5 Popular Platforms For Getting Your Creative Business Online
These days, running a successful craft or art business is as much about your online presence as your products. Finding the right platform from which to sell your creations can be one of the most important decisions when setting up an online store. With so many new platforms popping up, it can be hard to decide which way to go. Perhaps you’ve already been selling at markets, have set up a business plan, done some market research and are now ready to set up your online store. Read on to find a rundown of some of the most popular online selling platforms today.
Etsy is one of the most popular and well-known platforms for selling craft items with more than 875,000 users. Etsy is a great way to gain fast exposure as it already attracts millions of visitors, and spares you the hassle of having to build and set-up your own website or payment system. It’s easy to create an account and you can start selling everything from jewellery and clothing, to homewares and sculpture.
Etsy does charge 20 cents per listed item and 3.5 percent commission on all sales, however it also cuts out the cost of paying for web hosting, or various payment platforms fees. One of the downfalls of Etsy is that you are limited to their template designs. Also, being such a popular platform, it might be hard to keep buyers on your page when there are so many products available in the same category.
Red Bubble was founded in Melbourne in 2006 as an online marketplace for unique products featuring artists’ work. Artwork can be submitted by users, which are then made available through a ‘print on demand’ system when people purchase products through the site. This takes away the hassle of having to organize printing and creating your own products.
Red Bubble now allows you to print your artwork onto everything from t-shirts, leggings, scarves and hoodies to duvet covers, laptop sleeves and tote bags. Red Bubble can also create a variety of poster and canvas prints from your artwork. There are no sign-up fees and you decide your own price above the base price, which then becomes your profit.
After Etsy, DaWanda is the one of the largest online marketplace for craft and handmade goods. DaWanda was started in Germany and a large percentage of sellers are European, however there’s no restrictions on users with international shipping and Paypal transactions.
DaWanda is free to sign up and easy to start using. While there are no listing fees, there is a 10% commission on all sold items. DaWanda has a focus on products that are unique or limited edition, with a vintage vibe to many of the products available through their site. DaWanda also has a range of online DIY tutorials and a detailed ‘gift finder’ search tool which helps buyers find the perfect present.
Similar to Red Bubble, Society 6 is an online marketplace that sells products created from submitted artwork. The site has a more minimalist feel that makes it easy to navigate and seems to be a popular platform for photographers. Their range includes things like wall clocks, mugs and even shower curtains.
Like Red Bubble, Society 6 produce, package and ship the products for you meaning that there’s a lot hassle. However, this also means that the base cost of products goes towards Society 6. On average, you earn a profit of around $3-$10 on each product sold. It might be worthwhile establishing yourself on a larger platform such as Red Bubble or Etsy, while using Society 6 to tap into an additional market.
Square Space is a website builder that allows you to create an online store based on existing templates. They have a wide range of templates that have a slick, modern feel to them and the drag and drop functions allow you to change the elements on your site.
Square Space lacks the community aspect of many other online platforms, however you have far more control over customizing the look and feel of your online shop. There are several pricing options, that includes your own domain name, with the lowest plan costing around $8 a month. E-Commerce is built into all premium accounts, however does not work with Paypal, which may be a deal breaker for some.
These are just some suggestions to get started, but there are plenty more options out there. Spend a bit of time doing some research and you’re sure to find something that will meet your needs and suit your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask others for advice, or see what your favourite sellers are up to. And most of all, have fun and good luck!
Check out the Colour Box Online Shop for some great items!