Both sides of the retail coin

Connect online and in-person sales

For those of you who sell primarily at events, there are a lot of people who’ll window shop your booth, then go home after, thinking about what they saw, and want to buy online. Help fans connect your in-person presence with your Big Cartel shop with these little tips:

1. Send them to your shop with discounts

A stack of cards printed with the address of your shop and a discount code for their next order online will help more timid shoppers seal the deal.

2. Promote exclusive items

If you can’t show every item on your table or in your booth, let shoppers know that there’s more to enjoy online. Before the event, sneak peek some new items that will be available to in-person attendees before anyone else. You can even take pre-orders and have products available for pick-up at the event.

3. Keep inventory in check

Work from a single inventory to stay organized and updated. When you turn on inventory tracking in your shop admin and use the iPhone app for in-person sales, you won’t accidentally oversell while you’re away from your shipping supplies. If you don’t want to worry about online sales while you’re out and about, put your online shop in event/maintenance mode to keep things organized.

4. Make loyal customers

On average, 40% of the people shopping your store online are return customers. Now’s your chance to meet them in person and let them know the face behind the brand. Be personable, get their contact info and reach out to them. Swap cards, put them on your mailing list, bring them into your brand family. If you’re not the type of person that loves to charm a crowd, employ someone who does. Find a sibling or friend who believes in what you do and bring them with you.

5. Learn about your product

Online, you’re caught behind a curtain a bit. In person, you get the chance to see how your fans react, which products they love, what price points sell quickly and how your packaging is perceived. Take notes during your event on how to improve the experience for your online shoppers. Implement the changes you come up with while things are happening live around you.

New online class: Create a lookbook

Skillshare

We’re excited to announce that we worked with designer and photographer Kate Miss to create another online class for shop owners. This free class is for artists and makers who are looking for fresh ideas on how to photograph and share their work. Kate will walk you through the purpose of lookbooks, different photo styles, and help choose one that’s right for your brand and budget.

Skillshare video

Kate is a talented designer who runs two of her own online stores: Kate Miss Jewelry and Kate Miss Prints. Our friends at Skillshare partnered with Big Cartel on a series of free classes specifically for artists, makers, and creatives. Their classes are completely online and you can enroll any time. When you’ve completed the class, upload a project and give feedback to your fellow classmates. When you’ve finished Kate’s lookbook class, follow along as she shows you how to build an online shop.

New Shop Indie: baby gift guide

Land of Littles

With a baby of his own on the way, Big Cartel’s own customer support champ Andy Newman has an eye out for all the best infant accessories. Our latest gift guide is full of his favorite finds, and will also come in handy for your upcoming baby showers, birthdays, christenings, or to win your way to that “favorite uncle” (or grandma or godparent) title.

Grab something special for your favorite bundle of joy in our #shopindie gift guide »

Introducing Danyelle Rose

Danyelle Rose

Our support team continues to grow and get better and better, especially with the addition of Danyelle Rose, the newest member of our tight-knit crew.

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Danyelle has spent most of her life involved with power tumbling. Over the past 10 years, she’s been practicing and training, as well as teaching and coaching ages 3-18. A seasoned coach, Danyelle is highly skilled at communicating and guiding anyone through a challenge whether it’s pulling a full twist on the floor or setting up a custom domain for an online shop.

Outside of the gym, she previously ran a website for music artists and fans and spent some time writing music and singing with friends. She’s a long-time passionate supporter of artists and relishes sharing other people’s creative energy and space. Basically, Danyelle is a perfect fit for Big Cartel and we’re certainly happy to have her!

Build an Online Shop class graduates

It’s been about 1 month since Big Cartel launched our first class on Skillshare. So far, over 5000 current and future shop owners enrolled to learn how to set up a great looking online store from seasoned designer and Big Cartel user Kate Miss.

Take a look at some of the shops that have updated their website using the tips from the Skillshare class:

Mockingbird Street

In business since 2013, Mockingbird Street has expertly refined the color palette for their products and their brand. They’ve used the same teal from their logo and a few of their fabric patterns as the highlight color on their site, so everything feels cohesive. They’ve used the Luna theme to let their clean product photography shine.

Design by Cianne

With fun and kid-friendly products like hand-knit teddy bears and pom-pom garlands, Design by Cianne smartly used a more casual, playful typeface in their shop and the Picklejuice theme for a little bit of flair. With a simple color scheme for the shop (mostly white and dark grey), the colorful logo stands out.

