6 Things Every Online Shop Needs to be Successful

May 25, 2016 | Handmade Business Tips

Starting and growing your own business will be a path of trial and error. You have to try things out to see what works and what doesn’t. But, there are a few things that all successful handmade shop owners know you can’t succeed without. You can think of them as “pre requisites” for success if you wish.

So… why not start with them?

Starting and growing your own business will be a path of trial and error. You have to try things out to see what works and what doesn’t. But, there are a few things that all successful handmade shop owners know you can’t succeed without. You can think of them as “pre requisites” for success if you wish. So… why not start with them?

Create something people will want to buy

Duh.

This seems so damn obvious, I know. But honestly, that’s where a lot of businesses fail. There’s a difference between thinking that people will like what you create, and actually creating something that people will want to buy.

As Jess Van Den puts it: “When you start making for profit rather than for pleasure, your perspective needs to shift.”

When you stop creating for your own fun and want to make a living out of what you make, you have to make sure that you are at the intersection between ‘something you can produce’ and ‘something people will buy’.

So before you dive headfirst and start making hundreds of products, start with some market research. If you think that competition is the enemy, you couldn’t be further away from the truth. If someone else is already making money out there, why can’t you?

Create something that you can duplicate

This is equally as important. When you craft as a hobby, making unique items is perfectly fine. But when you want to start selling your crafts, you have to make items that are reproducible. This is because:

– you want to design consistent product lines so your customers have a clear idea of what your brand is all about

– you need to be able to know in advance how much making one more unit will cost you (time + $).

Limited editions are cool, but they shouldn’t be the foundation of your business.

NB: Of course if you’re making hand-dyed cushions cover I am not saying they should all be exactly the same.. but you get my point 😉

Take professional product pictures

If you plan on selling online, remember that people base everything they know about your products on what they can see: your product images.

Your customers are basically buying a picture of your products. Make sure that picture looks great.

If your pictures are blurry, too zoomed in, taken on a weird angle, too dark, too bright… It is going to be hard to convince your potential customer that they will receive exactly what they see, and in turns 10 times harder to sell anything to them.

Get your own website

If you take your handmade business seriously, you really need a website.

Etsy is great and it’s perfect to start if you don’t want to build your own shop from the start, but you do need a home on the internet. And that means a website on a domain you own, not a space you rent on an online marketplace. Here are 9 reasons why.

Rest assured, you don’t have to start off with a big, over complicated website if you don’t want to. Actually, why not start with a one-page website to compliment your etsy shop?

Build an Email list

Nothing beats email marketing when it comes to marketing your online shop. Not even social media. If you are on Facebook, Instagram or any other social network, but don’t have an email list yet… You’re not doing things in the right order :p

Trust me, email marketing is THE most important thing you need to be doing to grow your handmade biz.

I actually wrote an entire post about email marketing for handmade shops, where I also explain how to use it to grow your biz. Check it out!

Make sure you price for profit

Another “Duh” moment. Duh-GIF

But I am still going to say it: You are probably selling your products for less than what you should.

I know, it is soooo hard to put the prices up because it is scary. What if it turns people off and no one buys your stuff??

Well my friend, this is well less of an issue than selling a ton of products that you’re not charging enough for. You need to pay yourself, you need to pay the bills, you need to buy the materials. Price accordingly. It is the only way you’re ever going to build a successful and profitable online shop.

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