As a visual artist, being able to promote my work to friends, family, and fellow art enthusiasts is paramount, especially now that I’ve decided to start selling works I have produced. Getting the word out about my online store, from advertising its grand opening to showcasing new items available for purchase, has been a priority. When I only had a few people interested in my work, I maintained my own mailing list.
Once word began to spread, I happily embraced social media marketing (with Exacttarget,) which enabled me to stay in touch with the growing number of people on my mailing list with ease. Getting the word out using social media networking tools has enabled me to increase the size of my audience. Thankfully, connecting with consumers is user friendly and becoming even easier as the digital age advances.
I set up my site using a jQuery WordPress blog, which allows me to display a slideshow of my work, something I had experimented with a bit and liked when I was still a MySpace user. Site visitors can take a tour through categories I’ve set up, like a section for paintings and another for sale items, all while pictures of my work scroll by. I like best that my site doesn’t look like a blog – that is, it isn’t just something text-based with a few pictures of my artwork thrown in for good measure. What is actually a blog looks like a professional artist’s website. Goal: met.
E-commerce Software: Cubecart
When I decided to begin selling work (instead of simply displaying it), artist friends encouraged me to use e-commerce software called Cubecart. Buyers can click on one of my images and click through to make a purchase. Though similar to Paypal, Cubecart allows me to take sales a step further by organizing, tracking, and even shipping my work. Additionally, I can create digital copies of my work, which enables me to preserve the original piece and pass the savings on to potential buyers.
Similar to Cubecart is OS e-commerce, which is a more popular shopping cart service than Cubecart. As with any product, it’s up to the individual user to decide what they like better. I prefer Cubecart because of the digital copies feature, especially important since I don’t want to part with my originals. Though OS e-commerce has some great tools, like a wide variety of plugins and templates, I found Cubecart easier to customize. Those who want highly stylized sites might prefer OS e-commerce, but Cubecart works well for my business.
Though I’ve established a preference for Cubecart, I look forward to seeing what future versions of shopping cart software look like. As my needs develop, both as an artist and seller, I might need to make a switch. For the time being, I am experiencing success with my current set-up and encourage other artists to get their work out there. Your digital storefront awaits!