Yasmine Diaz

Yasmine Diaz’s bright photos and prints shine within the clean Luna shop theme. The typeface chosen for the site nicely compliments her logo, and the white, grey, and black shop colors keep your focus on the products.

To learn how to set up and design your shop, enroll in the free Skillshare class.

Introducing Akshay Anikhindi

Akshay Anikhindi

Customer support is critically important to us and we’ve spent a lot of time making sure our support team is as outstanding and capable as possible. A huge part of that is making sure that the people we hire are the right fit for the job, and we’ve found everything we need in Akshay Anikhindi, the newest member of our support crew.

We’d call him well-rounded, but that’s a bit of an understatement for Akshay. He received an undergraduate degree in Information Systems Management and a graduate degree in Marketing Management, all while doing freelance web design and development and working at the American Chemical Society, his local Apple store, and most recently at the non-profit MKM.

An east-coaster for life (so far), Akshay resides in Richmond, Virginia with his fiancèe, Laura, and his pup, Ender (who we’re pretty sure is the cutest corgi you ever did see). When he’s not busy helping shop owners run their businesses, he’s discovering and enjoying new music of all genres, catching a live show, and consuming as much spicy food as he can. He also loves traveling the world, and Japan is next on his list.

Welcome, Akshay!

Introducing Cella Sum

Cella Sum

We’re so pleased to announce Cella Sum as the newest member of Big Cartel. She’s jumping into our engineering team as a Front End Developer and we know she’s going to make some magic happen.

Having built her first website when she was just 14 years old, Cella’s interest in computers only grew from that point forward. She graduated from college with a degree in Computer Science and was most recently a developer for Urban Outfitters before joining the Big Cartel crew.

She and her pup, Kuma, call Philadelphia home and she is extremely active in her local community, volunteering with Girl Develop It, Coded by Kids, and Girls Rock Philly. In her free time, she practices and plays shows with her punk band, Chondria, and is currently working her very first zine focusing on sharing stories of Asian women, trans, and genderqueers in punk.

Help us give Cella a warm welcome to Big Cartel!

Shop Indie: camping gift guide

Into the Wild

One of Big Cartel’s own designers, Nate Hanson, hunted through some of his favorite shops to put together our latest gift guide. The weather is warming up in his neck of the woods, so Nate chose the perfect items for a weekend camping trip. For those of us not able to escape to the wilderness any time soon, there are plenty of items that even the most committed city-dweller will love.

Grab your hiking boots and head over to our latest #ShopIndie gift guide »

New theme: Good Vibes

Good Vibes theme

With the launch of our newest theme, Good Vibes, our friends over at Ghostly Ferns have officially done it again. This new theme is overflowing with style and includes some of the most popular features like large product images, a homepage slideshow, and easy social media integration.

A few of our favorite features:

  • On your click, the product images on each page open up large and clear in a lightbox gallery so customers can get a closer look before they buy.
  • The responsive layout makes sure your shop looks good anywhere. Text and images expertly resize to fit on any mobile device.
  • An image slideshow on your shop homepage sets the tone and gives you a spot to show off and promote products.
  • The handy Company Tagline field gives you a perfect spot to include a welcome message, a discount code, or any other note for your fans.
  • A sliding cart lets you add items, review the cart, and tuck it back away, all without leaving the page you’re on.
  • All you need is your username to quickly add social media icons to the footer of your site for Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Take a look around the Good Vibes test store to see how it works and read more about some highlighted features. Ready to try it out in your own shop? Find Good Vibes in the growing list of themes in your admin.

New Skillshare class: Build an online shop

Skillshare

We’ve partnered with our friends at Skillshare on a series of free classes specifically for artists, makers, and creatives working hard to sell their goods online. In the first class, Kate Miss takes her experience customizing shops for numerous artists and breaks it into simple, useful tips for designing, launching, and promoting your own custom shop.

Kate is an independent designer who works with artists all around the world to create successful online stores. She also runs two beautiful online stores: Kate Miss Jewelry and Kate Miss Prints. In this 40-minute class, Kate walks you through the basics of the admin, finding the right design, and creating a custom store designed to match your brand. Perfect for store owners just starting out, this first class is also full of tips for experienced stores ready to restock and refresh their online shop.

Oh yeah, and check this out: Skillshare has countless classes that are useful to the Big Cartel crowd, so dig through their offerings and find something you’ve always wanted to learn. If you’d like to sign up for a premium membership, use discount code BIGCARTEL to get two months of unlimited access to all classes for just 99 cents. Read more details about how a Skillshare membership works when you sign up.