How To Start An Online Beauty Supply Store: Step-by-step Guide

Guides & Advice
October 1, 2020
Guides & Advice
How To Start An Online Beauty Supply Store: Step-by-step Guide

Wondering how to start a beauty supply store? Launching your own online cosmetic business is an exciting adventure to proceed with. The global beauty industry is growing faster than ever and is expected to reach or even exceed $800 billion by 2025.

In the Covid-19 pandemic era, it’s even more common to buy beauty products online as people prefer to stay at home. The sales of cosmetic products are experiencing a shift from traditional to online purchasing. 

In the article, we’ve put together the perfect formula for starting your beauty business in terms of operational processes, resources, marketing, etc. What does it take to open a beauty supply store? Let’s get started!

Steps to start an online beauty supply store 

We’ve come up with essential steps on how to own a beauty supply business. Take your time to go through each of these phases to make your makeup dream a reality and start selling today!

 Select the beauty products line & Develop a brand concept

Long before you chose your business model, you should develop your future brand concept and find a product line for your ecommerce store. Watch the video below on how to write a brand concept for a beauty store.

When it comes to product research, you can first start with Amazon. Amazon has a large customer base and is known to be a perfect place to search for information. Check Amazon’s “Best Sellers in Beauty & Personal Care” for product ideas. In this listing, you can also vet customer reviews, the anticipated selling price, and a detailed description that you should add to your store. Search for products with selling prices varying from $25 to $100, as this price category has the highest trade margins. There are also similar listings on AliExpress, eBay, and Alibaba. 

Best sellers in makeup category on Amazon
Best sellers in makeup category on Amazon

Analyze relevant groups and pages on Facebook and Instagram to get insights on top-selling makeup products. You can follow influencers and brands to keep up to date with the current trends. The second approach is to spy on makeup ads. When you run into the ad on Facebook with the highest amount of engagement that is strong evidence that this particular beauty product is in high demand. Ad engagement is the number of interactions that can be found on the Facebook page transparency section. 

You can also analyze Google Trends to see if there’s a rising interest in your product idea. Subscribe to beauty magazines, such as Allure, Instyle to keep abreast of trendy items. These days, shoppers demand full transparency from a company and are looking for cruelty-free cosmetics with organic ingredients. Bear in mind that men now represent a significant market in the beauty industry.  

Beauty industry trends

Beauty industry trends

Decide on a store business model

The second step in starting a beauty supply store business is choosing a beauty supply store model.

Dropshipping model

In this type of model, businesses sell products online without stocking inventory. The shopper places an order in the checkout, then the seller sends those orders to the supplier, who then sends it to the end customer. In this model, the store does not require warehouse and complex logistics and is a perfect option for small businesses. The revenue is established according to the margin between the prices of purchasing products from the supplier and selling to the client.

White label model

With the white label business model, products are manufactured by one company without labeling and then sold to numerous resellers. For example, a white-label manufacturer would sell shampoos to 7 different retailers. Each retailer can put their brand on the shampoo, customize the package in their own branded containers, and sell the shampoo to the customers. The white-label model is a great option to move fast from idea to an end product.

Manufacturing model

With this model, your products are manufactured exclusively and you have the legal rights to sell products under your brand name. Finding trustworthy manufacturers to cooperate with can be quite challenging. 

Find more details on how to find a manufacturer for your ecommerce products in our related guide.
Guides & Advice
How To Find A Manufacturer For Your Ecommerce Products

Wholesaling and warehousing business model

With this model, you purchase a product, store it in a warehouse, and sell it through your online shop. This is the most challenging model to get into, as you should invest in a warehouse space and inventory management tools. However, you can monitor the quality of the products, their compliance, and the shipping process.

Write a business plan 

The beauty supply retail store business plan is a crucial step in obtaining short-term and long-term business objectives. A detailed business plan for your beauty supply store can help you identify your tactics, define your objectives, figure out potential obstacles, and evaluate what resources you’ll need. If you don’t have the funding for your business venture, investors will require a business plan to figure out if your ecommerce business can make a profit.

These components should be added to your ecommerce business plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Products and services
  • Market analysis 
  • Marketing plan 
  • Business operations 
  • Financial plan
  • Appendix

Register your business

Now, when you’ve created your business plan, it’s time to legally register your online beauty supply store. It is a vital step to make sure you have the proper business licenses and seller’s permits to get started.

