How lucky are we? 1) We live in a time when the fiber industry is thriving. There are so many knitters, crocheters and other makers in this community. Not to mention ALL the small businesses that we can support! There are plenty of people creating hand dyed yarn, hand-painted fiber and crafting project bags or other tools. 2) We have the Internet! What a game changer. It enables all of these small businesses a way to sell and brings our community so much closer. There are limitations to selling this way, but if you can plan for and work around them, these issues will be minimized.
When selling online, it is really important to share as much information as you can. People can't pick up or touch and examine items. You, the expert, are also not standing there to offer suggestions or answer questions. Helping customers to see details and sharing ideas about how a product might be used is really helpful. Your goal is to make it EASY for people to decide to buy something by answering questions that they might have and telling them how they can use your product BEFORE they have to ask you.
Let’s go through an exercise together. Open your shop page and then close your eyes for a minute. When you open them, pretend you have never seen your products before. Look at your listings through the eyes of someone unfamiliar with your brand. Take a look at the pictures and descriptions and consider if you had never seen it before, would you be able to tell what it is. Is there anything missing? Can you elaborate? When you write up a description, try writing something that provides information and tells a story. Here are some steps to consider taking.
Streamline. Creating effective listings doesn’t have to be a lot of work! If you often sell similar items, you might want to create a listing template for parts of your listings, like Short Description and Long Description. FiberCrafty shop owners can create a "staged listing" that is just the template and then copy it to create new listings. It is helpful to shoppers to look at the information formatted in the same way when they visit your shop. Your template might include a list of features and then a sentence or two that tells more details and interesting information about the item. Keep in mind that with an online audience, you have limited time so while being informative, don’t be too wordy. A list of specifics will help convey a lot in an easy to read format.
Be accurate. Accuracy is critical! Doubt creates distrust. Ask yourself if everything is correct Be especially careful of this when copying an existing listing. It is easy to miss changing some piece of information. It is a great practice to proofread any listing that you are going to copy. If there is a mistake in the listing, it will be duplicated. Proofreading your listings in general is a good practice. FiberCrafty uses attributes for filters that include fiber content, color family, and other features. Make sure these are completed otherwise your items won’t show up in a filter search.
Enhance. What else can you share about your products. Can you describe the color? Computer monitors and photographs don’t speak the same language. They use completely different color systems which is part of what makes capturing accurate photos a challenge. If you can describe the color in a little detail, you will get your shopper one step closer to understanding what they are buying. Is there anything extra you can share? Is there a great pattern it pairs with? Does it coordinate well with other yarns in your shop? Or what color would look good with it? You can include hyperlinks with your listings also. Links might include other coordinating products, projects or pictures that highlight your items, a video review of your products, or a blog post about your business. Anything that might support the sale of your product.
Explore. If you feel stuck or are having a hard time. Take a look at our Questions for Creating Listings list. (that’s a mouthful!). You might also want to browse other shops and their listings for ideas or to get an idea of how to style your photos. There are lots of wonderful resources that can help you!
When selling online, remember that your online shop and listings are representing your brand. Take the time to do it well and it will help your shop stand out. It will get easier as you go and become second nature!