Thursday, October 7, 2010

****Merchandising For A Merchandiser****

Its my second week in Etsy's Holiday Boot Camp and its all about the prospective buyers and merchandise...

And I thought the mission statement was tough.  This week we had to really think about our target market....and no everyone is not a target market nor realistic.  It's funny though because as you are creating handmade magic in your bed with a glass of wine at 11pm with Family Guy on the tube ( I know I'm not the only one who is feeling a huge grin growing on their face right now at this mere thought....... okay...maybe I am but hey, everyone has a happy place right?) you look at your finished product and think, who wouldn't want this?  And hey, after all the hard work that you put in, you should feel that way but its not the case and it's not good for business.  Having a defined person in mind when making a quilt, scarf, necklace, or adorable furry creature will definitely place you on a path to success and thats what I need....a defined customer.

Problem is I thought I had  You are probably thinking I'm crazy but when I started making jewerly it was not intentionally to sell. As I said in last week's Boot Camp posting, it was a hobby.  So, technically speaking, I was my own customer and after setting up Naughty Baubles on Etsy I continued to start each new project thinking about what I currently wanted.  With this week's assignment I had to look further into exactly what it was I was trying to get out of each project and see if I can find some corelation between that and what others may or may not want.

As you can see ( my post is being completed within hours of the next assignment), it took some time, but I'm figuring my target market is other young women like me who.....
  • are obviously lovers and followers of fashion
  • maybe around the ages of 18-30
  • either in college, fresh out of college or young professionals with limited income
  • definitely wanting something unique to offset their looks picked up at local popular shopping destinations
  • in search of the trend for less when it comes to accessories

Basically a fashionista who is looking for something completely different than whats being sold in stores right now but still on trend.  Now there is no way to compete with stores like F21 and H&M when it comes to trendy accessory prices but the unique quality of the items on my Etsy shop hopefully lends itself to customers will to pay a little bit more. Seeing as it is gift season, I want to attract her but I feel it may also be important to attract those individuals who would possibly be buying it as a gift for my customer.  Grandma may not be adding my harness necklace into the community closet she shares with your 19yr old granddaughter but hopefully my imagery is good and shows the quality in the piece and my description hints that the item is for that young trendy individual.

Which brings me to a bullet on my own Naughty Baubles to-do  Right now I'm currently using a few too many techniques when it comes to my imagery.  Some are on my really cool bustform that apparently wasn't the best idea.  Most are on a white surface and a few are on a green surface.  The lighting isn't consistant and I'm afraid I will be spending this weekend retaking pictures for all 19 items.  I feel its better to get a standard down now rather than suffer anymore going into the season.  I know I have mentioned this before but it's a must now.

Okay then, I have a rough guesstimate on my target market now I'm on to the second part of my assignment....the products themselves.  This was more of the original assignment but in order to get to a point where I can brainstorm about new ideas, I did have to take a better look at who I was brainstorming for.  Looking at my shop I feel really good that I created a few categories now deemed my loosely based collections.  These will need tweeking but they give me the ability to offer different tyypes of jewelry under the same store without it getting mish moshed.  For example, one trend that I will definitely be working within this holiday season is mixed media.  So many hot accessories right now are extremely dynamic and very, very interesting just to look at.  It probably has to do with the return of minimalism in fashion and the need for something that pops in look but anywho.  Leather and lace, metal and fabric, chain and pearls, hard with soft.  This concept is really interesting to me and lends itself to some really cool pieces like my Hematite and Gold Battle Armor Necklace, Fight to the Death, and Oh My Leather and Pearl Necklace. I enjoyed making these pieces and as I look through my store its those in particular that receive a better response immediately.  I also need to look more closely at my loosely based collections.  I think one or two offer no products and many items can easily fit into more than one.  I really want to clearly classify each item so that when someone visits the store, they can start off by choosing a category that correctly identifies with what they are looking for and see the items that are tailored to that choice.

Phheeww!!!  As I am typing this stuff out...all this brainstorming and Holiday to-do's...I am realizing how much I should have done before I opened up shop and how little time is left to complete the list before the season really kicks off.

Anywho, the last assignment was to really look at what items are visited the most, which ones have the most hearts and find the connection.  I found myself amazed and completely confused after doing this.  For one, my Does Your Chain Hang Low Necklace currently has over 250 views and 2 hearts...the most out any other item. Yet there has been no convo between me and the many viewers and obviously no sale.  After this weekend when the new pictures are up I am hopeful this will change.  The large amount of views also tells me that multi chain necklaces would be another good collection to start.  The next pieces on the list (outside of my home page) include Le Freak,C'est Chic Choker with 100 views (another chain piece), Far From Jaded with 96 views, Fight To The Death with 91 visits, A Paris Avec L'amour Bracelets, and Fly Away Silver Feather Earrings with 82 visits.  One thing I noticed is 50% of them have chain as a major material, 33% of them have a French name, and just about all of them have been used as part of an outfit on either my blog or Chictopia.  So what did I learn?  More chain and more pictures featuring my new items giving potential customers the ability of seeing it styled in some way. Using my blog and social sites like Chictopia have also helped in bringing my target market to Naughty Baubles.  Sites like these are filled with potential sales and I will be working with this relationship better to see how I can increase the amount of traffic from them.  Also, outside of my homepage with 110 page views and almost a 50% bounce rate, all the other popular items have similar rates.

And its a wrap...atleast with this assignment. For those fellow Boot Campers reading this I know I have not mentioned whether or not I have a Boot Camper buddy and the for record it would be buddy. If you too are in the same boat please contact me so we can finish off the checklist. Other than that I feel a bit more focused compared to a few weeks ago and am really happy I decided to not go into this Holiday season alone. 


Danielle said...

Very thoughtful post! Keep it up! And get yourself a buddy, misses!


kirstyb said...

love it x

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