A Newbie's Guide to Choosing the Best E-Commerce Platform to Host Your Online Art Store
By Top10 Staff
If you’re an artist interested in selling your creations online, knowing where to start can pose quite a predicament. There exist a staggering number of artist-specific online marketplaces, or you can choose to stake out your own digital domain with an online store of your own. This article will delve a bit deeper into these options, and help you learn more about how to start selling art online.
Using an Existing Arts Marketplace
When it comes to deciding how to sell your art online, there are oodles of avenues that serve to connect artists with those who wish to purchase their work. Depending upon your artistic goals and the strength of your offerings, one of these marketplaces might be your best option. Here’s a very brief overview of popular choices that many artists select to sell their stuff:
Art Break—This ad-funded, commission-free marketplace invites artists around the globe to sell their work online without the involvement of agents.
The Art Brokerage—In operation since 1995, this online art store lets you list your art for no charge, but collects a 10-30% commission based on selling price.
CafePress—More about the message than the medium, this company can stitch, imprint, or emboss your artwork on hundreds of different products, splitting the revenue with you whenever something sells.
DeviantArt—This popular network for original artists allows users sell prints of their pieces, for which they receive a royalty.
Etsy—Maybe more craftsy that artsy, this wildly popular platform invites users to sell any number of creative products, though Etsy does capture a 3.5% commission from each sale and charges $0.20 per item listing.
Creating Your Own Art Store
Although each of the aforementioned sites are well established and come with a built-in audience, you may elect to build your own store when choosing how to sell your art online. By doing so, you can avoid paying commissions, and keep 100% of your asking prices. Managing your own site with an easy ecommerce website builder also gives you far greater control over nearly every aspect of your store’s appearance and functionality. Plus it eliminates the likelihood that a visitor will get distracted by a different artist and abandon your cool creations.
Many of the most popular website builders, including Web.com, Wix, and Weebly, offer turnkey e-commerce solutions that are secure, reliable, and ready to sell your stuff. These builders also offer a variety of customizable templates for artists, making it easy to find a look that matches your artistic style.
Tips for Selling Art Online
Whether you end up choosing an artist marketplace, a self-made online store, or a combination of the two, here are a few helpful tips that can increase your success:
Using an artist marketplace? Be sure to read the terms and conditions very carefully so you know how much commission the site takes and what protections are available to you.
Different art marketplaces attract different demographics. Take the time to learn what type of customers are drawn to the different sites.
Don’t rely upon your store as the sole means of selling your work. Think of your online selling as complementary to your offline efforts, rather than a replacement for them.
Building an online store yourself? Whenever possible, design your site to resemble a virtual art gallery, and encourage your visitors to approach your art with a museum-like mindset.
When it comes to prices, people generally don’t like surprises, so be upfront about the cost of your work.
Be sure your contact information is on every page of your store, and make sure you are ready to respond to your visitors should they reach out to you.
If you’ve constantly wondered, “How can I sell my art online?” you should now have a better idea about where to get started. Just be sure to keep in mind that an online store likely won’t make you an overnight success. Rather, building a devoted following for your art is a gradual process that can take years to develop. As long as you keep practicing your craft, and sharing your creations online, an audience will find you.
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