According to IBISWorld, the clothing boutique industry is worth roughly $21 billion, but at the same time is also highly fragmented. Meaning that no single player makes up more than 1% of the total industry revenue and every retailer is having to fight tooth and nail to even gain any market share. Due to the fact that boutiques are typically small, single-location enterprises, they thrive on catering to niche markets.
You have to know exactly who to target and shop for if you want your boutique to be profitable and successful at the end of the day. Don’t worry, this is where we come in! I’m sure you got a basic understanding of customer demographics in our previous post about “How To Buy Inventory For Your Customers,” but now we are going to take a deeper dive into buying and shopping for your unique demographic.
Arguably, the most crucial element to understanding your boutique’s customer demographics is market segmentation. Market segmentation is the important and necessary process of dividing your potential consumers into different categories based on common needs and distinguishing characteristics. There are several types of key market segments used in boutique retail clothing markets:
● Gender-Related Segments
● Age-Related Segments
● Income Related Segments
● Geographic Segments
● Purchasing Behavior Related Segments
● Lifestyle Segments
You may have had a target customer base in mind when you first established and opened your boutique, but trends and markets change over time. It might be time to re-evaluate your market and your current customer base to ensure that you are still buying and stocking inventory that best matches the needs of your clientele.
Defining a narrow target market is a key to success for boutiques, whether you operate locally, online, or both. A well-defined target market identifies customers based on demographics. So it’s a good idea to spend a good deal of time working out a comprehensive definition of your target market, as this step will influence the decisions you make in all other marketing plan sections.
A great first step is to establish your brand and what your boutique has to offer. Defining yourself first and foremost is necessary before you begin to figure out what type of people would be interested in purchasing your product offerings. Once you have that established, then you can determine and understand who your boutique’s primary customer and their demographic characteristics. Your primary customer doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of your largest customer base. They could be the customer that spends the most money with your store, earns you a significant profit margin, or are just likable and easy to deal with. The biggest takeaway for you is to take the time to understand who your customers are and to continue to update the customer profile that you build. This will allow your boutique to stay on track and to grow.
Is there anything holding your boutique back from understanding your clientele better? Do you have any questions on how to go about building an accurate customer profile? Let us know in the comments below!
Agree, you must know your customer, in order to purchase what SHE wants to buy. It doesn’t matter your particular tastes, but you must be able to picture who SHE is, what her lifestyle is and what HER needs are. It’s very important in day to day operations to listen to her, because she will tell you if your inventory is too trendy, or not trendy enough.,or ,she may need a different size than what you are carrying, so LISTEN and learn. Perhaps you don’t sell dresses, but you are hearing from your ladies that it is difficult to find a cute party dress. So dive in and order a few, then see what happens.
Maybe pants are just sitting in your inventory? Then next purchasing time don’t order so many! As a B&M we are fortunate enough to be connected on a personal level, and to hear requests, and respond in person, boutiques are in a unique position to offer true customer service.
As far as demographics, you need to check the official demographics of your area. You might be aiming toward young moms, but are located close to some retirement communities, perhaps many older ladies ARE coming in but not buying, so make a mental note, and perhaps order a few “classic” styles for them.
The point being, you need to be able to switch up on the fly according to what is selling, and what is dying on the racks.
Hello WFS!!! Just wanted to Thank you for these Amazing Tips to build Success!
Hello I live in an area that does not have a good selection of places to go shopping for the younger generation nor the older generation. I mostly target both age groups including the plus size women. My boutique is for ladies. Sometimes I come across men sports pieces but I mostly target women. Lately with the economy shifting and the holiday season business has not been prosperous so I am seeking to find a another way to target business. Thanks and I look forward to your comments.
My Lucky Charm
Gloria Lewis, Manager
Hello,I need help on starting my online clothing business,can you help?☺
Rashel Angelina Charron
Thank you so much for your advice! I have been working hard on targeting my clientele on Instagram. Women between the ages of 18 and 45. After researching that was my first conclusion. Then I started with women that take care of theirselves, also women that are active and adventurous, spontaneous. I also paid A lot of attention to who their followers were and so on. I want high clientele as well as middle class. I know high quality and what fabrics not to purchase. I have considered dropping the “Boutique” and adding “Coutre”. I’ve bought clothing from many different places and I found around 4-5 that I would consider. Then found their wholesaler. Please tell me exactly what you think. I respect honesty and I’m a very good listener. Thank you so much for taking the time to read. -AngBlu
Rashel Angelina Charron
Targeting the ages of 18 to 45 . They purchase more with their smart phones that any other gender, or age. – AngBlu
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I am starting a B&M business targeting the entire family. My biggest problem is finding wholesale merchandise with quality clothing. Please let me know if anyone knows good wholesalers.