Do you love beauty products? Do you have a passion for sharing your beauty tips and tricks with others? And, do you want to make money from your hobby without investing a lot of money in a physical store?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this blog post is for you.
In this guide, I will show you how to start an online store selling beauty products from the comfort of your home. You will learn what an online store is, what are some examples of beauty products that sell online, why selling beauty products online is a great idea, and how to start an online store selling beauty products step by step.
You will also discover some of the best content management systems that will allow you to create an online beauty store for free, what you will need to start an online beauty store for free, where to buy products to sell online, and how to use affiliate marketing to earn commissions from promoting other brands’ beauty products.
By the end of this blog post, you will have all the information and tools you need to unlock the door to success and start your own online beauty store. Whether you want to sell your own products, resell products from other suppliers, or become an affiliate marketer for beauty brands, you will find everything you need here.
So, are you ready to join the booming online beauty industry and turn your passion into profit? Let’s get started!
And for starters, let’s understand what an online store is.
What is an online store?
An online store is a website or an app that allows you to sell products or services over the Internet.
Having an online store means, having a system where customers can browse your products, add them to their shopping carts, and pay for them online using various payment methods.
When these orders are confirmed, you will ship the products to the customers or provide them with digital downloads or access codes.
a). Benefits of having an online store.
An online store can have many benefits for both sellers and buyers.
For sellers, an online store can help you reach a wider audience, reduce your operational costs, increase your sales, and improve your customer service.
For buyers, an online store can offer convenience, variety, lower prices, and more information.
b). Types of online stores to choose from
There are many types of online stores that you can create depending on your niche, goals, and preferences. Some of the most common types of online stores are:
- E-commerce store: This is a general term for any online store that sells physical or digital products.
- Dropshipping store: This is a type of e-commerce store where you don’t have to keep any inventory or handle any shipping.
You simply list products from third-party suppliers on your website and when a customer places an order, you forward it to the supplier who then ships the product directly to the customer.
- Subscription box store: This is a type of e-commerce store where you sell curated boxes of products that are delivered to your customers on a regular basis.
You can choose the theme, frequency, and price of your boxes and offer different options for your customers to choose from.
This is a type of e-commerce store where you sell customized products that are printed on demand by a third-party service.
You can upload your own designs or use existing ones and apply them to various products such as t-shirts, mugs, posters, etc.
- Affiliate store: This is a type of online store where you don’t sell any products yourself but instead promote other brands’ products and earn commissions for every sale you generate.
You can create a website or a blog where you review, compare, or recommend products and link them to the original sellers using special tracking codes.
As you can see, there are many options for creating an online store that suits your needs and preferences.
In this blog post, we will focus on how to start an online store selling beauty products using some of these methods.
Before we do that though, let’s look at examples of the best beauty products that you can sell online with a lot of ease.
What are some examples of beauty products that sell online?
Cosmetic or Beauty products are products that are used to enhance or improve the appearance, health, or well-being of the skin, hair, nails, or body.
They can be classified into different categories such as:
- Skincare products: These are products that are applied to the skin to cleanse, moisturize, protect, treat, or improve its condition.
Some examples of skin care products are cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums, masks, exfoliators, sunscreens, etc.
- Haircare products: These are products that are used to wash, condition, style, color, or treat the hair.
Examples of haircare products are shampoo, conditioner, hair oil, hair gel, hair spray, hair dye, etc.
- Makeup products: These are products that are used to enhance or alter the appearance of the face or other parts of the body.
Some examples of makeup products are foundation, concealer, powder, blush, bronzer, highlighter, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, lip gloss, etc.
- Nail products: These are products that are used to care for or decorate the nails.
Examples of nail products are nail polish, nail art stickers, nail files, cuticle oil, etc.
- Fragrance products: These are products that are used to create a pleasant scent on the body or in the environment.
Some examples of fragrance products are perfume, cologne, body spray, candles, diffusers, etc.
- Personal care products: These are products that are used for hygiene or grooming purposes.
Examples of personal care products are soap, shower gel, body lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes razors shaving cream, etc.
Though there are many other examples of beauty products that you can sell online, these are just some of the fast-moving ones. There are many more types and subtypes of beauty products that you can explore and sell on your online store.
If it helps, you can also mix and match different categories and create your own unique product line.
Why sell beauty products online?
There is a huge client base for beauty products online, plus selling beauty products online can be a great way to start your own business, make money, and pursue your passion.
Here are some more reasons why selling beauty products online is a good idea:
- You can reach a large and diverse customer base: The internet has made it possible for anyone to access and buy products from anywhere in the world.
