Monday, December 29, 2008

Selecting the Right Online Selling Venue

It seems to be the time of year to try new things!

As a business owner of the online jewelry business, I read forum posts in the various indie arts areas online and have found that when one person discovers a new or little known selling venue, everyone jumps on board and clamors to set up additional shops. Much discussion is had and I too get caught up in the excitement and sheepishly admit I have a variety of shops setup all over the Internet, some which are empty! Many, as it turns out, are not conducive to selling to my target customer.

Surely, some of the criteria that I read in discussions are very good, such as the technical aspects of a site (ease of use), the look (cluttered or clean), type of products sold (handmade or not), statistics (for shop, site, items), and even the response rate of the Admin running the site. To be sure, ALL of these are important.

However, I see that we are leaving out the MOST important factor in this mix - that of your target customer and where to find him or her.

Defining your target customer and the demographics surrounding them is the core of all marketing and promotional efforts that you take on and should define where you spend your dollars and energy. Without that juicy bit of discovery, you may as well be throwing darts in the dark.

How does one make the important decision of selecting an appropriate online venue before going through all the work to set up shop and list product?

Check out demographics web analysts, quantcast. There, you can enter the URL for the selling venue and discover a lot of statistics and customer demographics.

I created a quick Handout from GalleriaLinda that compares several popular online selling venues (ArtFire, BigCartel, Bonanzle, eCrater, Etsy, HandmadeFuzion, iCraft, and ShopHandmade). Not all the statistics are on this page, as I focused only on customer demographics and also the comments by quantcast. Some of the information was surprising. Visit quantcast and see what you can find out about the selling venues that you use.

Download GalleriaLinda's online selling venue customer demographics overview here! And, be sure to visit to see how stores in several of these venues look.

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