5 Questions To Ask Before you Buy To Get The Best Inventory For Your Boutique

It doesn't matter if you're new to the wholesale buying game of if you have been buying for years you will never regret spending the time to know who you're buying for. 

What pops into your mind when I say bad boy.... for me when I hear bad buy the one thing that flashes into my mind like a hazard waring at a nuclear plant getting ready to explode is a flare leg denim jumpsuit with an overall style top and two big button snaps. I seriously loved that jumpsuit, I grabbed the last pack that was in stock ( A sure sign it was going to be a hit)  and got on the phone as I was pulling out of DTLA to call my girl and get her to my house so we could shoot it and get it live asap! That night we got it all done, we shot it, wrote a killer description and pot it live on the site, we did a cute Ig post and even a few boomerangs and wait for it.... wait for it... yeah nothing. Not a single swipe up or click, probably the lowest likes we've ever gotten. I am talking it was a train wreck we never saw coming. You can imaging it didn't take long for the new to wear off, it took six months to sell five jumpsuits, it probably would have been longer but one was damaged and I had to send a replacement and boy was I happy to see the last one go. I didn't even care that it was free, I was just thankful they were finally gone! I told you my story so you don't have to have one like it, because to be honest stories like that are expensive and even more frustrating!

Before your head off to market or get on FashionGo with a glass of wine and line of credit stop and do 15 minutes of work to make sure you get it right!

Getting to know your best customer

Start with our Best Customer Questionnaire  so you will know them and I mean really get to know them. During this process really take the time to think about the details, for example is your customer a fit mom that makes quinoa for dinner or is she a soccer mom that has again found herself driving through McDonalds for the third time today on her way home from T-ball. 

You've probably caught on that we're only talking about your best customer here, that is because they are the people you're trying to attract so if you serve them they will come and then they'll bring a friend and then their friends will bring friends. 

Ask yourself these five questions about your best customers. 

1. What are the last five things my best customer googled?

I know this sounds crazy but hear me out on this one. Your last google searches are how other advertisers reach you and are a great insight to your interests. Now thing about your customer in their last five google searches would you expect to see a how to tutorial on the latest hair or make up trends, maybe it's a recipe for family dinner or it could be something totally crazy like "how long could I live on Peanut Butter?" These questions are the secret sauce to really knowing your best customer and being able to serve them best!

2. What are two staples in my best customers daily attire?

Think about the guys for just a second, if your man is anything like mine he loves two things and unless he is sleeping he has a hat on his head and a watch on his wrist. Those two items are things that he values and therefore spends a lot of money on. I bet there are ten ball caps with tags on them in his closet right now and a teetering stack of hat boxes in the back but he is always in the market for more. If your gals live in Havaiana sandals and graphic tee's you had better stock up on those items constantly!

3. What is my best customers biggest concern when shopping? 

I am 5"11 and a little thicker than most through the hip and thigh. Most of the time I don't even look at bottoms when I go shopping because I know they probably wont fit. Now imaging I walk into your boutique and I see that you have Curvy fit jeans for tall girls and your sales associate gets me to try on a pair that he or she recommends and I love them, you've earned yourself a lifetime customer. That is was Sevens for All Mankind did and I've worn their brand for the past 10 years because I am confident they will have the quality and fit I want. 

4. How can I go above and beyond to serve my best customers? 

Have you ever hear of the 5 Languages of Love, it boils how we show and receive  love into five categories Acts, Quality time, Personal Gifts, Touch and Verbal Affirmations. Think of a few ways in each category that your can make your VIP's feel extra special and you will become their VIP. That is how customer loyalty and massive CLTV's are built! Here are some ideas for acts of kindness, offer free gift wrapping or home delivery if you're a local store. Quality time is a great opportunity to roll out the red carpet and host a sip in shop or other exclusive customer appreciation event, always ask them to bring a friend and extend excellent five star service to everyone who attends. Personal gifts is also easy, you can order promotional items or inexpensive gifts to your best customers on their shop-anniversary or each time the spend a specified amount either with a customer loyalty card or other incentive program. Tough is a little touchy, especially now days but always lend a hand to help get their items to fit and a soft touch on the shoulder should be acceptable, I'll let your be the judge here. Finally verbal affirmations, the biggest part here is to address them by their name always, wherever you see them make it a point that you know them and their name. When they are shopping with you don't be fake, take the time to know them, their spouse and kids names, weekend plans or any big events coming up ad be sure to follow up on those conversations! This leads to the last point to serving your best customers.

5. You should always know what big events are on my best customers calendar for the next three months?

This is where talking and building relationships becomes so valuable, your customer will literally tell you what you need to serve them with all you have to do is ask, it's a win win!  After you know what she'll be doing think about what she'll need to get it done. Here is and example, if she's told you she will be going to be going to a lot of Weddings over the summer it's now your job to serve her with everything bridal related and not just ones serve her from day one. She is going to need an outfit for the bridal shower, something cute for the bachelorette party, a dress for the rehearsal dinner and gown or other fabulous look for the wedding day. If you stopped there we could say you tried but take it two steps further if you don't want to leave any money on the table because great outfits are all in the details  accessories, jewelry, shoes, bags and perhaps and pretty scarf to tie it all together. These are all thing you should be offering and the right accessories will boot your AOV by 25% and add endless value to your inventory with markups at 5X to 10X on the right pieces!


Don't let the wrong inventory hold you back any longer, once you answer these questions will be ready to serve your best customer with the best inventory possible, watch you turn rate double and AOV triple and your sales sky rocket!  

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