It doesn’t matter which countries, cultures, and backgrounds your clients come from, you can sell to anyone without boundaries.
And if you choose to advertise, you can also target specific segments of customers based on their preferences, needs, and behaviors. This can help you increase your sales and grow your brand awareness.
Variety and customization
Online shopping allows you to offer more options and choices for your customers.
If you have the means and/or capital, you can sell different types of beauty products, from skincare to makeup to fragrance. You can also offer different sizes, colors, flavors, scents, or ingredients for your products.
On the customization part, consider creating personalized or customized products for your customers based on their preferences or requests. This can help you stand out from the competition and attract more loyal customers.
- Save money and time: Running an online store can be cheaper and easier than running a physical store.
You don’t have to pay for rent, utilities, staff, or inventory. As a matter of fact, you can automate tasks such as order processing, payment processing, shipping, and customer service.
Automation in an online beauty store can help you save money and time to focus on growing your business.
- Flexibility and creativity: Selling beauty products online gives you the freedom and flexibility to run your business the way you want.
You can set your own prices, policies, and schedules.
To grow your business, you can experiment with different marketing strategies, product ideas, or business models.
Try to be as creative as you want and try new things without risking too much.
How to start an online store selling beauty products?
Now that you know why selling beauty products online is a good idea, let me show you the steps involved in starting a beauty or cosmetics store from scratch.
Choose your niche and products
The first step is to decide what kind of beauty products you want to sell and who you want to sell them to.
This is called choosing your niche and products.
And what is a niche you ask?
A niche is the specific segment of the market that you want to target with your products. And your products are the items that you want to offer to your customers.
Choosing your niche and products is very important because it will help you define your brand identity, attract your ideal customers, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
When choosing these two, you want to choose a niche and products that are:
- Profitable: Number one, you want to sell products that have a high demand and a low supply in the market.
Before you settle for that product though, check if it has a high profit margin and a low cost of production or acquisition.
- Passionate: Number two, you want to sell products that you are passionate about and that you have some knowledge or experience with.
You also want to sell products that your customers are passionate about and that they are willing to pay for.
- Problem-solving: Number 3, you want to sell products that solve a problem or fulfill a need for your customers.
While at it, check that the products you want to sell have a clear value proposition and a unique selling point.
How to choose a beauty niche and cosmetics products to sell
To choose your niche and products, you can do some market research and competitor analysis.
You can also use tools like SimilarWeb, Alexa, etc. to find out who are your main competitors and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
If you don’t have time to do all that, then try to use your own intuition and creativity to come up with niche and product ideas that are original and innovative.
Last but not least, brainstorm different beauty and cosmetics ideas based on your interests, hobbies, skills, or experiences.
Otherwise, you can also look for gaps or opportunities in the market that are not being met by existing products or services and fill them.
To make it even easier, here are some examples of niches and products that are popular with men and women.
Organic skincare products
You can sell natural and organic skincare products that are made from plant-based ingredients and are free from harsh chemicals, preservatives, or artificial fragrances.
If you choose this niche then you will target customers who are conscious about their health and the environment and/or customers who are looking for safe and effective skincare solutions.
Korean beauty products
Alternatively, you can sell Korean beauty products that are known for their innovative formulas, cute packaging, and affordable prices.
Choosing this niche means you will only target customers who are interested in Asian culture and who are looking for trendy and fun beauty products.
Personalized makeup products
These are personalized makeup products that are customized according to customers’ skin tones, preferences, or needs.
Should you choose to start a beauty and cosmetics store around this niche then you will target customers who are looking for unique and tailored beauty products that suit their individual style and personality.
These are just some of the examples of niche and product ideas for selling beauty products online. But there is more, try to use your imagination or go to Pinterest to find more beauty niches that are interesting.
Once you have chosen your niche and products, you need to validate them before you start selling them.
And what is validation you ask?
Validation in this context means testing your ideas with real customers and getting feedback from them.
If you go through this process, you will avoid wasting time and money on ideas that don’t work or don’t have enough demand.
How to validate a niche and product for your new online beauty store
To validate your niche and products, you can use various methods such as:
Use a landing page
A landing page is a web page that showcases your niche and products and invites visitors to sign up for more information or pre-order your products.
When your landing page is ready, use paid ads, social media posts, email marketing, etc. to drive traffic.
You can then measure the conversion rate of your landing page (the percentage of visitors who sign up or pre-order) and collect feedback from your visitors using surveys, polls, comments, etc.
If your projected metrics are met then you can know that that you have a superior niche and product. This is my recommended method for anyone who wants to start with affiliate marketing or a small budget.
