Starting a boutique baby business is well worth capitalising on in this burgeoning market, not only has it seen steady growth, online shopping has added another exciting layer to the retail market. We chatted to Lucy Green, the creative force behind online directory; Baby Berry Collective.
After identifying a gap in the market where she could partner boutique brands with customers, Lucy launched Baby Berry Collective. An online directory where people come to explore all the latest and greatest products in the baby, child and mama arena. Parents find inspiration and ideas and of course all the ‘hot’ spots to shop. A fusion of curated shopping, content marketing and advertising has allowed her to create a unique offering and customer experience for parents to shop.
Being wildly passionate about supporting and promoting small businesses, Lucy has created a unique model to pair products with the right people in the perfect environment. As a mum of two, Lucy is only too familiar with the juggling act of balancing the needs and demands of a business and a young family. Having started two companies from scratch, she understands exactly what it takes to get a business off the ground.
Lucy’s shares her insider tips on how you can capitalise on the boutique baby market:
1. Niche down.
The baby and childrenswear market is a seriously lucrative industry but it’s also incredibly saturated. That’s why it’s so important to niche down so you have a really select audience to market to. You’ll also need to be really clear on your point of difference. What sets you apart from other successful brands? Customer service, packaging, gifts with purchase, type of product or service are all ways you can create a unique point of difference that sets you apart from the rest.
2. Know your market.
Once you’ve narrowed down your niche you’ll want to know as much as possible about the market. This includes knowing who your direct competitors are, where your audience is purchasing products and where are they getting their information from. Who influences them? Who is the purchaser? Do extensive research to become really familiar so you know where to pool your marketing efforts.
3. Be clear on your sales and marketing strategy.
So often, businesses launch without a clear sales and marketing strategy in place. Knowing how you plan on attracting and converting customers is crucial to the health of your business.
Being very clear on your sales and marketing strategy will mean you’re focused on very specific channels. At times, businesses get caught by shiny trends in the market or new ways to do things which can seem very tempting but there’s no silver bullet. So it’s important to identify and stick to your strengths, capitalise on them and take them to market. Capitalising on your strengths is also especially important in the early years, when outsourcing to others is not always possible.
If you’re a talented sales person and excellent at building relationships then in-person sales strategies like trade shows, markets and sales events will work exceptionally well for you. If you have a knack with social media then focusing on incredible growth for two social media channels will be highly benefit you.
It’s best to have more than one sales channel to ensure you’re tapping into your audience in different places and also to test what works and what doesn’t. Also be sure to have a great website, even if it is not an e-commerce one. In this digital age, it is the same as having a business card, a further touchpoint where you can direct your audience.
4. Focus on customer satisfaction.
Boutique baby brands have a real point of difference in the market. They’re often small businesses who deliver on exceptional products, customer service and buying experience. If you want to excel in the boutique baby business then you’ll want to offer absolutely exceptional products and have a very clear strategy on how you can deliver incredible customer service and buying experience. This can include fast and reliable service, a well designed and easy to use website, an easy way to purchase products, incredible packaging and a handwritten note, and excellent processes in place like an easy returns policy and fast postage. Go one step further and offer incentives like customer rewards or gift with purchase to add further customer satisfaction to the buying experience. Your aim is to be one step ahead of the customer, to ensure their experience runs as smoothly as possible, wanting them to come back for more.