unrecognizable woman holding handmade sculpture in hands

How to use ecommerce to sell your artwork

If you want to create an online store, you can make your own merchandise to sell online this can be your best option to create an ecommerce store especially during the pandemic where there is a lot of shortage in supply and when people find themselves out of job, doing things by yourself can create a unique opportunity for you that other people can find difficult to compete with.

Artwork:

If you have a talent for paintings all you will need is your talents. Paintings are valued very highly in the society and can be bought and sold for a substantial amount of money. If you are talented, you will find that you will have a few competitors. According to Statista, The global art market received $67.4 billions in sales in 2018.

Selling your artwork on your own can be a daunting task. There is little value in creating an ecommerce store if visitors are far and far between so what’s the alternatives?

Traditional galleries have always been the best place for artists to show their works for large audiences. However, art galleries take a big percentage of the sale price and the artists lose out. Most recently artists started listing their artwork on sales platforms like Etsy and Amazon.

Etsy:

Etsy is very popular some of the artwork listed there is for 45k. additionally Etsy will charge artists around 5% as sales fee. Etsy offers advertising on Google, Instagram, Facebook and other social networks to drive traffic to your Esty shop. The advertising budget is about 15% of the sales price so the total of what you should expect to pay is 20% with advertising or 5% without advertising. There are no monthly fees to start an Etsy store.

One of the most important things that I noticed with Etsy is that they charge to promote items on their website so if your item is at the bottom of their list, the chances are that you will not be found by your customers and you will need to bump up your item to the top of the list.

So, if you are a start-up artist, you will need to spend some money on advertising to promote your work but if you are an established artist then the chances are you will only have to pay 5% transactions fees.

Amazon:

Amazon on the other hand offers a similar service, Amazon is famous for goods but they also have a special section for crafts. Normally Amazon charges merchants £25 a month but this fee is waived for artists instead Amazon charges 12.25% of the sale price. Additionally, similar to Etsy they offer ads for an extra cost which makes it less competitive when it comes to selling artwork.

Instagram:

One attractive platform is Instagram. It does not cost anything to start a page on Instagram. However, using Facebook’s checkout costs around 5% of the selling price. Instagram is similar to Etsy in terms of cost however the advantage of Instagram is that when people see your artwork they can be directed to your own website that 

Online Art platforms:

Saatchi Art:

It is free to open an account with them. There are no monthly fees to open an account. They handle the shipping themselves; the artist has to give the courier the artwork. 

It is a big company with many artists selling with them but the artist will only receive 65% of the sale price so 35% will be kept to Saatchi Art.

Folksy:

Folksy is an online selling platform for mainly British craft. It is an online platform to buy and sell handmade gifts and artwork, the artwork is produced by craftsman and artists and sold directly to customers. Folksy mostly has jewellery, homeware, clothing and accessories.

They offer two basic plans. The first plan is free but you can only list three items. The second plan allows craftsmen to list unlimited items and it costs £5 a month.

Each plan comes with 6%+VAT selling fee.

What is the best option?

The best option is to create your online shop with a hosted solution company like Shopify or CastNow. As an artist, these companies do not require any development experience to start your online shop. These companies can connect you to multiple sales channels and bring traffic to your website without doing anything. Their payment gateway charges around 1.5% in sales fee.

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