Sell Your Crafts Online: Organize Your Shop with Customers in Mind

Sweet N Simple Pouches PDF sewing patternI’m going to be blunt: I am a recovering idiot.

For the last two years, I have dutifully and lovingly organized my shop like a seller. You might organize your shop that way too. However, it’s buyers who are my customers. It’s buyers who are perusing my stores and following me on Facebook. When you sell your crafts online, you need to think like a buyer!

There’s no way for me to calculate how many sales I’ve lost because of this poor thinking, but I’m sure it’s more than I want to know. For a while I considered keeping my idiocy a secret, but I’d feel more like an idiot for not sharing this because I know SO many people are doing exactly the same thing. That’s why today is the day to organize your shop by getting into your buyer’s head and out of yours as you sell your crafts online!

Let’s start with how I went wrong. My shop is stocked with beautiful art prints that come in a variety of sizes. Therefore, logically (to me) I grouped by size. That’s what determined price and shipping containers, after all. But what sort of a person walks into an art gallery thinking, “Gee, I need an 8” x 10” print today to fit in my 11” x 14” frame.” No one! My buyers would instead search by themes or colors or price points to find their perfect piece. Aha! Why had I never realized this? It’s only after I got out of my ‘seller head’ that I saw how foolishly I had organized my prints.

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So let’s wriggle into YOUR customer’s head to organize your shop. They’re in your online shop right now looking for something in particular. Buyers search to fit their needs so you need to organize accordingly when you sell your crafts online.

Why are they buying and for whom? How familiar are they with your work? What is their budget? If you sell wedding items and holiday items, you’d want to organize your shop so customers can search by those special occasions. Do you offer standard and custom pieces? When you sell your crafts online, do you sell both individual items and sets? Can you organize your shop so customers can find the answers to those questions easily?

Hopefully you’re beginning to see my point. (It certainly took ME long enough to see my point.) We as makers so often categorize our products by the material we use and the steps involved in shipping them. But the buyers search to buy. If you forget to cater to their needs when you organize your shop, you end up leading them into a shopping maze that they can only escape by leaving your site.

A great way to get ideas to organize your shop is to have a friend go through and see if she can find an item you describe to her. Or, better yet, have your followers and customers offer terms they would use to search your shop.

And if you need a little more help, you can always check out the store of an amazing lady who clearly knows how her buyers think. Polly Danger has a lovely front page showing off her wide range of adorable sewing items and then organizes everything on the side column into easy-to-find categories like ‘patterns and kits’ and ‘buttons’. 

So good luck and have fun when you organize your shop with your buyers in mind!

Image Credit: Sweet N Simple Pouches PDF sewing pattern by Polly Danger

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