Folksy Ltd

No visitors! Revisited

(Stevenbowlerdesigns) #1

Thank you, to the two people who responded, with an answer, to my original post querying visitor numbers. It would seem that there are indeed a few of us recognizing issues with Folksy and its promotion.
Thank you, to those that commented that their sales and visitor numbers on other shop sites are extremely healthy and successful in comparison to their Folksy shop. I too, have healthy statistics, feedback and sales elsewhere, I am happy to say.
My original post and query was in fact to try and establish if there is an inherent problem here, a fundamental flaw or fault, perhaps. Maybe there is!
Thank you to those who wrote kind words and showed appreciation for the furniture in my Folksy shop; the furniture my girlfriend and I work so hard to produce. Your comments are uplifting.
However, these kind words are somehow tempered by some …constructive criticism, which verged on condescending to rude. To suggest a carefully and lovingly made piece of furniture, painstakingly decorated by hand (my girlfriend presented with a design award from The Duke of Edinburgh) as simply looking like ’ a piece of painted wood’, is, at the very least bad manners. Photographs of my work and their title pieces where not my concern, this is unrelated to my topic. It is unfair to suggest my descriptions in relation to ‘search engine optimization’ are at fault here. Type ‘table’ in the search bar and sure enough, my furniture is lost amongst myriad other items, not just tables but coasters and other strange unrelated items. Type in ‘coffee tables’ , ‘wooden tables’ , ‘reclaimed’ etc and BANG! My furniture is on page one every time, complete with colourful, artistic photographs, including close up shots. These close up shots are essential. The hand decoration on much of my furniture is small, intricate and detailed, consequently, this detail would become lost in a wider photograph. This very detail is often what attracts some people to my work.
It is,perhaps, also unfair to remark on the length of description below my shop photographs (specific to the comment; ‘it is not a sunflower’). Having glanced at all of the shops from the respondents to my original post, we ALL suffer the same problem with ‘severed’ descriptions below our pictures.
Finally, it occurs to me that some respondents writing; they had not heard of my shop, as a strange criticism. With the greatest of respect to them, I have not heard of their shops either! This is not me being critical of them, quite simply, it is because I have never searched for items they make. This could be why we have never heard of each other!
Sadly, after the kind words and appreciation, after the two clear answers to my post, came lots of unrelated correction. But, others have agreed, visitor numbers down, sales are slow, yet we prosper using all the same photographs, descriptions and items elsewhere…that was my point.
So is there a fundamental problem here? Have we surrounded ourselves with ‘window shopping’ shop keepers? Maybe.

(Joy Salt) #2

Not sure how to respond to your topic in case I appear condescending or heaven forbid, rude.
I’ve just had a read through the helpful advice which was offered to you, by people who do indeed have views on their Folksy shops and do therefore have some idea what they are talking about, specifically in relation to the Folksy market place.

If I opened a B&M shop down a side street in my local town I would advertise that it was there. I would not expect people to just be passing, to find me by chance. i would place ads in the press and give out flyers.

No matter what I am selling, however desirable if people walk past the door without spotting there are lovely things on display in the window I won’t get anyone in through the door.

Having a shop on Folksy is just the same. Just because you have your shop here and know it is here and excellent doesn’t mean that anyone else does, If nobody knows it is there then nobody will be able to visit it,

The way to get views on a Folksy shop is to promote promote and promote. I, and lots of other Folksy sellers, keep saying this.

It’s something i do all the time, with every single thing i add to my shop. I ‘advertise’ it - on Pinterest (I see you use that) but more mportantly in my case anyway, on Facebook Twitter Craftjuice.

I added 3 pieces to my shop tonight, I also shared them individually on my FB page and therefore on my Twitter account, I added them all to Craftjuice, noted that on the forum here and they will in the next day or so be Facebooked and Tweeted by Craftjuice as well.

It works for me. I often sell things from my shop the same day i share them on Facebook, sometimes only minutes later. .

Proof it works ? I’ve sold 5 pieces today.

This is not because my glass is any more desirable here on Folksy than your lovely wood. More affordable as a quick purchase certainly but your wood is lovely and I’m not surprised you sell well elsewhere.

I love your descriptions by the way. The way you write them is absolutely your personal choice and length in my opinion is unlikely to put people of buying something they like the looks of, whereas brevity could.

The point made to you about titles is important given that Folksy doesn’t use keywords and therefore SEO / searches are reliant on the words in your titles. However if you make sure you promote each thing you sell via Craftjuice for example then they will become much more ‘googleable’ than just via their presence on Folksy.

I’ve just shared your lovely on my Facebook page. Every little helps.

Joy xxx

PS: Forgot to say, that it really is a good idea to put something into your “meet the maker” section via your Profile Settings. In there you could put the url of your website for example, not clickable but a useful place to show it.

PPS I’ve been thinking about this. If a new shopping centre opens in town and you took a shop in there would you expect that shopping centre to promote you ?.
Surely not. Surely you would yourself promote the fact that you have a shop in that shopping centre.

So maybe the problem with the supposed lack of promotion of “the Folksy Brand” could instead be interpreted as as much a problem with a lack of promotion of themselves by the individual shops.

When I first set up my shop here, in 2009 i think it was, the first thing i did was add links to it all over my own Joysofglass website. I don’t sell on there - I just use it as a shopfront and link through to my shop here. My own website is very googleable (I set the website up with lots of keywords and they work)., Type in Stained glass suncatcher into Google and you’ll find me.
You’ll find me whether you have heard about Folksy or not. I’ve worked hard to make sure of that.

