Should You Create an Online Store for Your Home Craft Business?Alex Sky
Lots of people these days who have a talent for crafts and design sell their products online. You can sell things you have designed and made yourself using all kinds of readily available platforms like Etsy and eBay Stores. However, if you feel that your craft business could be doing more business, you may want to create your own ecommerce site and sell directly from there, cutting out the middleman. Is this a good idea for your craft shop at this time, or are you better off sticking with third party platforms?
How Ready Are You To Promote?
One thing you will have to take ownership of when you try and sell via your own ecommerce website is the promotion. While sites like Etsy and eBay already have keen users browsing them for new items, you’ll have to bring users in using techniques familiar to internet marketers like search engine optimization and social media marketing. Why would you go to this extra effort, you may ask? Well, when a user is on eBay or Etsy they will not only be presented with your own products, but also those of every competitor you have in the country, or even the world, whereas when they find your site your beautiful creations will be the only ones on offer to them.
If you want to start marketing your crafts from your own site, you can get some great benefits, but you’ll need to be prepared to invest time, and possibly money, in getting your website out there and having people come to it.
Are You Ecommerce Ready?
You can easily find open source software like Magento that can help you create, curate and deliver through your own online store. However, you need to understand what this entails as a seller. Can you promise those cute children’s hats you knit can be shipped the next day, when you only have two pre-made and it’ll take you a few days to make more stock? Think about your ecommerce strategy. If you have a backlog of unique pieces to sell that is one thing, but if you want to keep making and selling the same designs you need to have a plan for how quickly you can offer to fulfill people’s orders.
Think It Through
If you woke up to find 10 people in another country had ordered something it takes you a day to make expecting 48 hour shipping, could you give them what they want? Customers who really want your product will accept your delivery times, so never over promise, and make sure you have really thought through your offerings.
Starting your own ecommerce site can be a really good idea and a natural extension if you are already doing a blog or website to promote your Etsy or eBay sales. Just make sure you don’t sell more than you can cope with – sales are great, but orders you can’t fulfill can destroy all your work on building up a good brand.