BIG CARTEL: finding a great online sales platform
April 10, 2012
Small Equals online shop at BigCartel. Screenshot.
After I closed Pine Street Art Works, my bricks and mortar store, I had to figure out how to keep selling, but online. I was developing a line of products - wooden Keepsake Boxes - that I was excited about, and wanted to offer on the web. I did my research and decided on BigCartel as my platform. I considered Etsy because I know a lot of crafters and antiques vendors who are happy with it, but I thought about the tradeoff - possibly more visitors via the well known site vs. the ability to jump around once the shopper is inside the site. I decided I'd rather have a captive audience. And on BigCartel I can sell products made by other people or manufacuturers, like Seed Bombs by VisuaLingual, or Canetti Pure Acrylic Magnet Frames, two of my most popular items.
Small Equals at BigCartel. Screenshot, product page for Sew To The Moon
When I first started selling on BigCartel the design options were more limited than I would have liked. I don't know how to code but I have high standards. But that changed recently when BigCartel offered new design options for the coding-challanged.
Small Equals online shop at BigCartel. Screenshot, Large image of Dogs Rule Keepsake Box.
To have a beautiful storefront you have to start with a good, or at least a good looking, product, good pictures and a strong enough design sense. But that's a given. All of that takes a lot of work, and a skill set that takes time to develop. Once you have that, and have found your online platform, there's still the work of marketing. But it makes all the difference to have a good platform, and I have to say I'm hugely pleased with the folks at BigCartel.
I'm very happy that I can write as much text as I like about a product. Regular readers of this blog know that backstory and provenance mean the world to me, and I get to tell it on each product page. I've even included a video on some pages, of me showing the box.
There's even an option for pages, including a page for your blog. I love this feature because the more a customer knows about the folks who make a product, the more personal it becomes. Story sells. And as a customer, I like to know who I am buying from.
Screen shot, Small Equals online store at BigCartel. Showing page for this blog.
The support staff at BigCartel is superb and that counts for a lot. Quick, friendly advice and help? I'm hooked.
BigCartel even has an app that connects to my my small equals Facebook Page, for seamless shopping online.
BigCartel app on small equals FaceBook page. Screenshot
My ancestors peddled door to door and then opened up one of the worlds' first catalog companies. It makes me proud to continue in the family tradition...but in a 21st century venue.
Find my online store HERE
If you are interested in using bigcartel as your online platform you can find them at www.bigcartel.com
and happy shopping! Or selling.