Build Your Own Creative Business: Shop Cohesion {Day 21}

Build Your Own Creative Business Series by Lisa Jacobs on Marketing CreativityIt’s {Day 21} of 31-Days to Build Your Own Creative Business here on Marketing Creativity. If you’re just joining me, you can click here to catch up from Day 1Let’s talk shop cohesion!

Shop cohesion refers to the overall presentation of your online storefront. When a visitor lands on your (or any) website, their mind develops a first impression immediately. Without even realizing they’re doing so, the visitor analyzes your shop: Can I make sense of what I’m seeing? Is anything catching my eye? Does the style match my own? etc.

A strong and cohesive presence will keep people engaged and interested. Shop cohesion is the ambience you create to pull your visitors in and convert them to paying customers. Here’s how to build yours:

A reflection of style

I have this funny, internal rule that I’ll never buy just one item in a clothing store. I only noticed it when a friend questioned me as we shopped together. We browsed through an entire store, and I carried around this one item I liked. By the time we got to check-out, it was still all I had. I changed my mind, put it down and left. My friend wondered why, and I realized that I do that all the time!

I only recently figured it out: if only one thing in the store attracts me, I question if that store is really my style. I want the stores I buy from to reflect my personal style.

Now, consider this: A customer browsing on Etsy sees your item while floating through search. It intrigues her, but when she gets to your shop … nothing matches it, and nothing else interests her. More often than not, you’ll lose her business.

Therefore, it’s important to realize that many visitors that come to your online storefront are looking for proof that your style matches their own.

What is your style?

Describe it in just a few words: magical, cozy, warm, earthy, etc. And then decide if those words compliment each other. If you’re unable to do so, your online storefront is most likely lacking cohesion.

Pinterest is a great way to see what styles, fonts, and images appeal to your potential customers. For example, I have an Energy Shop Pinspiration board. There I pin pictures that remind me of or represent my brand, quotes that resonate with me, “Repin it to Win it” contests, and bracelet-making tutorials. Not only is it a great place for customers to get to know me better, it’s also an opportunity for me to understand their style.

When a new pinner follows me, Pinterest sends an email notification and that email contains a list of their latest pins. If that looks particularly interesting, I can go check out their profile, and even follow them back. Not only is it a great way to connect more intimately with “my people”, it’s also fantastic insight. My customers often pin products, websites, and interests that spark new marketing leads for Energy Shop Jewelry.

Who is your ideal customer?

I’m going to delve into this in the next post, but let me say this: if your product is for everybody, it’s for nobody, because nothing is for everybody. Just start by realizing that your product isn’t for everyone; it’s for a select few who share your taste, and have an eye for your art and a love for quality products.

Think like the customer here – Does she want to buy your item and say:

I have the same [painting/photograph/necklace/scarf] everybody else has!

Or would she rather say:

This product is so ME!

Catch their eye

When visitors come to your online storefront it’s because you have style that appeals to them. But! Are you doing a good job of showcasing your products with them in mind? Are you catching the customer’s eye? Sparking their desire? Making their mouths water for your art? Keep these questions in mind as we get to know your ideal customer and discuss branding in the upcoming posts.

I could talk about shop cohesion all day long, and when I’m working with clients, I often do! But, that’ll do it for {Day 21}! If you loved this post, you will absolutely love my e-program, Shop Fundamentals: How to Build a Solid Foundation for Your Creative Business, Turn Your Visitors into Paying Customers, and Keep People Coming Back for More. In honor of the {31 days to} Build Your Own Creative Business Series, I’m offering this complete business-boosting workbook for ($57) only $31 while it runs! Until next time~

Shop Fundamentals by Marketing Creativity

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