Indian ecommerce is going to be a billion dollar business in 2015. So, why not take advantage of this rage and sell handicrafts online. Indian handicrafts are popular not only with Indian audiences but also with international audiences. Indian handicraft is a labor intensive industry, which is widely spread in rural as well as urban area.
Selling handicrafts are a challenging business. Especially, with the advent of cheap Chinese products, Indian handicrafts are taken for granted. Still, there is a cluster of the audience who are still inclined towards hand made products. Therefore, reaching the correct audience is important. Since, your physical store doesn’t have the bandwidth to reach a large number of audience, creating an ecommerce website and sell handicrafts online is a great option.
Sell Handicrafts Online: Taking the First Step
Where should I start my online handicraft store? If this question is bothering you, then here is the answer to it.
Determine Product Source
Before you step into the business of selling Indian handicrafts, it is necessary that you need to filter the product categories in which you will deal. If you run a physical business of making and manufacturing Indian handicrafts, then there is no further discussion needed.
However, if you are starting from scratch, then you need to decide the product categories. Whether you want to create an online store that sells “almost” every handicraft product or just want to deal with exclusive categories. You can do a market research on it. Partner with craftsmen or Indian handicraft store that can provide your products. You can also go to Indian handicraft fair or places like Dilli Haat. Sign a merchant agreement with them after deciding the product price and delivery date & time.
Do a Market Research
It is a must do part of running any online business. Before you start your online business, always do a market research about the product, which you are going to sell. This will help you plan your business strategy, in terms of website design, product demand, available product and category, marketing strategy and much more. Checks out what product are being sold by your competitors and at what price. Figure out the hits and miss of their store and plan your ecommerce website keeping them in mind. Also, know your audience to which you will be selling these products, their product demand, feasible prices, and areas where they are mostly located.
Getting Your Product Catalog Ready
The preparing product catalog is both fun and challenging. It’s fun because the products are amazingly beautiful, and challenging because there is a lot of work to be done and taken care of. Let’s look t the important aspects of product cataloging.
1) Category Mapping
If you are selling multiple category products, then you need to make sure that you decide the parent category and sub-category accordingly. This will not only help you to track your product easily, but your audience will be able to check out what they really want by going into the relevant category. List down all the products and decide its category accordingly.
2) Choose Product Price
Product Pricing is extremely important for selling any product online. Include the product’s base price, taxes, shipping charges or any other charges. However, you cannot forget your audience and competitors. Make sure that your product prices are not too high that your audience does not want to buy products and you get kicked out of the industry without any efforts.
3) Get Product Images Clicked
Get your Indian handicrafts come alive with the amazing image. Clicking Indian handicrafts is a tough task. You will need a professional photographer to carry out this work. Get creative with your products by getting images from every angle. Also, you can create an exciting backdrop, in case you are selling home decor or furnishing items.
4) Writing Product Descriptions
The next work in preparing your product catalog is writing product descriptions. After images, a product description is a next thing which your customer will look to judge your products. Write enticing product descriptions which explain your products, quality, material, uses dimensions, etc. Don’t lie or exaggerate about your products just to make them sell. Come clear to your buyers.
Preparing Your Ecommerce Website
Setting up your ecommerce website from the scratch might be a tough task for somebody who is not IT sound. You might need to hire web designers and developers who will create your online store. However, this is a time-consuming process. Therefore, you can go for pre-built design templates which will save a lot of time as well as money. Make sure that you use design templates which are mobile responsive so that it can be accessed from any gadget.
Choose Payment Method
Decide whether you want to integrate payment gateway to accept online payments or COD to accept offline payment or both. While payment gateway will take some time to integrate, you can start accepting COD payment from the second you develop your ecommerce website. If you are willing to sell handicrafts online to the international audience, make sure that you do have a secured payment gateway like PayPal to accept international payment easily.
Shipping Your Handicraft Products Safely
There is nothing worse than a shipment delivered at the wrong address or with the wrong/damaged product/s. This surely takes a toll on your brand and your customer might not trust you again. This will affect your sales and potential customers. Therefore, it is necessary that you ship your products properly. Choose packaging material according to the product type. If the product is delicate and breakable, then you need to take extra packaging care. But, make sure that you don’t make your package too big as it will increase your shipping cost.
Marketing Indian Handicrafts Online
Unlike a physical store, the reach of your online store is more. However, you need to do your homework to drive the audience to your store. For this, you need to carry out various marketing tactics so that you can increase your sales and sell products.
1) Search Engine Optimization
Choose relevant keywords with maximum searches and minimum competition, include these keywords in your site content and product description. Also, use these keywords to carry out SEO marketing so that your audience can search your store on the search engine. It is free but time taking.
2) Email Marketing
Got email IDs of your potential customer? Great! Showcase your products and offers attractive discounts and wait for buyers to flood into your store. Get your handicrafts directly to your customer’s inbox directly.
3) Paid Advertisements
To reach more audience easily, spend some money and start your paid advertisement using Facebook or Google. You can choose your target area and audience and run advertisements within your budget. Don’t forget to attach an attractive image alongside to attract more audience.
4) Selling On Third Party Sites
Choose between affiliate marketing or selling on marketplaces to drive more traffic to your online store. While affiliate websites will increase sales on your website and your brand name will be highlighted, selling on marketplaces will increase your sales without spending too much money on marketing. However, it will not help in brand visibility.
5) Sell Indian Handicrafts Internationally
If you want to sell handicrafts online not only in India but also abroad, then you need to make certain changes in your website as well as your marketing strategy. To know more about selling products internationally, click here.
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