Why Aren’t You Getting Sales?

Are you concerned that you’re not getting sales? Wondering why you get views but no one seems interested? I may be able to tell you why.

I went to the Jewelry section of the Handmade Artists’ Shop and perused the first 12 or 13 pages of photos.

Just for kicks, I decided to show some of the ones I found striking, some of what caught my eye:

Now this has nothing to do with actual pieces I prefer or the idea that I might not like other pieces as much. I do. But these are the ones that were photographed in such a way that I actually had to do less work to notice and see them.

I’m a lazy shopper. I think many people are inherently lazy. We as sellers need to catch their eye or we’re a lost cause. No matter how much the Handmade Artists administration tweets and Facebooks and stumbles things, no matter how many cards we hand out, no matter how much we blog, no matter if we shout from the rooftops, no matter how many hits we get, if our photos don’t really show our wares well, no one’s going to be drawn in.

Take an example from a marketing giant: Coca-Cola. Good ol’ Coke. Look at these product photos:


Bold, bright, clear. Instantly, you know what they’re selling and you see nothing but.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with props accompanying products in photos. But they should make sense and not be distracting. I know for a fact I have one photo that doesn’t work as well as the others. Look at the difference between this:

Coffee Soap

and this:

Garden Party Soap


Then, descriptions. I’ve seen so many items in the Handmade Artists’ Shop that have no description. Or descriptions of just a few words, a phrase or one sentence.  Short, non-descriptive descriptions are also incredibly frustrating for me. If I click on a photo, it’s because I’m interested in finding out more about the item. If there isn’t anything more to learn, I’m disappointed. And I click off the item. We both know I’m not the only one.

Descriptions that are misspelled and that use poor grammar also drive people crazy. It’s a turn-off. I honestly will be less inclined to frequent a shop with poor spelling and grammar than one that’s more professional. By the way, I’m fairly certain that misspelled words and poor grammar are bad for SEO, since search engines pick up the text in descriptions, and no one will find you if they’re properly spelling “silver” and you’ve got the typo “sliver.”

We are in business, people. Yes, we are creative, we’re artists, we’re crafters. But unless we’re just doing this for our own edification and our friends and family, we are in business. We can never forget that. There’s a reason advertising agencies can command the prices they do, as well as graphic artists, marketing companies, and branding specialists. It’s because they’re necessary and they work.

Most of us don’t have the money for that. We’re not Coke. We do, however, have tools at our disposal. We have cameras, maybe light tents and some decent lights. We can have some photo editing software, even something free like Gimp. Use what you have.

There’s a reason most product photographers use tricks of the trade to achieve the results they desire, even for something as simple and innocuous as supermarket circulars. Did you know that when you see a cooked turkey in a circular, the actual turkey being photographed has not been cooked? Cooking is too unpredictable. That turkey has been painted. Yes, painted.

Now, I’m not telling you to be deceptive about your products. I’m telling you that cropping a photo well to remove a distracting object in the background is a good idea. Using photo editing software is not unethical if you’re simply cleaning the dust off a velvet backdrop or making the colors in the photo more true to the actual object that’s sitting in your kitchen.

We are in business. That has to be in your head at all times. You know your work is wonderful. Probably everyone who comes into physical contact with it tells you the same thing. But on a website, no one’s right there, touching it, trying it on, smelling it, feeling it, examining it.  Their only contact is that tiny thumbnail in a sea of thumbnails. Make yours pop, draw the shopper in, and you’ll see an improvement. I’d bet on it.

Written by Reef Botanicals



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Posted in Handmade

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