Craft Venture: ‘Tis the season to diversify

golden acorns ornament by stacey winters

Welcome to Craft Venture! If you own or dream of starting an online handmade or vintage business, this weekly column is for you! Im Brenda, owner of Phydeaux Designs on Etsy and 1000 Markets. We’ve been talking about preparing for the holidays. Last week, we talked about “decorating” your online websites with holiday-themed graphics as well as making sure your policies are updated specifically for holiday shopping, shipping dates and return policies. This week, we are talking about diversifying!

Are you already seeing holiday shoppers on your websites? Are your wholesale and consignment accounts finalizing holiday orders? Yes and yes for me! And you know what else? Except for two people, my shopping is done! That doesn’t mean, however, that I will be immune to the odd impulse purchase or additional stocking stuffer or two. Which brings me to our topic this week:  diversification. I don’t mean this is the time for you to create a whole new line for your business; instead, think about how you can create a range of price points for your customers and potential customers.

For some types of business, this is a natural. Many fine artists and photographers offer prints and cards in a variety of sizes, ACEO’s, calendars, magnets, etc. But what about your particular business? Are there items you can create or add at low, medium and higher price points?

Peppermint crystal palm wax melts by smokey mountain scents

I like to think about having a variety of items and price points that will fill any kind of gift need:  primary gift, smaller gift, stocking stuffer, something for grandparents or employees or girlfriends/boyfriends, something for the DIYer as well as the giver of gift certificates. Your shops’ venues will see increased shopping traffic between now and the first week of January – I’d hate for you to lose a potential customer if you’re able to diversify!

I say this knowing that diversification might not work for you, depending on your business. Maybe you have a line with fixed prices. Are you able to offer gift certificates? What about cards or prints of your items? A calendar? Are you able to create a lower (or higher) priced version of your line? (I don’t mean simply lowering the price; I mean a more “entry-level” or more high end version of your line, using lower or higher cost materials and/or techniques.)

With a wider range of price points and items, you may also be able to “up sell,” meaning that your customers may buy more than one item from your shop. In a retail store, you’d easily up sell by suggesting additional items, even very inexpensive ones, for your customer to add to their purchase. You can do the same via your product descriptions, shop announcement,  etc.! Include links to your most recent additions, your sale section, your holiday items. If you’re having a sale, be sure to include it in more than one spot! You might remember that your customers need to see or read something several times before it starts to “stick.”

mini polka dot holiday gift tags by perideau designs

For the most part, creating a nice range of prices and items should help turn browsers into customers, customers into repeat customers, and even single item orders into multi-item orders. You still have a bit of time to do so, if you move quickly!

Do you already have a wide range of price points and items available? How are you making sure your shoppers know about that range? What tips and tricks can you share with the rest of us?

If you don’t have a range already, what are one or two things you can add? And how can you “market” those additions via your shop’s descriptions or your direct communication with shoppers?

Images:  Golden acorns ornaments by Stacey Winters; Peppermint crystal palm wax melt by Smokey Mountain Scents; Mini polka dot holiday gift tags by Perideau Designs

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[…] We’ve spent the last month talking about preparing for the holidays.  Last week, we talked about diversifying your shop.  This week, we will talk about how to get the word out for a sale for the biggest shopping day of […]

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