If you don’t already read Mashable, I highly recommend it. It’s definitely more focused on the technical end of business, but they sometimes have great ideas for promoting your business on social media and for improving your sales online that you can teak to make work for your small craft business!
I especially liked this article on 10 Ways to Boost Sales on Your eCommerce Site. The pointers are very obviously for bigger eCommerce sites, but if you think outside of the box a little bit you can pull out ideas that apply to anyone that sells online. Here are some a few ways:
1. Keep Easy Navigation – This is great advice if you have your own website, but it can also work well if you just have an Etsy shop like me. Etsy allows that you add categories to your store to put items in. If you have a large number of items, be sure to use these categories and use them well. It’ll help customers easily find what they’re looking for without any frustration.
2. Get a Great Search Bar – Definitely! Hard to find or difficult searches can frustrate your customers and make it easy to move on from your site. Once again, you can still use this tip if you sell in an online community like Etsy, Artfire, etc. When you are tagging your items do a quick search for items that are similar and see what tags other people are using. Also make sure to tag your products in a way that you would search.
3. Keep it Simple – Do you see a theme here? Simple, easy, and quick are key. If there is a way to offer multiple payment options to your customers, do so.
4. Extra Features – You want your customers to feel special. Be sure to include a little thank you note or coupon card in your shipments. You’ll be surprised the effect that little extra step has.
5. Looks Are Everything – Especially in retail, this is important. Even if you don’t design your own website, make sure your store banner is pretty and simple. Be sure your photos are crisp and clearly show off the product. Investing in a better camera could translate to more sales because the photography is important.
6. Give Details – The description of your product is the only other information your customers will have besides the photos. Make sure they are full of details and enticing!
7. Shipping – It can be really tricky to keep shipping prices low. A tip a friend once gave me is to include the shipping cost in the total cost of the product and list the item as free shipping! It seems like a simple trick, but it really works.
8. Be Honest – No one likes to feel tricked after they just gave you their hard earned money. Be sure your store policies clearly reflect any returns, damaged product, etc.
9. Be Human – It’s easy to loose track of who’s really making the products behind the screen of a computer. Be sure to include a little of your personality into your promotions!
10. Be Browser-Friendly – This is more for those of you tech savvy enough to run your own sites, but it’s true. If you can you definitely want your site to look good in multiple browsers. I know most of the population uses one or two, but most is not all.
So there you have it! Some tips for making your online presence even better and translating that into some sales.