your plan to become profitable. (Chances are, you’ve already done most of the heavy lifting to identify those things, but writing it all down will help you stay on track!)

To learn more about how to create a business plan for your boutique, click here.

2. Pricing their items too high

High prices may be good for your margins… but they might have the opposite effect on your revenue. Pricing your items too high can alienate more price-sensitive customers. It can also make you less able to compete with similar businesses, causing casual browsers to click away and look elsewhere.

3. Pricing their items too low

On the other hand, pricing your items too low can also be a big mistake. Setting super low prices can lower the perceived value of your products and make them seem cheap, even if they’re high quality. Plus, setting your prices so low that they don’t cover your costs can even cause you to lose money… and that’s pretty much always a mistake!

To learn more about how to price your wholesale boutique items, click here. 

4. Stressing over the details

You’ll have plenty of time to tweak things, but to get started, there are only a few things you NEED. You know, like products and a place to sell them! Sure, it’d be great to have the perfect logo and branded packaging and a business phone number… but those things can wait. The key is getting started and focusing on the things that are directly tied to profit in the beginning.

For a handy checklist of everything you need to do to launch an online boutique, click here.

5. Neglecting customer service

It’s way easier (and more cost-effective) to retain a customer than it is to find a new one. All you need to do is to keep them happy and make sure they have an amazing experience with your shop. It can lead to future purchases, good reviews, and even referrals. So be responsive to your customers and go above and beyond for them, especially if you make a mistake.

6. Trying to focus on all social platforms

No need to do it all for Facebook, IG, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, AND TikTok – you’ll burn out pretty quickly. It’s good to have a presence on a lot of different platforms, but there’s no need to treat them all equally. Build a customized audience with a small budget by zeroing in on the platform where your audience spends the most time.

To learn more about how to leverage different social platforms to grow your online shop, click here.

7. Trying to do everything on their own

Hate to break it to you, but you can’t do everything by yourself. Spreading yourself too thin will only cause you to feel burnt out and overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether by hiring a part-time employee, delegating marketing responsibilities to a freelancer, or hiring a nanny for a few hours a day.

For more tips on how to avoid burnout while running your own business, click here.

8. Forgetting to focus on marketing

It doesn’t matter how awesome your products are if no one ever sees them! You’ve got to have a strategic marketing plan from day one. Don’t skimp on this – you can do it yourself, but it’ll often be more efficient and cost-effective if you leave it to the experts.

For more boutique marketing tips, click here.

9. Not asking people who have been there before

You’re not the only one who’s ever started an online business from scratch. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who have been there before and ask them questions. Build a network that’s full of people you trust and can relate to. The Supplied Family Facebook group is a great place to start.

To join the Supplied Family Facebook group, click here. 

10. Failing to fully commit

We won’t lie to you – building your own boutique from the ground up is going to be really hard. It might be a while before you see the success you were hoping for. Don’t give up once it gets difficult. Press forward and do whatever it takes to reach your goals. That’s what separates the dreamers from the doers.

We have total faith in you! With the right attitude, tools, and mindset, it’s possible to join the ranks of thousands of successful female entrepreneurs and build a profitable online shop. As you steer clear of these common pitfalls, you’ll be able to spend your time moving forward instead of looking backward.


By: Joseph Heller, small businesses expert and CEO of

holiday season box

How to Prepare Your Online Store for the Holiday Season During COVID-19

We’re already getting super hyped for the holiday season. From delicate snowfalls to generous gift-giving to spending time with family and loved ones, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

But if you work in retail, the holiday season can mean something VERY different. Many boutique owners find themselves busier than ever during the holidays. Most years, the holiday season means long lines at malls, loads of crowds, and tons of in-person sales. But this year’s going to be totally different.

Online stores have steadily grown in popularity over the years – but COVID-19 made the shift to e-commerce accelerate at its fastest ever rate. This holiday season will be totally dominated & led by e-commerce stores. Many believe the 2020 holiday season will be the single biggest e-commerce event in HISTORY.

