by Carolyn Edlund
I’ve reviewed many artist websites, and see many common mistakes that can easily be fixed. One of the biggest errors is failing to give enough information to your website visitors.
You’d like to sell some of your artwork online, and attract customers through your website. Perhaps you are struggling with this becoming a reality.
The truth is that customers who are confused won’t buy. And customers who are uncomfortable won’t buy. If you want to encourage sales, you have to alleviate that situation for visitors to your art website. Therefore, you must be forthcoming with clear information that addresses what they care about. They need to have answers regarding the experience of making a purchase and how it will affect them.
If you are selling artwork from your website, I suggest that you have prices visible, because lack of pricing is the biggest barrier to making sales that I know of. But even if you do have prices listed, and perhaps a shopping cart, that is not enough to make the sale.
There are quite a few concerns that buyers have when considering an artwork purchase, and here are just a few of them:
- How is the artwork shipped?
- Will it come framed? Do I get to choose the frame?
- How soon will I receive it?
- What are the shipping costs?
- Is the work insured? What do I do in case of damage?
- Do you have a guarantee or return policy?
- Does the item come with a Certificate of Authenticity?
- How is it maintained or cleaned?
Answers to these questions and more should be easy to find, right on your website. Do you have an FAQ page on your site? Or do you have this type of critical information on another page that helps guide customers through the buying process?
Of course, customers may have other questions that you cannot foresee, or they may just want to talk with you as the artist to understand your work better. Which leads to another major error that artists make on their website . . .
They do not share their contact information. This information should be readily available on your website without them having to search for it. Put your email address and phone number in the header of your website, if possible. It’s that important.
Why do I suggest giving your email address and phone number to invite contact from your customers? Because they are more personal, and immediate ways of getting in touch.
I’ve seen website contact forms where the visitor is expected to fill in their email address and a question, and hit “submit.” I don’t like those forms, and here’s why: they put the artist firmly in control of any communication, rather than the customer. If your prospect needs information right away, it doesn’t work well. And it seems quite impersonal. It’s easy to imagine the message being lost or ignored.
If someone was considering a purchase of your artwork, and had a question, perhaps about drop-shipping as a gift, or how soon they could receive it, would you be willing to take a phone call about it? I’m betting the answer is “yes.” Why not make it simple for that type of communication to happen?
Companies who sell goods or services make it very easy for customers to get in touch; if you would like to sell, you should do that, too. It’s part of good customer service, which is expected these days. Offer as much information as possible to cultivate informed, comfortable buyers for your artwork.
Need help with your own art website? Check out Artsy Shark’s Website Review Package for more information on getting an evaluation and customized recommendations for your own site.