In this post we are looking specifically at best practice for grouping items together within your shop and creating collections. We want to show you how creating and launching collections can have a huge positive impact on your sales and productivity.
Create Marketing Opportunities with Collections
Last week we looked at how to build a successful product range in your shop. With the shop collections feature on Folksy you can decide how to group products into collections and maximise the chance of them being found.
Creating a range of themed items as a collection not only makes items easy to find but also gives you great marketing opportunities.
A carefully thought out collection of products gives your work more gravitas as you can make a buzz around the launch and focus your marketing on a particular target audience for each range.
Contacting press (tips for getting press coverage here) or sending a newsletter to existing customers with the exciting news of your new range gives you a chance to tell people about the inspiration, the materials and the particular design choices you have made and why. You can tell your story, giving the content creators, bloggers and journalists something to talk about.
Keep fans engaged with new collections
You can offer sneak peeks of your latest collection with work-in-progress pics to your Facebook feed or via Instagram, which will help get your fans excited about the launch of the full range and increase the desirability of your products.
Designing and launching collections sets you apart, and can even launch your career as a designer.
One of the greatest benefits of creating a collection is that the work is actually ‘collectible’. Product collections give you the opportunity for repeat custom from buyers who love the aesthetic of the products in your range.
Collection launches give structure to your online business
Many sellers create a seasonal collection of items within their shops, for example ‘Christmas’ or ‘Mother’s Day’ and use these fixed gift-buying periods to structure their marketing. However, if you don’t sell items specifically aimed at seasonal occasions you can still give structure to your product launches throughout the year, giving you bursts of design activity, making activity and then marketing activity for each product range.
Your making and marketing plan, as is true with professional designers, should all be geared around the dates of these launches. You can choose the dates to fit with your own life, although you may want them to coincide with big seasonal craft fairs and events throughout the year where buyers and press are on the lookout for fresh new talented designers.
Shop Collections on Folksy.com
Folksy has created the ‘shop collections’ feature with this kind of activity in mind. We really want to see shopkeepers getting creative with their collections, and making the most of this simple feature to improve their shops and help with marketing. This is especially important in the run-up to the busy gift-buying season.
Share a link to your new collections online or in the Folksy Forums – we’d love to share our favourites in the Folksy Finds newsletter, which reaches over 70,000 craft fans a week! Shop Collections are also searchable by Google and other search engines, so if you have a really strong collection with lots of links in from Facebook, Twitter and blog posts, it might show up when people are searching for suggestions!
Shop Collections – Great Examples from Folksy Shop Owners
If you were laying out a bricks-and-mortar shop, you would group items either by type or by products that work together. But on Folksy you have the benefit of being able to group products in both these ways, because you can add items to more than one collection.
For example, Folksy seller Charlotte Macey whose collections are pictured above has created a ‘by the sea’ collection, but she also has more descriptive product collections where her products are organised by type (ie stationery, kitchenware, crockery) – as well as seasonal collections like Christmas. So if an item fits more than one collection, like her boat card which fits in both ‘by the sea’ and is an item of stationery, she can add it to both collections.
In this collection Suzie Kemner of Folksy shop Huckleberry has grouped together all the items that feature her ‘Star Tomato’ design. These products are also in her other descriptive collections, such as ‘cushions’, ‘coasters’ and ‘tea towels’.
As another example, Melanie Commins from Folksy shop ‘Song of the Seam’ has created a collection of all of her Christmas items for sale, so it’s easy for buyers to see all her Christmas decorations and view the different designs available in one place.
You can arrange items listed in your Folksy shop in any order. This is useful if you don’t want to delist Christmas products after Christmas but want them out of the way in the last pages of your products, to give non-seasonal items prime position on your shop landing page. You can then continue linking to the collection if you want to run a sale of any unsold items after Christmas.
Collections don’t have to be grouped by style or product type. In this shop Peris and Corr, Jennie and Dyfrig who live and work in Snowdonia, have created a collection of Welsh products. This is a great way of reaching their local market. “Our designs are inspired by vintage typography, hand drawn illustrations, traditional fabric patterns and the wonderful wildlife that surrounds our studio. You will also find some Welsh language products too!”
How to Create Shop Collections on Folksy
Learn how to create ‘collections’ in your Folksy shop in this useful help article. It’s very straightforward and well worth looking at if you’re new to Folksy or you want to give your shop a makeover before the busy gift buying season.
If you need any more tips or have any questions about building collections, ask on our forums to get feedback from fellow Folksy sellers. We’ve created a thread here ‘Creating Shop Collections‘, and the Folksy admin team will be available to offer advice. You’ll find shop owners are more than happy to offer polite advice and give those all important ‘objective’ opinions that can really help boost your sales. It’s a really friendly community at Folksy (no need to be shy!).
Share your best collections with us! Send a tweet or Facebook post with the link to your collections or leave a link in the comment below.