days left until the online Handmade MarketPlace • Oct 8-12, 2020
This summer we’ve been busy creating and heavily investing in a brand new ‘from-the-ground-up’ online HandMade MarketPlace (OHMMP) and we’re so excited to tell you all about it!!!
We know a digital marketplace can’t replace our physical markets, but at this unprecedented moment in history, we’re excited to be able to offer you a tangible solution to reach both existing and new customers en masse this year.
We could all use a little stability right now, couldn’t we? Fortunately, the OHMMP will operate regardless of what happens with physical markets in 2020. It’s one thing we can count on for the 2020 fall and holiday shopping season.
Mark (who has been creating custom websites for 20 years) has been working closely with our web development partner to create a ‘sales forward’ platform that we think you’re going to love! Our entire emphasis is to give you the best opportunity to communicate about your craft (what, why, how) … and then to sell, sell, sell!
At the core of the new OHMMP are the independent virtual artisan ‘stores’ (operating very similar to the stores on the Amazon platform). Essentially we are building a 'virtual' mall that will exist alongside our website.
When it comes to pivoting to a digital marketplace, the HandMade Market is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the last 12 years of operating our physical markets. From the beginning we have been diligently collecting and amassing a giant database of qualified email addresses from each of our markets. At this moment, we have 45,000+ unique and active email addresses, which are absolute gold for marketing! (Side note >> We’ve actually collected nearly double that over the years, but we continually prune the list down to active emails only). All of these addresses were collected from loyal patrons – people who have an interest in shopping handmade. Additionally, we have another audience of 35,000+ social media followers that are hungry for content.
The bottom line is that your potential customers are out there and they’re looking for you. We know you’re missing out on sales opportunities because there have been no physical events during the pandemic. You need to get your business in front of lots of qualified shoppers. The OHHMP was specifically created to harness the power of our trusted brand and large marketing reach to connect you with relevant shoppers online.
We know you probably have a thousand questions! We have anticipated that and have put together this FAQ for you.
Hopefully you find it helpful, but, of course, if you have more questions, please feel free to contact us for any clarification.
~ Jennifer and MarkQuestions? Apply!
It is an online HandMade MarketPlace shopping platform that will give you a flexible, self-managed virtual storefront inside our ‘virtual mall’. It will exist online alongside our website.
If you’re familiar with how Amazon is structured (individual storefronts inside one platform with one main checkout), you'll have a good idea of how the OHMMP will work.
Privately, you will have a back-end dashboard that allows you to easily manage products, inventory, sales, orders, fulfillment, discount codes, shipping, reporting and more. You’ll maintain full autonomy over both your sales and order fulfillment while being able to keep in direct contact with your customers. This means you can manage and build relationships with your customers for future sales. This is like Shopify, SquareSpace and other similar platforms you might be familiar with.
Shoppers will experience the same level of confidence in the highly curated atmosphere that they’re already accustomed to at our physical markets. They will love our intuitive online handmade shopping ‘mall’ featuring a single easy-to-use secure checkout point.
Your storefront is your virtual spot in the HandMade MarketPlace. It’s the publicly viewable place where your digital ‘store’ resides.
All of your products for sale will be listed here. Product quantity is unlimited, but we strongly suggest listing just your top sellers.
Your storefront also includes a spot for a profile picture, a spot for a video (this would be a great place for a studio tour video!!), your biography or description, policies, procedures, promotions and all of your contact information (social media, website, email, etc.).
Hassle-free set-up: Easily set-up and self-manage your storefront.
You mind the shop: Manage all aspects of the sale including order fulfilment, shipping, refunds, etc. (This means there are no delays to wait for when you wish to make a change or restock).
Video: Your personal shop will have a built in function for a video upload. Use this to sell your work in a more personal way with a studio tour or product spiel.
Site-wide visibility: The entire OHMMP is searchable by product type, categories, tags, artisan/vendor name, etc., etc.
Coupons: Create custom coupons for shoppers to use in your store. Promote these incentives through social media and eblasts.
Wish Lists: Guests can create customized Wish Lists to save products they’re interested in purchasing later.
Easy check out: One shopping cart and one credit card transaction. In other words, your customers can do all of their shopping with a single transaction.
