Selling online can be very lucrative for handmade businesses. Utilizing the world wide web to sell goods 24/7 is a welcomed opportunity to those in the craft fair circuit. Hours traveling, lugging around inventory, and spending weekends away from family are a thing of the past for most arts & crafts sellers today. Online marketplaces like Etsy, Handmade at Amazon and Ebay make owning a craft business much easier for sellers however simply listing products doesn't guarantee success.
Sellers making waves currently in online retail spaces all have 5 best practices they focus on to become successful.
Best Practice #1 - Know the Target Audience.
- A target audience is a particular group of consumers at which a product or service is aimed. It is the group of people that is most likely to do business with a particular brand.
- Demographics & Psychographics: Age, Location, Gender, Income Level, Ethnic Background, Personality, Values, Interests and Hobbies, Lifestyle etc...
- Study this group until it is clear who they are, what they like, how they live.
- Build brand around this target market. Create images, graphics, photos and copy based on this audience.
Reader Challenge: Think on who your target customer would be. Create a board on Pinterest and give the board the name of your target customer. Fill this board up with anything and everything you feel your target audience would like. Where they live, what clothes they wear, how they have their homes decorated, the type of food they eat, places they shop etc. This will help you visually understand your customer much better and on a more intimate level.
Best Practice #2 - Amazing Product Photography
- Invest. This is an area online businesses should never skimp on. Invest in a good camera and take photography courses OR invest in a product photographer.
- Lighting. Ensure items are showcased in the best possible light. Natural light looks best for most handmade products.
- Be aware of the background. The focus is on the product, however the background should also be kept in mind. Many sellers lose the attention of the viewer due to busy or distracting backgrounds.
- Use all photo slots and don't be afraid of angles. Having an artistic angle or closeup encourages the viewer to want to see more and provides a better shopping experience.
Best Practice #3 - Research Keywords & Optimize site
- Using Tools like Marmalead (if selling on Etsy), the Google Keyword Planner (if selling on a website) can help sellers get a good idea what keywords consumers are searching for.
- Know the areas to optimize. Depending on the site or marketplace there are specific areas that can be manipulated to improve a shops ranking within the search algorithm.
- ASK. Sellers who ask their target audience for feedback tend to have a lot of luck with search. Staying fresh with what their target audience likes and what is trending etc can help sellers use hot words that could bring more traffic into their shops.
- SEO is an ongoing responsibility for online sellers. It isn't something that is a "set it and forget it" task. Seasons and trends change, and keywords should as well.
Best Practice #4 - Sell the Story
- Listing Copy is a digital salesman. If a seller isn't good with words it may be best for them to hire a copywriter. Amazing copy can significantly improve a listings conversion rate.
- Share what sets the product apart from the rest. This is where authenticity comes in. Handmade products are NOT items from Walmart, describe why. One of the greatest selling points for handmade items is the story around that item as well as the maker who made it.
- Paint a picture with words so the shopper can see themselves having fun using the item or mentally experiencing the joy they will feel in giving it as a gift.
- Do not generalize. Handmade products shouldn't sound like they are a reseller product on Amazon. Speak to the target audience, be personal and authentic.
Best Practice #5 - Positive Mindset
- With a positive mindset sellers believe that success is not only possible but attainable. This view creates a belief system that attracts success to the seller. What they think about they ultimately bring about.
- Keep moving forward. Even through the dips and valleys that happens within entrepreneurship. Knowing that failure isn't a bad thing, instead see it as something that helps develop business into something better.
- Always create new ideas, new products, new ways of connecting with customers. Stay current and fresh. Do not spend time worrying about what doesn't work, instead focus on finding something that does.
- Think BIG and do not put a limit on it. Visualize and feel what success looks and feels like. Do this daily until it manifests into reality.
Thanks for reading and as always Happy Selling!