If you run a retail business from your home, you still need a level of professional appeal to your customers. There are some basic things you can do to make your products looks as nice possible and can compete online, at trade shows, and in local stores. Here are some simple tips that can really help boost your apparent professionalism in the eyes of consumers.
1. Use thermal transfer printing.
Instead of printing labels with a basic home printer, invest in a thermal transfer printer for things like barcodes, product labels, and any product packaging that your make yourself. These printers allow for better and longer lasting lasting images, which is important if you want a barcode to survive getting damp or rubbed (simple ink printing can bleed or rub to distort the barcode). Thermal transfer printing also makes your labels sharper and allows you to print on a wider variety of mediums, including cardboard and heat sensitive plastic labeling.
If you sell textiles, thermal printing is important for tags and labels. You don't want ink prints to get wet during shipping and damage clothing with bleeding ink. It also ensures you never make a sizing mistake because a smudged label.
2. Customize your packaging.
You might get by at first by using basic post office boxes for shipping out products, but as you build your brand, you'll want to leave a better impression. Talk to a packaging company about designing boxes with your name and logo on them, and have the fitted for the product you sell. For example, if you make goat milk soaps in your basement, having soap sized boxes can make shipping a breeze and impresses the customer with the quality of the packaging.
3. Have nice photos.
If you are marketing your product from your home, you likely rely on a website for most of your customer traffic. Images are essential to branding. 93% of consumers find images to be very important when buying online. When you can't examine a thing in person, you rely on the picture to show quality and trustworthiness. There should be no grainy images, and plenty of opportunities to view the items close up.
You need to make sure the pictures of your product are uniform and alike. They should be bright and detailed. This means investing in a good camera, tripod, and using a light box to showcase the item's true colors and to diminish shadows in the photos. If you struggle with using a new camera, you can take some free online classes for basics about shooting in manual mode, and learn about which lenses are right for shooting the type of product you are buying.
4. Upgrade your website.
You don't want to simply set and forget your website. Even monetized sites from five years ago look dated to the savvy online consumer. You'll want to occasionally redesign your website with new fonts and graphics. You'll also want to add more current payment methods as they become more popular and relevant. For example, many people like to pay with Google wallet, Amazon account, or Paypal instead of typing in a credit card. Having these more convenient payment options makes it easier for people to check out.
5. Get a shipping agreement.
If you don't like making constant trips to the post office to ship out products, you may contact a shipping company about setting a contract. This can make it easy to provide lower shipping costs to your customers, as well as real-time tracking information.
For more ideas, contact a company that provides thermal transfer printing and printers.