When I opened my online store almost 5 years ago, Etsy.com offered quirky collections of handmade wares created by humble artists and craftspeople. It wasn't trying to compete with Amazon.
But since it came under new ownership, Etsy's gone corporate. Small-time makers have a harder time attracting customers amidst the millions of Etsy listings, some manufactured in factories.
So like many other sellers, I decided to jump ship. Or get a second ship. I just opened an online store for my upcycled e-reader and tablet cases on Shopify.com.
Here's the front page. I stuck to an obvious shop name (the official URL is www.tablet-cases-by-wasnow-creations.myshopify.com).
Boring, right? Or as my husband said, it needs more personality. But to start with, my goal is simply to make it easier for customers to browse my listings.
On Shopify, items can belong to multiple categories (an impossibility on Etsy). Take this Tom Swift book case, for instance.
It now appears in 3 different sections -- science fiction, retro boys, and small-sized cases. And later if I decide to create a category just for the sea, I can put it there as well. Pretty cool!
Another fun feature is the photo zoom on the product page. If you want to see more detail, just hover your pointer over the photo.
The downside of leaving Etsy is that I have to attract people to my store all on my own. Thousands (millions?) of potential customers visit Etsy.com every day. So far this morning, 5 people have stopped by my store. It's like moving to a new town -- it takes awhile to make friends.
Was it foolish to move my store just before Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all those hyped-up shopping days? Probably. But it was now or never!
My other upcycled creations -- Scrabble bracelets, notecards, and blank journals -- will stay on Etsy for now.
As a thank-you for being a loyal blog visitor, I've created a special 20% off coupon, usable in both of my stores until December 18. Just use the code BLOGVISITOR when you check out.
And if you have suggestions or feedback for my new store, please share what you think by leaving a comment below or sending me mail at claudia[at]wasnowcreations.com.