Return to the real: Are artisans the future of e-commerce?
Handmade goods have become a the latest e-commerce trend — a result of shoppers’ desire for more authentic online consumerism.
The rise of the workshop
Many workshops for handmade goods have already been established, and more people are getting into the “Do it Yourself” scene.
MyCosmetik – Make your own cosmetics!
This is the case with MyCosmetik, which gives consumers the chance to create their very own beauty products. By offering 100 percent organic and natural raw ingredients to make the products, MyCosmetik is a clever mix of e-commerce site and workshop (with recipes, advice, demos and more).
MyCosmetik’s goal is to take back control of cosmetics from the big industrial players, and as such refuses to use suspect ingredients like paraben, aluminum powders, silicone and other synthetics.
There’s a real desire to get back to basics, to challenge the major industrial manufacturers and their products of mass consumption.
Alexandre Colin, the site’s co-founder, gives us his advice on how to succeed in handmade e-commerce. “It’s crucial to be both passionate and patient. We worked for two years to prepare this project. Time is key to your success.”
How can isolated artisans sell their products?
It can be difficult for a producer to manage or combine tasks, which range from creating the products to promoting and selling them too. All this takes valuable time, and that’s why some creatives have found a great solution: bond together on a larger platform. That’s how the American giant Etsy works, as well as its French competitor, A Little Market.
Etsy – Temple of the Handmade
Launched in 2005, Etsy was the first e-commerce platform for handmade products. A simple idea. A dazzling success.
Etsy is a bit like a vast Ali Baba’s cave. Anyone who’s good at making things with their hands or who enjoys handmade items will enjoy the site. From home decor to fashion and jewellery, it can all be found on Etsy.
In order to post an item, creatives have to pay 26 cents, and the item will stay online for four months. If it sells, Etsy receives a 3.5% commission.
A Little Market – Artisan products with social value
A Little Market was created in 2008 by three French people and is the French sales platform for artisans wanting to sell online.
As the social aspect is highlighted here, the artisans are at the heart of the process. A Little Market’s goal is to help these often isolated small vendors, giving them a marketplace to sell their products while still respecting their values.
For the consumer, there’s the guarantee of a unique handmade item of real quality.
If you’re an e-tailer, these sites are a great way to display your products to a wider audience, as they’re frequently visited and their links often shared.
Made in Country – The forerunner of the Handmade phenomenon
E-commerce sites that highlight the local production of products are on the rise. They’re indicative of a growing desire of consumers for authentic products with a known provenance.
Lets take the example of products “Made in France”, products that have been all the rage recently.
According to an OpinionWay study carried out in 2011 for A Little Market, 91% of all French people prefer products that are “Made in France” over industrially-produced products.
Made in France is a trend built on a simple idea: highlight the history and savoir-faire behind each object, while addressing a sector of the consumer market which is increasingly aware of both production methods and materials used.
La Belle Echoppe or Paris Yorker are great examples of where this kind of handmade e-commerce is at today. Working closely with PrestaShop, they were able to develop their business, highlighting their “Made in France” aspect in order to attract customers.
Are you interested in responsible consumerism? Do you want to sell your authentic, homemade products? Well, what are you waiting for? Start your own handmade e-commerce business today!
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