Craft Show Tips: Promoting Your Online Shop at Craft Shows

Craft Show Tip:  Promoting Your Online Shop

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Craft shows are great for so many reasons.  The first thing they are good for, of course, selling your products.  They’re great for meeting your customers and other things.

But what if no one is buying?

Even if they are buying, you want them to find you again, right?

This tip is for you if you have an online shop.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an Etsy shop or a shop on your website or elsewhere, you want the people who love your stuff, who buy your stuff or even show an interest to find you and be able to purchase from you again.

I have done tons of craft shows throughout the years.  Sometimes they’re great and sometimes not so much.  When they’re not great sales-wise, I make sure that I’m at least handing out my business card to everyone who seems interested.

It is important that people can find your online shop later:

1.  Sometimes they’re not ready to purchase right now.  This is especially true if you sell higher priced items or items that are bulky to get home.  But it can also be true for other products as well.

2.  Sometimes people are looking for gifts and your thing might be something they want for themselves.  Or sometimes it’s the opposite and they think your thing would be perfect for their best friend but they’re not purchasing anything for her right now.  You want to make sure she remembers you later.

3.  Sometimes people come to craft shows as an event to walk and look around, but not necessarily to buy, so even though they might be interested they’re not ready to buy that day.

4.  And so many other reasons.

Of course, you want to try to overcome all of this and make the sale anyway, but if you can’t you want to make sure they have some way of finding you again.

There is a thin line between getting the sale today and letting them walk away because they have an out of “I can get it online.”  You can counteract this by letting them know that you don’t have the same things online that you have at the show.  This works if first of all it’s true.  And second of all if you make a lot of one-of-a-kind items.

But it’s also helpful to show that you’re a real business by showing them you have an online presence.  If there are problems with their purchase, they can get in touch with you.  They know they can trust you more and thus be more likely to buy from you.

Here are my suggestions for promoting your online shop at craft shows:

  • Make sure you have business cards with your website clearly printed on them.

This isn’t a sure thing because people often misplace business cards.  Can you think of something that they might keep that is not expensive for you to print/make, but will get their attention more?

I also highly recommend photos of your products on the card.  I have been complimented a lot on my business cards because they have photos on them.  It is also a reminder of what you sell and why they have the card.

  • Make brochures.

I used to make brochures myself and just print them in black and white on colored paper.  I gave more information about my business, about how they can make custom orders and upcoming craft shows I was doing on them.

You could offer a discount in your online shop and print the discount code on them.

They give you more room to say a little more about your business and what you offer so they can read more about your business and be able to purchase in the future.

  • Have signs.

People do not assume they can find you online unless you show them you are.  I cannot tell you the amount of times people would see my sign with my website and say, “Oh, you’re online?”  From there you can give them your card with the web address.

  • Capture newsletter signups.

I’m going to go more into detail about newsletters next week.  For now just know that it’s important to capture the emails of the people in your booth and your customers and have a way to contact them in the future.  You can then tell them about things in your online shop when you send out your newsletters.

Have a form for them to fill out and you can also ask them to sign up.

  • Talking to people about it.

As you are checking out customers who are making purchases or as you talk to interested folks in your booth, let them know you have an online store.  You can hand them your card then or they’ll probably ask for it.

Caution:  I would not make this the first thing I say to them.  You definitely should be spending most of your time talking to them about your products and their uses and how they work.  But you can let them know if they’re not making a purchase or as you are checking them out.  (Like I mentioned, there’s a thin line between making sure they know you have an online shop and giving them an option to walk away and getting the sale on the spot.)

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Getting ready for your first craft show?  Or have you done a few, but not had a ton of success?

Check out my eBook:  Craft Show Tips

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