When it comes time for holiday shopping, there’s nothing I love more than supporting some of my favorite online shops. I’m definitely the Small Business Saturday kind vs. attempting the Black Friday crazy—and nothing feels better than shopping ‘local’ or through the shops of talented creatives I love supporting year round. If you’re thinking of starting your own shop, this post is for you! Branding expert, Lexi of Revel Union, is joining us today with some tips for turning your own site into an online shop.
From Lexi of Revel Union… E-commerce is bigger than ever, and I strongly believe that every business, no matter the size, should be selling their products through an online platform. When I talk to potential clients about taking the leap from their service based website to an online store, they have many reservations.
I have the honor of working with some incredibly skilled artisans and small shop curators, and often times clients are faced with unique challenges when it comes to offering products online. Something I hear all the time is “I don’t have a lot of inventory.” Many of my clients sell pieces that are one-of-a-kind or made to order, and I understand their hesitation when it comes to traditional online shopping models. I want to speak to this a little bit today and provide some practical steps for amping up your web presence right here and now in a way that makes sense for your specific business.
1. Start Small
I encourage many of my clients to use Wix as their hosting site, and this very dilemma is one of the reasons why. Wix makes it incredibly easy to transition your site from an incredible, intuitive portfolio to an easy-to-maintain e-commerce site. If you don’t have a lot of inventory, you don’t need to invest the time and money into a platform like Shopify that is geared towards high-volume sales. Even with a smaller inventory, you can create discount codes, generate newsletters, accept payments, track inventory, handle shipping and taxes, and run promotions all within your Wix dashboard.
2. Invest in Photos
If you’re a small shop owner, you’re no stranger to the importance of aesthetics. If you will only have a handful of shop listings, they need to be as visually appealing as possible. The most efficient way to do this is to have high quality photos. If you aren’t skilled with a camera, hire a photographer within your budget to take some clear, crisp photos of your products at different angles. Imagery makes all the difference.
3. Make Navigation Simple
Your shop button should stand out on your website menu and be easy to find from any page. Create its own tab for easy access and to ensure your customers know your products are available for online purchase. Make your text a different color, give it a solid border, or even have a hang tab from the top of the website that guides your customers where you want them to go.
4. Quality over Quantity
If you’re worried about only having a few products to sell, don’t. What’s more important is that the products you do sell are quality. The key to selling only a few things is that they be meticulously crafted and curated so that customers know when they buy from your selection, it will be a worthwhile purchase again and again. Pick a handful of products you love and believe in and don’t stress about inventory numbers or filling up your online store.
5. Just Start
With simple and low cost options for online shop management, there’s no reason not to just get started. Don’t wait until you have tons of inventory—your selection can grow with your following! You likely already have a customer base and they will convert to online shoppers.
If you’ve been holding off on taking your business online because you aren’t ready to launch your store, let’s chat. We can craft an expertly designed, fully-functional website that will establish your brand in the meantime. Then, when you’re ready, we’ll launch the store of your dreams that you can maintain with confidence. We hope you find these tips helpful!
Photography: Madeline Harper