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How Much Does It Cost to Start an Online Boutique

How Much Does It Cost to Start an Online Boutique?

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If you’re really frugal, you can start an online boutique for around $100 – $150. If you’re not, it can cost thousands of dollars. To be honest, it’s hard to say precisely how much starting an online boutique will cost — not just in terms of location but also considering the kind of store you plan to open. There is no precise answer because so many factors are involved, the strongest being your preferences. However, we can provide some general guidelines to smooth the way.

While launching an online boutique saves you a lot of money, you still need substantial capital to get started, especially if you don’t plan on DIYing everything. In the following section, we’ve listed all the costs you’ll need to consider before starting an online boutique.

What Is an Online Boutique?

An online boutique is a store owned by a person or a company that sells products over the Internet. It can be as simple as a person who has opened a storefront on eBay, but it can also be a complex business model with multiple websites and employees. These sites can be a one-stop shop for your online shopping needs, or they can be used to complement the products you find at other stores.

Online Boutique
Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Online Boutique

When you’re a beginner, you might not know how much it costs to start an online boutique. Below, we’ll go over some of the high costs of running online boutiques and how much they might cost you each month.

  • Choose Your Niche

The first thing that you should do when starting an online boutique is to pick out what niche or category your store will focus on selling clothing. A niche refers to the type of product that you specialize in. When starting an online boutique website, choosing a niche is crucial. Identify what kind of product you would like to sell by doing some research. Consider your interests, the market’s needs, and what you can fill in the gap.

However, new entrepreneurs might make a big mistake when picking a niche: pursuing saturated markets. If you want to compete in a dominant niche, you must find a captive audience. What differentiates your product from the hundreds of similar products available at other boutiques? What problems can it solve that others can’t? These are the questions you need to answer before you confirm your niche.

You must also choose a name for your online boutique. Before choosing a name, you should research the availability of the domain name you’d like to purchase. Many sites offer this service, for example, GoDaddy, Hostinger, and NameCheap. Make sure your chosen name is catchy, memorable, and easy to pronounce.


  • Establish a Business Entity

In the simplest terms, a business entity is an organization that conducts business transactions under its name. There are several types of business entities, and the type you choose will affect the amount of time and money you spend starting your business. You can also use different online business structures for different types of businesses or other aspects of your business operations.

Therefore, the first step in setting up an online boutique is deciding which entity type you want to use for your business. Here are some good ideas you can choose:

Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship consists of one person who controls all aspects of the business. It includes any debts or liabilities that may come up in the future. Thus, such an entity has the disadvantage of no separation of assets. If things go south, all of your assets could potentially be at risk — even if they have nothing to do with your own online business.

Partnership: A partnership involves multiple people who have equal ownership over everything related to their limited liability company. 

The best way to start a business is to do it with IncFile, which is cheaper than LegalZoom. According to your state’s fees, it may cost between $250 and $500.

  • Make a Business Plan

A business plan summarizes a company’s goals, strategies, and risks. It also provides details about the company’s finances and marketing plan.

As the owner, your business’s investment amount depends on your goals. You must understand what kind of budgeting will be required before starting a new online boutique business like this one.

As a result, most small business owners fail to take business planning seriously. A business plan helps monitor your progress, determine your boutique’s viability, get to know your customers and competitors, and secure financing.

  • Utilize Ecommerce Platforms

Online BoutiqueEcommerce platforms can be an excellent way for beginner entrepreneurs to start a business online. They provide a fully-hosted platform that allows you to sell directly from your website without dealing with the technical side.

To start an e-commerce store, you must first acquire a platform to host your website. Either choose a platform that offers everything you need to create and manage your store or open-source platforms requiring more technical expertise. Hosting platforms provide fewer customization possibilities than open-source platforms. 

When running a business, choosing a platform that provides the needed features is essential. Creating your online boutique is free with Shopify’s 14-day free trial. But if you want a professional site, you’ll need a plan that includes a domain name and hosting without ads. Most high-quality e-commerce site builders, such as Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, and Weebly, do this.

  • Take Advantage of Product Photography

Product photography is one of the essential parts of any ecommerce business. Whether on your website or Instagram, your products need to look as good as possible. If you’re just starting, don’t worry about hiring someone else to do your product photos — there are plenty of free options!

Gather some photogenic friends and use your smartphone + some lenses for DIY product photography.  You can also hire a local college student photographer. However, the downside is that other boutiques might also use those images.

A professional product photograph with a white background costs about $20. Find a business near you by searching for ‘retail product photos’ on Google. Drop off your products or ship them to the studio, and they will photograph them according to your instructions.

However, you should note that professional photographers charge upwards of $1500 per day for a whole photo shoot. Make sure you consider the cost of professional hair and makeup when you are doing photography with a model.

  • Design Your Website

Online BoutiqueCreating brand awareness is the key to establishing a successful online boutique. Using social media and digital advertising, you can attract visitors to your website. However, you will need a great landing page and an easy-to-navigate site that lets visitors easily explore and buy your products.

Therefore, delegating web design makes sense. Hiring a professional who can design a unique website using your product images, create engaging copy, optimize your website for search engines, and more is essential.

The cost of starting an online boutique depends heavily on how complex your e-commerce website is, and in response, the complexity of your website depends on the type of business you want to run. It can be hard to know what to expect if you’re just getting started.

It is typical to pay between $100 and $200 on a monthly fee for a company that designs, builds, and maintains your website. Typically, a service like that will charge a nominal setup fee. However, for hands-off, comprehensive eCommerce capabilities, setup fees could range from $400 to $600.

A free ecommerce website solution is available, but you’ll need eCommerce capabilities. Setting up your eCommerce system is a cost-effective, practical approach. To update our running total, let’s take that scenario into account.

  • Five domains: $60
  • Hosting for your first month: $30 
  • Creation of a custom website: $200

As of now, we are only up to $290. Quite impressive!

  • Set a Marketing Budget

Getting customers’ attention consistently is the key to large companies’ consistent sales! Marketing budgets are necessary. The recommended amount is $300-500/mo. You may be able to begin testing your paid ads for as low as $5 per day. Influencer marketing requires you to calculate product and shipping costs, in addition to the influencer’s payment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Costs vary depending on what type of website you’re building. You can start an online clothing boutique for as little as $100. It is probably best to sell only a few items if you want to keep costs down and expand with your profit.

Startup costs for an online boutique depend on your business structure, the products you sell, your platform, and your marketing strategy. Your online clothing store has a reasonable estimate of between $500 and $2,000.


Your success will depend significantly on your marketing efforts and the products you choose to sell.  As a result, the advertising costs associated with starting a business vary greatly depending on the type of product you’re selling. As for an own online store, even the most basic, the costs are minimal and will range from around nothing to around $500 and $2,000.