Selling your Art Online - Website Tips For Artists
If you plan to sell your art online with your own unique website, my advice is simple: Be Different! There are hundreds of artist websites online today that are all making the same mistakes. The first problem I would like to note, is the use of long multimedia presentations that artists are incorporating into their websites. I don't think there is anything more frustrating then arriving at a website and waiting for this huge multimedia presentation to download and play. The artist may think it's cool or adds something to their work, but in all actuality, it only frustrates impatient surfers. Not all Internet users have super fast cable or DSL connections. Many are still using dial up modems and if they have to wait for something to download, they will simply leave and visit your competition.
There are also sites that insist on putting unrelated banner ads or other unrelated advertising on their websites. Just the other day I was doing a search for original watercolor art. The first website I arrived at had a big banner at the top of the website advertising a dating site. I am not sure how dating is related to watercolors? This is simply a distraction and you are immediately sending visitors off your website. If you are going to advertise on your website, make sure it's related to the theme of your website and is helpful to your visitors.
Do not make it the very first thing they see when they arrive at your home page. You need to catch your visitor's attention right away. This means putting your most important information near the top of your website in plain view. Your goal is to draw your visitor into your site immediately with a compelling headline so that they stay long enough to check out what you have to offer. Once you draw them in with a good headline, you must then direct them to take an action. That could be to subscribe to your newsletter, or to check out your latest product(s). Keep your site navigation consistent throughout your entire site. This means having the same navigation links in the same order on every page of your website. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to get from one place to the next, not to confuse them. Make sure your visitors can easily contact you.
Put a link to a contact page on every page of your site. If you have testimonials, use them. Testimonials are awesome sales tools. People love to hear good reviews about a product or products they are about to purchase. It really does boost sales. If you have ever received testimonials from customers, highlight a few of them on your home page in clear view. If you do not have testimonials yet, contact people that have purchased from you in the past and ask if they could provide feedback on the product they purchased for inclusion on your website. Make sure they know how you plan to use their testimonial, and ask if you can site their name with the testimonial. Start an opt-in newsletter. If you do not already have a method for collecting your visitors email addresses, then you may be losing sales.
Many people who first come to your site will usually leave without making a purchase. It is important therefore to collect as many email addresses as possible so that you can follow up with your visitors. You could send out an announcement to your list of subscribers whenever you have a new piece for sale. If you regularly attend art or craft shows, you could send out an email and let your subscribers know when and where. You could also send out surveys or questionnaires to your list to get a better idea as to the type of products they are interested in purchasing. Make certain that you have a variety of different payment options for your customers, especially payment by credit card. Studies have shown that sites, which accept credit card payments, have significantly more sales. Use a service like PayPal to accept credit cards from your website. It's free and easy to setup. Make sure you have detailed purchasing and shipping instructions in place.
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