Opening and online store...any tips/advice?
I'm really excited because hopefully within the next few months I'll be opening an online store (most likely Storenvy) to start selling some of my polymer clay charms, and maybe some plushies.
The problem is, even though I've sold a good amount of my crafts to people in person, I have next to no experience with selling online.
I've been doing some research and it looks fairly easy, but nothing beats advice from others who sell online. So I was wondering if anyone had and tips they wouldn't mind sharing about running an online store and getting the word out. Any advice would be extremely helpful!
Start a Facebook page for the shop.
The most important part is choosing a craft-selling website that suits you the best. CraftCafe is best if you plan on making lots of listings.
I have always preferred to use USPS for shipping since they have a lot of flat rate options and first class is cheap.
I'd recommend using as many free social apps to promote your shop as possible. For me the most successful ones from driving traffic to my shop are facebook and twitter.
1) Start with your current customers. At every "show" give them an "enter to win" opportunity. Email address mandatory. Make sure they know that the email address will not be sold and that they know exactly how many times to expect an email and for what purpose.
2) Do an online giveaway. Everyone who "shares" your page on FB (Must be a PUBLIC post) AND all of their friends who share. "Like" every share so they know they are entered. Most important, GIVE IT AWAY! I am very leery now of online giveaways as they do not usually deliver... Make the gift worth winning. Go back to every "share" and announce the winner with thanks to everyone who entered and maybe a special offer to get them to visit your site again anyway.
3) Create a reason to visit your site every single day. Feature of the day, promotion of the day, even featuring someone else's designs (with their permission) and featuring their business.
4) Make business cards. Even when I was unemployed I had business cards, "Exploring Opportunities" with my contact information. I asked for a job everywhere I went and networked to everyone I knew. It kept me top of mind, even when there was no job.
5) Know your shipping times, weights, and time commitments.
6) Finally, (And with 20 year marketing to draw from that's saying a lot!) Finally, "Always do what you say you will do!" Period. No exceptions.
I'll probably think of more, manage expectation, etc, but I think I've pontificated enough, yes? ;)
I just learnt that you can't do facebook giveaways - its apparently against facebooks terms and conditions - the link to it is here https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/941191_10151397239596806_1811403191_n.jpg and here's the t&c https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php
Thanks for the info, Arty KitKat. That is news to me and considering how many people cheat on FB contests, I'm good with that. However, I think there is a way to promote legitimately within these guidelines... gonna muddle it over for a bit. Love a good challenge! (And, I believe in playing by the rules.)
thank you so much everyone!
I didn't learn about it till really recently and have run giveaways on my facebook page in the past. I think its a real shame if fb do get too rigid with the rules as its a really great way to get exposure for a small business.
I just posted a new thread with an example site I created on FB. It's under the "social" board. Please, feel free to critique or look for anything I missed. Good Luck CW!
@Arty Kitkat and Ravens Trove, thanks so much for the info about Facebook! It really helps! and I'm about to check out your post, Ravens Trove
an @Papermoon, thanks for recommending someone to talk too!
Did you end up making your shop? I have a storenvy shop too and I'd love to check out your work! Mine is alteregodesigns.storenvy.com
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