Imagine checking your email in the morning to see that your art has been purchased overnight. I know it always brings a smile to my face! This is the benefit of having an online store. People have the ability to purchase from you anytime they are in the mood and from the comfort of their own computer. Having an online store with your art prints and some originals can be a great stream of revenue.
Last year I signed up to pay for the on-line shopping cart service geared toward artists called Big Cartel. In my opinion selling art with Big Cartel is super easy and fun. I had used it in the past - but only the free version which you can use for up to five items. I remembered that it was simple to use and thought I'd try it out again but with more items. I now have the 100 items plan which is $19.99 per month and it's been well worth it ! Check out the image below - this is what my store looks like at the moment but it's really customizable ( and it's quick and easy to make those changes!).
It's very easy to use and below are the options for pricing. I started with the free "Gold" plan then switched to "Platinum" plan so I could have 25 items listed but I quickly outgrew that so now I am using the "Diamond" plan (100 items) but I could easily see upgrading to the "Titanium" plan (300 items) within the year. I might be addicted to e-commerce!
What I really enjoy about Big Cartel is my dashboard which is the area that I log into in order to see all my important information related to my account. There are some things about e-commerce that you just don't anticipate when you are a beginner. Having all this info presented in such an organized way will help with these growing pains. On the dashboard for the "Diamond" plan you will find:
1. A list of your orders organized by most recent order. In this area you will get the customer's name email and address. Also once you have shipped an order you can mark it as shipped. when your shop gets busy this feature is really handy to make sure you don't forget to ship any orders or to prevent you from double-shipping an order.
2. A list of product views that shows which of your products has the most views and the number of views each product has. This can help you to see popular items.
3. A list of the number of visitors to your store each day for the past 6 weeks.
4. A list of referrers which is a list of websites that people are coming to your store from. So if a popular art blog features your artwork and a link to your store then they may show up as a referrer and the number of people who clicked through to your store from this site is displayed as well.
5. List of sold out items. This are will show you any of your items that are sold out so that you can remove them from your store or if it's prints that are sold out , for example, this may indicate that it's time for you to order more.
6. List of searches which will show the phrases and word searches that people have entered in order to come across your work.
Selling my art with Big Cartel has been a great experience. All the info I need in order to tweak my business is so neatly organized and easy to access that it becomes very easy to get an idea of how people are finding your store, which other websites are helping out with referrals, and seeing most popular items.