How to sell handmade clutch bags online

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How to sell handmade clutch bags online

The Internet is a great marketing space to display, promote and sell your handmade clutch bags to customers all around the world.

After you spend time creating stylish clutch bags, it’s time to figure out where and how to sell your items. Will you do it on a platform specific to selling crafts such as Etsy or Dawanda? Or would you prefer a virtual storefront with more customization options such as Shopify or BigCommerce?

  

Online Marketplaces vs E-commerce Stores

how to sell handmade clutch bags online successfully

Online Marketplaces - Easy to sell

A marketplace is a multi-vendor online store that enables consumers to shop for a variety of products and brands from multiple vendors across multiple locations.

Marketplaces make it convenient for businesses to list and sell their products by taking care of all the operational aspects (from providing a platform, integrating with payment providers, streamlining order fulfillment, to managing customer service) providing customers a plethora of options while ensuring quality. The underlying idea behind a marketplace is to build a community around the common needs of retailers and consumers. Examples of popular marketplaces include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Dawanda and others.

If you are selling handmade or crafty related items, web platforms with built-in audiences like Etsy are a great place to get started selling your wares.

In Etsy, all design and infrastructure is already in place, it’s incredibly easy to list your products. You can immediately start benefiting from the large volume of people who are searching Etsy every day, without paying a monthly flat fee or worrying about building a site from scratch.

 

The benefits of selling through online marketplaces

  • Marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy get oodles of traffic. They give you access to millions of potential customers.

  • For the most part, buyers trust these sites. They’re generally comfortable making purchases on well-known marketplaces.

  • It’s easy to sell on them. The infrastructure is all set up for the seller, and the marketplace handles the checkout process.

The downsides to selling on marketplaces

  • They charge fees. In most cases, you give up a percentage of each sale as the cost of doing business on the marketplace.

  • It’s highly competitive. There might be hundreds, even thousands, of other craft sellers competing for eyes on the same marketplace site.

  • It’s not about your brand. Sure, you can promote your products - within the marketplace site’s branded framework.

  • You don’t have control over customer information. The marketplace sites do.


Ecommerce Store - Build Your Own

With your own Ecommerce store, you get the opportunity to create a more personal, branded space to highlight your products. It’s also easier to integrate your social networking, build a mailing list, manage SEO and connect to your blog, if you have one.

In my opinion, having a customised Ecommerce store looks more professional and gives your brand or business a little more cache.

The benefits of having your own Ecommerce store

  • When you sell handmade items online from your own store, you have control over your branding and content. You can truly build a brand — from the visual brand elements you incorporate into your website design to the customer engagement that comes from having an integrated blog, signup forms and social media profiles.

  • You keep what you make from each sale — as opposed to paying a fee per transaction to Etsy or Dawanda.

  • You have access to your customers’ information. When someone makes a purchase on your online store, you’ve got all the information you need to start developing a longer-term relationship with that customer — name, email, etc.

  • You can develop targeted promotions and discounts. With your dedicated website as a lead-generating machine, you can then retarget your email list with special discounts and promotions — and track the effectiveness of each offer.

Conclusion

Online marketplaces can help you quickly reach a wider audience with a smaller investment, Ecommerce stores help you build your brand, personalize your offering, and drive customer relationship and experience. If you are going to be selling online for the long term, e-commerce store is absolutely necessary.

  

Taking Photos for Your Products

Taking Photos to sell your handmade items online

"A picture is worth a thousand words."

Photographs are key. When you sell online, your photos will make or break your business.

The photo is the first thing that captures the eye, and usually the largest part of the decision-making process when all is said and done. I even know people who barely even READ the description, but just buy pretty much immediately based on the photo of an item. So a beautiful photograph is a tribute to the work you put into your products.

Photo Tips

  • Consistent, simple, yet iconic backgrounds – nothing too ‘busy’ that might detract from your item

  • Take as many shots of your items as you can from all different angles

  • Natural or filtered white light (not flash)

  • Don’t clutter the image. Make it simple

  • Look in books and magazines for inspiration

Free Online Photo Editors

  

Price Your Items

Pricing Your handmade items to sell online

This is a crucial and tricky step. Make sure that you cover all your direct and indirect costs as well as figure in compensation for your labor and a profit. However, you also don't want to be priced out of the range of your competition or higher than what the market will bear.