Get your Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. EIN is a unique nine-digit security number that determines your business operation and allows you to open a business bank account and file your paperwork.

EIN registration
EIN registration. Image credit: Howtostartanllc.

Depending on what country or city you are in, you will probably need a retail merchant certificate to be able to purchase products, tax-free. Check your state and local websites for further information or talk with a local attorney about the law regulations.

Moreover, if you are manufacturing your own product line, get insured. Beauty products can cause skin reactions, allergies, and more. Certainly, you don’t want to be involved in legal actions without coverage for potential liability.

Choose an ecommerce platform and create your website 

Selling beauty products online is not as difficult as it used to be. There is a great variety of ecommerce platforms and tools which let you build an online store at a lower cost. When creating an ecommerce website you need to consider many factors such as site features, performance, scalability, security, ease of use, SEO (search engine optimization), payment solutions, and more. 

How to choose the right ecommerce platform? There are many factors at play, including your business maturity, budget, and priorities. Check out a more detailed guide and decide on the right solution for your beauty business.

As an ecommerce development company, we recommend you use the Magento platform to create an online beauty shop. Magento is a leading ecommerce platform that allows you to handle huge website traffic volumes. The solution is used by many famous beauty brands, like Sigma Beauty, Regis Corporation, Pierre Fabre, and more. If your beauty supply store business is searching for a highly scalable and flexible solution with a large amount of out-of-the-box functionality, this is the best option for you.

Need to build your beauty store on Magento? Check out our Magento development services.

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Market your online beauty supply store 

Lots of ecommerce businesses fail, as they don’t market their ecommerce stores effectively. A proper marketing strategy is vital for any online business. Here’re some powerful marketing tools:

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

In terms of social media marketing for a beauty business, Facebook and Instagram platforms are the best ways to advertise your products. You can register an Instagram and a Facebook account for your cosmetic store and start posting content (texts, photos, videos, stories) to attract new customers. You can also run paid ad campaigns focusing on the demographics and location of your audience. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Include highly searched keywords to your beauty store to gain higher rankings on major search engines like Google, Baidu, or Yahoo. It’s also a good idea to structure your website so that all the content can be easily indexed by Google’s web crawlers. 

Content marketing

Launch a content marketing strategy to give your potential customers valuable and relevant content. For instance, if you are selling skincare products, you can start posting beauty tips about daily skincare routines. If you are selling foundation or concealer, you can write blog posts about contouring or how to find the best colors for your skin tone.

Beauty influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is an effective marketing strategy with a higher ROI (return on investment) for an online beauty business. Due to the nature of the product, customers are following the recommendations of their favorite online creators before buying. Working with beauty influencers (bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers) can boost your brand awareness.

Beauty influencer marketing. Image credit: Sotrender

How much does it cost to start a beauty supply store

The price of beauty supply store development includes many factors such as the difficulty of the project, setup, design, developer rates, hosting, third-party integrations, features, and maintenance.

Explore the ecommerce website development cost breakdown.
Guides & Advice
Ecommerce Website Cost: Set the Right Budget for Your Project

Start making sales with your online beauty store

Ready to launch your beauty brand? If done right, selling makeup online can be a profitable business idea to start right now. 

We’ve worked with many beauty brands, helping them create and maintain their Magento-powered stores and we understand that each beauty business has its specific needs. If you want to know more about how to start an online beauty supply store, fill in the form below, and our managers will contact you soon.

Do you sell makeup online? Share your experience in the comment section below.

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Elon StarkOlivia HartleyLydia ArmandMaya Oliver27pinkx Recent comment authors
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Interesting guidance. Its a very good resource for only beauty store like us. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jan David

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thanks for sharing useful tips

Maya Oliver

It’s an amazing article I want to start my own beauty products website which is based Korean skincare it’s a great suggest thanks

Lydia Armand

I personally love your article and thumbs up to you for sharing!

Olivia Hartley

Wow! Thanks so much for this post. This information has been very helpful thanks for sharing this post.

Elon Stark

The beauty industry is already dominating the online shopping industry. Thank you for the great information about it!

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