5 Tips for Selling Your Handmade Products Online!

Nowadays, it’s very fashionable, convenient and fabulous branding opportunity for artists to display and sell their products online! There are so many ways you could start your online brand presence with Social Media Shops, Websites, Online marketplaces and Online Handmade Shops.

Most artists find it daunting to start their journey with selling online and are often unsure what to look for when joining new marketplaces. Also to launch your own website and to bring huge amount of traffic to the website, takes a lot of time, effort and money! Showcasing at local galleries is also passé now, due to high commission and limitation of region.

Follow these 5 tips to Make Informed Decision and Rock Your Business Online in 2014!

Online Businesses are flourishing and with influx of new websites coming every day. So in 2014, having good SEO or SMO practices are not enough to get you wide visibility and customer base online! Co-opetition is the new trend you need to adapt to make the most of your Online Business!!

Small handmade businesses can join hands with online marketplaces, Online Galleries and shops as part of their Co-opetition strategy to ride the online trend in 2014! These online handmade businesses are already well established and have strong implementation of marketing strategies which will give you wide online presence and it also improves the bottom line of your business.

They have established admin practices and do most of the marketing for you, so that you can concentrate much more on the making and selling, then when you have your own private website. 

There are three levels of online sites to promote your handmade products:
·         online directories that are often part of a membership offer, and they give short listings and direct to your own website e.g. Australia Craft Network, Creative Addiction, Handmade HQ, Craft HQ
·          online market places where you create and market your own shop e.g. Etsy, Madeit, and similar many more
·         online shops that sell your products e.g. HardtoFind, TheCraftGallery
Each of these levels ask for a different input from you, and charge different rates and commissions. (More info coming in next blog posts--- Watch this Space!)

So, where do you start your Online Journey?

Online selling tip 1: What’s out there for me?

There are tons of websites on the internet which allows different users to sell their products in exchange of some sort of commissions. But there are few important fundamentals that you should know before signing up with any online shop to sell your products.
  1. What fees does the provider charge
  2. What are the payment plans and services offered
  3. Who is the target audience
  4. Does your target audience matches with theirs, brand and price level
  5. Do they sell products that you wish to sell
  6. What are the terms & condition to sign up & terminate etc
  7. How does the website look like?  How user friendly is the site? Both for you, but also your potential clients.
  8. Whats their website traffic? 
Refer to list of more research questions here. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions to your potential Art Galleries, Handmade Shops and Marketplaces.

-        Online Shop or Online Craft Galleries like us, manage marketing and administration on your behalf. We even go one step ahead and promote the artists and their passion too!  So the commission for such services is bit higher than DIY sites, but it FREES up 90% of your screen time.
  Online Marketplaces or Online Handmade Business Directories where you list your products and tag your photos, you will have manage the promotion and most of the admin and it’s like having an online shop

These popular sites can be a great launch pad to set up your own private website, and to link to your own website to drive more traffic to your own site.
Stay away from businesses that don’t link and promote your personal websites or portfolio!

Online selling tip 2: Images that Sell Your Products

Before you are ready to go online, make sure you have quality images of your work that will convince customer to buy your product on single glance. These images should explain the texture, colour & predictable size of the product which makes it easier for buyer to decide. At least 4 images from different angles should be submitted to the provider for display. Maintain your style of images for every single product that you capture for selling or displaying, the theme & background should have some consistency. Images speaks better than words, so make sure you win the game no matter if you need to spend some more bucks but upholding the quality of photography.
Some websites prefer clean shots against a white background, others prefer highly stylised images. Often a combination of overall shot plus a detail shot are the best. Make sure that your images and products fit with the website’s feel, brand, target market and price level.

It’s good idea to present collection of your work based on theme or category, so all products are listed in one category giving you more credibility and positioning. E.g. Newborn Baby gifts series, Fashion Print Series

Online selling tip 5: Tags your products

While having quality images, it is also necessary to code your images with the keywords that you want people to search you with. Playing with the words can really help potential clients find your work. Be very creative in framing your sentences & words. Don’t use jargons, use words that people understand & art lovers put on search engines to view & buy.
You will need to list these words when managing your own online shop, whereas listing with Online Galleries / handmade stores will do it for you as part of service, saving you heaps of experimentation time and energy

Online selling tip 4: Create Gifts!

People love gifting handmade products as they are unique and created with lots of love! So make sure that your products are perfect gifts for various occasions throughout the year like Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, Christmas etc. This will ensure that you get more sales and repeat business throughout the year!
Personalised and eGifts which are easy to download are very popular in online retails. Also gifts for men and boys and wedding gifts categories are popular too.
Earn extra brownie points with Beautiful Packaging! Pay special attention to gift presentation and packaging; include photos of your beautiful packaging!

Online selling tip 5: Build your Repertoire

Your professional images, profile and feedback will all contribute to your credibility.
Your websites or product description should be clear and should not make your users doubt you. It is very important to maintain transparency in your business in order to win the trust of your customers. Your online profile defines your credibility so make sure you have an FAQ section or some feed backs about you. Be in good terms with the shop owners and ask for their opinions about your products. Majority of people buy these products online because they have trust on the sites, so get associated with them & their customers to expect long term returns. Be very honest & straight forward with your customer & plan carefully on how you would deal on your returns.

No matter till what extent you follow the steps, but don’t forget to be confident about your products & be positive with the online business world.  

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