The handmade crafts market in UK is set to boom in the next few years! How do we know this?
Given that, whatever happens in the USA will eventually arrive over here in Europe at some time and according to the statistics of a very large U.S. craft selling website, in September 2011, they sold 1,466,039 items for $26.6 million. It would appear that the Americans love their handmade goods and have taken this particular website to their hearts; helped on by some pretty nifty marketing and a TV personality.
We British and the rest of the English speaking world are a bit more reserved when it comes to such things it would seem. There are a number of small craft websites in U.K. and most are every bit as good as ones across the pond but growth has been much slower. However, the signs are positive! MyOwnCreation has a statistics page hidden away but available for everyone to see and that shows that turnover has doubled in the last 6 months. True, that could be due to all sorts of reasons but according to them, it's due to the recession. Quite simply, more people are making things at home to sell.
Take a look at another of our articles about the growth in the Handmade Market: http://www.myowncreation.co.uk/news/article.asp?id=50
So, why bother selling handmade goods on MyOwnCreation? Well, that's a very good question but the answer is quite simple. MyOwnCreation do an awful lot of marketing for you behind the scenes. It really is a one stop does it all website. sadly though, marketing is a massive area and required a lot of hard work from everyone. With so many people now trying to sell handmade crafts the seller must do more than simply list it online and sit back! here are 10 ways to improve.
1. List your items on MyOwnCreation. It's quite simply a good place to start and is the absolute minimum anyone who is serious about selling handmade items should do. Without doing this the ball is just not rolling.
2. Create your own FREE MyOwnCreation Shop. Its very easy to do and everything is automatically updated whenever you add or update an item. Just fill in a few details about your shop i.e. give it a name and a really positive profile. Anything you change about the shop (except the name) is instantly updated so you can play with it until it looks right.
3. Keep it up to date. Empty shops are no good to anyone and an empty online shop is just the same. Some people have the idea that merely creating a shop with their name on it is somehow going to improve their own presence on the web. Sadly wrong. If you don't give search engines anything to look at, like real customers, they won't come back. Besides, empty shops are deleted by MyOwnCreation after a short while.
Keeping your shop up to date also means making sure that you have a good stock of LIVE items displayed. Nothing happens overnight so don't get dis-heartened if it doesn't sell immediately. Ask any marketing expert, it's all about hard work and patience; and when it comes to Google, patience is what you need! Re-list for as long as you have the item to sell.
4. Stand out from the crowd.
Stand out from your competitors by emphasizing what you do differently.
- is it being more enthusiastic, truly believing in what you do?
- is it offering better value, because you found a great supplier that gives you products for free or cheap perhaps shipping packing material from an art store that throws away the cardboard, etc. Use the shop PROFILE to tell everyone this valuable information.
5. Use keywords.
Keywords as far as google are concerned are finished but that does not make them any less important as many other websites still use them. When you create or edit your shop details you are given the chance to add a few keywords or phrases. So, if you sell handmade jewellery, your keywords would be: jewellery, handmade jewellery, buy handmade jewellery,jewelry etc. But don't stop there! You should continue to use these very words in your descriptions and in your shop profile. It all helps to bring YOUR shop page nearer to the top of the list.
6. Take a good photo - always.
A listing without a photo is pretty much a waste of time. Best tip is to have a photo ready BEFORE you start your listing. We currently only accept images of less than 200k in size. This is a problem we are working on...
The main reason that it's best to have you image ready BEFORE you start your listing is because we feed everything to Twitter and Facebook every 3 hours. If you are unlucky with your timing then your listing could be sent without a photo. Better than nothing but much better with!
7. Fill in every box.
To allow you to say what you want to in a clear and organised manner, we have given you lots of boxes to fill in. These are for your profile, strap line or messages, term, postage etc. They all appear on your page as an expanding window so your screen does not get cluttered. All boxes give important information to your customers so make sure they are all accurate.
8. Tweet all your listings.
Twitter is a really easy and quick way to give potential or existing customers the low-down on everything new and fabulous in your MyOwnCreation shop. You can tweet about newest additions, featured products and even upcoming or existing sales. MyOwnCreation make it easy for you to tweet everything in your shop by providing a share button for you, and everyone else to use.
9. Facebook Fan Page
Everyone is on Facebook, and you should be, too. By creating a Facebook fan page you can not only increase product awareness, but it's also another outlet for you to sell your stuff! MyOwnCreation has its own Facebook page and everything that gets added or updated on the website gets sent through to our page. But that should not stop you or anyone else pressing the LIKE button found on your items pages.
10. Create a lasting impression.
It's more personal than buying from a big shop or online store but buyers really like to see a bit of branding. So this is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression and have them come back for more. There are a number of different ways you can create a lasting impression on your customer from branding your products, including a freebie in your packages, or even just passing along a hand-written thank you note. Customers will appreciate you going the extra mile for them!
Take hope! The market for handmade is growing. Be ready!