With the launch of our first e-commerce template, The Amelie, we have been thinking and talking about online interiors shops almost constantly!
I specialize in helping small shops take their in-store experience online, and many of the steps I take with my clients translate to opening a new shop as an extension of an existing business. If you’ve been dreaming of opening an online store of beautifully curated home goods under the umbrella of your interior design brand, here’s how to get started:
If you haven’t already, it’s time to open up trade vendor accounts. It sounds so much more difficult than it actually is. You’ll need to show your business license and complete their application. Then, you’ll be assigned a sales rep (usually by region) who will be your point of contact for all orders moving forward. We have a handy post with more information about trade accounts here.
Once those accounts are in place, ask your trade vendors if they allow e-commerce. Most of them will!
Once your trade vendor accounts are in place, ask what their opening order minimum is (how much money you have to spend with that specific vendor to establish an account). Minimums vary, but most range from $500-$1500.
Your second question should be about their re-order minimum. When it’s time to restock shop, you need to know how much you have to spend to place your next order. This amount should be much lower than the original order minimum, like $150 or some vendors might not have a re-order minimum at all.
Once you’ve selected the inventory that will fit your vision for your shop, ask what the per-item minimum is. Depending on how they’re packaged, items might come in multiples of 2, 4, 6, or even 12.
Our recommendation is to start small with inventory numbers, and instead, focus on growing your inventory range. It’s more important that your store look fully stocked and offer multiple purchase opportunities than to have large quantities on hand, since re-ordering usually isn’t a big deal. You want clients coming back for more and checking in for new products regularly. A shop with 10-12 products leaves a lot to be desired.
We’ve made this part easy! Just purchase your e-commerce template, like the Amelie, and set up your store. The Amelie was created with this exact purpose in mind—helping interior designers launch or enhance their online shops. Just FYI: You will need your product weights and dimensions on hand to calculate shipping costs.
A few tips for your launch:
If you already have an established brand and following, opening an online shop is a great way to expand your offerings and grow your business without a huge time trade-off. We can’t wait to see the gorgeous goods being sold on the Amelie template!
For more tips on elevating your interior design business, be sure to check out these posts:
IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.