The digital global retail marketplace has experienced exponential growth over the last 5 years providing new opportunities to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and craft sellers alike. New technological advancements have provided the sole proprietor unlimited abilities for easily selling products direct to consumer, creating a newly formed cottage industry and altering the primary roles of traditional craft sellers.
The new age craft seller does more than just knit or paint. In fact, the craft seller is a multi-faceted business person relying on multiple channels for marketing online, supplying customer support, and managing their own inventory and logistics. Not only are they working a traditional 9 to 5 workday seeking success, but they find themselves in the evening creating and bringing their next product idea to life. The following marketing tips for craft sellers will help you to refocus on a more lucrative and time efficient marketing strategy for selling on sites like Etsy and seeking your own entrepreneurial success.
Where The Consumer Stands
Before we get started, you need to understand where today’s tech savvy consumer stands. A fifth of consumers have had their purchases influenced by a digital ad. This does not mean you need to worry about throwing hundreds or even thousands into Google Ads to make a sale. However, this does mean that you need to look for ways to partner with powerful and influential bloggers and cottage style websites, seeking potential sponsor advertising on their site. The digital age has provided many independent craft sellers an ability to directly market to their desired demographic.
This goes into the next point. More than 90% of consumers trust an online recommendation for a product. Did you think the power of word to mouth disappeared with the internet? Wrong again! If anything it is more important than ever. More consumers trust a strangers anonymous recommendation over a business ad. Once again, your influential blogger will play an important role in becoming a part of your marketing strategy for success.
The Ecommerce industry has seen increasing success in recent years. Reaching more than $1 trillion in total industry revenue for the first time in 2012, the availability of purchasing products online directly from businesses is an ever enticing convenience to consumers. With such a low barrier to entry, crafter sellers are provided many avenues to get their product readily available to consumers.
The Value of Marketing
The digital age has provided many opportunities to craft sellers to market to consumers. Whether you operate and manage your own website, sell on an ecommerce site like Etsy, have a social presence, or offer your product in a local store; consumers look for a strong brand presence and reputation before purchasing. The more multi-channel your strategy, the better off you are.
Mobile shopping has also seen vast growth in recent years. More than a fifth of mobile users have made purchases while offline. These purchases are mostly made in the comfort of their home and follow research in price comparison and searches for coupons and discounts. Keeping these facts in mind, today’s marketplace has also experienced growing amounts of competition. Follow these marketing tips to help rise above these existing barriers.
5 Ways to Set Yourself Apart
Competitively positioning yourself against other brands and crafters will help move you into your own market niche. The following general steps will get your feet wet and provide you with some ideas to get a new strategy in place or review your current one.
1. Work to Understand Your Customer
Business 101 teaches you the importance of maintaining loyal customers. It is more costly to acquire a new customer so why not implement a loyalty program for your existing ones? If you have a customer that purchases a good amount of paper products from you, than offer them a discount on their next purchase for paper products. Give them free shipping on their next purchase. For those smaller shops that have less than a hundred sales, plan on throwing yourself a 100th sale giveaway contest on your social media site to increase engagement and get customers involved.
Secondly, aim to understand your customers needs. What are they visiting your shop to purchase and what is it that they may need more of? Is there something that you are not offering them that may help them out on their next visit? Take some time to place yourself into the mind of the shopper.
2. Know Your Competition
If you don’t know your competition, it is time to become familiar with them. Taking some time to measure those competing against you will allow you to identify missing gaps in the marketplace. Is your competition selling a lot of a single style or theme product but not offering alternative options? Maybe that is something you should test out in your own shop.
3. What Unique Value Do You Offer the Customer
You need to first understand what it is you have to offer the consumer. Do you have a good infrastructure of access to supplies other sellers do not? Are you experienced and familiar with a specialized market? Do you offer a premium quality? Highlighting your strengths will help to build consumer confidence levels and align your unique differences from your competitors.
4. Position Yourself For Success
What is it that you have to offer? Your products should clearly relay the following messages to your customer.
- You offer a unique or exclusive set of products.
- Your design is superior and more functional for the customer.
- Your service exceeds any form of customer expectations.
- You are an innovated seller, bringing about new and unexpected variations of products.
- You serve a niche product category.
In the end, your product offerings should heavily rely on the fact that competitors cannot easily copy you, offering you a secure placement in the craft industry.
5. Build Your Business Around Your Marketing Strategy
To find success in the end the above marketing points and positioning strategy will play key to your overall shop and business identity. As with any 40% of your time, if not more than half is spent marketing. The time you spend on making enticing product descriptions is a part of your marketing strategy. How well you outline shop policies or produce unique packaging before shipping off your product is a part of your marketing strategy. This is what your business should be built around.
Additional Marketing Tips for Success
While the value of having a successful marketing strategy was mentioned above, the following marketing tips will also play key to your craft seller success.
1. Take quality unique photos that set you apart and make you easily identified. In a competitive marketplace, consumers should be able to pinpoint you and set you apart from the rest.
2. Encourage word of mouth promotion whether it is performed locally or through your social media channels.
3. Experiment with SEO and keywords consumers are searching under. Your stats and site analytics play an important part in identifying how people are finding you.
4. Be active on social media and regularly engage your followers. Make them a part of your overall creative process.
5. Study what other successful sellers are doing.
6. Engage and keep in touch with your fans and customers through email newsletters. Let them know about upcoming promotions, coupon codes, and giveaways.
7. Send samples to powerful online influencers.