build-craft-storeSome say that starting an online store is difficult, they’re wrong! It’s easy as long as you have the right guide get started.

Here’s a starting-from-scratch guide to setting up shop on the web.

Research

Why should a customer buy your hand-knit sweaters when they have 100 other online shops to choose from?

Knowing what product you want to sell is only part of creating a successful online store. You’ll also need to know what people are searching that is related to your niche. To find out how, check this guide on how to use Keyword Planner.

It also pays to make a business plan as it will help you plan the steps you’ll need to take to make your business successful. Figure out your cost of operation and map out a marketing strategy. You might be interested to consider these things:

  • Production costs, whether you’re creating your product yourself or contracting with a manufacturer
  • Employee wages, if applicable
  • Shipping costs & Taxes
  • Fees for reserving your domain name and web hosting service.

Domain And Website Design

Choose a domain name that is easy to understand, catchy, easy to remember and isn’t already in use. Here are some tips on how to come up with a great name for your craft business. If your chosen name is already taken, don’t worry… the domain registration service will provide suggestions for close alternatives.

There are many different options for setting up your own online store from hosted plans to having to setup your own hosting.  Check out each of the options below to see which might suit you best, or you can setup on multiple platforms to increase your market share.

  • Etsy – Hosted option on the largest handmade market online
  • Artfire – Hosted option in a large market share of the handmade market
  • Ebay – Hosted option on the largest online market place
  • Homestead – Easy to use site builder to create a custom store
  • Meylah – Free hosted option that takes a commision of sales
  • Weebly – Simple drag and drop website builder
  • WordPress – The most popylar free CMS system on the web

Learn how to create a professional-looking online craft store  as easy as counting 1, 2, 3.

Either design the website on your own or hire a web designer to create it for you. The emphasis should be on showcasing your product and making it as easy as possible for customers to make a purchase.

Include a way to gather email addresses, so you can send advertisements and special offers.

Shopping Cart Platform

If you choose to have your own website, you need to have a software or shopping cart platform for your business. You can find lots of them in the market for free or trials. A popular platform used by a lot of crafters is 1ShoppingCart.

This allows customers to view products and make a secure purchase.

Promote And Sell

Start capturing the best images of your handicrafts by checking our Craft Photography Series. From there, add the images to your site to captivate the attention of your target audience. In addition, boost your sales by reading our article about 30 Free Ways To Promote Your Craft Business And Products Online.

Easy, right?

If you have an online store you’ve made yourself that you want to show off or tips and tricks to add to our basic guide. Please feel free to add them in the comments to help fellow crafters.

That’s it for now.

Stay tuned for more handmade business tips. Happy Crafting!

Gary Capps

I live in the one of the most beautiful places in the world on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my wife and our 2 dogs, Poppy and Mia. Since 2009 I have helped over 15,000 handmade business owners to grow their business with our software and free tools designed for todays entrepreneurial artisan.

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