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Practical tips for boosting your online sales.

article-sell-crafts-online.jpgDo you love getting crafty and expressing yourself by making handmade goods? Or do you consider yourself a novice who simply enjoys the art of creating? Whether you’re a masterful artist or a cautious beginner, it’s easier than ever to sell your handmade goods online and create a business from the comfort of your own home.

While putting up your offerings for the world to see may be simple, it can also feel like a saturated market. If you want to drive sales and share your craft with others, consider these five tips for standing out in the digital marketplace.

  1. Choose the right platform: You may have some of the best handmade goods around, but if you don’t have the right digital platform to share your work, it may go unnoticed. Try an e-commerce platform such as Shopifyicon_new_blue.gif or Etsyicon_new_blue.gif, or build your own site through a user-friendly service like Squarespaceicon_new_blue.gif. When choosing a platform, make sure it’s easy for you to use as you sell and manage orders so you can focus on what you do best: creating awesome handmade goods. Also, ensure it’s mobile-friendly so you can attract customers who are on-the-go and using various mobile devices. As you get started, check out these six tips for creating and maintaining a website.
    Tip: While many platforms offer easy-to-use templates, be sure to customize the colors, photography and fonts to reflect your brand.
    Related: Turn your passion into a small business with these 7 steps
  2. Image is everything: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the online marketplace, this couldn’t be more true. Photos are an important part of driving sales and can make or break your strategy. Before snapping pictures of your handmade goods, ensure you have sufficient lighting available so you can truly capture the essence of your products. In addition, consider taking photos of your products at various angles on a minimal background, so buyers can visualize your product for themselves.
    Tip: Make sure your images are high resolution and can easily be magnified for closer viewing.
  3. Tell a story: There are tons of online sellers out there, but what makes you and your products unique? When starting an online business, it’s crucial to have inviting language that tells a story and personalizes your product and your brand. Captivate your audience through stories and descriptions about your product. Why did you start creating? What do you hope others will get out of your products? Giving a glimpse into your process and story can help connect consumers to your products. Aside from telling a story and using descriptive language, highlight unique benefits about your product and use keywords that are tailored for search engines so it’s easier for consumers to find your work.
    Tip: Learn how to write product descriptions that sellicon_new_blue.gif.
  4. Promote your product: In order to drive sales, it’s important to promote your products to your target audience. As a small business owner, you’ll want to create social media profiles for your business to engage customers via numerous platforms — especially image-focused platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. In addition to increasing your social media presence, you can promote your product to a broader audience by attending networking events and using sites like Brikaicon_new_blue.gif, Etsyicon_new_blue.gif and Scoutmobicon_new_blue.gif.
    Tip: Become a social media guru with these six tips for small business owners. Also, check out these four additional ideas for marketing your products.
  5. Perfect the art of customer service: Customer experience is so important when selling your products online. Customers have come to expect ease, efficiency and promptness when shopping, and if you fail to deliver, it could hurt your business. US-online-marketplaces.png

    So, be sure to create a seamless process for your customers, from ordering to delivery. Personalize your communications and be prompt with your replies. Set realistic expectations and give accurate timelines to customers so they know exactly what to expect.
    Also keep in mind that, in today’s digital world, reviews are everything — one bad review could tarnish your reputation. Respond to customer reviews, both the positive and negative. A prompt response may go a long way toward retaining your customers and attracting new ones.
    Tip: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes… What do you (or do you not) like about past interactions you’ve had with vendors online? Use those experiences to ensure your own customer service sets you apart from the competition.
    Need some additional resources and support? Get in touch with one of our small business bankers who’re here to help!
    Related: 5 must-dos for millennial entrepreneurs

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