Beading Business: Three More Tips for Running Your Online Jewelry Shop, Part 2
Yesterday, I wrote about five tips for setting up your online jewelry business. Once you have your online shop set up and filled with inventory, it's time to manage that inventory effectively so that you get the most out of your online jewelry business.
Like I said in yesterday's blog, running an online jewelry business can be time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Once you have taken and edited your photographs and created your listings, now it's time to let your customers know that you are open for business.
Promote, promote, promote. There are lots of great Facebook share and Twitter buttons in most online marketplaces, and you should be putting these to good use! "Like" your own items in your online shop so that your friends on Facebook see what you have available in your shop, or blog about them with links back to your online shop. Getting more links out there in cyberspace means you can be driving more traffic back to your shop.
Another way to promote your online jewelry business is to create a Facebook page for your business and use it every day to promote one or two items from your shop. Some folks even offer a special discount on the featured items of the day in order to get more sales. You can also promote your business page through your personal Facebook page to get more followers.
Organize your inventory. Put your finished jewelry into categories that will allow buyers to easily find what they are looking for. If you have a hundred items in your shop, buyers aren't going to want to sift through each item to find a pair of earrings or a beaded bracelet. Getting creative with your categories is okay, as long as it's still obvious what buyers will find there. Try using "Beaded Art for the Neck" instead of "Necklaces", or "Wrist Adornments" instead of just the generic "Bracelets".
Keep your inventory up to date. If you give away or donate an item from your inventory, make sure you remove it from your online shop, especially if the item is a one-of-a-kind piece of beaded jewelry! You really don't want to have to cancel a sale and email a customer to tell them that the item they ordered is no longer available. When I sold my finished beaded jewelry at local craft shows and farmer's markets, I always made sure to close my online shop or put it in "vacation" mode to avoid this.
You should also keep your online shop well-stocked. A recent thread in the Beading Daily forums suggests that you need to have a minimum of one hundred items in your online shop! It might seem like a lot, but really, that's about the number of items you should have when you set up at a craft show or market.
Keep at it. Don't be discouraged if you set up an online shop and don't sell out within the first few days. Building up a customer base takes time, just as it does when you have a brick-and-mortar jewelry business. But stick with it, do your homework, and keep producing quality pieces of handmade beaded jewelry. Like anything worth doing, building a successful online jewelry business takes time and effort, but the payoff is priceless: getting to do what you love and earn money doing it!
Do you have any other questions or advice for someone who wants to set up and run an online jewelry business? Are there any other aspects of running a jewelry business that you'd like to see addressed in future blogs here on Beading Daily? Leave a comment and let us know!