One of the best places today to sell your handmade crafts online is your own store! With your online store, you will have limitless opportunities for growth, not to mention being your own boss and not conforming to anyone’s rules. If you are worried about the technicalities of building your own store, then you do not have to, at least not from scratch. Today’s technological advantages have made it possible to create a handmade crafts store in minutes, and at a fraction of the cost, it would take to have coding classes or hire a programmer. Website builders like Wix and BigCommerce will make you a dazzling, brand new website in minutes!
There are still many more critical aspects involved in the creations of a thriving store, and here is a reliable guide to creating your own online crafts store.
Choose a website builder
The first step in making your online crafts store is to select a website builder to create and host your website. When looking for a great website builder, look for one that is highly popular, offers excellent security from hackers (SSL certificate, PCI compliance), continuous upgrades, user-friendly, and most of all fits your budget. As a creative looking to appeal to other creatives, you also want a website that looks beautiful, elegant, and appealing. Your website should also be easy to design and to upload images, videos, and slideshows. Below are two of the finest website builders for you to select from.
Shopify often makes first on the list of the best e-commerce website builders. It runs over 800,000 stores on which products worth over $80 billion have been sold. Shopify is preferred by many store builders for being a one-stop-shop for many of the features required to run an online store effectively. Some of the features you’ll enjoy on Shopify include access to 5 free and over 100 fully customizable premium themes, an incredibly user-friendly user interface, and shopping cart functionality plus abandoned cart management.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial that you can start with for testing, then later start with the lowest package (Shopify Basic) for $29.
In addition to offering you a great website with e-commerce functionality, SquareSpace is loved by many for the outstanding website design options it provides its clients with. With access to incredibly beautiful themes that can be integrated to provide the most optimal design, SquareSpace also lets you upload and drag images, videos, and other graphics as you wish. In addition to letting you build an elegant website, SquareSpace offers you real-time carrier shipping, abandoned cart recovery, and so many more. SquareSpace monthly fees are quite hefty ($30 billed monthly or $26 billed yearly) but are a reliable investment.
Select your monthly plan
Once you have chosen your website builder, the next step will be to decide what monthly plan works for you. You need to avoid the free plans because they may flood your storefront with ads, which will tank your professional image. Instead, opt for a lower plan if you are on a budget; they often offer sufficient features to get your wooden products store off the ground. When selecting a plan, ensure that it offers these features:
- Ability to integrate a domain name and personal logo
- Sufficient bandwidth and storage space
- Customer support
- Abandoned cart recovery
- SSL certificate
Select a domain name and template
Your domain name and template deserve additional attention because they will determine your clients’ first impression of your business. Your domain name is the address that your clients will type into their browsers to find your online store. It should, therefore, be professional, catchy, relevant, and memorable. You also want to avoid having numbers and symbols on your domain name.
Selecting your website template is just as important; your website design must be impressive to increase your chances of making a sale. A great website will also portray your products as high-value and of excellent quality. Try a few themes first, customize them, and test them for appearance and functionality. When customizing your website storefront, consider these factors:
- Ensure the site interface is clean (avoid cluttering it with widgets, images, and other items).
- Your design should appeal to your target clients
- The site should portray your brand (color, product type, and niche)
- Integrate social media, a blog, and other tools that will come in handy when marketing
- Ensure the design is mobile-responsive
Add products to your store
Adding products to your online business will be a breeze. Simply upload photographs, add a product description and price, then hit upload. Your photographs should be high definition (not grainy or shadowy, and should be taken in a well-lit background). Also ensure that your product descriptions are specific, catchy, and honest. Are you willing to offer any after-sales services (customization, painting, engraving)? Include them here to increase your shot of making a sale.
Set up a payment method
If you are using Shopify, you can use Shopify Payments plus other common methods like PayPal, Ecwid, Apple Pay, and credit/debit cards. These methods can also be added on websites running on other e-commerce platforms.
Launch your website and market it heavily
Once you set up all the aspects above, it is time to get your online store found. Ensure you run a thorough test before you hit publish to ensure that your payment options, add-ons, widgets, and other site features work well.
You will be competing with other established businesspeople on sites like Etsy, Pinterest, and Amazon. You must, therefore, ensure your website is optimized for search engines so that clients find your website. In addition to SEO, marketing is crucial to grow your website. You can use social media, email marketing, blogging, and other methods of content marketing, and mass media advertisements. Your website builder will also have apps and plugins that you can use to enhance online store marketing.
To have a successful online wooden crafts store, take the tips above into your consideration and continue marketing your store for sustained business growth. You will also need to keep up with trends in art and design, so you consistently offer high quality and unique pieces.