one simple thing you can do to improve online sales

by guest author Megan Eckman

One of the most common mistakes I see from makers who are selling their items online comes down to one photograph.  It's nothing so complicated as the white-balance setting on your camera needs to be figured out nor as simple as the object is not in focus.  No, the most common problem is that your amazing creation isn't shown 'in use'.

Your customers have dozens of barriers to buy from you.  They're at work and thus shouldn't be surfing the internet.  They have a mortgage payment due tomorrow.  They just bought themselves something.  They are supposed to be cleaning out their closets.  It's not a holiday.  You get the idea.

By giving them a peek at your amazing item 'in use,' however, you can eliminate so many barriers, especially if your written descriptions are a little lacking.

Let's look at a few examples:

  • If you sell note cards, showing them on a desk lets your customer know their size.  Plus, it will trigger the memory that they promised to write more often to their mother.
  • If you sell artwork, photographing it framed and on a wall lets the customer see how it might look above their couch.
  • If you make jewelry, photographing it on someone dressed up for a hot date gives the customer a good context as to what colors and necklines it would go well with.  Plus, who doesn't want to look nice on a date?
  • If you make yoga clothes, showing a woman in Warrior 3 feeling balanced in your shorts might remind the customer of their 2013 New Year's resolution to join a yoga class.
  • If you sell aprons, photographing a cook whipping up some tasty dessert will show off the size of the apron (plus how it ties), and bring back memories of holiday cooking with family and friends.

'In use' photographs allow your customer to envision the item in their lives.  They get a sense of how it will fit and feel once it's in their home.  If you photograph someone holding your work and just show their hands (not their face), the customer believes those could be their hands.  Think of travel calendars for tropical islands.  You often see a pair of feet in a lounge chair.  The photographer wants those feet to become yours!

Take half an hour and look through the shops of your favorite online sellers.  Make a Pinterest board of your favorite 'in use' photographs.  Then brainstorm ways you can best show off your amazing work so that your customer gets a real sense of what it would be like to own it.

Want more tips on how to eliminate your customers' obstacles to buy and bring in the money you want to make (or need to make)?  Create Hype just launched its newest e-course, Convert Your Creativity, which shows you how to brand your website like a pro and eliminate your customers' barriers to buy.  This course is for creative entrepreneurs who have a shop but aren't seeing the profits they want.  We've put the business knowledge we've amassed over years as a go-to marketing website to help you make your website the driving force behind your success.