How to Start Selling Products as an Interior Designer

Aug 15

If you follow along on Instagram, you might know that we just got back from Las Vegas Market, which was such an incredible experience! After our week there and with the recent 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:

 

How to Start Selling Products as an Interior Designer | Home Decor Shop | The Identite Collective

via Shoppe by Amber Interiors

 

 

Set Up Trade Accounts

 

 

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! 

 

How to Start Selling Products as an Interior Designer | McGee & Co Home Decor Shop | The Identite Collective

via McGee and Co. | Photography: Kate Osborne

 

 

Create an Inventory Plan

 

 

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. 

How to Start Selling Products as an Interior Designer | IDCO E-Commerce Website Template | The Identite Collective

Get Your Site E-Commerce Ready

 

 

We’ve made this part easy! Just purchase your e-commerce template, like the recently launched 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. 

Once you have your inventory loaded and shipping set up, you will need to connect your preferred payment processor. We like to use Stripe and Paypal, and have found those to be great options! This is important: establish and publish your return policy on your site before you launch and don’t forget your privacy policy while you’re at it! 

How to Start Selling Products as an Interior Designer | IDCO E-Commerce Website Template | The Identite Collective

A few tips for your launch: 

  • Create a social media campaign to announce the opening of your shop and post about it regularly to build up some anticipation
  • When typing up descriptions for different items in your inventory, keep SEO in mind. What would someone searching for that item type in their search bar? Try to incorporate those words. 
  • Have a few professional shots on hand of your products styled that you can use on social media following the launch. This is a great way to cross-promote your pieces with the “Shop the Look” feature! 

 

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:

Meet our Newest E-Commerce Template, The Amelie

12 Unique Instagram Content Ideas for Interior Designers

Systems and Processes for Interior Designers

How to Say No to Projects that Aren’t Right for You

 

The Identité Collective 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. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.

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