tips for online selling - branding & packaging

Hello! Christmas is over, 2011 resolutions are most likely still fresh... I just wanted to share some tips, based on my own experience + some hits & misses I had in the online gift buying department last year.

The assumption I'm making here is if you're an online seller, you'd be pretty chuffed if you had repeat buyers & word-of-mouth referrals. Right? Read on...

3 Handmade Cold Process Soaps by innerearthsoaps


Let's say you've made something awesome. Like a coinpurse. You probably have a business name. Stick it on your product! That way when someone's using your stuff, they can remember who made it. So if someone asks them, or they want to buy another one, they don't have to search their memory!

Every product is different. For a coinpurse, you might use a fabric tag. You can tuck it on the inside. Or, if you made a mug, you might put your name on the bottom. Notepad? Sure, it's perfectly acceptable to tuck your business name or even your website somewhere small. Some products this won't work so much for. If you make something little, like earrings, it's harder than for a t-shirt. So, think about...

Hanging Glass Keychain by littlemoandfriends


I think a great assumption to make when selling is that the item you've sold is being given as a gift. This means the lucky recipient of the item is not the person who purchased it. If you assume your product is being given as a gift - what would you like the recipient to know? This is the same when you're selling at a market or wholesale - you don't have the opportunity to present a written product description to every shopper.

Every item is different, in terms of how it can be packaged as well as what information needs to be presented. For example, a coinpurse is pretty self explanatory as to its use, and is heaps easier to attach a swing tag to than a bowl. However, what information should be attached? Is it made of special fabrics? Is it handmade? Who designed it? Are there care instructions?

If you make something small, maybe you can tuck it into a bag with the information on it, or attach it to a backing card. If you make something big, a swing tag might do.

You might consider including any of the following info:
Business Name,
Your Name,
Copyright info,
Care instructions!

This info doesn't need to be fancy - even if you only have a dot matrix printer & some basic white printer paper, it's better than not at all!

Hand Lettered Air Mail Envelope Seals by KisforCalligraphy


Finally, when you mail your items, do it with care. If you include a note, make it a polite one! When you package your item, package it safely. If you include a business card, don't write a super personal note on it - that way the person you're sending the parcel to can pass the business card on.

Is it working?

If you were to get into the habit of very politely asking your customers how they found out about you, you might be able to tell if it was via word-of-mouth. Try it!

Hooray! I hope these tips help. Don't get bogged down in fabulous design this, or custom printing that - when it comes to branding, something is better than nothing!

xx Penny


Little Mo and Friends said...

Oh so true.

I think the best purchases for me have all been great packaging funnily enough. It's almost as if the seller themselves love and appreciate their handmade product and want you to feel the same way when you receive it!

And it doesn't have to look fancy either..keep it simple if you like, just put some thought and care to it.

A care instructions note is a good idea, penny! I would love one of those if I bought a handmade bag, shirt or pottery!

yardage girl said...

Great advice - good on you for sharing! Nic

ambette said...

It's definitely something I'm planning to work on this year!

Lakshmi said...

penny , such good advice ! this is am area that i need to streamline .
thank you for sharing !

Lauren said...

This has been very helpful! I started an esty store last year. I have had a few sales which is great. It's very on the side, bit of fun, but these tips are really helpful to keep mind to take it to the next level! :) oh and the rabbits arrived in Sydney for the little twinnies today! Thank you so much! x

Lara said...

Awesome post lovely! And all so very true. And I must admit I often fail to put labels on product we make - oops! Really should :)

MochiPan said...

Ohhh now I'm worried my package didn't make the grade! eeek! haha! I hope I did ok but these a great tips to take into account next time if not! :)