With any type of market (in-person or online) it’s important to remember the bigger picture as sometimes they don’t always result in the sales you would like straight away because not everyone buys something the first time they find you! The ‘Rule of 7’ by Dr Jeffrey Lant states that people need to ‘see’ your brand 7 times before they buy from you so building your digital footprint by being part of online markets and directories can not only help you reach new audiences but can also be a digital touchpoint for existing followers, which helps build trust in your business.
Online markets are also a really good chance to gain new followers. As people don’t always buy on the first visit to your online shop, if they become a follower, they may convert into a future customer at a later date. Another great thing about online markets is that you can create or expand your supportive online community by engaging with other stallholders. Here are some tips to help you make the most of online markets.
Before the market
Let your followers know in advance about each online event that you are taking part in with the date and time. Use the promotional material from the market organisers so that the markets are easily recognised.
Set a countdown timer in Instagram Stories.
If you are offering an offer/discount code for the market – test that the code is working.
Showcase your best-selling products and a range of price points to give a wide appeal – hopefully an online market will provide you with access to a new audience who have never seen your products so show them your best work! If a product isn’t selling in your online shop, consider if it a product to advertise at a market.
Pop your market products at the top of your shop listings – make it as easy as possible to buy from you!
Ask a friend or family member to have a quick look at your website and add something to the basket – is it easy to buy from you and find what they are looking for?
Make sure your photography is high quality, clear, well lit and has a smart background (see photography inspiration below). Photography is the most important element for online shopping as people cannot see the product in person. Lifestyle shots are great but make sure it’s super clear what the product is that you’re selling in the photo!
Check your postage costs – typically customers really dislike paying for postage on top of their order total and it can be a nasty surprise seeing postage costs at the checkout. Postage costs can be a large barrier to people completing their orders with you. If you have to charge postage separately (rather than within the cost of the product), try to make the delivery cost information available on your online shop before customers reach the checkout.
Tell followers when an online market goes live and how to view the market.
During the market
The saying ‘you get out what you put in’ really applies to online markets. If it was an in-person market, you’d be at the venue for the whole market, engaging with customers and talking to other stallholders. Whilst there is no need to be working continuously like this for the whole of online market, it does help to dip in and out of social media throughout the event, promoting your market products, engaging with followers and supporting other stallholders. A good way of thinking about it is if you just post the ‘market is open’ post and leave it, that’s the equivalent of setting up your in-person stall and then going home!
Here are some quick tips to help you boost engagement during an online market:
- Remind your followers either on your grid or stories that the market is on at various points during the event, especially if it is over more than one day. Not all your followers see all of your posts so this helps to gain exposure. Market organisers often post reminders so you could just re-share these for ease!
- Share about the market on all of your social media channels.
- Let your followers know when the market will be closing a few hours before it ends.
- Share images of what you’re promoting in the market either on your grid or stories – especially if it’s a market exclusive. Show us different angles of the product, special features or someone using the product – this could be in a photo or video.
- Tell your followers what else you offer to make life easy for them e.g. gift wrapping, card or tag writing to send cards or gifts direct etc.
- If people comment on your posts, reply to them and thank them. If it’s a fellow stallholder or maker, head over to their account and return the favour on one of their posts!
- Share some photos of what other stallholders are offering in your stories and mention they are also part of the market – this really helps to build a sense of community around the market.
- If the market organiser is posting collages of products available at the market, share some of these in your stories.
How to share an Instagram post image to stories (your post or someone else’s)
- Go to the post.
- Click the arrow underneath the post and choose ‘add post to your story’.
- If you want the account to be notified that you’ve shared the post, click the smiley face icon at the top and then click @mention. Start to type the user account and it should show icons of account options below this so tap the correct account icon. Once you’ve chosen the account, you can drag this to move it. Without doing this, the account you’ve shared won’t see that you have shared this.
- If you want to add information e.g. about the market – click Aa at the top, type your message, then click done.
- Choose ‘Your story’ at the bottom to share.
We really hope this helps during your upcoming markets. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the market experience!