Create a minimum viable product (MVP)
An MVP is a simplified version of your product that has only the essential features or functions that deliver value to your customers.
When you are good to go, sell your MVP to a small group of early adopters or beta testers who are willing to try your product and give you feedback.
You can measure the sales performance of your MVP and collect feedback from your customers using reviews, ratings, testimonials, etc.
- Create a prototype or a mockup
A prototype or a mockup is a visual representation of your product that shows how it looks and works.
You can create a prototype or a mockup using tools like Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, etc. You can then show your prototype or mockup to potential customers or experts and get their opinions and suggestions.
Use available analytic tools to measure the interest and engagement of your prototype or mockup and collect feedback from your viewers using questions, interviews, focus groups, etc.
Though there are many other methods of niching down to a product, these are some of my preferred methods to validate a niche and products.
You can use one or more of these methods depending on your budget, time, and resources. The goal is to get as much feedback as possible and use it to improve your niche and products before you launch them.
Choose your business model and platform
And what is a business model you ask?
Your business model is the way you make money from your products. Your platform is the software or service that you use to build and manage your online store.
Choosing your business model and platform is important because it will affect your costs, profits, operations, and customer experience.
When push comes to shove, you want to choose a business model and platform that are:
Is this a model or platform that matches your niche, products, goals, and preferences?
You also want to choose a business model and platform that meet the needs and expectations of your customers.
Does this model and/or platform allow you to grow your business and reach more customers without compromising your quality or performance?
You also want to choose a business model and platform that offers you flexibility and customization options.
These are business models and platforms that protect your data, transactions, and reputation.
When choosing a business model, you want to choose a business model and platform that complies with the laws and regulations of your country and industry.
To choose the best business model and platform, you may want to do some research and comparison.
You can also use tools like Shopify Business Name Generator, Oberlo Slogan Generator, etc. to come up with catchy names and slogans for your online store.
Some examples of business models and platforms for selling beauty products online are:
E-commerce store using Shopify
Shopify is one of the most popular and powerful online store platforms in the world. It allows you to create an e-commerce store where you can sell your own physical or digital beauty products.
Once you have signed up, you can choose from hundreds of themes, apps, features, and integrations that the Shopify platform offers to customize your store according to your brand identity and customer needs.
Shopify also handles everything from hosting, security, payment processing, shipping, taxes, analytics, etc. for you.
The only downside is, that Shopify charges a monthly fee based on the plan you choose plus transaction fees for each sale you make. This may be a barrier to entry especially if you just want to start an online store and not spend anything.
Dropshipping store using Oberlo
Oberlo is an app that works with Shopify that allows you to create a dropshipping store where you don’t have to keep any inventory or handle any shipping.
You simply import products from third-party suppliers on Oberlo’s marketplace to your store and when a customer places an order, Oberlo automatically fulfills it for you.
Oberlo also updates the product information, inventory levels, prices, etc. for you.
If you did not like Shopify because it charges you for using the platform, then I have more bad news for you. Oberlo also charges a monthly fee based on the plan you choose.
- Subscription box store using Cratejoy
Cratejoy is an online store platform that specializes in subscription box businesses.
It allows you to create a subscription box store where you can sell curated boxes of beauty products that are delivered to your customers on a regular basis.
You can choose the theme, frequency, price, and contents of your boxes and offer different options for your customers to choose from.
Cratejoy also provides you with tools for marketing, billing, shipping, customer service, etc.
If you choose to create your store with Cratejoy then you will be charged a monthly fee based on the plan you choose.
Affiliate store using WordPress
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system that allows you to create a website or a blog where you can promote other brands’ beauty products and earn commissions for every sale you generate.
You can use WordPress to create an affiliate store where you can review, compare, or recommend beauty products and link them to the original sellers using special tracking codes.
WordPress being a widely used CMS, has various plugins, themes, features, and integrations that you can use to optimize your store for SEO, performance, design, etc.
Unlike all the other platforms mentioned above, WordPress does not charge any fees for using its software but you will need to pay for hosting, domain name, and other services.
These are some of the examples of business models and platforms for selling beauty products online.
You can choose one of these options or come up with your own based on your research and creativity.
Once you have chosen your business model and platform, you need to set up your online store and launch it.
This involves registering your domain name, choosing your hosting service, installing your platform software, designing your store layout, adding your products, setting up your payment methods, shipping options, taxes, etc.
You also need to test your store functionality and security before you go live.
Market Your Content And Grow Your Online Beauty Store
The final step is to market and grow your online store selling beauty products.
