How to Sell Crafts Online: The Ultimate Guide for 2021
If you’re considering launching or growing an online craft business, the market is in your favor.
By 2024, eCommerce is likely to reach just over 19% of total commerce. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated an already fast-growing sector, leading Wix’s end-of-year report to designate 2020 as the “Year of eCommerce.”
According to an analysis of eCommerce growth during the pandemic, sales in arts and crafts as well as home goods and decor have increased — 133% and 330% respectively.
With all the new opportunities for success selling handmade items online, we know you want to dive in. Whether you’re starting a business to sell crafts or transitioning an established handicraft business online, it’s vital to research and prepare in order to avoid the downsides of and reap the greatest benefits from eCommerce.
Pros of selling crafts online
Earn some extra cash
Choose your hours
Easily track business performance
Connect marketing to business goals
Save on rent
Cons of selling crafts online
Spend a lot of time and effort to attract your audience
Struggle to stand out (in busy marketplaces)
Invest significant time to attract organic traffic
Have to learn many new skills
If you’re ready to start selling your crafts, open your online store. If you want to learn more about how to sell handmade items online and eCommerce best practices, this article is for you.
How to Sell Handmade Items: Online Store vs. Online Marketplace
Probably one of the first questions you have is where you should actually sell your handicraft. Which is better, online stores or online marketplaces?
Both can be used to create a thriving craft business, but only one gives you complete control over your brand and listings while enabling you to sell handmade items online with minimal expenses.
In general, there are just four main steps to successfully setting up your craft business.
4 Steps to Sell Crafts Online
01. Choose a craft to produce
It may go without saying, but to open your new online store, you’ll need to know what you’re going to market. It’s worth taking some time to consider what you will produce. What are you really good at making by hand?
Once you have a potential product, you’ll need a plan.
As you’re fleshing out your thoughts, be sure that you are considering your crafting niche. A specific, focused product angle can help keep costs down and solidify your brand. For example, will you make only the best mittens available or will you commit to the finest selection of various knit goods? Don’t be afraid to narrow down your product. For example, don’t limit yourself to generic mittens when you are passionate about bespoke hand coverings for sports fans. Sell those team-loyal knits! A focused niche will make reaching your target audience much easier and reduce competition.
Additional questions to address in your plan:
How much time do you need to produce your craft?
How much does an item cost to produce?
What other business costs should you consider?
What is your break-even price?
Who is your target customer?
Importantly, if your potential product involves food or food substances, be sure to research the Cottage Food Laws and related legal concerns in your state or country.
02. Open your online craft store
Where is the best place to sell handmade items online? Though there are benefits to various platforms, arguably the best place to sell your crafts is directly from your own website. The benefits of owning and operating a web shop are significant, including:
Complete control over your brand
Full access to the entire customer journey, ensuring optimal user experience and retention in your funnel
Loads of integrated, professional business features to help you drive sales and grow your business
How to set up an online craft store
Creating an online store to sell handmade items is a relatively simple process, but you’ll want to do your homework to minimize work further down the road.
While we’ll outline the necessary basics of setting up your online store here, we’ve put together an additional, more detailed guide on how to start an online store. This step-by-step article will help you with the following:
Choose an eCommerce platform
Finalize your product decision and determine a target audience
Understand what to look for in a website template
Set up your payment provider and polish your checkout process
Name your online store and secure your domain
At a high-level, we recommend working through the following essentials to get started with selling crafts online.
Imagining your new online craft store is exciting. It’s a great idea — and a smart one — to spend some time brainstorming the vision for your store and documenting it. Consider how you want people to use your store and how you want your products to be displayed.
To help get you started brainstorming, we’ve pulled together some examples of the most beautiful websites that sell handmade goods.
Sena Runa (delicate paper art products)
Handlebend (custom copper works and mugs)
Coal and Canary Candle Company (cheeky candles)
Celebs on Sandwiches (humorous art prints)
To get the most from this inspiration session, be sure to take time to research what others in related niches are doing. Note ways your brand can stand out. This will help you understand how your business will work, the market you’ll be operating in, and opportunities for growth.
Name your business
When you’ve nailed down the craft you’re going to produce and you have a sense of your niche in the market, it’s time to name your new business. Hopefully in the inspiration stage, some words or thoughts came forward. Don’t worry if you still don’t have any ideas for your name. Try out our handy business name generator.
Keep in mind that good names should be:
Relevant — Does it relate clearly to your product, industry, or business theme?
Memorable — Is it catchy, different from your competition, and easy to recall? Common ways to stand out include plays on words, creative use of industry terminology, or using your own name.
Social-friendly — Is the name easy to search and spell? Does it fit well in social handles? Try to keep your social usernames to 15 characters or less and use the same one for all your channels.
Available — Is the business name already being used? In addition to running a quick internet search for your preferred names, don’t forget to check your state’s business and trademark registries.
Secure your domain name
Once you have decided what to call your business, lock it down with a website domain name. Great domains should be relatively short, easy to spell, and a cinch to remember. Other considerations for domain names include, in particular, brand and SEO visibility.
