Posted on September 04 2019
Setting up a business can be a daunting task. Once you’ve had your initial spark of inspiration to start selling your own products, there’s a whole world of other aspects to consider before you serve your first customer. If you’re looking to start selling your pins, keyrings or stickers online, we’ve asked our experts to offer their top tips for business success.
How to choose the right platform
Choosing WHERE to sell your products is the first step to setting up your own business. There are plenty of options out there, but which one is best for you?
Etsy is a great choice for sellers offering crafty products or their designs. With over 30 million shoppers using the platform, the minimal selling costs and easy to use shopfronts are a great way to get noticed. The only drawback of Etsy is the sheer amount of competition, with over 2 million shops already selling their wares it’s vital that you put in the work to get ahead of the competition!
Artisan sellers can also take advantage of Amazon Handmade. As one of the most well-known selling sites, Amazon is ideal for those selling their own designs, however, there are a few things to consider! Not all applications to sell on Amazon are accepted, they are selective about who they accept. You’re also competing against a large number of sellers, so well written descriptions and great imagery is a must.
With over 160 million shoppers using eBay each year, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular selling sites for creative types! You don’t have to pay anything to list up to 50 items, ideal for businesses with a small product offering, simply pay a commission when the items sell. As always, competition is fierce! You’re competing against millions of other sellers and the online auction format means you might not get the price you want for your goods.
Another option to consider is setting up your own website, taking out the middle man and ensuring all the proceeds go into your pocket. Obviously, with your own website, you have more autonomy about how the site looks and the prices that you set. It is important to remember that setting up your own site requires a lot more effort when it comes to drawing in the customers, there is also upkeep to consider and upfront costs such as buying the domain name and designing the site.
How to stand out from the crowd
It’s not enough to just have an online store, you need to make sure that you put the time and effort into making it a place customers want to visit. Just like a brick-and-mortar store, your online store needs to look the part! Here are our top tips for making sure yours stands out from the crowd.Who are you?
First thing’s first, it’s time to create your seller profile! If a customer is choosing to shop in smaller boutique stores, they want to know the person behind the designs. Create a bio that shows your personality, what your qualifications are and why you decided to start selling your products. You should convey how much you love what you do! Get excited about your own products and the customers will soon follow suit.Picture perfect
It’s vital that you use professional images when selling your products. Grainy shots taken on your phone are not enough these days, you want to instil confidence in your shoppers and only the best will do. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take great shots! Platforms such as Etsy and eBay offer image editing tools to get your pictures looking sharp. Invest in a backdrop for your products and make sure you offer plenty of angles, your customers want to see everything before they click that ‘buy’ button.What’s so special?
Here’s where you think about what sets you apart from the competition. It’s important to be unique when selling online, especially if you’re competing with thousands of other sellers offering similar wares. If you have turned your own designs into keyrings, charms, stickers or pin badges, tell your shoppers more about them! Focus on your own profile as a creator and let them know they are buying something that they won’t see on every other person in the street.Going the extra mile
Once you have that sale, don’t let your effort stop there! Customers remember great service and something as small as great packaging, or a handwritten note thanking them for their purchase will lead to repeat visits.
How to offer great customer service
In order to successfully set up and run a business, you need to make sure you’re constantly ‘on the ball’. Great customer service is a must in today’s online world and shoppers will take notice of reviews, testimonials and social media shoutouts from happy customers. In order to maintain an excellent level of customer service, here are some of our favourite expert tips.
- Encourage dialogue with customers by asking for feedback and commenting regularly on your social media pages.
- Check your emails and message boxes regularly and always respond to queries promptly and politely.
- Respond to all feedback, even the negative ones! Customers will have more trust in a seller who is transparent.
- Price your goods properly, don’t sell yourself short and don’t try and take advantage of customers! Fair pricing will go a long way.
Setting up your own business is a journey, luckily we’re here to help take some of that stress away! From custom brand merchandise such as keyrings, stickers and charms, to the tools you need to bring your product designs to life. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get started.