If you are a talented artist who can create handmade items, you probably thought about how you can sell handmade items online. Sometimes it is very hard to understand where to start. In this article, we will discuss the basics of selling homemade crafts online and the steps you can take to get started and answer some critical questions. How you answer these questions can make a difference between having high revenue thriving business or becoming frustrated and losing money.
- Who are your customers?
- What is your unique value proposition?
- What is the best online craft seller?
- How will you price your crafts?
- How do you want to promote your crafts?
- What is your shipping process? Do you want to sell locally or globally?
- How do you want to satisfy your customers with your customer service?
- What are your goals for your business?
As you can see, selling crafts online is more than just having homemade crafts to sell. But you don’t need to worry, by taking the following steps, you can easily answer these questions. Don’t forget, you have to revise your business regularly.
Pro tip: Write down these questions and your answers so that you can review and revise your business regularly. You will need it as you gain more experience on your journey.
Follow the step-by-step guide provided here and start Selling crafts online.
Step 0: selling crafts online is not just having an online store
Unlike what you will see in many digital sales commercials or online store builders, selling online is not a simple job with just a few clicks. The first thing you should understand is that having an online channel to sell your product is not equal to having a business, starting to sell, and making tons of money. So, here is the first truth: embrace yourself for a challenging journey! You are establishing an E-Commerce business, not just an E-shop.
Step 1: Know your customer before start selling crafts online
You may think this is a cliché, but no matter what business you have, it always starts with your customers. Whether you have a big workshop for crafting handmade items to sell or you to start Selling crafts online, without knowing your customers, it’s impossible to sell online. Try to ask these questions from yourself:
- How old are your customers?
- How much do they earn?
- What are the most important factors for them when they want to buy from you?
- On which platform do they prefer to buy?
Pro tip: To understand your customers, we strongly suggest learning about “Persona”. It is a very effective tool that can help you understand your customers. Read more about persona in the Solving the mystery of Create Buyer Persona article.
Step 2: Unique value of your handmade crafts
Selling crafts online means you can access a bigger market. However, this benefit comes with a price: more competition. Identifying your unique value proposition will help you stand out from the competition. You should give your customers a reason to choose you over your competitors. Try to ask yourself these questions:
What sets your crafts apart from others on the market?
Is it your use of high-quality materials, unique designs, or eco-friendliness?
Or do you have an interesting story or a unique creativity behind your handmade crafts?
Step 3: Find your best online craft seller
Based on the previous steps, you should understand where your targeted customers can be found. Do they use Google to search for what they want? Or do they use social media too often? They buy or spend their time on which platform or marketplaces?
What is the best online craft seller for you? You have 3 major options to choose from for selling crafts online. You can also use a combination of them:
- Social Media
- Online Store Builder
Since you are at the starting point, we advise you not to try too many options at this stage, having different online sales channels, especially on various social media, can be very time-consuming. It may reduce the quality of your content and cause distraction. Try to be as Niche as possible.
The best online craft seller for your handmade items is the place where the majority of your customers are active. Other characteristics like the fees, provided promotional tools, etc. should be considered next.
Read more about the Niche market in the Find a Niche Market article.
Best Marketplaces as an online craft seller
A marketplace is an online platform where buyers and sellers come together to exchange goods or services. Using a marketplace is a good starting point for selling crafts online.
You can benefit from their established customer base, lower start-up costs, exposure to a wider audience, and use crucial features like payment and shipping options. Each of these marketplaces offers unique benefits and features for sellers, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and goals for selling your handmade crafts.
Etsy is a dedicated online marketplace for handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies. It has a large and dedicated community of buyers and sellers who are interested in unique, one-of-a-kind products. Etsy allows sellers to set up their shops and list their handmade crafts, artwork, jewelry, and other creative items for sale. Therefore, it can be a great option for selling crafts online.
Sell on amazon handmade is another great option for your business. Amazon Handmade is a marketplace for handmade items that is part of the larger Amazon platform. It offers a wide range of categories for handmade products, including jewelry, home decor, and clothing. Amazon Handmade has a large and established customer base, making it a great place for artisans to reach a large audience. These characteristics made Amazon Handmade a great choice for selling crafts online.
