In The Beginning…Setting Up an Online Art Shop

When I was tasked with setting up an online art shop, I was instantly excited by the challenge, quickly followed by knee-buckling fear. Where do I even start?

I am digitally savvy, having built websites and I’ve had some experience with eCommerce platforms before, but this was a huge task, both managing a collective of artists and overseeing the design and implementation of a brand new sales platform.

Creative Future was born out of the desire and very clear need to support and nurture under-represented artists in their creative development. We are experts at training, mentoring, exhibiting and promoting art and our artists, but with all due respect, we’re setting up an online art shop from scratch!

Taking those initial steps was daunting. First I decided to clarify our objectives.

What did we want to get out of an online art shop?

Supporting and empowering our artists is a core value of Creative Future, so the number one objective was to both build the reputations of our artists and find new opportunities for selling their work. We wanted to explore how digital tools could help us achieve this; here’s where the idea for an online art shop evolved.

Why now?

With funding becoming ever more competitive, the online shop was born out of a need to find alternative and sustainable income sources for us as a charity, as well as to raise the profile of both Creative Future and our artists. We have so many incredibly talented artists that struggle to get their work ‘out there’, and we’re hoping the online shop will help to overcome some of these barriers.

Like any small arts organisation, we also want to broaden our audience and reach.So that more people get to see our artists and their great work. What better way to do this than online!

What’s next?

So I took my first steps. I’ve got clear objectives and I know exactly why we’re building the shop.  For now, this has helped to settle my nerves, although, I still have questions and doubts whirling around in my head. Like, ‘What if we don’t sell anything?’, ‘We don’t know anything about being an eCommerce business.’ and ‘What if I mess it up?’.

For now though, I need to overcome these doubts and focus on our mission. Join me in two weeks, where I will discuss how I took our objectives and formed a Marketing Strategy to launch the shop! Find out how I’ve navigated tasks, plans and website platforms on my quest, all with the limited capacity and funds of a small charity.

Creative Future's art shop launches at Brighton Festival 2018

We’ll be launching the shop in May at Brighton Dome, as part of the city’s super vibrant Brighton Festival. Stay tuned for further updates and follow us on Instagram @creativefutureuk and on Twitter @CreativeF_uture.

 

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By Niamh Hicks – Digital Platform Manager at Creative Future

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