You are an artist in a competitive market, you want and you need to sell work. Do not rely on others to do this for you; third party web-shop options, middle men, may not be the most efficient ways for you to sell your work. After all, it is the fruit of hard labour, a personal and – above all – a valuable object you are selling.
Going direct through your own website and getting straight to the point is often the best way of attacking any situation so the internet, your sales, and your customer experience should be no different.
Etsy and Zazzle may seem like easy ways to generate income and produce a professional appearance but are they really what they seem to be.
Make of it what you will…
This may sound simple and obvious, but one of the greatest advantages of selling from your own shop, rather than somewhere like Etsy, is that you can make it whatever you want. Adding a shop tab to your artist website not only looks professional, it fits seamlessly into what you already have online and gives you full control of pricing, shipping, sale discounts, how your work is displayed and (ultimately) how people view you as an artist.
Spin your own web
What with CIA-style analytics and digital spies roaming the skein of cables that surround us, having a hand in the supposedly arbitrary and random (not to mention coincidental) lists of suggested products to buy can never be a bad thing, can it?
When third parties suggest related products you can never: 1) be sure they are even remotely related to your work; or 2) be sure that they support your work and suggest it to customers.
When you sell work through your own site you are not only selling the one product in the basket, you are expanding your profit stream by giving yourself the option to suggest more of your own products (rather than someone else’s). As an artist, you are an individual, your work – no doubt – has a distinct identity and you should understand that your customers are individuals too: individuals who love your work.
Be seen, be remembered
Having your own website, your own domain name and your own shop, people can find you much more easily. Google and other search engines pick up names of people and narrow down results from searches based on key words. The key words for Etsy on Google is ‘Etsy’.
Not only does having your own web shop make you easier to find, it also makes you more memorable. You want your website to be the type that people (want to) come back to. Having your own design and your own layout makes this more likely in that it is your image people are buying into – not the image of a shop hosting service.
Finally, a simple fact: having your shop on your website just makes things simpler for both you and customers. The interface, the user-friendly-ness of your site, is always improved when it is in one place. Not only can you brand your site, your gallery and your shop as you want but you don’t have to send potential online buyers to and fro between your site and other online shop to buy your work.
Consider the control, professional appearance and sales of an online shop as part of your overall online identity and make sure they are all very ‘you’ and all in the same place.
If you’re sold on setting up your own independent online shop, ArtWeb offers free, basic and pro plans to get you started and get you selling.