Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Making Sales Happen: More Crucial Than Ever

Sales seem to be down at all listing venues.

I just left MadeItMyself's community, where there is a continually-growing thread asking does anyone ever sell anything on here? While it's a valid question for a listing venue with rare sales, an aged interface and little if any marketing presence, I've been hearing this gripe for at least a year now at other venues that usually do better. Except for the ebb and flow of sales around holidays and events, will sales ever pick up again to the levels that were enjoyed years ago?

I for one am not sure that this is likely.

 One reason is that the surge of makers entering the marketplace increases monthly, as more strive to supplement their income by plying their wares. As I have observed this trend over the past few years, it has somewhat alarmed me, but not enough to deter me from ecommerce, or any other type of commerce. I am a designer, maker and seller, for the long haul. It's who I am, not what I do, so there's no jumping ship for me when it comes to marketing my handmades, graphics, artwork, retro/vintage, supplies and creative services. Instead, there is only the motivation to make things happen, or sales that is.

Except for Etsy and eBay, and maybe a couple more venues, the seller has to work hard to drive customers to the listing site.

Many sellers don't want to do this, or don't know how. Sellers who have experience at the top 2-3 sites with automatic traffic don't want to work to generate sales at other venues. But even Etsy, with its massive traffic, is not a success for many people. More so now, the competition is crushing, where it was just overwhelming before.  Without a unique product and attention to marketing and promotion, It's easy to get lost among the sea of other sellers.

It doesn't matter if what I share next is true or not, because I am going to make a universal point.

I read that it is required (or at one time was) for sellers to participate in the selling teams at Etsy. While this is certainly a useful and desirable method of marketing, it is useless for those who need to adopt other promotion methods. If committing to a selling team does not resonate with a member, sales will still suffer. I am not picking on Etsy, but referring to any site where the crafter may be required to participate in promotion that may be successful for some, but that is not compatible for all. Time and effort is wasted and the sales are still not generated for those who are struggling at a site that may be top notch for successful listing.

It's becoming more obvious as the months wear on that no matter where we list, to realize sales we will have to find our own ways to make things happen. 

While some creatives can list on highly successful venues, sit back and do nothing except create and order pull, that is not the reality for the majority of online handmades sellers. In addition to creating products, we have to find ways to and become adept at creating sales, not wait for them and gripe.

Image from Pixabay Free Images.

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