Most of us are purchasing more online, which means posting and packaging for artists.

With lockdown, it was a necessity, but some recent online purchases made me wonder about the experience the purchaser has in buying our art – especially online.

I’m an Etsy newbie and love to support small-business craftspeople.  I made three Etsy purchases recently and all my purchases arrived as described, but two suppliers simply outshone the third in terms of branding, care and packaging.

These little things are so easily overlooked, but boy-oh-boy did they make a difference to my experience.

One was beautifully boxed and filled with tissue paper to protect my purchases.  Branding was clearly visible on the box, visually supporting the style of her work, plus the maker also reached out asking me to comment.  That’s great.

The other was also beautifully boxed – each piece individually presented, again with simple, effective branding clearly visible.  This craftsperson though also included a free gift and a small handwritten card drawing attention to the gift.  Beautiful and thoughtful.

The third was the problem.  I bought three of the one item.  Two arrived in clear bags, one of which was open.  The third had no bag at all.  All three were simply pushed into the post bag, no branding, no card, nothing.  It screamed ‘I don’t care.’

After receiving my other two orders first, you can imagine the disappointment with the third.

The first two craftspeople saw that online purchase as an opportunity to reach out to me, visually and personally and I would certainly buy from them again because they went that extra mile to make my purchase a great experience.  The third did not.  I wouldn’t purchase from them again.

It’s the same with our textile art.  Yes, you might stitch a nice label on the back, but what other opportunities are you missing out on?  Opportunities to:

  • promote yourself
  • promote your art and your business
  • make their purchase of your art a great experience for your customer generating repeat custom
  • support the industry with your professionalism

And it doesn’t have to cost the earth, simply some time and thought.

Things like:

  • including your business card – with a handwritten greeting on the back
  • packaging your work with care so that receiving and opening that package is a delight
  • branding the packaging with stickers or stamps that relate to your brand
  • including care instructions
  • including information on upcoming exhibitions or events
  • an invitation to join your mailing list if you have a blog or if you have an annual sale
  • setting up a beautifully styled photoshoot of the item sold amid your branded packaging for use on your social media
  • including a free gift – something small.  It could be a small piece of work or a branded pencil or bookmark – people will always remember that
  • Pinterest and YouTube both have great ideas for creatively wrapped gifts

If you sell online, it’s worth the time to ensure the purchase of your art is a pleasurable experience.

Think of that moment when your customer first receives the package and when they open it.  They will remember the beautiful presentation, branding and thoughtfulness – and that’s a great investment in welcoming repeat custom.

It’s also fantastic promotion for you, your art and your business.

As purchaser’s, we all have long memories.  We also make future choices on past experiences.