When Lalonie Farnell first got into the fashion industry the focus was on her brick and mortar stores. Starting the brand in 2005, it was the first boutique to offer affordable fashion in the southeastern United States. Her vision for Lotus Boutique was to create a brand that was contemporary as well as affordable. The focus was to create a designed space with creative merchandising that inspires the customer to shop. It is this styling on the walls and racks that set up Lotus Boutique for success. Customers can find things merchandised in ways that speak to their personal taste. Customers looking for a particular niche of clothing, have no problem finding what they need. For example bohemian, cute mom clothes, cute dresses or southern preppy fashion. There is a whole section devoted to her mood. Customers were flocking in from all over the South Eastern United States asking for locations to serve their hometowns. As more locations were added, Lotus Boutique became more well known and experienced continued success. It was clear that it was time to focus on e-commerce.
The first platform that Lotus Boutique built consisted of WordPress with the help of Woo Commerce. This platform was efficient for the goals of Lotus Boutique at that time. This enabled current customers and those new customers who did not have a Lotus Boutique in their area, the luxury of shopping online. Sales for the online boutique began to out grow the site. The company needed to look for marketing partners who could help Lotusboutique.com scale and grow their online presence.
“We have done so well with our brick and mortar stores. Now to grow the brand in the right way, we needed to improve our online store.” Lalonie Farnell, CEO Lotus Stores.
Lotus Boutique decided to team up with Nash Keller Media, an online marketing company that has seen tremendous success in women’s fashion. Nash Keller Media chose to go with Shopify’s E-commerce platform to give them the ability to scale the brand with ease. Design flexibility and the way it integrates with the marketing efforts was key to grow the brand. Page speed was also a factor. When selling products online, every millisecond counts. If the website does not load quick enough, it can cost conversions. When handling personal information customers need a merchant they can trust and is secure.
Another reason Lotus Boutique chose to go with Shopify is for the customer support. With Shopify customers can get answers when they need them. Any time Lotus Boutique has needed support, questions are handled with a clear and concise answer. So far, Lotus has had no trouble finding support when necessary. There is also a vast array of information about Shopify through email, chat and forums.
The chance to grow and scale the online boutique is endless with the incredible network of available apps. The use of third party apps allows Lotus Boutique to customize the store. This allows the boutique to offer the most seamless and favorable customer experience possible. The returns process to the customer rewards program, and our cross/up-sell features, all run with the apps. The apps are endless and offer ways to test and customize online stores in a snap.
Using Shopify to scale and grow Lotus Boutique. This allowed them to experience substantial growth within the first month of switching platforms. They saw a 50% increase in sales after that first month.
Using Shopify’s app store allows an online store to offer special features to customers in ways that make the process easy. The possibilities of customization are endless with the apps made available through Shopify. Lotus is growing each month. Lotus will soon be upgrading to the enterprise solution, Shopify Plus, created for growing and expanding brands.