Note: This is a guest post by Kavita Paliwal of Jaipur Handicrafts, one of the leading online handicraft business. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of Deepanshu Gahlaut’s Blog.
The e-commerce market is growing all over the world and soon it will become a booming industry. If you see the various social networking sites or the internet per se, everyone is selling something or the other.
Initially, the internet was all about selling information, but now it is selling books, clothes, handcrafts, insurance policy, anything, you name it!
You will be surprised to know the fact that with an estimated global population of 7.7 billion people, that’s about 25 percent of the world’s population shopping online.
However, of all this, selling handicraft is a very challenging business. One will require both experience and commitment. Since the market is already overflowing with Chinese products which are cheap and durable, making way for other types of handicrafts is tough.
However, if you are determined, then you can make your handicraft business a success. But before you start your business, there are a few things you must know about, let’s take a look at those:
Conduct A Thorough Market Research Before Starting Your Business
Begin by gathering some quality information. Your market research should be quite in-depth so that you can gather as much intel as possible. Gather information about the needs of your customer, the profit margin, and on the availability of products.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know which products are in demand and what is the demand-supply ratio. Your market research should have information about the major suppliers and number of buyers. It is advisable to come up with handicraft products which are both beautiful and useful.
However, if you plan on selling products sourced from other manufacturers then keep a stock of the products in demand.
Make Sure Your Catalogue Is Extensive
Your business will survive on the diversity of the products that you offer to your customers. Now, the type of products that you will be keeping depends on you. You can opt for decorative products or utility products or both for that matter. There is an extensive variety of handicraft products.
Thus you have to map the various products shrewdly. You have to categorize them smartly so that the customer is able to browse the entire catalog. Keep the description crisp and to the point. But make it a point to cover the important topics like the product details, the price of the product and such other information.
You customers should be given a fair opportunity to try all the products in a diverse price range. Your website must not only show products which are in the higher price range.
Begin With Proper Bookkeeping
Accounts is a very important part of any business. In that light, it’s important to consider who will be maintaining the business accounts for you.
It is great if you are doing this on your own since its a very crucial job. Even a base level knowledge of accounts is good to start off with. All you need to do in the beginning is to get your hands on some basic bookkeeping software which will provide you with the required information whenever needed.
Select such software which will not only monitor your sales and bank balance but which will also keep a tab on the inventory.
However, if you do not know anything about bookkeeping, it’s important for your business to hire a good bookkeeper. You can get help from anyone who knows about accounting. Ask them about what are the things to look for before hiring a good bookkeeper.
However, even if you hire a professional bookkeeper to do the work for you, you need some know-how about the basics of accounting. Thus it’s important that you take up some bookkeeping class to learn a few basic concepts.
Your Website Design Will Matter
Once you have understood your target market, decide the product that you will be selling and have made up your mind about the selling process, it’s time for you to check a nice smart website which will showcase your exquisite handicraft items.
However, it’s important that you keep the website design as simple as possible. Make sure that the loading speed of the website is excellent otherwise you will lose your customers even before you begin your business.
Here are a few things that you have to keep in mind:
- Choose either one or two readable fonts and a user-friendly color-scheme
- Make your website navigation easy and clear on every page.
- Use multi-media – audio, video, and graphics to give more information or highlight your message
- Build an email list with an opt-in offer or discount
- Keep the buying process simple so that your customers can buy the product with just two to three clicks.
Since your website will be your visual storefront, its advisable to keep the entire thing user-friendly.
Make Effective Use of The Search Engine
Search engines can do a wonder for your business. Do you know Google is the primary source for generating traffic to websites?
You can use the pay-per-click (PPC) technique to get traffic to your site for the target and relevant keywords. Thus PPC will not only get you immediate traffic, but it will also help you to search for the best keywords almost immediately.
On the other hand, SEO is a free way of getting traffic from search engines. You don’t have to pay to anyone for the clicks. You should invest your time and efforts in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) process. Start with optimizing your page title, headlines, URLs, internal links and the body content.
Making use of these crucial steps you can lay the foundation of your online handicraft business. Use them well.
Is there anything you would like to add? Please share in the comments section below.