Imagine you stumble across a website selling watches. Hand-made watches and you are a watch collector! You spend some time perusing the website and you find a watch that you love. In fact, you love it so much you want to purchase it. But there’s no price. And you don’t see any way to actually purchase the watch. Would you give up? Or would you try to ask the site owner the price? Well, usually you would be irritated and give up, but you really love this watch, so you decide to contact the site owner. Exasperated, you click the “contact us” section of the site, you suffer filling out the form letting the site owner know which piece you love, and asking how much it is. You send the form off hoping that you’ll hear back from this person.
Hours go by. Nothing.
Days go by. Nothing.
Finally, after you’ve forgotten about the watch, and are now no longer excited, you get a response. “Oh that watch? Yeah, I still have it. How much do you offer for it?”
Now you’re irritated. You asked how much it was, you didn’t want to start a negotiation.
Still, you remember that you loved it, and so you answer, “I don’t know, I had asked you the price. I’ll offer $1,000 I guess.”
Another day goes by.
“I’m sorry, I can’t sell it for less than $2,000 comes the reply.”
Now you’re really miffed. If the seller wanted $2,000, then why didn’t he just say that up front? And furthermore, why didn’t he just put that price on his website to begin with?
You decide to give up. But then you look at the photo of the watch again. Sigh. “OK” you reply, “I’ll pay $2,000. How do I proceed?”
Another couple of days goes by.
And then you receive a Venmo link with no explanation except for “Charge for watch.”
Now you’re getting nervous. You’ve spent a week trying to buy this watch and you have no idea who this person is, and you have an anonymous venmo link?
“Screw it” you think, “I’m out.” A lot of time and hassle for nothing. Feels to unprofessional and scammy to risk it.
Meanwhile, somewhere across the world, the site owner is talking to his colleagues, other watchmakers. And he’s complaining, “I don’t know what else to do! My watches aren’t selling! Where are all the watch collectors anyway? And how do I get them to my site? My site host keeps giving me ideas on how to sell, but I never seem to. Maybe I need a new site!”
Sounds insane that this watchmaker would expect to sell from such a poorly designed user experience on his website. But replace “watchmaker” and “watch” in the story above with “artist” and “artwork” and we, at FASO, see this same exact story play out every day. Artists continually say “I’ve had a website for several years and I haven’t sold a thing!” Well, duh, of course not when the experience is as I describe above!
Now there are a number of reasons why your art might not be selling, but having a poorly designed website experience should not be one of them. One of the biggest mistakes artists make with their website is they optimize the experience for THEMSELVES and not for THEIR CUSTOMERS. You might love playing with beautiful page layout tools, and agonizing over the font and color choices on your website. But far too many artists spend too much time on the look of their website and not enough time designing the actual experience the customer has when trying to purchase. (The user experience of your art buyer is what we solve at FASO Artist Websites)
If you want to sell art you must price all the works for sale, and provide an easy, professional way for the customer to purchase the painting with no friction and no delay. In short, you need ecommerce on your website. That’s what everyone expects today.
This is, of course, possible in most platforms today, however, the vast majority of art websites I visit do not have ecommerce enabled. In fact, many, especially on Squarespace, don’t even have a detailed page for each artwork allowing zooming, viewing in a room, or even clearly showing the medium and size. I suspect, having tried generic website platforms myself, that is because actually enabling ecommerce and getting it all to work with the page paradigm is tricky and a bit clunky. Still, if you understand how to do it, then do so, at least if you want to sell art and not just have a pretty showcase.
At FASO, we do things a bit differently because our websites aren’t designed to be page layout programs, they art designed to be real, collector grade art storefronts that are easy to update and ready-to-go in terms of ecommerce.
Let’s look at what you actually need set up to easily sell your art and how easy this is with FASO. We’ll be using the site of Gayle Faucette Wisbon in this email, her art is unique and she is part of our award winning support team so if you’re a FASO member, chances are you’ll end up at some point communicating with her.
1. Easy to update
First, the way FASO works is almost the reverse of most site builders and this is designed to be EASY and FAST. Most site builders encourage you to design your pages, and then you drop your products into them. The issue with this happens later, when you want to add new products. It can be clunky to set up, and even harder to keep up to date. No wonder so few artists’ websites have full ecommerce on them! At FASO, we turn the whole thing around, you simply add your artworks (we don’t even make you call them “products!”) and we build all the pages you need around that. Adding a new artwork for sale is as easy as uploading it, and adding a price. It can be done from your phone in less than 2 minutes and we’ll build all the supporting pages you need. Here’s an example of the ONE form you need to fill out for each artwork you wish to sell: