There’s nothing like finding out that a fairy house ornament is being sent across the country. Acorn Tops is now in PA! OH YEAH! And through an online source like etsy, it tends to save money. 20 cents per listing versus the money for travel, money for a place to stay, money for the booth fee and whatever other cost would go into a show in PA. That being said, online sales present something of a challenge.
First, is getting people to even look at your online store. You don’t have sales if you don’t have views. An online store means an online presence. Social media is an essential for views and while you might save on money, there is often a struggle between making the product to sell and keeping up active social media accounts. The old adage is right, time is money in this biz. This is not to say that keeping up active social media accounts is a waste of time. This is just to say it can be difficult to figure out how best to structure your time.
While an online presence is beneficial for your shop, it also opens up a whole new list of endless questions about this customer who is a stranger. Where did they hear about the store? How did they find the product? What made them want to buy that product? What was it that made them take that next step from a simple view or like or heart or reblog or repin to actually hit the buy button? These are questions that are sometimes answered when you meet face to face and yet are rarely answered when facing a computer screen. Where you get tears from customers for your work with charity and you receive stories and dive into discussions of favorite books and the why and when and how and what, often times the only thing you receive from online are numbers and statistics. While this can tell you which social media account gave you the most views, what most people seem drawn to, the words some people searched to find it, it does not answer most of the questions and it never tells you about that one stranger.
If this most recent sale of mine on Etsy is like the others, I might never know what the customer thinks of them. I will never know if they're going to hang on a tree or be given to a friend. Though, this time I asked for a review, which is a big accomplishment for me because I always feel so funny asking. We’ll see. I’ll be content with guessing. Because a stranger bought my product and Acorn Tops is now in PA and that is pretty freaking exciting!