In this post in our series about getting your online shop ready for Christmas we’re looking at the most crucial aspect to get right in your online shop: creating a product range. Follow these tips for planning your product range and create a cohesive collection people want to buy.
Do you actually have a product range?
Take a good look at the products you have listed. Do they feel like parts of a cohesive collection of related items or more like you’ve stumbled into a jumble sale? That’s not to say each item isn’t great quality, but creating a range of items, that feel like they belong together as a family, will leave customers feeling inspired by your range and excited to keep up with what you’ll make next.
Each of your products should have collective themes that are repeated throughout the range, appealing to your predefined target market. This doesn’t mean they need to be made from the same materials but that they fit into a certain aesthetic and look like they belong together.
Your style need not be a predefined trend like chabby chic, colonial, retro or urban – it can be your own unique look. It has been made by you and that is the beauty of buying direct from a maker – they make unique items and don’t follow the crowd. Sometimes you might need help to identify your own style and describe it, the Folksy Forums are a great place for feedback on your product range.
Consistent photography is essential to give a branded look to a product range – see our photography tips for selling craft here. You should consider how your product range works together before you get to the marketing and listing stage so you can work out the best way to market it and reach the right people (more tips on marketing to come).
Find the gaps in your range
Offering versions of your work in differing colour palettes or materials, broadens choice for your customers and increases the chances of a sale. Yo can repeat the colour choices and change them to suit the new season, a simple way of refreshing your product range.
Look for new design ideas, products that fit your style and ethos but will suit a particular season. Offering cards, stocking filler items or decorations on the run up to Christmas can help get your range noticed and lead to sales of your core range of products.
Do you have a broad range of price points in your online craft shop? Having a range of products at different price points that appeal to a range of customers within your target market will enable you to maximise sales.
Offering something less expensive that still works well with your ethos and product range will broaden your market and can also lead to add on sales for people buying your more expensive items. Small items may not make you as much profit but if someone spends £5 in your shop today, they might come back and spend £35 next month if they like what they see.
Conversely you could also create a luxury range, perhaps using higher quality materials. Being reassuringly expensive can make something feel even more attractive and make your other lower priced items seem like exceptional value.
Do you have anything you could sell as an optional extra alongside your main product line. For example you might offer personalisation, gift wrapping or perhaps something as simple as offering a pair of earrings to match a necklace or a bobble to match a headband.
Within your product range create collections of items that are cheaper if bought together as a set or in multiples. At Christmas people are looking for gifts for lots of people and deals will encourage them to buy more. Keep the offer in keeping with the branding of your shop, you don’t want it to feel gimmicky.
Launching a New Collection
Launching a new collection gives you an opportunity to shout about your new products, getting in touch with press and encouraging existing customers to pop back to your shop for a look at the latest new collection. Any new collection should still echo the values of your existing work but gives you an opportunity to experiment.
Your product range may be made up of a number of ‘collections’. Selecting a simple palette of quality materials or a particular theme for a new collection works really well, it helps simplify your designs and make the collection stronger. It’s important that new collections make a statement, it’s up to you to decide what that is and how you will get that across to press and potential customers.