I realise that it is easier than ever before to start selling your crafts online without building your own website. In fact, if your craft is ready, you can have it listed for sale on eBay or Etsy in a matter of minutes and certainly within the day.
This is absolutely great and we would never tell you to stop selling on third-party e-commerce websites if you are having success with that. Many people who sell on Etsy, have their own blogs even though they sell only on Etsy.
“By not having a website of your own you are missing out on some crucial advantages of having an online business.”
You are probably loosing sales, customers and not tapping into the full potential of your business. You could also be setting up your business for some possible mishaps in the future.
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Here are my reasons of why you need to have a website of your own if you are serious about selling your crafts online.
A blog takes a short while to setup.
If you can list your crafts on Etsy in a matter of minutes, you can start a blog in a matter of minutes as well. You can even do it completely free of cost. I don’t recommend that you choose the completely free method, but it’s a start and you can always upgrade later. WordPress is the most common and popular blogging platform. It is also the most versatile.
A website builds business identity
As long as you are selling on other third-party networks, you are not really making your own customers. They may buy from you but they will always think of having bought the craft on eBay and Etsy and not specifically from your business.
This means they are eBay’s customers and not yours. This is not something you want in the long run. You want people who buy from you to be your customers and talking about your business. This is the very basic principle of business identity and image.
Selling on third-party platforms is great but having a website of your own will help the buyers to associate the sale with your business.
It is imperative that you have an independent presence and identity online outside of any third-party platforms you sell on.
I know of people who have lost years of hard work when their Facebook page was suddenly shut down. Sometimes an eBay account can get cancelled, your YouTube channel can be deleted and in a nutshell you can get penalised by third-party websites for one reason or another.
When you lose these accounts for any reason, you lose the customers associated with them as well. You will have no way of recovering them. You simply cannot afford to let this happen, ever. You can prevent this from happening by having your own website and your own mailing list.
So if you are only depending on third-party websites to interact with your customers and collecting customer data, you are taking a risk. Rising fees and charges are also a concern and cut get into your profit margins.
The only way to avoid this is to take as much control of the selling process yourself as possible.
If you have your own sources of online traffic you are very likely wasting it by only sending it to third party websites. You want online traffic to become your customers, to be able to interact with them and build a relationship with them.
This is only possible if you capture leads from your online traffic. Capturing leads usually involves having people sign up for your business newsletter with their email address. Capturing leads is best managed on your own website where you can design a conversion funnel that works.
You can devise multiple ways of capturing leads. Not only can people sign up for your newsletter, but can also be encourages to perform other beneficial actions like, ‘like’ your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter and ‘pin’ your content on their Pinterest boards.
Monetising paid traffic
You want your paid online traffic to convert in different ways. Those who do not buy from you in the first place may want to buy later.
You want these people to perform various other actions even if they are not buying such as signing up for a newsletter, following a Facebook page etc. You can only manage to do this with your own website which has conversion funnels to optimise the paid search traffic.
The best way to get the full value out of paid sources of traffic is by capturing leads on your website.
The best way to see everything you want to say about your business and craft is to your own website. You can build our effective business image by having just the kind of branding in place.
It is not possible to customise a 3rd party store beyond a certain point. Eventually, you and thousands of other crafters selling on that platform will have the shops with the same design. This is not all together a problem as long as you have a craft that is different from the rest.
But having a website of your own opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to showcasing your business to the world. A potential buyer can land on the homepage of your craft business website and be completely blown away.
Breaking Buyer Barriers.
Buyers have ideas about how much of a particular thing should cost. Many of your potential buyers will also have this concept in their minds as well.
If they label you as too expensive there is no getting past that price barrier without showing value on a different level. Your own website allows you to do this.
The buyer can discover more about your work. Almost any kind of positive interactivity with a buyer earns his trust. A website shows more facets of your craft business such as the inspiration behind the creations, the persons involved and as well as regular insights in to your work that you can choose to provide with blog posts.
Your crafts are suddenly more than just a listing on eBay. You get more acknowledged as an artist.
To sum it all up, put building a website for your craft business on full priority. You will find a lot of crafters on Etsy who have a blog of their own but do not sell on it. They only use it as a brand and image building tool. You can do the same.
Start a simple blog with strong branding, photos, logos and graphics and you are own you way to building a continuing relationship with your potential buyers. You are more likely to earn money from these buyers in the future as well. Other features like e-commerce functionality can come later.
One feature we do not recommend starting a blog without a ‘Newsletter Sign Up' and an email marketing service. We recommend GetResponse.
Once again, this recommendation is based from our own personal use and experience. We have tried out various email marketing services including Aweber and MailChimp.
We feel GetResponse is the best choice to make, specially as a business startup. You will be able to read more about email marketing and these companies more in detail in our article on “email marketing for your craft business”.
This concludes our article on the 7 important reasons of why you should create a website for your craft business. Thank you for reading. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to post your comments below. As always we would love to hear from you.