You took a decent photo of your piece, listed the size and price and put it on your website. Months went by, and you've heard nothing but crickets. Sound familiar?
There are multiple reasons this could be happening. Maybe you don't have enough website traffic. Maybe its rightful owner just hasn't found it yet. But when he or she does, if you follow my advice for writing your art product descriptions, you'll be much more likely to make that sale.
The gist is this - make it easy for them to say yes. Leave no nagging questions in their mind about if it is right for them, how they will get it or how they should treat it. Give them everything they need to make them feel comfortable purchasing right up front.
Write a Comprehensive Art Product Description
Include a story
ANY story! The most common story is what inspired you to make the piece, but it doesn't have to be that. It could be a story told from the art's point of view, or how the art relates to why you believe potatoes are the greatest carb in the world.
The story is there to show more of you. People can buy a pretty picture from Pottery Barn using their 20% off coupon. They'll buy from an artist because of the human connection.
List all the nitty-gritty details
Details are usually in bullet format to make the page easier to read, but if you have a different creative vision, try it out! Include things like:
- What the frame is made from? Was it purchased from a box store or custom-made?
- Did you stretch the canvas yourself?
- What mediums did you use?
- Is it handmade or a duplication?
- Are any materials recycled?
- What top-quality materials did you use to help it last longer?
- Is it signed and dated?
- Is it wired for hanging?
- Have you used a sealant over the top?
- What are the measurements, including the depth?
Its good practice to say that you've edited your images to be as close to the original color of the piece as possible. Most artists also mention that the your monitor may affect how the image looks on your screen. I think the latter is becoming less necessary with technological advances, but it won't hurt you to include.
Show off Your Art Piece
Think about your favorite magazine. How do they display their for sale products? Usually in a beautifully composed still life. (You don't have to go quite this elaborate, but 1,000,000 bonus points if you do.) Simplify this idea by having a few props you can use to photograph the art with.
Show off all angles of the piece - the front, the back, the sides, the signature, the wiring, a few close ups - don't leave any guessing about the piece in the viewers mind. Make them feel like they can actually see the piece in person.
Include a shot of your art next to something that is a recognizable size so they get a good idea of how big your art is without getting out a ruler. You could use a clock, a lamp, or something beautiful like a bouquet-filled vase.
Unique Selling Ideas
Photograph next to its inspiration
Include an image of the art surrounded by its inspiration to help your viewer see what you see. This could be a landscape, a portrait or random found objects. If the piece represents an abstract idea, how can you show what you drew from? Perhaps a journal entry?
Consider adding an optional 10-15 minute online meeting with purchase so you can tell them in person about the piece they bought, get to know them and let them put a face to their new art.
You could also use this idea before they buy to help them decide whether or not they are ready for the investment. Most often once they meet you and hear the story behind the art, they'll buy.
One last twist to this idea is to offer an in-person walk-through of the piece prior to purchasing. You can show them all the angles, how it looks in your home and talk to them about the piece as they look.
Include your process
Start collecting short videos and photos and stories of you creating each piece. You can include the best ones or put together a little compilation video on the sales page.
Prints included with original
Offer 1-3 free prints of the original with purchase. Tell them they can use it to decorate their office or give to friends. This little bonus for them turns out to be a great conversation starter which could lead to more sales. Win/win!
Tell the Customer What They Need to Know
How to treat the art
Many people don't know details like how it is important to keep paintings out of direct sunlight. If you don't tell them, and the spot they are purchasing the art for gets a lot of sun, you might be blamed for giving them a poor quality piece when it starts fading!
Your return policy
If you've done a great job giving your customer all the details, you should have a very low return rate. However, if someone is going to spend several hundred dollars on an item, sight unseen, you'll have an easier time convincing them to hit the payment button if you give them the option to back out.
Your product description isn't going to be misleading, but maybe someone else's was and they are weary of purchasing from a person they don't know.
Don't forget to include who pays return shipping!
This information is best put into a separate page and linked to each sales page to keep it a little less cluttered.
Your shipping policy
How will your art be packaged? What if they receive it damaged - what happens then? What carrier do you use to ship and how long will it take them to receive the art?
Like the return policy, I recommend adding this information to a separate page and adding a link on each new sales page.
Payment methods you accept
You'll want to say so if you only accept PayPal, or you don't accept Discover. Be clear about what payment methods you will take. Generally, having a wide range of choices will lead to more buyers.
The #1 Most Important Thing of All
This might sound obvious, but most art websites I come across don't have a buy now button. Once your viewer has found something they want to buy, don't send them to another site where they have to go on a goose chase to find it again. Think of it as your easy button. Easy = more sales!