Marketing and growing your online store requires a lot of planning, strategy, and execution.
You need to use various methods and channels to reach your target audience, communicate your value proposition, and persuade them to buy from you.
Other than that, you’ll also need to use various tools and metrics to measure your results and improve your performance.
Some of the methods and channels you can use to market and grow your online store are:
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimizing your online store for search engines such as Google or Bing so that it ranks higher for relevant keywords and phrases that your customers use to search for beauty products online.
SEO involves improving your site speed, structure, content, links, etc.
- Social media marketing (SMM)
SMM is the process of using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, etc. to promote your online store and engage with your customers.
SMM involves creating and sharing valuable content such as posts, stories, videos, images, etc. that showcase your products, brand personality, customer reviews, etc.
You can also use social media ads to reach more potential customers.
Email marketing is the process of using email to communicate with your customers and prospects.
Email marketing involves building an email list, creating and sending valuable content such as newsletters, promotions, tips, etc. that encourage your subscribers to visit your online store and buy from you.
You can also use email marketing to follow up with your customers and increase their retention and loyalty to your beauty store.
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable content such as blog posts, ebooks, podcasts, webinars, etc. that educate, entertain, or inspire your audience and establish your authority and credibility in the beauty industry.
Content marketing can help you attract more organic traffic to your online store, generate more leads and conversions, and build trust and loyalty with your customers.
Influencer marketing is the process of collaborating with influential people in the beauty industry such as bloggers, vloggers, celebrities, etc. who have a large and engaged following on social media or other platforms.
This type of marketing can help you increase your brand awareness, reach new customers, and boost your sales.
- Referral marketing
Referral marketing is the process of encouraging your existing customers to refer their friends, family, or colleagues to your online store and rewarding them for doing so. Referral marketing can help you acquire more customers, increase your customer loyalty, and reduce your customer acquisition costs.
These are just but a few methods and channels you can use to market and grow your online store selling beauty products.
Use one or more of these methods depending on your budget, time, and resources.
Remember, the goal is to create a consistent and effective marketing strategy that drives more traffic, conversions, and revenue to your online store.
Now that we have learned how to start an online store for beauty products, let’s find you some of the best places to source beauty products for your new business.
Where to Buy Beauty Products at Wholesale
If you are not sure where to find wholesale beauty products to buy for your beauty supply store, you have many options to choose from.
You can buy from distributors, manufacturers, online platforms, or sales representatives.
Here are some of the places where you can find wholesale beauty products for your new online store:
These are intermediaries who buy beauty products in bulk from manufacturers or wholesalers and sell them to retailers.
Distributors can offer you a wide range of products, brands, and prices. Some of the top distributors for beauty products in the United States are L & R Cosmetics, Leaders Cosmetics USA, KCP Wholesale Distributors, F Tropics, USA Wholesale Makeup, Closeup Wholesale, E&G Cosmetics, and in Kenya, you will find the best distributors at Kamkunji, Eastleigh or Dubois road.
Manufacturers are the original producers of beauty products.
If you do not want to buy from distributors then you can opt to buy directly from them and get the best quality and lowest prices.
The only downside to this is, that you may need to meet their minimum order requirements and pay for shipping and handling costs.
Some of the top manufacturers of beauty products in the United States are Coty, L’Oréal, Markwins, RNA Corporation, Novopac Laboratories, Healthy Solutions, GAR Labs, and Denison Pharmaceuticals.
In Kenya, you can buy from Dawn Industries, HACO Industries, Alison Products (Kenya) Limited, Nia Cosmetics, Aromakare, Servechem Ltd, Velocity Limited, Angelica Industries Ltd and Buyline Industries Ltd
An online platform is a website or app that allows you to buy beauty products online from various suppliers.
Online platforms can offer you convenience, variety, and lower prices.
However, you may need to verify the quality and authenticity of the products and suppliers before you buy.
In Kenya, you can buy in bulk from Best Lady Cosmetics Ship Ltd, SCHNAZZY COSMETIQUES among other recognizable brands.
In conclusion, selling beauty products online can be a great way to start your own business, make money, and pursue your passion.
You can choose from various niche and product ideas, business models and platforms, and marketing and growth strategies to create and run your own online beauty store.
However, you also need to be aware of the challenges and risks involved and prepare for them accordingly.
If it helps, do your research, validate your ideas, set up your store, and market and grow your store effectively.
You also need to provide excellent customer service, quality products, and competitive prices to get more clients.
By following the steps and tips that I have shared with you in this blog post, you can unlock the door to success and start your own online beauty store.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and found it helpful.