On-line sales of art is growing by 19% each year… not just visual art. 3 things you should consider before you jump into it and 5 tips for getting into it.
Hi. John Paul Fischbach here, the CEO and Chief Alchemist at the Auspicious Arts Incubator with this week’s Hot Tip about selling online. We get a lot of artists that say ‘Should I sell online?’ The answer is yes, do it. Hiscox insurance, they issue a big report every year and what they’re saying about fine arts is that online sales is growing at 19% per year. The truth is that more and more sales are happening online across all art forms. There’s big opportunity. What’s false is you don’t have to do anything, that there are people trolling the internet looking for art to buy. That is false but what is true inside that is of the people that are online looking for art to buy 65% of those people are repeat buyers.
If you’re thinking about getting into the online selling of your art there are two different things that you should consider of ways to approach this. First one is an actual online store, Shopping Cart, that whole business but the second part is to just be available to respond to an online inquiry for a sale. Online is where the sales of your art, music, tickets to performances or commissions is actually happening. Typically that is where it’s actually happening.
There are three questions. You have to be able to solve these three questions if you’re going to work online. One, will it sell online? Do you have product images? Do you have prices that work online? Do you have descriptions that make sense to someone who is looking online? Number two is how do you take a payment? Do you have ways to actually take the payment and number three is how do you deliver the product? Do you actually have delivery ways? Those are the three questions that you have to be able to solve before you go online with art sales.
Remember there is 19% growth in this industry. Do your research? Who already sells online like you do? How do they do it? Do you like the experience? See what it’s like?
Let’s look at the second part which is just being able to respond to and sell something from your website and your Facebook page. Two things really work well. Pre-sales and taking orders. Offering something for sale online is a great way to test the market to see if this product or service is viable. Rely on social media before you set up your online store. Check it out. Caution, let people know what is a display item and what is for sale. Make sure that they can tell this thing is for sale and this thing is just part of my world.
If you’re going to respond you need to have links, you need to have a quick email me, a way to communicate, a way to open the dialogue. Then the first part was actually an online store. The big question is do you want to host this on your website with all the functionality that it needs or do you want to use a third party? Do you want to load your stuff up on to some site that is already set up to sell?
Again, research, research, research. Here’s five tips. Number one, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and exactly what you want. Tip number two, carry out an online transaction in the store that has inspired you. Detail the pros and cons of that. Tip number three, have a marketing plan to get people to visit your site. Tip number four, think about offering free postage and handling if you can afford it. Tip number five is make sure your website design matches what you’re actually selling.
Finally a quick chat, just quickly about third party sites. Typically they’re good for low priced, high volume items sites like Etsy and Moshtix. Sometimes they can be good for high end things like Bluethumb or Saatchi Art but it’s always going to be up to you to drive your traffic to their corner of the world. Dont go into online selling until you have a marketing plan in place. Absolutely do not.
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