30 Jun Have you thought on selling your art online?
Hi! Another month has passed and I bring you a new blog post. Today I will talk about selling illustrated products online.
Most illustrators, at some point on our way, think about selling products with our illustrations, either at fairs and markets or on online stores. And it’s not a crazy idea, but there are certain things you should keep in mind before doing so.
The truth is that running an online store is a full job in itself. To make it work you must spend time designing the products, ordering them from suppliers, keeping control of the stock, creating, maintaining and updating the store, creating quality descriptions and photos of the products, doing some marketing, managing shipments, attending customer requests, designing the packaging … it is a lot!
In my case, I enjoy all those tasks and I also love illustration and product design, so I ended up opening an online store anyway.
Showing good photos, mock-ups and nice compositions will help you make your products stand out
But let’s get into it: I’m going to tell you a little about online stores. If you decide to sell products with your illustrations online, you have three options:
- Create your own e-commerce: this option is the most expensive in terms of effort and money. Creating and maintaining your own website is more difficult and expensive than advertising your products on an external platform, and it will be harder for customers to find you. I would not recommend this option unless you already have a high sales volume that justifies it.
- A platform with external production: platforms like Redbubble or Society6 allow you to upload your designs and they print them on demand (this means that when they sell a product they print and ship it). In return, you receive a percentage of the sale. This option works great if you don’t want to spend time managing a store, buying products, shipping… in exchange, the product options available are limited.
- A platform with your own production: such as Etsy or Bigcartel. You have a platform that makes it easy to upload your products and in which there are already many registered users who can find them. However, you manage your stock level, what products and finishes you want to use, and manage the shipping and packaging … it is more personalized and, as you do most of the work, the platform takes a lower percentage of the order.
For me, the best option right now is Etsy. Etsy is a platform designed for small craft businesses and works globally.
The advantages over other platforms are:
- Best prices: € 0.20 per ad every 4 months and 5% of each order (it may be more if the customer uses Etsy Payments to pay, but this also allows us to accept many different payment methods so it benefits us in the end).
- Large volume of users, it is the most used platform to buy handmade and vintage items.
- Easy and quick to set up, you can upload your ads and configure your store in a matter of minutes.
Now, they don’t pay me to write this. Actually, I started on Etsy a few years ago, I closed and switched to another platform, but finally I have ended up going back because I consider it to be the best option available right now.
You can see my shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/wendymontasell
At this point I had planned to prepare a video tour of my Etsy store in which I was going to tell you in more detail which products I have and how I prepare orders, but due to technical problems with my computer it was impossible for me to finish it and you will have to wait a little longer. However, I can show you this brief intro that I have in the store:
This is a big topic so I can dedicate another post to it if you are interested, but for now I leave you with some basic tips:
- Your products will not sell on their own. You already upload your illustrations to Instagram from time to time, why not take the opportunity to advertise your store? Start with your friends and family, advertise in Facebook groups or in your coworkers WhatsApp group. Let others know that your store is active and full of amazing products.
- Take care of the packaging. A beautiful package will make the customers feel like they are opening a gift and they will open it with much more enthusiasm. If you use eco-friendly packaging, advertise it too! That will give added value to your store.
- Be original! Your audience is made up of people who prefer artisan products that they can’t find elsewhere, so trust your creativity and surprise them.
- Do not despair. Running an online store requires time, patience, effort and some money. We live in a very competitive world and the market is saturated with options, so do not worry if you don’t sell everything right away, you will start getting orders if you keep going.
- Ask for feedback. This will help you on one hand to improve your store and your products, and on the other hand potential customers will trust you more if they see that other buyers have left good reviews.
And this is all for today, did you find it interesting? Do you have an online store or were you planning on opening one? What difficulties and joys has it given you? Comment on my profiles: Instagram , Twitter y LinkedIn ✨