You have lots of visitors to your online handmade store, but they aren't buying! This guide gives you some tips on how to improve your visitor to customer ratio.

Once you have your handmade marketing strategy working, you can now focus on your next problem: getting your visitors to turn into bona-fide customers that make you sales!

A key way to measure your success at this is to measure your Conversion Rate - this directly measures the rate at which your visitors become customers and is calculated using the formula below:

(Number of Sales / Unique Visitors) = Conversion Rate

Example:
Sally has 400 views for her Etsy Store in a month. She makes 20 sales in the same month. Her conversion rate is: 20 / 400 = 0.05%

So, first step is to find out what your total visitor numbers were for the last month. If you have your own store, make sure you are tracking visitors to your pages. This normally means using something that measures "hits" to your pages - this can be something as simple as a hit counter, or can be a full analytics tool such as Google Analytics. If you use a fully hosted store such as Etsy, you can find your views by looking at your Shop Stats page (Your Shop > Shop Stats)

Next, tally your sales for the exact same period. Using online craft bookkeeping software such as Craftybase can be really useful to quickly locate your sales figures in a particular period.

Tally your figures together to get your conversion rate - this is your baseline. If you have the data, generate your conversion rates for at least the last 3 months - the more data you have the better, as you will find there will be seasonal variance with your conversion rate. This is now the figure you have to focus on improving.

Using a conversion rate rather than purely using your visitor numbers to guide you in your marketing efforts will mean that you will be more focussed on getting good quality traffic to your store, rather than any traffic at all. Your goal is to increase your conversion rate, which either means decreasing your overall visitor numbers or increasing your sales. Obviously, it's makes more immediate sense to focus on increasing your sales, but if you are spending money on your advertising efforts you should look at temporarily decreasing your spend, or trying new avenues of attracting visitors until your conversion rate increases.

A couple of tips to get you going with thinking in this new way:

Think niche!

Don't make the mistake of thinking that blanket coverage advertising is best - try to visualise the people you are trying to target with each campaign. If you aren't targeting them directly, then this might not be the best way of advertising to them. You need to make sure that your marketing isn't sending lots of people to your shop that have no intention of buying your product. Facebook ads is a great example of niche advertising as you can narrow your audience to very specific criteria.

Aim for repeat customers

Focussing on your existing customer base makes your job of converting easier as you know they have converted to a customer in the past and are already interested in your products. Use newsletters with special limited edition products, small discounts to entice and seasonal specials to drive them back into spending more at your shop. Offering send-to-a-friend discounts is another great way of widening your customer base.

Walk in the customer's shoes

Take a wander through your shop as though you are a potential customer. Are your photos eye-catching and do they show off your product in a great way, or are they dull? Look at your titles and descriptions: do they give you enough confidence in the product to make the leap into adding it to your basket? Minor tweaks to wording and presentation can have a major impact on your customer rate - always keep reviewing and improving your listings and you'll start to see an improvement in your conversion rate.

The key to this strategy is to keep watching your conversion rate and making tweaks. Try to document your changes so that when it does increase, you have some idea what might have caused it - this way you can repeat and increase your efforts in this area. Likewise if you find your rate decreases, you will know what you shouldn't be doing so you can avoid this in the future. Above all, this strategy requires patience so ensure you give it a try for at least a couple of months - don't give up if you don't see improvements instantly!