Google Shopping is an online marketplace that can be used for selling crafts online as well. Shoppers can compare prices and buy products from different retailers in it. It allows sellers to list their products on the platform, making it easier for shoppers to find and buy their handmade crafts. Google Shopping has a large and diverse customer base, making it a great platform for reaching new buyers.
Folksy is a UK-based marketplace that specializes in handmade goods and craft supplies. It has a strong focus on supporting independent artisans and makers. It is home to a wide range of handmade goods, including jewelry, ceramics, textiles, home decor, and art. It’s easy to set up a shop on Folksy, and they offer a range of tools and resources to help sellers manage their businesses, including an easy-to-use dashboard, listing and promotion tools, and access to a supportive community of fellow sellers. This is why it is one of the most popular platforms for selling crafts online.
Best Social Media as an online craft seller
Social media can be a good option for selling crafts online because it allows targeted marketing, engagingly showcases products, provides direct communication with customers, and can be cost-effective. However, it’s important to note that social media is mostly used as a complement to, rather than a replacement for, selling online.
Instagram is a highly visual platform that’s great for showcasing your handmade crafts. You can use hashtags, stories, and reels to reach a larger audience and promote your products.
Facebook has a large user base and offers many options for selling handmade crafts, including Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Shops.
Pinterest is a visual search engine that’s great for promoting your handmade crafts. You can create boards to showcase your products and use keywords to make them more discoverable.
TikTok has become a popular platform for showcasing handmade crafts through short videos. You can use popular hashtags and sounds to reach a larger audience and promote your products.
Best Store Builder as an online craft seller
Growing your business requires a website. It provides enhanced control, branding opportunities, SEO potential, data and analytics, flexibility, and professionalism. However, it can be expensive and difficult to keep updated if you are not an IT expert.
For small businesses like yours, online store builders are extremely helpful. However, It still requires some technical knowledge to operate and update your website.
You need to do some research before choosing the best online store builders. Find more information in TOP 5 E-commerce Website Builders: Pros and Cons with Reviews article. Here are some of the most dominant online store builders which are suitable for selling crafts online.
Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform that allows you to create a fully customizable online store with a wide range of features and integrations. Shopify offers a range of themes and templates that are specifically designed for handmade crafts, allowing you to create a unique and visually appealing storefront.
Wix is a website builder that also offers e-commerce capabilities. It’s a user-friendly platform that allows you to easily create a beautiful and professional-looking online store without any technical knowledge. Wix offers a range of customizable templates that are optimized for e-commerce, including themes specifically designed for selling handmade crafts.
It is one of the best free website builders available. Square Online also offers a range of customization options, including themes and templates designed for handmade crafts. Additionally, Square Online integrates with other Square products, such as Square Point of Sale, making it easy to manage all aspects of your business from one central platform.
Step 4: Set the price for selling crafts online
Having a reliable pricing strategy for selling your homemade crafts, can be tricky. Pricing is one of the major problems of small businesses, especially in the handmade crafts industry where you have to put a value on the art of a human. There are many pricing strategies, the most suitable ones for selling crafts online are: Cost-plus pricing, Value-based pricing, and Penetration pricing.
This strategy involves adding a markup to the cost of producing a product or providing a service to determine the final selling price. The markup typically covers overhead costs, such as rent, salaries, and utilities, as well as a profit margin. If you are serious about selling crafts online, you need to consider the costs of IT infrastructure alongside mentioned costs.
This strategy involves setting prices based on the perceived value of the product or service to the customer. This approach takes into account factors such as quality, performance, and customer service, and prices are typically higher for products or services that offer more value to the customer.
If you want to use this pricing strategy for selling crafts online, you need to analyze your competitors’ offers very carefully. It will help you to find the market price and have a better guess about the perceived value of your craft for your target market.
