It’s a fact that the online marketplace is getting crowded. Don’t let that discourage you from participating in it. Learn what steps you can take to succeed selling your handcrafted products in a virtual environment.
Produce quality products
It doesn’t matter whether you are selling online or at a live event, it is crucial that your product is well made. If you want to succeed in an online marketplace, the product(s) you send to customers must be of high quality EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Mistakes happen and it may be tempting to send a item with a slight flaw to a customer hoping they won’t notice. After all, it cost you time and money to make it. Don’t do it. It will cost you more in the long run via bad ratings and loss of reputation.
Consider limiting your product line
One way to stand out is to offer a niche product or product line. A niche product appeals to a specialized section of potential customers. This makes it easier to market your product(s) online, become proficient making your product and establish yourself as an expert in your chosen niche.
For example, say you make kitchen accessories such as screen printed hand towels and flour sack dish towels. An example of a niche product line would be, the towels feature Sasquatches with various clever sayings. With good keywords and tags, folks searching online for fun Sasquatch themed items will be much more likely to find your product page.
Even in-person events will generate more sales because customers who love Sasquatch themed items are more likely buy on the spot rather than think about it, knowing they might not find something similar in the future.
Build your brand
A brand is defined as a symbol, logo, name, word and/or sentence that defines a company and the products they sell. A brand communicates the core values of a business. So how do you create YOUR brand?
First, think about what makes your story unique. What is your talent? Why do you make your product? What problem does your product solve? Who is your target audience? Incorporate your values into all aspects of your business and how you communicate them to your potential customers.
Next, choose a business name. Make it unique, relevant, and descriptive of your company, product line or values. Check Google and Facebook to see if anyone else shares this name. This is an important step. You don’t want to have to change it down the road after you have established yourself.
Once you have settle on a name for your business, register it with all of the Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Then, write a tagline. It should say something descriptive about your business. For example, our business name is Fair Findz and our tag line is, Welcome to our virtual fair-admission is free!
Finally, be consistent. Present your business in a tone that communicates your Brand with every written communication. For example, If your brand is playful, as with our Sasquatch kitchen towels, you can make your shop page, product descriptions and social media posts humorous or even a little mischievous.
Price your product to make a profit
First calculate how much it costs to make your product. Make sure to consider everything, including the time it takes to make it, the cost of materials and packaging. Add in the percentage charged for processing a credit card purchase, fees charged by the online marketplace or booth rental if selling at a live event (divide booth rental fee by the anticipated number of units sold), and shipping and taxes if you are including those in the price.
Take your final cost calculation and add the amount of profit you need. This gives you the product’s retail price. Another popular way to come up with a final retail price is by multiplying the cost calculation by 4. This gives wiggle room to do specials or sell wholesale if you desire. Consider where you want your product to sit in the market. If you have a Luxury product it may be priced higher than the competition. If you want to sell a lot of units for a lesser price, you may price it lower than the competition.
There is no one size fits all calculation for pricing your product. The key is to find the sweet spot where both you and your customers are satisfied with the price of the product.
Write excellent product titles, descriptions and tags
Titles should clear and concise. They should also be unique. If you sell on more than one site, modify each title a bit so Google doesn’t see them as duplicate.
Descriptions should utilize keywords that a customer might use when doing an online search. As with titles, these descriptions should be unique. Do not copy and paste titles or descriptions across platforms.
Add tags to your products using keywords that customers may use when searching for a product.
#ProductTitle #ProductDescription #tags
Use great photos
Photos can make or break a sale. They should be of a consistent style that reflects your brand. Excellent photos elicit customer confidence in the company and its products. They increase social shares which can drive new customers to your product page.
Launch your online craft business using these basic guidelines. Customers are waiting for you!