Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Art of Selling Online - Hosted by Storenvy

Last Thursday Adam Hendle and the awesome folks at Storenvy hosted a workshop to give online sellers, like us, more information and advice about.. well.. selling online!

It was an open event (with a $5 donation to the San Francisco Homeless Children's Network, who are based in the same building as Storenvy) and quite a few members of our SF Etsy team decided to check it out.

Since the Storenvy offices are the the Mission and no trip to the Mission is complete without eating Mexican food, a few SF Etsy members also met up beforehand for a sneaky burrito, before the workshop started at 7pm.

11 of our team members showed up for the presentation and it was great to meet a few more team members and put faces to Etsy shops and Twitter accounts! They were:
Eko from Eko Wright, Even Howard from nadene, Lisa from Tickle and Smash, Katy from Katy Atchison, Kathryn Hedges from Splendid Colors, Rochelle Foles from Haute Melange, Conor from San Francisco Terrain, Veronika from Recherche, Brandi and Briana from Urban Bazaar and me, Claire from Embergrass. Told you there were quite a few of us!

So what did we learn?
Well, the presentation was a very comprehensive look at all aspects of selling online and it was crammed full of information so there's no way I'm even going to attempt to cover it all here. I will leave you with some of the highlights, though, and a few quotes from some of our team members, taken from our recent tweetchats.

  • Be self-aware, find a niche, be passionate about it.
  • Recognize that not everyone is your target customer and find those people who are.
  • Set realistic, achievable and measurable goals.
  • Tell your story and carry your brand through in everything you do.
  • Make sure your product descriptions include all the information the customer needs - they can't see or touch your product over the internet
"Pack good keywords into the first section-easy to do this if you start with the story + it shows the handmade nature better" - Jen (Acts of Craftiness)
  • Take great photos of your products.
"Good light! One of the most important aspects of taking photos" - Claire Smith (Embergrass)
  • Include more information on how your product is made, behind-the-scenes photos and lifestyle or 'lookbook' photos on your blog.
  • Try to show scale in your photos, definitely make sure your photos aren't misleading.
"I made the mistake of using size ambiguous props.. people thought my handbags were change purses" - Lisa Spinella (Tickle and Smash)
  • Always provide outstanding customer service and be a real person.
  • Interact on social media like twitter, facebook and pinterest.
"I try to pretend my customer is standing there in front of me..what would I say, do to remedy the situation. BE Real" - Sarah Mones Friedman (birdbags)
  • Admit to mistakes and apologize then try to fix them
  • Packaging is the first impression your customer gets of you - make it good and consistent with your branding
"there is always a tough balance between presentation, perception and being eco-friendly" - Kathleen McMahon 
  • Customer service doesn't end when you ship your product - follow up to see if they have feedback.

A lot of great resources were also thrown up during the workshop, you can find them over on the Storenvy blog on their recap of the event. If you wished you'd been there, don't worry, Adam will be doing the presentation again sometime, keep an eye on the Storenvy blog to find out when.

Upcoming Event

If you have a burning desire (or just a desperate need) to find out more about how to use Google Analytics, your wish has just been answered.

Google Analytics Workshop
September 18th
6pm - 8pm
Hosted by Storenvy, in conjunction with the SF Etsy Team

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!


Katy said...

I really loved how this event wasn't just about Storenvy but about selling online in general - it was great information that anyone could use on Etsy or other places online.

Gabrielle Lessard said...

Thanks for posting this! I'm glad to hear the event will be run again

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