Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Increasing sales online....

I met with a couple other crafters over the last couple weeks. We had been discussing our online sales, or actually the lack of online sales this year. I commented that while total number sales for each month of 2009 have been down, I'm making as much or more money each month and have increased my return on investment for each item sold. Of course, upon hearing that, they wanted to know how I've managed to do this.

To be honest, this was part of the goals I set for myself in 2008. To be able to make higher-end items and increase my profit margin for each piece. I'd also like to credit the many helpful and more experienced members of Etsy (such as Timothy Adams, Sherry Truitt, the Virtual Labs on Etsy, to name a few) that have help me gain more experience by sharing what they learned through trials and experimenting. The have been many other Etsy members, customers and sea glass collectors that have spoken with me about having the confidence to "get paid for my creations".

The addition of Google Analytics have been a big help to see when/where potential customers have visited my shop. The use of CraftCult helps to show if potential viewers are currently on Etsy and that gives me an indication of how effective promoting on Etsy will be at that time.

I really have not increased my promoting, but I have spread out my promotions to many other sites. The use of Facebook and Twitter have helped drive potential customers to my shop, while joining sites like Kaboodle, StyleHive, ThisNext, etc have allowed me addition sites to showcase my online items.

The thought of not "keeping all my eggs in one basket", by opening online shops at Art Fire & 1000 Markets has not yet paid off, but I'm remaining hopeful that sales will begin to pick up and I'll be able to stock these "secondary" sites and promote the sites a little more in the near future.

Of course, joining all these social networking type sites does not ensure that sales will pick up and I know of several crafters that do little more than blog once every week or two, and promote on Etsy very little... yet they still make many online sales, but it makes one wonder how many sales they could make if they were working the internet.

At a time when it often seems like the only people in the Etsy forums are other sellers (and quite often the same Etsy sellers almost every time you log on) spreading the word about your shop and creations to others that may not be on Etsy or not yet Etsy members can lead to a sale. It has for myself a few times already this year... and it can for you too.

Tomorrow- Increasing sales offline....

'til next time...


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