Whether it’s painting, photography, ceramics, knitting, or some other form of creativity, many of us love making one-off, quirky, and special things, and some of us even enjoy selling them too. Selling handmade items can be satisfying and financially rewarding – if you know how to do it.
Although you may think that the demand for new products is limited to the most well-known names and the biggest brands, there’s actually a huge market out there for the unique and the handmade. Once you’ve mastered your craft, the only difficulty is connecting what you’re selling to those that are buying.
While online marketplaces like Etsy are great, but you need a healthy Etsy rank to effectively attract exactly the types of customers you need. Here we explain what you need to consider if you’re selling your unique and handmade items on platforms such as Etsy.
Selling Unique Items – Why Isn’t It Easy?
It’s not that your target customer groups don’t like what you make. If your design, materials and ideas are attractive and/or useful, why won’t they sell?
After all, we’ve all visited a quirky bricks-and-mortar retail store and bought something on a whim. Why? It looks good, it’s the right price, and it provides a solution to fashion, lifestyle or a special day. SOLD.
It normally goes like this: You browse the local shopping strip and a particular window display is so stunning that it draws you inside.
You probably do not even need what you see but the display has whetted your appetite. What originally caught your eye mightn’t even keep your attention when you discover something else that looks even better.
As this is a unique item you’ve found it costs a little more, and you pause to consider the purchase. The shop assistant is friendly and agrees to a small discount. The item is purchased.
From Physical To Digital – Successfully Selling Your Unique Masterpieces
The scenario above is exactly how selling via your website or marketplace should be. Let’s apply each step of the process to a digital store.
#1 – Get a ‘High Street’ Location
For bricks-and-mortar stores, the mantra is ‘location, location, location’. The best location will attract the highest foot traffic. Open a shop on a side street and, unless you are particularly famous, not many people will see that you exist. However, if you set up the same shop on the main shopping street of a large city, your foot traffic (and sales) should explode.
If you host a store in a well-known online marketplace, that site’s popularity increases digital footfall past your window – your storefront. But there’s a lot of competition.
To stand out in front, you will need to learn about Etsy SEO or get someone to help you with understanding the visibility tactics of whatever platform you’re using.
Simultaneously, your website window – your landing page – must be visible. This requires Google SEO knowledge and advertising your brand on every possible channel: social media, other people’s websites and via email. Even traditional sources like radio and TV ads can be used to expand your digital audience.
#2 – Dress Up Your ‘Shop Window’
Urban shopping streets used to be much more exciting than they are today. Travelling across the world you would find things specific to a particular country or region. Now, with big brands in every shopping mall from Australia to the Americas, finding something truly unique is tough.
It’s exactly this phenomenon that makes people consciously search for handcrafted or personalised goods. But because of fierce online competition consumers are also used to getting great deals. Therefore, the more attractive, informative and unique your website landing page or ‘storefront’, the more the potential customers you are going draw inside.
To succeed online, any creator of unique or handmade items will need to whole-heartedly apply that creativity not only to their product, but to their online presence too.
#3 – The Wow Factor
Your shop window tempts potential customers. Once they are in the door you have to wow them. Get them to move around your website or marketplace store. Attract them with beautiful photographs (avoid stock photography) and thorough descriptions. If your visitors came in looking for one item displayed in your shop window, adding the wow factor could have them leaving with ten.
#4 – Pamper Your Customers
When customers feel appreciated they come back. And when they come back, you have a wonderful opportunity to build up a rapport. Returning customers can give you essential feedback, and they may also tell their friends. In short, happy customers are valuable advertising.
Secondly, don’t send discounts to new customers only – offer bigger and better ones to the ones that come back. Give every visitor your full attention in terms of customer service. In the world of e-commerce, this also means keeping your website glitch-free. All customer interactions must be smooth and seamless.
Become The Most Popular Shop on the Digital High Street
Follow the above tips and there’s no reason why your well-made, correctly priced handcrafted items won’t earn you a nice side-income. No matter how much competition surrounds you, increasingly fewer people have the time to learn crafts, let alone spend time doing them. If you have a creative outlet, there will be an audience to match it. It’s time to get their full attention and turn your passion into profits.