Once a potential customer has found your artwork, you’ll want to make their purchase decision an easy one with well thought out shop. Luckily, we have several popular print-on-demand artists sharing what works.
Consider your shop as a physical entity – if you walked in and your works were on the wall, you’d want them displayed beautifully and properly, not laying on the floor in a pile. –Luke Gram
The most important thing to getting your shop customer-ready means providing customers with consistent, high quality artwork & products to explore. The more you put into your shop, the more you’ll get back…preferably in the form of increasing monthly payouts. That means that the customer experience should be a priority consideration when uploading artwork and/or designing products. The first step to getting your shop ready for customers is making sure you’re putting up your best work, so let’s start there.
1 | Add a Profile picture, About page and Banner
These are quick and easy ways to build brand recognition. As you launch your shop, you’ll want to make sure everything looks cohesive and attractive.
2 | Put up a strong body of work. The more the better.
In other words, bring your best designs/artwork to the table, and as much of your best artwork as possible. Obviously, this is relative to where you are as an artist. This doesn’t mean masterpieces only. Rather, post work you’re really proud of and apply it to the products that make sense. The larger your body of quality work, the more there is to shop. Pretty straight forward.
PRO TIP: Test response to your artwork on social media.
If it’s something that’s been responded well to on social media, I like to put it in my S6 shop. Then I’ll make another post, perhaps with a screenshot of the item with the artwork on it, to show that it’s for sale. Most of the work I post is created with my daughter so it’s a very collaborative effort. There are even some I’ve collaborated on with my followers, allowing them to tell me (or my daughter) what to add to the drawing. It’s fun to offer those in the shop as well. So, often, knowing what to post is based on the responses and feedback from my Instagram posts. –busy mockingbird (a.k.a. Mica Angela Hendricks)
3 | Consistency in your artwork counts.
The more cohesive your body of work feels, the more inviting it is for new and repeat customers to really get a sense of you as an artist. It goes a long way. The more people feel like they understand you and your style, the more likely it is they’ll settle into discovering more of it and, best case, scoop something up.
4 | Optimize your artwork and designs for individual products.
Yes, it can be some work. Yes, it is most definitely worth it. Why? Because good products get shared, bought and sometimes go viral. If you’re the master of snarky quotes, make sure you cover your bases with coffee mugs, iPhone Cases, Laptop Sleeves, and anything handheld or wearable. If you shoot landscape photography or paint a mean mandala, make sure your Wall Tapestries and Throw Blankets are dialed in. Patterns are awesome on anything that prints all over. That BARELY scratches the surface and there’s exceptions to every rule.
I’m limiting my learnings here because you’ll likely surprise yourself (and us) with the perfect artwork-product combo that fell outside the box.
Example in preparedness: Andreas Lie. A member since October 2014. When the Norwegian artist went viral with his double exposures, he was prepared with a decked out shop. Thousands and thousands still visit his shop daily. The result of his artwork being available across all products? Cash money. Needless to say, he continues to have fantastic earnings and sits among our top sellers. Other artists that have gone viral: John Holcroft, Witchoria, Busymockingbird, and Kerby Rosanes to name a few.
5 | Create regularly. Post regularly. Rinse. Repeat.
Creative hustlers don’t find success because they hit a home-run every time, it’s because they’re chipping away at their 10,000 hours. If you’re creating regularly, you have new work to post regularly. If you’re sharing new artwork and products across social platforms regularly, you’re giving any/all potential customers a new excuse to visit your shop.
Pro tip: As tempting as it may be, don’t drop a ton of work all at once. Anyone who doesn’t catch it will miss all your best stuff. You’ll also be pitting your best work against itself for a homepage appearance. Instead, block off a few hours on the weekend, prepare several pieces of artwork as drafts, then schedule the release of new artwork accordingly. Again, give people new reasons to come back regularly.
Example: Beeple. He’s been a member since August 2012. He diligently posts artwork from his EVERYDAY project as frequently as it sounds. He doesn’t make his work available on any other product than art prints, but he does it more consistently than any artist I’ve ever seen on the site. An inspirational follow on any platform. All that frequent posting drives a lot of traffic to his shop. Because his artwork is awesome and consistent, he sells well.
As you continue to grow your brand, the above becomes increasingly important. Especially when you learn how to effectively bring customers to your shop through various marketing channels (social media, email, etc). A customer-ready shop is optimized to not only capture and keep the attention of your customers, but send them home with something from your shop–something they’re proud to have purchased.