As there are tons of online marketplaces or other online platforms that help you put your wares up for sale online and build a business, choosing the right one is no small feat, especially if you’re a beginner.
Once you choose the right platform, you will be able to appeal to more relevant people that can be more tempted to buy your handmade crafts. Thus, you can get the business off the ground a lot quicker-— which translates to more profits.
Let’s dive into the essential steps you should consider taking to make sure you leverage the right platform for your handmade business.
Learn About the Different Platforms and Their Uses
Each online marketplace has its own characteristics and ways of marketing your handmade crafts. After all, no platforms are created the same.
Some of them could help you market your handmade crafts and appeal to the audience, while others would not so much.
Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash
For example, Etsy is a well-known e-commerce platform for handmade crafts, but if your audience hangs out on Madeit more, that’s where you need to be.
So, spend some time understanding the online marketplace platforms you’re considering. You can analyze each platform’s demographics as well as their users’ values or interests.
Besides demographics, the points below are worth considering as well:
- Checkout process
- Scalability and customizability
- Customer payment options
- Fraud protection
This will not only help you choose the best platform, but also will help you avoid insufficient efforts for marketing those handmade crafts.
Look for Online Reviews
It’s always better to see what people say about the online marketplace you’re about to use. In this case, you can rely on online reviews about the online marketplace. Based on others’ real-life experiences, you can understand the drawbacks or benefits you’ll get in advance.
You will know how the platform actually works, how it helps handmade businesses like you, how they like it, and what they are still struggling with. In other words, it helps you set a clear expectation.
You can go to social media platforms or review sites to hear people‘s impressions and opinions about the specific online marketplace. In this case, a platform with a positive online footprint is worth trying.
Identify Your Audience
Creating handmade crafts might be easy. Finding customers is the most challenging part of running a business. And before you could find them, you needed to determine who they were.
Identifying your audience is crucial for choosing the right online marketing place for your handmade business. Ask yourself, “who are these crafts for?.”
There are at least three aspects you need to pay attention to for identifying your target customers:
- Geographics—it is segmenting customers through their locations, such as regions, areas, or addresses.
- Demographics—that would certainly be segmenting customers right into groups based upon age, hobbies, income, even ethnicity.
- Psychographics—you’ll segment customers through buying patterns, views, values, and mindsets regarding themselves.
When you have a solid insight into who you sell the crafts to, you can choose the platform that matches your target audience’s data. Remember, nothing else really matters, not even the quality of your crafts, if your audience isn’t active on the channel.
Understand Your Business
Your handmade crafts, brand personality, and business type should all influence your marketplace selection.
Choose platforms that match your business preference, have UX that reflects your needs, and have features that can show your personality— so they can help you set yourself apart from your competitors out there.
A new handmade business might use social media platforms as a shortcut to sell their crafts. Well, it’s easy to use, quick, and has billions of users worldwide. Social media, video marketing and especially Instagram is all about visual presentation, and with the help of content marketing tools, it makes it possible to gain the highest engagement.
However, when you need to go even more professional and want to build a solid reputation from time to time, you should definitely have an online marketplace at the top of your list.
The key here is to make sure you weigh what makes sense for your business. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to your budget. You have to utilize a platform that you can afford.
Research Your Competitors
There are a lot of similar handmade businesses like yours. It’s always better to conduct a quick competitive analysis. Don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as it might sound.
Find out what platforms your competitors are mostly using, how they market their crafts, and how to engage their audiences on each platform they use.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
It’s extremely useful for you to see what others in your space are doing and carry on. Nope. You don’t have to do whatever your competitors do, straightly copying them. It’s all about how you can learn from them and how you can do better.
When you have a solid grasp on how others are marketing their handmade crafts, it would be much easier for you to make an informed decision about what platform you should use.
Final Thoughts: Is There a Right or Wrong Platform for Your Handmade Business?
The short answer is no. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the online marketplace for your business. What matters most is that you understand what crafts you are selling, who you sell them to, and how a platform fits into your strategy.
If you’ve got all of that locked in, and you’re committed to creating handmade crafts that your audience always wants to buy, the best online marketplace for you should feel obvious.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).