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Benefits of online craft fairs

Are online markets are still important for makers?

by Camilla

What are the benefits of online craft fairs – are they worth it?

Did you do any online markets during 2020? As the world closed down due to the pandemic, craft fairs moved online – and the customers followed. The two online markets Folksy did with Pedddle (one in May and one in December) saw sales 10 times higher than the average day in those months. But now that the world is opening up again, are online markets still relevant?

We talked to Nicki Capewell from craft fair directory Pedddle to find out. As an advocate for independent, creative markets and founder of Tresstle, a new platform for online events, Nicki is well placed to understand the benefits of both.

Watch the video below to hear her thoughts and scroll down to read a summary…

Watch it on YouTube – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k_V2PXh4Ll4&feature=youtu.be

Are online craft fairs still good for makers?

  • Yes! Many organisers are now opting to run online events alongside in-person ones because they’ve seen the benefits of both.
  • We’ve learned over the past year that selling solely in person (only through shops, galleries and craft fairs) isn’t always sustainable and can leave you exposed. Having a balance of offline/online outlets is a safer business model.
  • Online markets are here to stay and can complement (not replace) in-person markets.
  • Online events are more accessible for many customers, as well as for the business owners taking part.
  • Online craft fairs allow customers to interact with makers all across the UK, without being limited by location or physical accessibility issues.
  • As a stallholder at an online market, you can connect with other businesses and reach new audiences – just as at in-person events, but the audiences can be even bigger.
  • Although you have to be active social media to get the most out of an online market, one of the positives of that is that there can be hundreds of stallholders all pointing to the same page and pooling their resources to promote the event.
  • Stallholders with a small online following are supported by other stallholders with bigger, more established audiences.
  • Customers can quickly see your full range of products by clicking through from the market to your online shop. At an in-person event, you are limited by what you can carry on the day.
  • Customers can easily bookmark or favourite your online shop, click through the links on the market to your social media and follow you, sign up to your mailing list or even send the link to a product on their wishlist to their friends and family as a present idea.
  • Taking part in online events can lead to more followers on your social media as there are usually multiple opportunities for exposure on the organiser’s account and other stallholders’ accounts (sharing is caring!).
  • Just like in-person fairs, sales can happen after the online event too – and won’t necessarily all happen on the day.
  • While nothing can replace the atmosphere and buzz of in-person markets, organisers of online events are getting better at finding ways to replicate that vibe – eg video market walks, live music, interviews, online craft demonstrations.
  • Not all customers feel ready yet for a crowded shopping experience and many may feel more comfortable sitting at home and shopping online.

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