Can you believe the holiday season is only nine weeks away?! Fall snuck up on us, it's almost Halloween, and that means that the holiday shopping rush will soon begin in full force.
Shop Owners, we're here to help! We've prepared a nine part series of tips and tricks to help you get your shop ready and make the most sales in the busiest time of year.
Here is what's in store:
1. Master the Basics: Making your shop shine 2. Function & Form: Which materials for which products? 3. Discovery: Getting found in search 4. Personalization: Put a name on it! 5. Merchandising: Design for the occasion 6. Promotion: Go where your audience is 7. Fan Engagement: Put down the bullhorn and have a conversation 8. Data is your Friend: Statistics, Tracking and Analytics 9. Pay for Play: An introduction to the advertising world
#1 Master the Basics: Making your shop shine
There are three key elements to getting your shop ready for an influx of sales: (1) cleaning up your shop, (2) telling a story, and (3) taking great photos.
Cleaning up your shop
You may have lots of 3D models, but we suggest you pick only the best products to put into your shop. This means models that have been printed before and for which you have beautiful photos. Do not clutter up your shop with "default renders" of unrealized products. If you have great photographs next to bad images it erodes the overall integrity of the look of your shop -- think about streets with abandoned houses next to beautiful mansions; the value of the mansions goes down if there are empty lots nearby. Decisions to purchase are often made the moment an object is seen (everything after that is usually a process of self-justification), so make the decision easier with a clear, consistent shop.
Telling a story
In the product description, clearly describe your item: What is it? What does it do? Most importantly, tell the story of your item. Why did you make it? What was the inspiration? Was it designed for someone? So much of gift giving is about the story you tell to the recipient, and the authenticity of a unique product carries much more value than a mass produced item. So help gift givers tell that story by putting it in the description.
Also, we HIGHLY recommend that you categorize products and include tags. We'll have a whole post about how to improve discovery (#3 in the series), but the main point is that products with categories have a home in our galleries and tags help people find your products in search.
Taking great photos
You've already spent hours perfecting your design, waited for it to be delivered, and now you want to share it with the world. Do your design justice and show it in the best light!
You ideally want three types of images: a close up, scale and in-use.
A clear, in-focus close up of the object to show the detail.
A mid-range shot to show the size. For a wearable object, show it on the body. For a functional object, show it in use. So put that ring on a hand and put the case on your iPhone.
A wide shot to show the product in use. This shot should show some context. Selling is about promoting the benefits of a product, and people are more likely to buy something if you show them how it will fit into their life.
Check out our tutorial on taking good photos for more details. And remember, show the best photo as the first photo! This is what will appear in galleries and search.
Best Practice Example
For inspiration, check out Curve Creative, whose shop shines with a clear images, great products, and a clever story!
Stay tuned for next week's tip: Optimizing for sales and choosing the right materials for your products.
Now that you have the playbook, it's time to get your shop in ship-shape for the holiday season! Any questions or things you'd like to see in the series? Share a note in the comments field below. We're here to help you!