3 Mistakes to Avoid in Promoting Your Craft e-Commerce Site
Selling homemade goods online requires some e-commerce know-how. Let’s look at three common mistakes and how to stop them from damaging your business.
Many designer-makers sell their wares on big marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy, which enables them to become visible to a large audience almost seamlessly. However, these marketplaces can also make it difficult to stand out among the competition. If you are a designer-maker, DIY-er, or any other creative who sells homemade goods, you may have decided that setting up your own e-commerce shop is in your best interests.
Even after launching an e-commerce site, it can be difficult to stand apart from the herd. Thankfully, there are many different ways that you can promote your business and establish your value as an individual seller. With such a competitive market, it can be tempting to cut corners or engage in tactics that are less-than-savory. We’ll look at the top mistakes to avoid when promoting your craft e-commerce site and what you can do instead.
Mistake 1 - Trying to be Corporate
You are a one-person designer-maker that sells an awesome unique product. Don’t try to conform to all the corporate or uber professional-looking sites out there. Be unique and authentic. That is what people are paying for.
What to do Instead — Weave Your Own Story
Be honest about who you are — your history, why you started doing what you do, and what goes into your creations. It all starts with your identity. Choose a domain name for your e-commerce site that fits. Try Shopify’s domain checker or an instant domain search to see what’s available and to find the perfect name that encompasses your uniqueness. Consult sites like Craft Central and The Design Trust that offer insights into effective promotion and press releases. People buy from those they trust, so include points that bolster your credibility and forge a relationship between you and your site visitors. Be fun. Be real. Be you.
Mistake 2 — Missing the Boat With Visuals
As a designer-maker or crafter, your product image sells your product. Product images speak to the quality of your work and the uniqueness of the design. These need to be featured and upfront on your website. People want and need to see exactly what it is you’re selling and they rely on product photos to provide that information.
What to do Instead — Get Gutsy
If you have the budget, consider hiring a professional photographer to do a photo shoot of all your inventory. You should preferably find someone who is experienced in photographing handmade goods and works with others like you. Even if you don’t use a professional, be sure to map out your vision. How do you want your goods to be displayed? Look at other handmade goods e-commerce sites or do some research on Pinterest and gather ideas and examples of what you like and don’t like. Consider whether you want still shots or lifestyle shots. Grab a friend and have her hold or model some of your goods and take some practice shots on an iPhone to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.
Mistake 3 — Being Anti-Social
This might be your very own e-commerce site, but we’re all in this together. You can’t be successful at running an online business if you don’t get out and socialize. It might be tempting to write up a bunch of product descriptions, take your photos and call it a day, but the truth is that your business relies on building relationships with all sorts of people.
What to do Instead — Network
In this day and age, there are endless ways to connect with other like-minded individuals, whether they are co-creators who also sell goods online or potential customers. Make sure you have all your social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr) up and adequately filled with information. Then get on there and start engaging with people. This goes beyond social media, too. Get involved with professional associations or other related networking events and connect with people in real life.
Launching your own craft e-commerce site can be daunting. There are so many options to promote and sell that launching can make anyone’s head spin. Don’t worry. If you avoid the mistakes above and work toward your own unique vision, your e-commerce site and your business will fall into place.