Have you considered turning your quilting hobby into a lucrative business venture? Whether you want to sell fabric, quilting designs, or finished products, opening an online quilt shop is a great way to generate income from an activity you already do often. Even if you already own a brick-and-mortar store, a digital storefront can add to your profits. Here are some smart tips for setting up your store and accepting payments.
Choose a Specialty POS System
A high-quality POS system is key for easily accepting in–person and online payments. By choosing a specialty system made specifically for quilt or fabric shop owners, you can ensure your POS accomplishes everything you need.
A POS for quilt stores can have many surprising benefits for your new online store. For one, you can integrate payments, manage inventory, and collect customer data for both your digital and brick-and-mortar locations – meaning you rely on one user-friendly system for all your POS needs.
Additionally, a high-quality POS system creates a convenient experience for customers, allowing multiple payment options and streamlining the purchasing process. The quicker and easier the checkout process, the more likely your customers are to actually finish their purchase. You can even have your system act as a virtual cutting table, helping shoppers determine how much fabric they need and at what cost.
A POS system can also aid in your marketing efforts. You can convert one-time visitors into reoccurring customers with a customer loyalty or reward program. Your POS can gather customer information, send out promotional texts and emails, and automatically ask customers for online reviews.
Invest in a Quilt Shop Website
There are thousands of quilt shops in the US, and as consumer trends change, many quilters are selling their products online. To differentiate yourself from the competition and to create a positive customer experience, you’ll need a UX-friendly, eye-catching website.
When creating your online store, you’ll want to consider several factors:
- Website Platform: You have several options for where to build your website. You can opt for a free and highly customizable solution like WordPress – the most popular website-building option providing 100% ownership of your site. Or you can choose subscription-based options, such as Shopify (a popular ecommerce store option), Squarespace, Wix, or Webflow.
- Hosting and Domain: Once your website is built, you will need to choose a domain name and website host. Ideally, your domain name will include your business name. However, the availability and price of domain names can vary. You will also want to select a high-quality web host to make your site available on the World Wide Web.
- Website Creation: While many business owners attempt to write, design, and develop their websites themselves, you’ll want to consider the trade-offs. While you can save money with a DIY website, you will likely lose the performance (and sales) a professionally made website can provide.
- Store Integration: Your website should allow people to browse your inventory and purchase items. You’ll need to ensure your site is ready to accept payments from customers.
After your new website is out and ready for the world to see, make sure you have a plan for how to care for and implement your website, including:
- Website Management: Your website is not a one-and-done project. Websites need to be updated, watched for security risks, edited, and improved over time. You’ll need a plan for continued upkeep, which can often be bundled with hosting services.
- Search Engine Optimization: Being one of the first results on Google and other search engines for search terms related to quilting is key for boosting sales. You can research tips on performing keyword research and optimizing your website, or you can outsource this responsibility to an SEO expert.
- Marketing and Promotion: Once your website is built, you need to draw people to it. Paid advertisements, blog posts, social media posts, emails, and other forms of marketing can lead qualified leads to your digital storefront.
Opening a quilt shop can be a profitable business with the right preparation. By setting up your store with these tips in mind, you can take a step back and enjoy the perks of business ownership while providing your customers with the most streamlined purchasing experience.