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Essential Pointers for Starting Your Online Shop

Since the pandemic started and prompted an economic recession, many people searched for alternative sources of income. One prominent example has been craft-making. The artists who create such things as stickers, keychains, coasters, magnets, and other trinkets sell these on an online shop on Etsy or Instagram. Etsy is a popular platform among small business crafts makers. Towards the end of 2019, it was home to over 2.5 million sellers.

During the pandemic, people have also been more supportive of small businesses, whether online or brick-and-mortar. But just because consumers seem to be in your favor doesn’t mean you should slack off. Here are some tips that will help your Etsy shop succeed.

Don’t forget to market it

With many online shops on the web, it’s doubtful that people will find your shop on their own. Make sure to market it to get the word out. Digital marketing services are essential in today’s consumer landscape. With the increased amount of time people have spent on their devices and the rise of e-commerce since the pandemic, it’s the best way to let people know about your brand. Compared to traditional marketing tools such as print, TV, and radio, digital marketing tools are more affordable. Because they’re proliferated through the internet, they can reach wider audiences, whereas traditional media such as billboards and TV commercials are often limited to a certain region.

Another digital marketing tool called analytics also helps you track consumer engagements with your page and marketing materials. This way, you can determine which of your materials are effective and which are not and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Find your niche

One of the keys to succeeding in business is setting yourself apart from the rest. Figure out what other people want that only you can give them. This is exactly the advice that Roy Preston, co-owner of Greenwich Village’s The Little Lebowski Store, gave when asked how to do business. The store, which Preston co-owned with friend Nicholas Dollak, was initially a children’s bookstore. However, the shop struggled multiple times with finding its footing selling books. One day, the two owners decided to sell merchandise of the cult film The Big Lebowski as a joke, but the Lebowski-themed shirts became their best-selling items.

Retail chain Hot Topic had its humble beginnings in a garage in the late 1980s. It had its start selling gothic-style accessories such as crucifixes, belts with spikes. It also sold other items such as hair dye that often couldn’t be found at other mall boutiques. In the 90s, Hot Topic diversified its merchandise by selling music t-shirts. Soon, the store became a hub for goths, rockers, and punks. Today, Hot Topic is one of the most popular clothing and pop culture merchandise retailers in the world.

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Keep up with what’s hot

Despite its reputation as a loved destination among tourists and locals alike, The Little Lebowski closed its doors for good in late 2015. It’s impossible to say how much of the closure was due to neighborhood gentrification, past U.S. financial crises, and a limited product lineup of one film that was likely decreasing in popularity. But there’s no doubt that the last reason played a part in the store’s demise.

On the other hand, Hot Topic continued to expand its product lineup to accommodate merchandise for new hit films and TV series. The chain has since continued to diversify its product line by offering merchandise centered around cult media hits such as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Twilight series, and many more. The reason why Hot Topic is still hot is that it actively keeps up with what’s hot.

Use high-quality images

In the short window of time that you have to grab a person’s attention online, first impressions are of the utmost importance. This means that your visuals carry a big responsibility. Consumers link the quality level of your visuals to that of your products and services. Hire a graphic designer and professional photographer if necessary to create your logo and craft beautiful images for your shop.

Running an online shop in a market that’s already very saturated and competitive can be overwhelmingly challenging. Make sure that you market your brand to reach wide audiences and fill your pages with beautiful, eye-catching images. To keep your shop alive, you should know who you are catering to. Determine what you can offer your target market that other sellers aren’t giving them. Lastly, consider diversifying your product or service lineup to accommodate new trends.

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