In a world where most things are mass-produced, it’s reassuring to know that there are still lots of highly skilled artisans and craftspeople out there making truly unique products and keeping alive much-treasured techniques. If you are one of those talented artisans or craftspeople, you may be relying on social media or third-party sites, like Etsy, to sell your products online. However, with a website of your own, there is so much more you can do to promote and sell your creations. Here’s how you could benefit from a website.
While running a website isn’t free, you can do it for just a few pounds per month. Compare that to selling on a third-party website, like Etsy, Amazon or eBay, where you can be charged not just high selling fees (up to 15% on some sites), but a listing fee even if the product doesn’t sell.
When you sell products from your own website, you will not pay those fees and so can earn more money for each item you sell.
Avoid the competition
If you are selling from a third-party site, anyone shopping there will also be shown products from your competitors. Indeed, some competitors will have paid extra to have their products take centre stage in searches. All this means your products have a smaller chance of being chosen by prospective buyers.
Obviously, you won’t be showing your competitors’ products on your own website, so the focus of their attention will be solely on the items you have to offer.
Your products shown your way
The great thing about creating your own website is that you have full control over how the site looks and how you choose to promote your products. You are not limited by the restrictions of a third-party website’s design or by its limitations on things like the number and size of images you display.
Importantly, a website gives you the ability to build an online space that is welcoming to your specific customers, and which creates a brand identity that they associate with.
More than a store
Selling products on a third-party online store can actually limit your potential, as all you do is focus on making pieces to sell. As an artisan and craftsperson, however, you are also able to provide bespoke services to individual customers. Whether you make jewellery, do stonemasonry, create furniture, design dresses or anything else, with your own website, you can sell premade items and offer your bespoke services. The site can include an online store and a services section where people can see a portfolio of your tailor-made items and get in touch about their own requirements.
Provide online tools
If you have a website, you can install a range of online tools to make shopping and ordering products even more convenient for your customers. These can include price and shipping calculators, image uploads, design and measurement tools and even the latest augmented reality apps where customers can see your products in their own homes to see how they look. You can also install a chatbot that can provide 24/7 real-time assistance to your customers. Of course, the most important tool is the checkout, enabling shoppers to pay for items online. This makes remote shopping possible and lets you offer services like click-and-collect or staggered payment options.
Be found online
While any third-party site you list products on might get lots of visitors, selling items there won’t do much to get your own brand’s name into the public realm. When you create a website, it will be indexed by search engines like Google and Bing, enabling the items you list for sale and the services you offer to appear in search results. As a result, you will begin to get noticed online and will attract visitors who are interested in the particular products and services you offer.
What’s more, you can link to your own website on social media, enabling people to see your products on sites like Instagram and Facebook and then buy them directly from your website. This not only helps boost sales but reduces any fees accrued from selling on a social media platform.
In today’s market, the internet is everyone’s first port of call when looking for a product or service. If you offer services or premade products, having your own website can cut the costs of listing on third-party sites and remove the restrictions that those sites impose. You will be able to sell your products and services in the way that best suits your business and the needs of your customers. It also gives you the opportunity to develop your own online presence, get listed in search engine results and develop your own brand identity.
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