Talking about the importance of a website seems redundant in 2018, but even with the prevalence of the internet in our lives, there are still a number of ways you can use your website to maximize your presence and reach. A website works as a digital hub for your clients to interact with your brand when you aren’t around. It makes it possible for people to see your products without attending one of the events where you’re selling and that increases sales.
If you don’t have a website, you need one. If you do have one, odds are, there are still ways you can make it better. Read on to see the 5 things every vendor needs on their website. Great product pictures aren’t on this list because that is way too obvious. And yes, you should hire a professional to take those.
1. GIVE CUSTOMERS THE CHANCE TO BUY YOUR PRODUCTS
A website is a great place to showcase your arts, crafts, jewelry, or other handmade products. Throwing up a picture and a description about a piece of art is great, but it still requires a client to call you to order or to visit you at the next event you attend. If a client can’t buy your products online, there’s a good chance they’ll buy something similar on a site that will allow them to buy online. This a very real scenario that you have most likely experienced yourself.
Many think that making a website to sell products (called an e-commerce site) is difficult. Put simply, it’s not. There are several solutions that will manage an e-commerce site for you and here are just four of the most popular ones:
2. INCLUDE YOUR LIFE’S STORY
There’s a good saying about marketing that “people don’t buy your product, they buy your story.” People want to relate to the things they’re buying. They want to know why you do what you do and how your product is special. This is especially true in the handmade industry because you make everything yourself.
Check out this post for how to write a compelling brand story. It may feel overwhelming to take on the task of writing the ideal brand story all at once, so do the small, easy things first.
If you want to keep it even easier and faster, create a page dedicated to your story and name it Our Story, then think about the following sections:
- The Who: Tell everyone about YOU! Things like what you love and hate, where you grew up, what your favorite foods are, what influences your creative process, etc. should be included.
- The Why: Include how you feel about your products, what motivates you to make them, how your business began, and how your passion helps your clients.
- The What: Include details if you use special materials in your products and why you chose them. What will these materials do for the customer?
- The When: Did you start painting or making jewelry when you were six years old or did you recently start because you want to put your child through college?
- The Where: Include where you create. Is it in a workshop in your backyard or on the top of a mountain overlooking a lake? Help paint the picture of the entire handmade process in your clients’ minds.
- The How: Include unique processes that you implement to make your product special. Maybe you only sew clothes during a full moon or you only use paint that you make yourself from plants that you grow. Own what makes you unique.
3. CALENDAR OF EVENTS TO BUY FROM YOU IN PERSON
Have a place on your website where you post a calendar that has all of the dates, times, and locations of the events that you will be attending. This way, if a customer would prefer to see your products in person, it’ll be easy for them to find you.
4. INCLUDE AN EMAIL OPT-IN FIELD
A great way to keep your customers updated on new products is to let them know what shows you will be attending and generally keep them in the loop in an email list. Make sure visitors can enter their email into your site and be updated on the latest news from your business!
5. VENDOR INSURANCE BADGE
An excellent way to show that you are a credible business is to have insurance. ACT Insurance sells vendor insurance that can be purchased for single events or for an entire year. After purchasing coverage you will be provided with a badge that only those with active insurance policies have. This badge gives your clients and event organizers peace of mind, knowing you are a professional with coverage that protects them in the case of your negligence.
As you continue to make your website better, keep researching the best tactics of how to sell more products and engage with your customers better. Posts like this, Creating a Selling Website for Artists and Crafters will assist you in always improving.