Research your customers by attending shows that you plan to sell at, visiting boutiques and looking online. Find handbags that are comparable to the ones you are making and take notes about their prices.

  

Blogging

how to start a blog to sell handmade clutch bags

Blog is the easiest and most cost-effective way for you to promote your handmade items and market yourself. There is no other way that you can reach customer from all around the world at all hours of the day and night without having to even be in attendance.

Furthermore, this is the No.1 way you can build community around your brand, build buzz about your work, and make money while you are having lunch, walking dog, or even sleeping.

Blogging Platforms

If you have not already chosen a blogging platform, here are a few to consider. These are some of the most popular options right now.
  • WordPress : Building a site from the ground up, turning a blogging hobby into an eCommerce site, and those looking for robust customization via widgets and plugins.

  • Tumble : Quickly posting and reblogging others’ content, following other bloggers, and those with little blogging experience.

  • Blogger : Simple customization and beginners seeking a middle ground between WordPress and Tumblr.

Ideas for Posts

  • Explain your creative process

  • Studio/workspace

  • Tell the personal story behind your work

  • Offer ideas for what to do with your products

  • Post Tutorials

  • New goodies

  • Host contests and giveaways

  • Personal or business goals and plans

  • Share resources

  • Treasury features

    Tips for making a Blog successful

    • Have a clean-looking

    • Post as often as possible

    • Keep your content friendly, helpful, interesting, original and to the point.

    • Attracting Photos

    • Provide links to like-minded and inspiring sites

      

    Social Media Marketing

    Social Media Marketing for handmade business

    Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Your customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you're not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you're missing out!

    Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.

    Social media marketing can help with a number of goals, such as:

    • Increasing website traffic

    • Building conversions

    • Raising brand awareness

    • Creating a brand identity and positive brand association

    • Improving communication and interaction with key audiences

    The bigger and more engaged your audience is on social media networks, the easier it will be for you to achieve every other marketing goal on your list!

      

    Collect Email for Newsletter

    Promote your handmade items online and newsletter marketing

    Mailing lists are made up of people who have deliberately agreed to receive emails from you to hear more about you, your business, and your products or services.

    Having a list of email addresses can be very beneficial for your handmade business. It offers the opportunity to send those people email newsletters informing them about your products, services, special offers, and other stuff which can be a great way for you to increase your sales.

    • Email marketing can increase buying opportunities

    • It keeps your business at the front of your customers’ minds

    • It’s an affordable marketing option

     
    Here’s a quick list of free options:

      

    Online Reviews

    How to get positive reviews for your handmade products

    Selling the handmade items online, custom review is an essential part of your business, and every selling site i know about has an option for people to leave reviews about their purchases.

    Reviewing your feedback is another way a buyer may decide if they want to shop at your store or not. Hopefully people leave you glowing feedback all the time, mentioning your quick shipping, effective and safe packaging, and the overall incredibleness of your design and quality.

    How to encourage customer reviews

    • Send Out Friendly Emails

    You should learn how to build email campaigns that you can send out to customers who've had the product in their hands for a week or two - this will give them enough time to learn about the product, and also to experience it enough to write a review about it. Be gentle, kind, and ask what else you can do to help.

    • Reviewing Should be Easy

    Make leaving reviews accessible, easy and also rewarding; like setting up a coupon for $5 off for the next order! It will surprise your customer, and increase her trust in your business.

    • Coupons, Discounts & Sneak Previews

    Offering a special coupon after some submits a review might prove to be very beneficial, at the same time – discount codes, or sneak previews of upcoming products is also a great way to encourage customers to be a part of your community.

      

    Go the Extra Mile

    Go the Extra Mile with your handmade business

    "Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price."

    After your customers completed the online orders, consider how your handmade goods are presented when the box you packed is opened up. Would you rather open a box and find pretty tissue paper and ribbon lovingly wrapped around your new purchase with a sweet note attached? Or do you actually enjoy finding things shrink-wrapped inside those air bubble packs with an invoice?

    There are many ways to make your customers feel special. I hope this example for order packing will spark an idea in your head to do something more than expected by customers.

    Tips for providing a superior customer experience

    • Communicate more than you think you need to

    • Send a personalised thank you to your customer

    • UNDER-Promise + OVER-Deliver

      

    growing handmade business with customer service

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    Comments 1
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer

      Thank you. I learnt a lot from this article.

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