To understand all the related aspects of setting up your domain, we recommend reading our article on how much a domain costs. Notably, all eCommerce sites built with Wix include a free domain.
Set up your business email address
With your domain in place, you can easily set up a business email address. Business emails are created with your domain. They elevate your professionalism and strengthen your brand. Using Wix, it’s easy to create your domain-specific email address with Gmail for you and any team members.
03. Develop your handicraft brand
Your brand refers to how a customer experiences your business — what they see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Great branding helps customers not only recognize your company but also relate to it.
Importantly, successful branding creates staying power for your business. Consider the impact of brands like Netflix, M&Ms, and Starbucks. They all create a unique and remarkable experience for their customers. One so compelling that even without seeing or hearing the name, people can easily recognize the brand by color, shape, sound, and smell.
While it may be overwhelming to aspire to a brand as ubiquitous as Starbucks, thinking big will help you explore a variety of touchpoints for your business to locate and interact with customers effectively.
While branding is an ongoing process and much more than just a logo, time spent on this step early on will help you sell craft consistently going forward and save resources in the long run.
Create a logo
Now that you have pulled together all your inspiration and decided on a name that plays nicely with social media and has a catchy, easy-to-remember web address, you can start playing around with the look and feel of your branding.
The Wix Logo Maker will help you start to visualize your brand. Not only will you be able to create a logo, but the tool can help you create all kinds of visual assets to support your new online craft business. You’ll even be able to get professional design help if you need it. When you have a logo that you like, use the tool to adjust colors and fonts to solidify the appearance of your brand.
Cultivate your brand aesthetic
Moving forward, you should begin documenting your brand look and phrasing. This can be as simple as creating a slide deck for yourself, showing your logo, listing your color palette, and documenting some key language that fits your aesthetic. You can also invest time to create a full brand style guide.
When you’re feeling confident in your fonts and the color scheme of your brand, take the time to carefully adapt the elements of your website template and your site elements.
This is a great time to ensure that everything on your site — especially your product listings — reflect your brand. Best practices for product galleries encourage the use of high-quality photos of your crafts, staged in a brand-appropriate way.
Branding is an ongoing process and there are several aspects to consider beyond the logo and website design. To learn more, check out the essentials for crafting a stellar brand.
04. Build your business
Finally, you need to get growing. Leverage strategic marketing to promote and sell crafts online. Doing this successfully requires learning how to grow traffic to your new store and convert new site visitors to customers. We offer complete marketing and customer management services to support the growth of your handicraft business.
Make sure your brand is present on major platforms — particularly those that cater to shoppers and handmade enthusiasts, like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Post new and ideally original content regularly to build up your community and begin driving traffic to your website.
Importantly, it is time-consuming and incredibly difficult (though not impossible) to build a brand on social media organically. We recommend you use Facebook Ads to more effectively reach your target audience. If you’ve never done it before, we can help you easily set up a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign.
Create interesting content for your brand blog
One of the best investments for your business is to spend some time creating website content. Adding a blog to your site and regularly updating it are the best ways to increase search engine visibility for your brand, ensuring a regular stream of store visitors. Improve the ROI of your content creation efforts by sharing your blog posts in social media. In addition to attracting more traffic, blog content is a great way to reinforce your brand.
To learn more about maximizing search traffic to your website, check out our handy Guide to SEO Optimization for eCommerce.
Utilize email marketing
With a professional website, you can easily capture emails through giveaways, content downloads, and — of course — your sales. A full-cycle email funnel can be automated to keep prospective and returning customers engaged.
Wix email marketing services are fully integrated into site offerings.
Sell everywhere. Get paid online.
Whether you want your store to run exclusively online or support you when you’re at fairs and events, having an end-to-end eCommerce solution means you’ll make it easy for shoppers to buy your handicrafts. Don’t limit your business to one venue or platform. With Wix Point of Sale, you’ll be able to accept payments everywhere.
Sell handmade items in online marketplaces
Popular online marketplaces, like Etsy and Handmade at Amazon, are avenues for you to increase customer touchpoints and drive additional revenue for your business.
Pros of selling with online craft marketplaces
They’re easy to set up
Payments are usually handled by the platform
They can get a lot of traffic, generating a lot of return when you get noticed
Cons of selling with online craft marketplaces
Your storefront doesn’t always fit your brand
You’ll pay listing fees and commissions on your sales
Some are hyper-saturated, making it difficult to stand out and establish a name for yourself
There’s limited potential for growth
So, what is the best place to sell crafts online? We still encourage craftspeople to develop their own online store, but marketplaces can be great, supportive platforms to reach customers.
Get the most from selling crafts online
Wherever you decide to market your handmade goods, be sure that you have all your channels integrated, ideally to a branded website that you can manage. Wix has integration with some of the most popular marketplaces, including:
Ready to start selling crafts online? Create your online store and start selling today.
After almost a decade managing content marketing and SEO for fast-paced startups, Kim is returning to her love of writing and hands-on content creation.