Shipping: Control flat rate shipping prices by geographic area in Canada. We suggest including shipping in your product price if possible. Products with shipping fees will indicate that shipping is additional.
Built in payment system: No website or credit card merchant account is required as we handle payment processing for you.
Get paid quick: We will pay you out using EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) within approx. 10 business days
We will operate the online HandMade MarketPlace as a series of limited time 24/7 ‘events’ within a multi-day (ie. 3-5 day) shopping ‘window’.
Starting this September, we will host a series of 4 strategically chosen date windows for handmade ‘shop-a-thon’ experiences covering the entire fall and holiday season.
We’re currently looking at the following date ranges > September 10-14, October 8-12, November 19-23 and the entire month of December up to Christmas. These dates are subject to change.
We’re specifically creating a sense of urgency around this series of online ‘events’ so as to concentrate sales into a smaller time window, thereby motivating guests to “buy now”.
The OHHMP series will operate regardless of whether or not physical market(s) can proceed due to COVID-19.
You retain autonomy over sales, order fulfillment, shipping and customer relationships.
No geographical barriers to sales (Canada-wide).
Gives you access to our large and dedicated online audience through our active 45,000+ email database, 35,000+ social media followers and our paid promotional programs which reach 10's of thousands more – the exact same ways we promote our physical markets!
Offers shoppers a singular online shopping platform from a name they already know and trust (HMM!).
The costs and risks of an online marketplace are much lower than for physical shows and events (particularly in regards to travel, staffing, lodging and food costs).
Ease of use with an intuitive, clean and aesthetic design.
Same level of excellence and highly curated artisan experience as our physical markets.
Everything under one roof = ultra easy for shoppers to find artisans all in one location.
One shopping cart and one credit card transaction.
Guests can create customized Wish Lists to save products they’re interested in purchasing later.
Offers shoppers a way to support buying handmade at a time when physical markets haven’t been able to operate.
A singular online shopping platform from a name guests already know and trust (HMM!).
The OHMMP series will be advertised and promoted in exactly the same ways and using the same methods that we advertise and promote our typical ‘physical’ markets, which has proven very successful over the last 12 years.
This includes a targeted paid online advertising campaign through social media, shopping spree contests, social media posts (Facebook and Instagram with 35,000+ followers), our website, and, utilizing our not-so-secret weapon — our giant email database with 45,000+ active email addresses!!!
Additionally, we’ll be rolling out some creative opportunities available to artisans utilizing our social media following and the OHMMP site itself. We’re still working on the specifics, but we can say these opportunities would be available as extra ‘pay-to-play’ features and could possibly includes advertisements, video interviews/features and other similar promotions. More info to come.
The short answer is, yes.
By ensuring artisans participate in the full online series, we are putting forth the very best online experience that we can offer our guests.
As we lead up to the lucrative holiday shopping season, we’re working hard to present our guests with a level of excellence that is consistent with what they’ve come to expect from the HandMade Market.
It’s critical during this time of COVID recovery that we maintain the trust of our loyal market guests as we familiarize them with this alternate option to shop handmade online. Presenting a strong and fully-loaded online marketplace from day one is paramount to it's success.
For the same cost as one of our typical outdoor physical markets, you can participate in the full OHMMP series of 4 ‘events’ which covers the entire fall and holiday seasons.
By creating full coverage to the end of the year, we anticipate greater uptake and support from shoppers.
Our belief is that you will benefit the most from participation in the full series and so we’re offering 2 simple flat rate package options.
This is the “do it yourself” model. You set up the store on your own. We’ll provide email support for your initial storefront set up. A general user guide and a few videos are provided for your reference.
A 10% commission (plus HST) will be charged on any product sales (on subtotal before shipping and taxes).
A 3% processing fee is charged by the credit card company (applies to entire sale amount).
Once you have been accepted to participate in the online market series and your payment has been processed, there are no refunds or credits offered for cancellations.
If, for any reason, we cancel any or all four of the online markets we have scheduled, you will be offered a refund for each individual ‘event’ that is cancelled.
The online HandMade MarketPlace is a curated platform that is open to all Canadian makers, artists and artisans across the country.
PLEASE NOTE: We are no longer accepting applications for the jewellery or knits category.Apply Now!
If you have more questions, please feel free to contact us for any clarification.Questions?