How to Start a Business Selling Cosmetics Online


a shopping cart full of office supplies

Cosmetics are fun products that have managed to stand the test of any economic situation. As consumers become more conscious about the ingredients, chemicals, and testing methods of cosmetics, they have been turning to independent, niche retailers. With the increasing demand for premium cosmetics selling products can be very lucrative for those interested in knowing how to start a business selling cosmetics online. 

Create A Brand Identity

The key to survival for an online business is to create a brand identity that consumers can recognize. Think about the target audience that cosmetic products will appeal to and create a brand based on the consumer base. Design a logo and brand that will appear on a website and social media accounts. 

Choose a niche and provide a narrow offering of products to start. Growing a brand is easier with a focused product line that can mature over time. Take for example professional eyelash extensions kit. Women know all too well that beauty treatments are expensive. Lashes Direct offers high-quality starter kits with glues and lashes that are used in the world’s top beauty schools and salons at discounted prices. 

Get The Necessary Permits 

Selling cosmetics online, whether through a personal website or third-party platform, requires permits. Register the business in order to get an Employer Identification Number from the IRS and apply for a business license. To sell products online, a business will likely need a resale permit, sales permit, and tax permit. 

The FDA has strict regulations regarding the manufacturing and labeling of cosmetic products. A business must be knowledgeable about these regulations to conduct business without any legal issues. The FDA website has a cosmetics section that outlines all the legal information a business needs to know. 

Choose A Platform 

An online business needs an online storefront. Branded e-commerce platforms like Etsy, Storenvy, and Shopify have professional appearances that make businesses visible to consumers. It’s also possible to establish an independent website with merchant services where customers can buy products. Use high-resolution images of all products with detailed descriptions about each product, ingredients, prices, and contact information. 

Find Inventory 

To sell anything online, a business needs a reliable inventory source. Look for cosmetic brands that offer the appropriate niche products at wholesale prices. Be cautious of counterfeit products on websites that advertise high-end brands at wholesale prices. Look for a supplier that offers drop-shipping to customers. This saves a business the hassle of finding storage space for inventory and keeping up with order fulfillment. Drop-shipping yields a better profit margin and allows a business to focus on branding. 

Many dropshipping suppliers partner with Modalyst to increase distribution into specialty stores worldwide. Modalyst automates the dropshipping process and increases brand awareness by enabling retailers to instantly start reselling products. Whether selling via wholesale or dropshipping, each method has a marketplace for retailers and an order management tool for suppliers to keep relationships organized. 

Once inventory is found, do a test run of products. Give out samples to neighbors, friends, family, and colleagues to see how well the products are received. Ask for feedback to see if the inventory is something that will sell well. 

Pick A Solid Marketing Strategy

Once the online store is filled with products, it’s time to launch a marketing campaign. Social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram are great platforms to advertise makeup looks. Influencers thrive on Instagram and are perfect sources for marketing products due to their large followings. Posting tutorials on YouTube about how to use products will also capture the attention of consumers and pique their interest. 

Effective marketing helps create a community around a brand and generates customer loyalty. Post quality and engaging content on social media to promote new products, create a buzz about sales, and encourage customers to share their creative looks. 

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