The Gift and Curse of Instagram Boutiques
Every day, I find myself scrolling down my timeline to see photos of women dressed in thin bodysuits and poor quality dresses. The caption reads, "Love my outfit from @_____ boutique! Shop by clicking the link in the bio." The world of social media has completely changed the way we advertise and sell garments.
Online shopping has become the leading money maker for boutiques and most fashion designers. Thanks to the digital age, people have become comfortable with making a purchase on the net instead of in person. However in 2016, boutique pages on instagram have grown by 30%! Thats huge! Though many of these boutiques offer stylish pieces, some of the boutiques give us qualified fashion labels a bad name. This epidemic of ig boutiques must be stopped!
After a bit of research, here's what I've found:
- Most of the ig boutiques use photos that aren't theirs- If you are going to shop via social media, be cautious of the photos of beautiful models that are not credited. Ask yourself does this brand have any other photos of people in this garment? Most of the time these boutiques steal the wholesaler photos because they have never seen the garment in person which means they are selling from wholesaler to you. This is a fashion NO-NO! You must receive the garment and assure quality control and fit. Also, always take photos of your own model in the garment for creditability.
- The shipping and customer service is horrible- The shipping process is very lengthy and it can take weeks to receive your garments. In most cases, this is because the boutique doesn't have the garments in stock and they have to wait to receive the order from the wholesaler. This is poor business ethics! Also, email the company. How long does it take to receive a response? Ever see those angry customers in the ig comments? This is why.
- These boutiques are not really businesses- Many of these boutiques aren't registered to sell and should be shut down. Google the boutique to check if its legit. Nowadays, anyone can be anyone on social media. Don't get scammed.
Moral of the story is do business like a big business. Always be sure to offer the highest level of customer service, quality and shipping. Social media is a great way to develop your brand and reach new customers. Just be sure to use it properly. Also, invest in sourcing high quality vendors and manufacturers. This will allow you to remain exclusive. Good luck fashionista!