Do you sell your soap? Are you trying to expand your reach? Do you have a website yet? The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild has partnered with HSMG member The Template Place to bring you Soap Guild Stores, a fully customizable webstore available expressly for HSMG members. The Soap Guild Stores combine all member webstores into a marketplace that assists consumers in purchasing high quality handcrafted soap and bath and body products.
But I’m not an html wizard! No worries, this does not require any computer sorcery. If you don’t already have an existing website or shopping cart, this is a fast and easy way to establish an online presence. We take care of the set-up; you get to personalize the site (uploading photos of your creations, entering descriptions, describing store policies, etc).
Nice, but I already have a website. Perfect, help drive more traffic your way. You can use the Soap Guild Store as a brochure site directing visitors to your primary site (like A+ Soapmaking Studio’s site). They have been designed to be well indexed by Google, so this is a great way to extend your reach and help people find your website.
What about fees? Simple. HSMG and the Soap Guild Stores charge no fees to maintain a store, list a product or to sell a product (of course, you still have to pay merchant fees to your payment processor).
Okay, so how does this work? Also simple. Send your contact information and a few details (see full list here) to the administrative office. We’ll do the coding dirty work to set your page up. Once it’s ready, we’ll send you your site name and user manual. From there, you’re ready to start customizing your store and open it up to the public. It’s as easy as logging in and uploading photos and text.
What can I do with these stores? Quite a bit! Aside from taking orders and selling products, you have control over what types of payment you accept. You can set up the site to accept Paypal and personal checks. You can split your product offerings into groups or categories to help visitors find just what they’re looking for, whether it be bath soaks, gift sets, or products specifically for pooches. From the admin page, you can manage orders and customers can view their order (and order updates). Shipping can be set by weight or by the total cost of items in the shopper’s cart. You can put products on sale and set up tax to be charged as needed. You can link all your social media accounts to your site, so that customers can catch up with you on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc. The Soap Guild Stores are powered by google search and include several different search options, so visitors can easily find just what they are seeking.
And of course, once you sign up for a webstore, sign up for analytics so that you can monitor the traffic on your site.
Your fee-free store out on the Soap Guild Stores site is waiting for you. “Sign up for yours today” HSMG President Cathleen Timberlake says, “and start customizing to be ready for the busy holiday season.”