Local boutiques now blend e-commerce with bricks-and-mortar, thanks to pandemic

In a more socially distant world, Baton Rouge retailers are utilizing e-commerce to sell their goods to the masses, while also managing their permanent locations.

Joshua Holder, owner of Time Warp Boutique, uploads photos of the store’s vintage finds on websites like Etsy, eBay and Instagram to expand revenues beyond his Government Street storefront.

The rise of e-commerce giants like Amazon, which is scheduled to open a fulfillment center in Baton Rouge in 2022, makes having an online presence as a local retailer even more important. As a business owner, splitting time between a permanent store and online retail makes for difficult decisions about where to direct investment dollars.

Instead of choosing one or the other, Holder believes it’s important for owners to be smart about balancing in-store sales and online strategies.

While Holder invests largely in digital advertising, other retailers like Madeline Ellis, owner of Mimosa Handcrafted, channel more funds into their websites to try and create a more user-friendly experience.

She and Annie Claire Bass, co-owner of SoSis Boutique, spend time creating videos for their websites and social media accounts showing everything from cleaning jewelry to trying on clothes in order to make online shopping more tailored to their customers.

“If you’re going to be online, you have to put the time in,” Holder says. “It has to be on your list of to-dos every single week to list new, fresh items, so that when people do reach your shop online, you keep them coming back. You have to constantly put fresh content on there, or people lose interest.”

Read the full story from the latest edition of Business Report.