In a word of online shopping and endless possibilities when it comes to platforms to sell your handmade products on, face to face selling gets overlooked by so many new businesses. Don't miss out on a huge opportunity which so many don't consider, it can help you take your business to the next level.
When we launched our jewellery business back in 2009 we quickly realised how selling face to face gave us a great insight into our customers. No longer were we left guessing what our customers wanted. We were gathering the information we needed to take our product and business to the next level, straight from the customers mouth and this information became invaluable as we moved into selling solely online.
In the first few years we spent most weekends on the road. From baby shows to dog shows, shopping centres to craft fairs, we took most opportunities to sell face to face. At the end of each show or fair we would come away with a wealth of knowledge. We answered questions we had never even thought people would ask, we received requests for changes that we have never considered and we watched how each customer would interact with the product and the steps they took before deciding to purchase.
All this information became the framework for any decision we made going forward. By understanding what our customers wanted, what they expected from us, the questions they needed answered and the journey they took before choosing to purchase from us, this let us streamline our product and buying experience, from marketing right through to sales & even aftercare.
Companies pay £1000’s to get the kind of market research you are going to gain within a few hours and at a fraction of the cost. The most successful businesses know who their customers are and by putting yourself right in front of potential customers you are soon going to see who is attracted to your product and why
How do people interact with your product? Do they want to hold, touch, smell or try on the product? When selling online these are going to be the experiences a customer can not experience direct so this is the information we are going to have to pass on in other ways.
For instance, if customers are trying on a necklace to see where the chain sits then consider using images to show this on product listing. Use product description to mention sizing and describe how the chain sits.
What questions do customers ask? What comments do they make to you or others? Are they confused or concerned? Do they ask about packaging, payment method or how the product is made?
When selling jewellery one of the first comments we would hear is about price, some people would instantly believe that it was outside of their price range. So by making sure pricing & pricing structures were clear online became essential for us. We were also able to develop new ranges to suit different price ranges.
Don’t be scared to ask customers for their opinion. Why they choose a certain colour, flavour or design. Who they are buying for. What they will use your product for, is it going to solve a problem? You might just find something out about your product you never considered or find a niche market that has never come to mind.
Have you tried selling face to face? What have you learnt about your product and business that never crossed your mind before?