There are so many platforms to sell your crafted goods. From traditional craft fairs, markets, trade shows, online sites and the most personal platform of choice - retail. There is no such thing as ‘best’ selling channel. It really depends on your business set up, your margins, your brand and YOU! Some makers prefer to sell by volume through wholesale and focus on the making but potentially gain a much lower margin.
Some people prefer the personal selling and interaction with customers but some makers avoid that at all cost. New online sites are popping up every other day. There are just too many out there. You should really stick with the established ones with a strong brand and most importantly a site with high google ranking and superb SEO (Seach engine optimisation).
So what are the considerations when you rent a space to sell your products? Some people seem to get it. Some people not quite.
There are many considerations that contribute to that. Understanding who you are, your products and most importantly your ideal customers is a good start. These are the thinking pillars to the following.
Location and shopper demographics
Are you customers more female or male oriented? Where do they go and ‘hangout’? How do they shop? Emotional or impulsive? What are their age groups? Are they affluent shoppers or are they conscious of spending and only treat themselves once in a while? Young and mature shoppers have a completely different shopping behaviour. Are your customers usually local or visitors to the country? Are your works of a particular style that only appeals to a certain type of customer?
This thinking process helps you decide where you choose to rent space, the type of space you need, the type of product you stock at that particular shop location. A prime location shop usually would cost more than a village shop. A shop near public transport and attractions would usually attract tourists. So really go for what works for you and fine tune according to that. At the end of the day, high footfall doesn’t necessarily mean you will sell more. It only meant more people get to see your products. It will only work if these shoppers match your customer's profile.
Understand your margin is crucial to get it right. http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/what-price-to-use-when-talking-to-retailers/ via @TheDesignTrust
Setting your price too low would mean you have a very low margin and you need to sell more to cover your rental cost. Setting it too high potentially distance more customers. You should really be priced to sell unless you are a luxury or premium brand or have high manufacturing cost.
Lastly, your online price is usually lower as you have less cost. Your actual RRP should be higher than that. There should be a different price for each platform — wholesale, craft fair and retail. You need to factor in other costs such as transport/stall fees and most importantly your time being at such events. Establish a master list for all your pricing and this would help you make the necessary adjustments.
If you are new to pricing, read on here http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/how-to-price-your-work-about-different-price-strategies-that-you-can-use/
Brand identity and packaging
Humans shop visually. We all like a beautiful presentation and packaging design. Investing time in your brand identity and packaging will probably be the best thing a maker can do. It defines your identity and your brand and what your work stands for. A good brand and packaging design influences emotions and ultimately the price perception. Do you go earthy, natural or lux chic? This helps with your pricing. A premium price product commands attention to details. The labels, the wrapping and the boxing. Shoppers expect much more from a premium brand.
What do you sell? It really depends. Research the shop and demographics and look through your range. Imagine yourself as a shopper and audit the range and pricing. Ask yourself what would the demographics likely to buy. That would be your key product and supplement that with other products.
Make sure you have a varied range and price offering (entry, mid and premium). This helps to maximise sales opportunities. If you are a luxury brand, make sure the experience is top notch — from identity, display packaging and after sales information.
Be creative but strategic! A good display helps shoppers to shop and whisk through your product range. A bad display put shoppers off and they move on. Ask yourself these questions? Is my display impactful? Is it accessible? Can shopper try and pick up products easily? Are the labels distracting? Are they too big too small? Do I use sticky labels or strung labels? Are all the designs displayed and visible? Am I using the right prop/stand to display all my products?
Price is the first thing most shoppers look for so make sure that is visible and legible. Is your display easy to ‘manage’ Are the props/stands steady?Would the props/stand help to keep your product organised? Once again, imagine yourself as a shopper and look out for the positives and the barriers. If you can master this, you are enhancing your customer shopping experience.
Remember good products can still be let down through uncalculated pricing, uncurated product range or a bad merchandising display. So make these work and you will stand a better chance.