I get to spend a lot of time looking at handmade products on Etsy, Folksy and on retailer’s websites. Seriously, I love my job! But all too often I end up shouting at my computer and wanting to give the website owner a (gentle) shake. So many talented, creative women are missing easy ways to make money when it comes to selling their products online! Are you making one of these five fatal mistakes?
1. Photography – I’m all for scrimping and saving when starting a business. But if you’re selling beautiful products that rely on visuals, photography is one area where you need to invest. Buy or borrow a decent camera, and learn how to use it. Read-up on how to style photographs and make a light box if you’re selling jewellery. If you’re not sure how your existing photos measure-up, take a look at one of the high street stores online and see how they display their products. Seriously, it makes a huge difference.
2. About page – people buy from people, and even more so when it comes to buying handmade. Everyone loves a story, and shoppers love to know what makes you and your products so special (because believe me, they are). Your about page is a chance to really create a connection with your customers and convince them that they want to buy. So don’t skip it altogether or state the obvious like “I make greetings cards for customers around the UK”. They already know that if they’re on your site! Give your about page some love, and let your personality shine.
3. Product descriptions – now we creative types are often very good with our hands, but not always as confident when it comes to describing our wares. Do you err on the minimalistic side when writing your product descriptions? If so, you’re missing a trick! Go into detail. Excite your customers. Tell them why this product is do damn special. Who it would be good for. What they should wear it with. Why the quality is so fantastic. How you carefully sourced the ingredients, and lovingly made it by hand. Tell them why they need it, and make it difficult to say no.
4. Delivery information and returns policy – too often, its simply not there. Not only is this breaking the law, but its a lost opportunity too. Imagine I’m buying something for a birthday present, and I want it next week. Your website doesn’t mention how long you take to ship items, a competitor’s does. Now then, which one am I going to choose?
5. Under pricing - nine times out of ten, it’s too low. Something grabs my eye, but the price….well, it’s just too cheap! Doubts start creeping into my mind. Can it really be that well made? Is there something wrong with it? I’m not recommending you start doubling your prices just for the hell of it….but then again, why not?! Seriously, pricing too low is bad for your bottom line and bad for your brand.
Do you recognise any of these? Some may be obvious, others might be a little less so. If you’d like someone to take a look at your website and give you some feedback, leave a comment below. And don’t worry if you are making any of these mistakes – with a little care and attention, they are all easily fixed!
I’ll be going into more detail on each of them over the next few weeks. Make sure you’re signed-up to my newsletter to get updates right into your inbox.