COVID-19 forced plenty of brick-and-mortar businesses to adapt and try their hand at an eCommerce store – something that presented several challenges for companies that had not previously considered this as an option. While this has been treacherous for some businesses, others have experienced incredible success.
One prime example of a brick-and-mortar store that now doubles as a thriving online business is Beautiful Lives Boutique. There are three locations here in Northwest Arkansas, and one of them happens to be a short walk down the street from our Go Rogue X offices. We were lucky enough to have Jessica Uranga and Jenna Cook, Beautiful Lives’ Executive Director and Director of eCommerce, respectively, join our most recent episode of Rogue Creators to discuss the store’s recent outstanding success.
The upscale thrift store was forced to temporarily shut down its three physical storefronts at the beginning of the pandemic, but they quickly put a plan together to keep operations runnings. With three buildings overflowing with donated clothes, they had no shortage of supply – they were merely missing a way to get their products to customers.
*Enter social selling*
Within a few days of temporarily shutting down, Beautiful Lives had set up an online storefront where they would release two to three “drops” a day. Each drop contained 60-80 pieces of clothing, and they were organized by themes.
Now, they’ve rolled back to having one drop a day for each store, but they have expanded their themes. They regularly have themes such as cozy, designer, and neutrals, and they have also incorporated tv show themes like New Girl and Friends.
One of the reasons Beautiful Lives has experienced so much success through the transition is its effective marketing through Instagram. Jenna prioritizes quality and creativity in the brand’s posts, and they also attempt to work as your personal stylist. When promoting a new drop, posts often include models with complete outfits made only of items included in that day’s drop.
“When I think about our online store at Beautiful Lives, there are two marketing characteristics – quality and creativity.” (10:31)
Jenna also credits taking moments to celebrate wins and keep the passion alive as a contributor to Beautiful Lives’ long-term success.
“[Running an eCommerce store] can be very repetitive, but keeping that creativity and passion alive – I think that the customer can really tell when you do.” (26:52)
Preserving structure and order within an organization that is growing rapidly is often dreadfully tricky, but Jessica has emphasized maintaining a solid foundation. Beautiful Lives is making sure it gets things correct from the start so that minor problems don’t evolve into more significant, less manageable issues.
“Doing those small things, I think that makes for longevity in the long run and keeps [the team] excited and gives them that vision.” (22:32)
Beautiful Lives is a tremendous example of how brands can find new success through adapting and embracing social marketing. How will you prioritize social marketing for your eCommerce store this week?