White Paper: The Digital Craft

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A white paper on digital craft and how technology is transforming the craft business. To learn more and start selling crafts online, visit https://www.payloadz.com

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White Paper: The Digital Craft

  1. 1. PayLoadzThe Digital CraftHow technology is transforming the craft businesswww.payloadz.com4/26/2013
  2. 2. Table of ContentsCRAFTS – A BIG BUSINESS 3THE DIGITAL CRAFT 4TECHNOLOGY AS ENABLER FOR DIGITAL CRAFTS BUSINESS 5Creating Digital Craft 5Merchandizing 5Marketing and Advertising 5Payment Processing 6Digital Crafts Delivery 6SALES PLATFORM FOR DIGITAL CRAFT 6
  3. 3. “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t referring to artists and craftsman; however, the same sentiment can beapplied to this community of people who make a living through their creative genius and contributesignificantly to the nation’s economy. Crafting is one of the sectors that can thrive, even during tougheconomic times. Thousands of people have quit their jobs to become full-time crafters; reasons forquitting range from job insecurity and instability to personal satisfaction. Crafters are making the worlda little better. They bring joy to others with the products they create, and they find self-satisfaction inworking in a medium they love.Crafts – A Big BusinessData for the crafting industry in the United States are not readily available. Some studies, however, havebeen conducted to measure the impact of crafts on the economy and its contribution to generatingincome.One such landmark study was the Craft Organization Development Association (CODA) 2001 survey,called The Impact of Crafts on the National Economy. This survey made it possible for the first time tomeasure the size of the U.S. craft sector and compare it with other industry sectors. It was assessed in2001 that crafts have a $13.8 billion impact on the nation’s economy. At that time, that was bigger thanfuel, oil and coal ($13.2 billion), almost four times bigger than taxicabs ($3.7 billion) and nearly half ofairline tickets ($29.5 billion).It was also found that craft households enjoy a higher income. The averageincome after expenses per craft household was $50,000, 26 percent above the average income at thattime.Craft & Hobby Association U.S.Attitude & Usage Study, 2010,revealed that U.S. consumersspend over $29 billion peryear on craft products. Thechart on the left shows acategory breakdown of theamount spent on differentforms of crafts.This study also found thatmore than half of the U.S.households engage in a craftactivity at least once per year.
  4. 4. The chart shows the household participation across different forms of crafts. According to this study,most households engage in craft forms like scrapbooking, jewelry making, cross-stitch and knitting. Eachof those craft forms can be completely or partially categorized as a digital craft. Let’s look at whatconstitutes a digital craft.The Digital CraftThe growth of technology is continuously transforming creative industries and has already altered thebusiness models in industries such as photography, music, film and newspapers. The craft sector is nowstarting to evolve, and the use of technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in designing, creatingand selling digital craft items.While any type of craft item can be designed and sold using technology, some specific types of crafts canbe created using technology. Those items are digital crafts because digital technology is an integral partof each stage of the lifecycle. Here are some examples of digital crafts:Paper Craft: Paper models, paper toys, scrapbooking and clip artNeedlecraft: Patterns, samples and instructions for crocheting, knitting, sewing and cross-stitch.Food Craft: Food photos and recipesJewelry: Jewelry designs and instructions for creating handmade jewelry
  5. 5. Digital crafts can be designed, created, marketed, sold and delivered in a virtual manner with digitaltechnology, tools and services available to crafters.The use of technology makes it easier at every stage for crafters to run their businesses efficiently and ina cost-effective manner. Technology brings about economies of scale and cost savings regardingproduction, storage and distribution of products.Technology as Enabler for Digital Crafts BusinessTechnology touches digital crafts at every stage of their lifecycle. Today, crafters are using technologyfor many projects:Creating Digital CraftDigital crafters use several software and hardware tools to create their products. These software toolsinclude word processors such as MS-Word to write text content and design tools such as AdobePhotoshop to create, edit and enhance visual components of their products. The hardware tools includescanners and digital cameras to capture pictures and patterns.MerchandizingMerchandizing can be defined as promoting the sale of goods through presentation in retail outlets. TheInternet is a big and open market for buyers and sellers of goods in the digital world, and it is becomingeasier day-by-day to set up shop in this market. Digital crafters can now set up shops on the Internetand display their works to be discovered, seen and purchased by potential customers. Various optionsare available to set up a shop online, such as creating an independent website or listing products inonline marketplaces such as the PayLoadz Store and eBay or even a combination of the two.Marketing and AdvertisingThe Internet makes available various options to digital craft sellers for marketing and advertising theirwork online. There are different options available to choose from depending on the budget available.Here are some options:Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: PPC advertising involves advertising your online shop or products onsearch engines and other platforms. It is chargeable on the basis of each click on the advertisement.Social Media Marketing: This involves marketing digital crafts on social media sites such as Facebookand Twitter. Another good social media platform for craft sellers to market their work is Pinterest. It isalso possible to set up shop on Facebook and promote crafts through online advertising.Blogs: Many digital craft sellers set up their own blogs to showcase their work, promote it, takefeedback and engage with potential customers. Those who have not set up blogs can use other peoplesblogs, such as blogs that write about crafts and review craft products, to showcase their work.
  6. 6. Affiliate Marketing: This involves recruiting online affiliates who promote your product and generatesales in return for a commission on each sale. Affiliate networks are available where you can findaffiliates for your products.Payment ProcessingA key component of the sales process, without which a sale cannot be completed, is to collect payment.Online payment processing services such as PayPal, Google Checkout and others enable digital craftersto collect payment over the Internet through credit cards and bank accounts. When selling digital crafts,you need to provide multiple payment options to customers. You dont want to lose any customersbecause you cant take a certain form of payment.Digital Crafts DeliveryEnsure that the time lag between the payment and delivery of a product to a customer is kept atminimum when you deliver a digital craft. The beauty of digital craft lies in the fact that customers donthave to wait for days to receive what they bought. Any delay in delivering the product can causedissatisfaction, so you need to ensure almost instant delivery.Sales Platform for Digital CraftAs a digital crafter, your highest priority should be to create fantastic products for your customers. Sinceselling crafts involves taking care of several other aspects of business such as payment collection anddelivery, it is wise to use a sales platform. Using a sales platform automatically takes care of some ofthose tasks, which also frees up your valuable creative time.A sales platform streamlines your complete sales process. Whether buyers find your products on yourwebsite, on eBay or anywhere else, a sales platform makes it easier for them to pay for your products.With automated delivery, buyers receive the product immediately, instead of waiting for you to processtheir purchase requests.The sales platform that you choose should have the following features: An easy-to-use process to upload products and publish your sales listing A place that allows selling digital crafts on your website, other sites and popular marketplaces Marketing tools and a large affiliate network for increasing popularity and sales Automated delivery of products Multiple payment gateway choicesPayLoadz is one of the sales platforms available to you. It is a full-service sales platform for selling digitalcrafts as well as other digital content such as eBooks and videos. With PayLoadz, uploading yourproducts, creating a store listing and marketing them is extremely easy and quick.
  7. 7. Creating digital crafts takes time and dedication. To ensure your hard work is not lost, you need a salesplatform that helps buyers find and buy your products.Find us at www.payloadz.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/payloadz Twitter:www.twitter.com/payloadz

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