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Hi! I’m Lucy.
Chardonnay and vintage finds lover, founder of the handmade jewelry brand bel monili *and* your new guide to making your handmade business WORK online.
So you opened your own online shop! That’s amazing and awesome! I know you’re anxiously waiting for that first “cha-ching!”, but maybe instead…you’re hearing crickets. People are stopping by, but they’re not buying. For many, this is the last piece of the online business puzzle: how to convert traffic into sales.
I know it was an adventure to get your shop going. There’s so much that goes into a new online store. But eventually you get that final product page in place, and then you’re “open for business”.
That was the easy part!
Now it’s time to fine tune your work so you can convert online “window shoppers” into paying customers.
Here are my top tips for converting traffic into sales.
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I will never stop expressing just how important having an email list is for your business. You can start building your list as soon as you start posting products.
Use an email service provider like Convertkit, and they’ll give you a signup link that you can share with anyone and everyone.
If you’re opening an Etsy shop, you can include the link in your shop announcement. If you have a Shopify shop, add an email list sign up pop-up box. Add the link to your Instagram profile, Facebook page – anywhere customers might see it.
Your email list is composed of people who like what you’re doing, and they chose to get updates from you. They are your perfect customers!
Build that list, and then send the emails. Because a list that’s not being used will do nothing for you. Start emailing your list on a regular basis. You can share new products with them. Ask your list members questions and engage with them. Show them what your process is like.
I guarantee that if you start and nurture an email list, you will see your traffic turn into sales.
Read more about email list building here: Email List Building for Craft Businesses
Many groups in the handmade world can seem oversaturated, such as jewelry or knitwear. But even in seemingly more unique categories, you will always have competition. In order to stand out, you need to highlight what makes you and your products different from the rest.
Converting traffic into actual sales means you need to show potential customers why they should buy your items over someone else’s. This is called your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
What makes your items different, unique, better or more desirable? Think about what you bring to the table that sets you apart from your competition. Then use that information to describe your products. Let your USP guide you when taking photos and writing your product descriptions.
Writing about your products can be the hardest part of setting up your product pages. I recommend reading the book, Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller. Miller gives great advice on how to market your products.
Some sellers make a LOT of different things. They may crochet baby blankets, but they also paint signs, create wreaths and oh – they make earrings, too!
Arriving at an online shop filled with a dozen different types of products can produce overwhelm for your customers. While it might make sense that you want to offer people a lot of options, this usually backfires.
Confronted with too much decision-making, a potential buyer might walk away.
This is why you may have heard about “niche-ing down”. Focusing on one or two specific types of products, rather than anything and everything you make.
You can still offer a nice variety of items while keeping the type of items focused. So if you want to stick with crochet, there are plenty of different items you can make. You can crochet hats, blankets, baby sets, toys, etc.
Even when you stick to one type of handmade item, you will have plenty of options to fill out your shop.
By focusing your product line on just one or two types of products, your customers will come to know you as the “go to” shop for that specific product.
So if you truly love crocheting, but also love painting signs, then consider running two separate online shops.
The trick to converting traffic into sales is making sure you’re getting the right traffic! You want your perfect customers to be the ones visiting your website.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Google and Etsy both have their own best practices to use when setting up your website and listing your products.
Take some time to research SEO for Google and for Etsy. This research will help you learn how to use keywords and where to use them in your listings.
The more specific you are with your keywords, the better the audience you will attract.
For example, if you have an Etsy shop, and use the word “handmade jewelry” for your product listings, you are attracting a very broad base of customers. But if you use “handmade resin floral necklace” as your keyword, then you will attract customers looking for that specific item.
See how that can turn your traffic into sales?
How can you add to your product offerings to increase the perceived value?
Could you include gift wrapping as a service you offer? Can you expedite your shipping so the customer will get it quicker?
Maybe you can offer a first time customer discount. (I am not a huge fan of coupons, but if you build the cost of a discount into your pricing, then it would be a good way to get that first sale.)
Think about ways you can create more value for a potential customer, and they will be more likely to buy from you.
Additionally, try to have a variety of products at different price points. Consider creating some pieces that you can sell at a lower price, so a new customer can get a taste of what you offer.
Of course you should still factor in making profit on these lower priced items. But maybe by reducing the profit margin, you can entice someone to make that first purchase. Hopefully once they see how fabulous your items are, they’ll be back to buy more!
For more help on how to convert traffic into sales, also read my post: 12 Top Tips to Increase Online Sales for Your Craft Business
Opening your own shop online is incredibly exciting! There’s a thrill in knowing anyone in the WORLD can see your creations and buy one for themselves.
But it takes time for the world to find you! The Internet is a vast open space, with billions of web pages.
You should definitely announce the arrival of your new shop to everyone you know. But after that, expect some quiet time. Create a marketing plan, continue to create, build and nurture that email list.
If you stay consistent and patient, the traffic (and the sales) will come!
Need more help getting sales for your online handmade business? Join my free live workshop – Be A Sales Rockstar: Holiday Edition!
This September 14, 15, 17 or 19th 2022, you can join my live workshop where I will walk you through my methods for becoming a sales rockstar.
This is the last free workshop of the year, so don’t miss out!
After running bel monili (my handmade jewelry business) for 10 years, I launched Bloom in 2019 to create a community where handmade business owners could learn, grow, and support each other in this wild venture of small business ownership. Welcome to Bloom!