Joy xxx

PPPS Edit - make that sales figure 6 but I’m now closed for 3 weeks - but I’ll still be putting things on my Facebook page as I don’t want people to forget me :smile:

(Margaret Jackson) #3

I made my comment about not having heard of your shop to indicate that perhaps more promotion on your part might help. Incidentally, you won’t have heard of my shop, I don’t have one, I’m a buyer not a seller, but I can only buy from shops who promote so I know they are there. I don’t do searches, I very often buy items I didn’t know I wanted, because I’ve seen the shops promotions. I think all of the comments made were a genuine attempt to be helpful in assisting you to drive more visitors to your shop, which was the whole point of your post.

(Christine Shephard) #4

Perhaps if your original post had stated that you were a highly successful seller elsewhere, already knew everything, and had no need of advice from anyone, we could all have saved our valuable time and not given it.

In fact, all you wanted to hear was confirmation that your lack of sales was someone else’s fault - hey ho.
Condescending and rude? No comment.

(Sara Leigh Thornton) #5

Hmmm…to give advice or not? Don;t want to appear rude or condescending :wink:

I’ve never seen your shop before, but then I know what I want to look for on here and I know how to find what I want to buy.

I wouldn’t say I get huge numbers of visitors on my shop - some days it’s less than 10. However, I’ve had over 650 sales since I opened. That’s due to me working damned hard to make sure people who would be interested in my shop find me on here. I don’t sit back and let Folksy do the promoting - that’s my job, not theirs, they just rent me shop space.

I will also point out that I have very few sales on Etsy…why? Because I don’t promote much for that shop. I could if I wanted to to, but prefer supporting a British craft outlet.

Visitor numbers are always lower in August - they pick up again in September. Sales are only slow for some people, not all. Perhaps instead of sending time moaning you could think some positive thoughts about Folksy and your shop? I always find a little positivity goes a lot further than a dose of negativity :wink:

(Marg) #6

With regard to Folksy promotion. In July issue of Saga magazine there was an article about selling on Et… But at the bottom of the article was a reference to (I suppose in the theme of “other on-line sites are available”). For Folksy to be mentioned in Saga is a boost as it’s a known fact that there are many over 50 year olds who have great spending power. I know this is not really related much to your topic but thought I should just mention it. Marg. x

(Eileens Craft Studio) #7

Well I’m very sorry if my constructed critique was unwelcome but it was neither rude nor condescending it was supposed to be helpful.

I will not offer any other assistance as I feel it would not be well received.

I now feel I’d rather had not bothered to take the time to try and help or taken the time to promote a couple of your items.


(Liz Clark) #8

OK, whilst I see where you are coming from (I think!) I also feel you have been a little harsh where people gave advice to help you. I think that should be appreciated even if it wasn’t what you wanted to achieve by your post.

Do I wish Folksy had more presence like the other more well known selling sites? A big fat yes because it would draw more people to the site. I’d far rather people made Folksy their first port of call when buying handmade quality goods online and I suspect Folksy themselves would too. Whatever the reasons are, Folksy are where they are, doing what they do, and the other selling sites are available as selling platforms to us too. As a business we make a choice on which platform works best for us.

I’ve been on Folksy 6mths and sold two items. I promote on FB, Twitter and Pinterest. Folksy have also promoted me by retweeting my items occasionally when I tweet them and other well known business have also retweeted my items. I’ve also been on the smorgasbord and the Pinterest section. But I have a feeling many of my target customers prefer spending the money I’m asking of them in a bricks and mortar shop, in that they want to see the item before they commit to a purchase. Therefore I’ve come to the conclusion that this is probably where I need to next focus my efforts. I can then build my brand and when people recognise that, they’ll have more confidence to buy from me online because they’ll know what they’re getting. Brands build trust.

Could this be the same for you, that your target customers don’t shop a great deal online or don’t know your brand? Although I note you’ve said you sell well elsewhere, but is this where people have been able to view your items in the flesh so to speak previously and then bought online?

How do those buying from you online elsewhere find you? Have they used Google and they are coming to you cold so to speak? Or have they been directed to your other site, but not Folksy?

(Angrycatcrochet) #9

@BigBirdLittleBird I think that’s a really good insight. Although we are all selling on the same platform we are aiming our stuff at very different markets, so what works for one may not work for another. Of course there are general tips and tricks but we are selling individual, unique items, our shops should be the same- unique to us as crafters :wink:

I can also see where you are coming from Steven, it can be a little disappointing to make the leap to selling online, then not get sales. It would be great to see more advertisement for Folksy but until then I’ll keep plugging away at fb and the like! I think the best bet is to take the advice that you feel is worth pursuing for your particular business and leave the rest.

(Marg) #10

Eileen @EileensCraftStudio, you have given me good advice in the past when I was starting up, so please continue. In this life there are always people who don’t say thank you or ignore you when you greet them.

Steven, you haven’t even filled in the section in your shop “meet the maker”, when I am considering buying I always look at that section, so you are not giving yourself the best chance. Fill it in a.s.a.p.
If I visited say a garden centre I would expect to see a display of the wooden items that you sell. I don’t know whether there are any in your area, but I know some in the midlands where an area of the retail section is leased to individuals to sell their products, with a commission to the garden centre.
I am not trying to tell my grandmother how to suck eggs, just an observation.
The more experienced sellers on here give their advice for free and with the best intentions. If someone asks a direct question they will get an answer, but don’t shoot the messenger because you don’t like the message. Marg. x

(Eileens Craft Studio) #11

Thank you Marg @memicrafts it’s good to know I helped a fellow Folksyisian. I try to be helpful were I can.

People on Folksy have been so kind in their willingness to offer advice and help when I’ve needed it, I just think it’s a good and nice thing to pass it on.