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Growing an online business can be incredibly expensive and require a lot of investment in both time and stock. Take it from someone who has spent five years on a side business which is only just starting to grow legs. Whether you run a small business from your spare bedroom or have an established set up in place, it always helps to find ways to minimise expense. Using digital images of products can have so many great advantages and they aren’t just financial. Below are my tips on using mockups to grow your ecommerce business.
If you are at the very beginning of your ecommerce journey and you’re wondering where to even beginning when it comes to selling, this article has some great tips. From my own experience, marketplace platforms such as Etsy are perfect for small businesses selling homemade items. Shopify, as an example, is better for more independent and large scale selling as you can build your own website around your shop using their services, or add your shop to an existing website. Whichever works out to be the best fit for you, be sure to do your homework first!
Testing Out New Ideas
If, like myself, you are often looking to test new ideas, mockups can be a great way of bringing new designs to life. The idea in your head doesn’t always translate well into the finished product and going through the full manufacturing process, simply to test it out, can be expensive and take a lot of your time. Creating a digital version however allows you to test different colour ways, styles and sizes quickly without investing a large amount of money in stock.
Even better, when you find that an idea does work well in the mockup stage, you now have an opportunity to share it with your following to see what their reaction is. If the response to the digital test is positive, this signals that sales will be good and the item will be popular in your shop. On the other hand, if you don’t get too much of a reaction you know not to waste your money on this one.
Depending on your business set up, you may not have the space or equipment to produce and to store large amounts of your product. A brilliant alternative is drop shipping, also known in some cases as print on demand. You could work with a drop shipping company that does the production for you and even posts each order directly to your customers.
In order to demonstrate your products to your customers you do of course still need images on your website. Mockups are the perfect tool here. Say for example, you design printed t-shirts. You create the artwork for the t-shirt and send this to the drop shipping company to be printed in their factory. The drop shipping company will then provide you with a t-shirt mockup which you can use to create an on brand image for your ecommerce site.
Expanding Your Range
One of the best ways to grow an ecommerce business is to diversify. Often a designer will specialise in one particular type of product which suits their experience and expertise. Let’s say, for example, that your are an artist. You take a great deal of time and effort to create an original piece of art. You then offer your customers the original piece for sale, as well as print copies. This puts a certain limit on your opportunity for profit. Especially as most artists will only offer a limited number of prints to ensure exclusivity and greater value to their buyers.
At this time it is wise to look for a way to expand your options for sales. This is the perfect opportunity to produce a wider variety of products suitable for a range of budgets using the original artwork which you created. With the use of mockups, you can place your artwork on mugs, t-shirts, postcards, greetings cards, key-rings and so many other items. Not only are you enabling yourself to expand your business, you are going to create a further reach with your brand.
Offering A Personalised Option
Personalised products are incredibly popular right now and work well as gifts for just about any occasion you can imagine. The one difficulty they present however is that it is essentially impossible for you to demonstrate every possible idea to your customers. There are far too many names, dates and special messages in demand to make this feasible.
Having access to a tool which allows you to create product preview can change this entirely for you. Perhaps you offer personalised cushions for example and choose to charge £50 for each one as they take a lot of time to make. This may feel like a large investment for someone who struggles to visualise the finished article. Creating a mockup of the item allows you to confirm with your customer that they are happy with their order prior to production and gives them piece of mind that they are spending their money well. Building trust with a customer in this way is also incredible for your reputation as a business owner.
Sample Products for Suppliers
Beyond the growth which you can look to create within your own shop, you may even look to demonstrate the possibilities of your products to other businesses. Many shops and large online stores will look to outsource to smaller designers and suppliers in order to expand and diversify their catalogue. To keep things simple when it comes to sourcing new suppliers, the first point of contact is often over email and requires you to provide a good portfolio of images.
The business will be looking for something which stands out to them and demonstrates a unique selling point which they don’t yet have on offer to their customer. Using mockups is the easiest way for you to achieve this. You can tailor them to your style and brand and really convey your products with clarity and intention. After all a picture says a thousand words!
Digital tools really have opened up the world of ecommerce business in recent years. Starting and growing a business has never been easier. All that you need to provide is your creativity and wonderful ideas. I hope you have found these tips useful and that you seem some growth in your business as a result!