Shout out to Dayna who suggested this post!
Whether you’re buying, designing, or hand making products for your online boutique, you need to make sure that every piece you list communicates the story your brand is telling. It’s easier than you think to stray from your branding and sell products based on a trend or, if you’re like me, an impulse. But you should have a target customer in mind and every product you offer should fit perfectly into that customer’s lifestyle.
Ok, but how do you do that?
No worries, I got you! Here’s how to create a cohesive line of products for your online shop:
Create a brand story
I’ve written extensively about this so check out this post then come back! Don’t worry, I’ll be waiting…
Welcome back! *Waves* Now that you know what a brand story is, here’s what I initially came up with for Adorned by Chi:
At Adorned by Chi we believe you can be elegant and charming, but also quirky and playful. To us, every day is a good day to play dress up, and there’s never such a thing as too much glitter! We’re daydreamers, puppy lovers, and our ultimate goal in life is to ride a unicorn while taking on the world (a girl can dream right?).
Our selection of handmade floral crowns, head wear, quirky handbags and trinkets are perfect for weddings, photo shoots and events- or to add a little bit of whimsy to your everyday wear!
What story do you want your brand to tell?
Create a mood board
Read this post then mosey on back.
Your mood board will help you visualize your brand, before you’ve purchased or made a single item. It’s a great tool to refer to as you’re stocking your shop and will make things so much easier!
Make a list of products your target customer would love
Before launching Adorned by Chi I took a look at my mood board, looked over my story, then made a list of products I wanted to make and buy. I didn’t worry about whether these products I was imagining existed, or if they’d be possible to make. I just made my list then tackled each product one at a time, keeping my customer in mind.
Style your photo and product shoots
This is what really makes or breaks the cohesiveness of a shop. Two shops can sell the exact same item but present them differently to match the story they are telling. Case in point, this striped “Carnival” dress by Motel.
On the left is the dress as it’s sold by Doll’s Kill, an e-commerce site for ladies with alternative fashion taste, and on the right is the dress as sold by Princess Polly, an e-retailer with a bohemian glam look. It’s the same dress with very minimal accessories, but the way each photo has been taken would resonate with two very different crowds. Doll’s Kill uses more harsh lighting on a white backdrop that produces a shadow behind the model, who is posed unconventionally and has a very unique look (piercings, shaved head and very light eyebrows). Princess Polly’s tanned model poses in front of a softer light, with a soft pink background, standard pose and long beach-ready hair. See how tiny details can change the whole look and feel of your product photos?
For Adorned by Chi, I make sure my source of light is always softly illuminating my left side. I don’t always use the same camera (even though I know I should) but I always light my photos the same way and use a white fur rug for close ups. This gives them the soft, feminine, and elegant look I’m going for. Need photo tips? Check out how to take your own product photos on a budget.
Look books, videos, and life style shoots will also help your shop look more cohesive, regardless of what you’re selling.
Staying consistent takes continual effort, but it’s so much fun once you get the hang of it and fight the urge to list every pretty thing that catches your eye. When things start to stray always think of your target customer, and try to make your shop the shop of their dreams!
What do you think of these tips? Any more you’d like to add? Drop your thoughts in the comments!