With advancement in technology and ever-changing consumer shopping patterns, the e-commerce industry has become a wide-open market and local businesses are starting to see the benefits. For nearly five years, HD Boutique, a women’s clothing store, has had a physical presence for nearly five years, and added an online marketplace last October to maximize revenue and customer reach. It worked well for a few months, however, the onset of the pandemic has opened an opportunity for owner Kaare Risbrudt, to not only increase sales and consumer market, but to increase quality time spent with family.
HD Boutique, located at 216 W. Lincoln Ave., has decided to shift gears, focusing efforts 100% on their e-commerce marketplace to continue expanding their online presence. They will close their brick-and-mortar location on Aug. 14. Risbrudt will work with Greater Fergus Falls entrepreneur consultants to grow her digital business, expand product offerings and increase her customer base. The business will still have a Fergus Falls footprint, with local pick-up options available. Nearly every retail item will ship within 1-2 days with $7 flat rate shipping; orders over $100 ship for free, offering a greater ease of shopping safely during the pandemic.
Risbrudt said, “I have been proud to call downtown Fergus Falls my home for almost five years. My customers have come to feel like family, and I’m looking forward to continuing these relationships and meeting market demands through the enhancement of my online store. This community provides an excellent environment for business owners and I look forward to continuing to provide quality products for years to come.”
Over the next few weeks, Risbrudt will offer live sales that stream from her Facebook page @hdboutiquestore, offering a variety of deals, special discounts and giveaways. The first one is scheduled for Wednesday, July 29. Stay connected via Facebook and/or Instagram as posts about live sales dates/times and adjusted weekly hours will be posted. Check out HD Boutique on the marketplace at hdboutiquestore.com.
While not everyone has grown accustomed to online shopping, the fact is people are living in a multidevice, omnichannel world and more than half of U.S. consumers (62%) shop primarily online; and of the 62%, 8 in 10 people are satisfied with their online shopping experience. Online shopping behavior also indicates that 31% of online shoppers expect to spend more online than in a brick-and-mortar store and that 63% of products purchased online are clothing and apparel.
It’s important to note that each business, even those within the same industry are unique. From key target consumers and markup to business-owner circumstances, each business has its own challenges and outcomes. As a community, it is critical to support local entrepreneurs, whether in person or online, whenever possible.
"Making the decision to shift services from in person to completely online is a challenging one. Kaare’s decision to remain in business demonstrates her commitment to our community, and it is my hope that we all continue to support her in this journey. Each business owner is unique, and we are grateful HD Boutique will be expanding their market, and have chosen to pivot their services during this uncertain time in our world. We appreciate all they have provided to the Fergus Falls area over the years, and look forward to her continued success,”said GFF CEO Annie Deckert.