This strategy involves setting prices low initially to gain market share and attract customers. The goal is to create demand for the product or service and gain a foothold in the market, with the expectation of raising prices once the business has established a customer base.
Whatever option you choose, make sure that your pricing strategies are relevant to your customers, your products, your marketing strategies, and your business model.
Pro tip: Always calculate your cost of creating each item and write it down.
Pro tip: Do market research. Know the price of your competitors even if you don’t want to compete with them in price.
We strongly recommend you read the “Best Ecommerce Pricing Strategy: How to Price a Product in Your Online Store” article to gain a deeper understanding of pricing strategies and which strategy is best for your online business.
Step 5: Promoting your handmade crafts
The next crucial step in selling crafts online is to decide how you want to show your product to your potential customers. You need a marketing plan for your e-commerce business, otherwise, no one will see your valuable crafts.
How much do you want to spend on your marketing? Do you want to use your social media to promote your handmade crafts, or cooperate with an Influencer or do you want to use paid advertisement?
Pro tip: The best way to get started is to promote your crafts locally. Grow your market step by step by starting with your closest circles.
Before running your marketing campaigns, you need to know how you can control your marketing performance. The AIDA model can help you a lot. Read the “Proven Steps for Using AIDA Model in Your E-commerce” article to find out more about conducting marketing campaigns.
Step 6: Define your shipping policies
Make your shipping policies clear for yourself and your customers. By taking the time to carefully consider your shipping process, you can ensure that your customers receive their orders in a timely and efficient manner, which can lead to positive reviews, repeat business, and referrals.
You should calculate the cost of shipping based on factors like weight, size, and destination. For selling crafts online, Using marketplaces and some store builders will make this step much easier and more clear. They provide an easy-to-use toolbox with different options for shipping services and cost calculations.
Step 7: Customer service for your homemade items
Providing excellent customer service is crucial for building a loyal customer base and establishing a positive reputation for your business. Conversely, failing to satisfy customers can have devastating effects, particularly for e-commerce businesses.
Negative feedback can quickly spread through social media and other online channels, leading to a loss of customers and damage to your brand’s reputation. To provide exceptional customer service, it’s important to promptly address customer concerns, provide transparent and accurate information about your handmade crafts and shipping policies, offer personalized experiences such as custom notes and creative packaging, and follow up with customers after their purchase.
If you really want to start selling crafts online and become successful, you can not forget about high-quality customer service.
Step 8: Define the goals of your E-commerce business
It is crucial to set goals for your business. Selling crafts online is not an exception. You need to have SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Try to find appropriate KPIs for your business and track your progress based on the selected measures. You can read more about KPIs Here.
You can also read more about what is KPIs and how to use them in the “OKR vs KPI: What Are the Differences and Can a KPI Become an OKR?” article.
Pro tip: For the first steps do not make things complicated for yourself. Choose easy-to-use measures. For example, if you are using social media, the “number of followers” and your “engagement rate” can be simple and easy-to-use KPIs for your business. You can read more about engagement in the Boost Customer Engagement article.
Just start now! It is a simple sentence, but it is not easy to do. Now that you know what you should do to start selling crafts online, your journey can start right now. Go grab a notebook (not a piece of paper) and try to answer all the questions. Write down your answers, you will need to review them in your path.
- Selling crafts online is more than just setting up an online shop; it’s establishing an E-Commerce business.
- Understanding your target customers is essential before start selling crafts online.
- Identifying your unique value proposition will help you stand out from the competition.
- Choose the best online craft seller based on where your target customers are active and other relevant factors.
- Pricing strategies like cost-plus pricing, value-based pricing, and penetration pricing can help you to choose a good pricing strategy.
- Marketing and promotions are crucial for showcasing your handmade crafts to potential customers.
- Define clear shipping policies to ensure timely and efficient delivery of orders.
- Excellent customer service is key to building a loyal customer base and a positive brand reputation.
- Set SMART goals for your E-commerce business to track progress and success.
- Start now by answering the critical questions and taking the necessary steps to begin your journey in selling crafts online.
Image credit: pch.vector on Freepik.