As the retail sector slowly moves into the online marketplace, many small business owners are dropping their plans to buy brick-and-mortar stores in order to completely transition to internet retail. Within this industry, large numbers of online arts and crafts businesses are exploding with popularity simply by creating products that appeal to the consumer’s needs and implementing smart business tactics in order to reach their target markets online.
If you’re in the arts and crafts industry, or plan on developing a business in this specific market, here are a few business tips to follow that’ll help you sell your products online and develop your business brand.
Begin Researching Online Marketplaces
With an incredible array of unique products, websites like Etsy and eBay offer retailers opportunities to sell directly to their consumer base. Though they’re the largest online retailers in the U.S., there are definitely other (smaller) online marketplaces available that appeal to niche consumer markets.
Payment Options and Gateways
Besides credit and debit cards, several other payment gateways are being used these days by small business owners. Some examples include eMerchant, Netcash, PayPal, 2CheckOut, Payfast, VougePay and MonsterPay. In addition to online payments, smartphone payment gateways are being introduced as well.
If you plan on moving your business completely into the online marketplace, make sure you have the best payment gateway possible in order to effectively manage all your online business transactions with web hosts and consumers.
Once you find the proper site for your arts and crafts, start building relationships with your target demographics. The best way to reach them is through social media. Most small businesses and independent craftsmen usually set up FB business pages, Pinterest boards (recommended for this particular industry) and/or Twitter accounts that helps promote their brand names and their products or services.
Once you decide to set up social media accounts, be aware that you must be consistent, relevant and timely with your posts to maximize engagement with your audience.
Stay up-to-date with trends! You absolutely must be able to appeal to your consumer base, which is why you have to pay attention to popular trends in the industry. For example, if you sell handmade shoes, and see that many people have taken a liking to floral prints, why not offer floral printed shoes? If you can adapt your merchandise, you’ll be able to establish your brand as a leader in fashion trends.
Know When To Have Sales
Everyone knows that there are different times of the year when sales are at their peak. Whether it’s the weeks after Memorial Day or the Friday after Thanksgiving, you need to be able to offer discounts on sales dates. Online shopping tends to spike during seasonal sales times, so be sure you also offer discounted merchandise accordingly.
Collaborate With Well-Known Artisans
In the world of hip-hop, one of the best, most effective way to break through as an artist, as recommended by music producers, is to collaborate with another, popular artist. The same rule applies to arts and craftsmen, many of whom get together with popular artists and create extraordinary products. One way to accomplish this collaboration is to network with the artist or craftsman, build a relationship and pitch your idea.
It can be rather difficult to sell you arts and crafts under your own brand, but by following these tips and using the appropriate online tools, you’ll be able to further develop your brand name faster and easier.