If you own an online boutique, that’s great news for you! It means you’ll have the chance to capture all kinds of new and existing customers looking to buy gifts for their loved ones (and take advantage of the great deals for themselves, too). But it also means you’ve got to brace yourself. Things are about to get WAY busier.

Whether you’ve already made it through many a holiday season as a boutique owner before or this will be your first one, read on to learn how to prepare your online store for the holiday season during COVID-19.

Make it easy for your customers to buy online

Make sure you’re totally prepared to accept online orders – and that your website makes the online buying experience as soon as possible. Go through your online store as though you were a customer and make sure the entire buying process is crystal clear. Take a moment to work out any kinks you find so you can provide a seamless buyer journey. If this is your first time selling online, make sure payment solutions are totally ready by running a few test purchases.

Once you’ve done that, update your website for the holiday season. Update your inventory so in-stock items are clearly marked. Promote seasonal offers and holiday deals throughout your website. Clearly display your boutique’s shipping and return policies, especially if you’ve modified them for the holidays. The easier it is for your customers to make a purchase (and take advantage of awesome holiday deals), the more likely they’ll be to do so!

Plan & stock your inventory in advance

And by “in advance,” we mean ASAP! It’s always a good idea to start stocking up on holiday inventory early, but this year it’s more important than ever. Many shipments have been delayed due to the pandemic, so the sooner you can order your inventory, the better.

Make sure you choose to work with a reliable supplier. While the increase in high demand affects retailers like you, it also affects manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers in a big way. Order early and choose a supplier with great customer service. Supplied is a great option for online boutique owners looking for a wide variety of wholesale boutique items, flexible payment terms, and free shipping (yes, even during the holidays!)

Schedule out promotions

Many customers pretty much expect great holiday promotions from the brands and boutiques they love. Start planning out what sorts of promotions you’ll run and when you’ll run them. Stagger promos and marketing efforts carefully so you have a flow of ongoing sales instead of a few huge peaks. It’ll make it easier for you to fulfill orders and provide great service.

With COVID-19, it’ll be difficult to predict exactly how long shipping times will take. To make it easier for you to ship items out well in time for the holidays, incentivize early buying with sales. Experts predict that Amazon’s October Prime Week will cause many buyers to purchase holiday gifts earlier than ever before. Consider offering a sale during it in an effort to pick up some of that traffic.

You’ll also want to make sure you take advantage of Black Friday. Many of the largest retailers have already announced that their stores will be closed for Thanksgiving weekend, meaning there will be far fewer in-person Black Friday doorbuster deals. Try and capture some of that excitement online by offering a great deal for Thanksgiving weekend.
Expect delays

During the 2020 holiday season, getting packages to arrive on your customers’ doorsteps on time will be tricky. Encourage people to buy early. Be transparent about shipping delays you’re aware of and do your best to manage your customers’ expectations. As tempting as it may be, don’t promise a delivery date you can’t guarantee.

Once the guaranteed holiday shipping deadline passes, offer virtual gift cards that can be instantly delivered and used towards any item in your shop. This provides a way for last-minute shoppers to still support your shop.

Prepare for fulfillment & delivery

A lot of online boutique owners are out there running a one-woman show – but during the holiday season, you might want some help. If you usually do shipping and fulfillment operations all by yourself, consider enlisting a friend or an employee to help with the busy season.

If you have a brick-and-mortar location or a lot of local customers, offer in-person pickup to allow customers to save on shipping costs – and to allow you to package and mail fewer orders!

To sum up – to prepare your online store for the holiday season during COVID-19, you’d best get started now. Start ordering wholesale boutique items now so you have plenty of time to prepare for any delays, update your inventory, schedule out promotions, and allow your customers to order their gifts as early as possible.

Supplied members enjoy up to 75% off of wholesale prices on over 100,000 wholesale boutique items. And with free shipping, flexible payment terms, and no minimum orders, it’s perfect for stocking up quickly in preparation for the holiday season. Become a member (it’s free!) and place your first order today.


Joseph Heller is a small business expert and CEO of Supplied makes it easier for small boutique owners around the world to access high-quality, affordable wholesale boutique items, whether to stock their physical store or IG shop.