Twenty years ago it would have been unthinkable for me to suggest that artists add shopping carts to their websites. Above all, it was crazy expensive to do so at the time. But also it was considered a bit tacky.
Boy have things changed! Not just since Covid, but even in the decade leading up to where we are now.
Online shopping carts are affordable and easy to implement, and the vast majority of the population is comfortable buying online—even buying art online. Some even prefer the online experience.
Then there are the galleries. Many of them struggle to make sales (again, even before Covid) and haven't quite gotten the hang of social media. They were the last of the art world to come into the 21st century way of doing business.
But now even galleries are selling online, with mega-dealer David Zwirner leading the way in 2017.
Why wouldn't you make it easier for people to buy directly from you?
That's what Lynn Goldstein thought, too. She built a shopping cart for her website earlier this year. And the sales rolled in immediately after the March launch.
To date, Lynn has sold 18 original paintings and about a dozen reproductions directly from her site, and I wanted to find out how.
It must be said that neither Lynn nor I are not experts in all of the options you have for shopping carts. I wanted to share Lynn's experience and, above all, her results.
Listen in if you're curious about how she did it.
But first, a disclaimer. This was recorded on Instagram Live without the fancy microphone set-up. The sound quality isn't great and my home editing is kind of choppy. But please look past that if you are considering putting e-commerce on your website.
Music by Wildermiss.
- Why Lynn decided to install e-commerce now and how my Art Biz Accelerator figured into the equation. 2:44
- How Lynn decided on which shopping cart to use on her website. 4:09
- How she approached the tedious process of adding artwork to the backend of the cart, and the number of pieces available. 5:54
- Weebly was purchased by Square in 2019, which helps with the payment processing. 8:18
- What she left out of the shopping cart. 10:20
- A good relationship with her gallery is critical. How they felt about her e-commerce. 11:11
- How Lynn announced the online cart to her list and what she wishes she had known before doing so. 17:17 and 21:09
- Lynn culled her email list, keeping only the most engaged, and now has 600 people on there. 18:27
- Lynn has sold 18 originals and many reproductions from her website in just a few months. 25:58
- Trudy Rice, also a member of my mastermind, also tweaked her approach and started selling originals in addition to her homewares that were also selling well. 27:08
- What Lynn and I think about “competition” between artists. 27:31
- The price point that seems to be the the sweet spot for her online sales. 29:21
- How the Artist Support Pledge works. 30:10
- How Lynn handles shipping charges. 31:24
- Sales taxes can be confusing, but the system she selected figures them out for her. 36:01
- Lynn's inventory is later updated in Artwork Archive. 39:21
- Q&A from people who were on the Instagram Live. Questions were about Lynn's choice of email marketing software, packing procedures, and how to grow your list. 39:58
- Lynn prefers shipping U.S. Postal Service. 41:39
- Artists Support Pledge
- Trudy Rice
- Collector Relationship Essentials
- My Artists' Masterminds < email me for more!
About My GuestLynn Goldstein is a painter and instructor who lives in Virginia—the Washington, D.C. metro area. Her work is steeped in nature, where she returns frequently to find comfort and inspiration for her art. She says her mission is “to help people feel peace amidst a troubled world and hectic daily lives.”
When not painting, Lynn can be found leading tours at the National Portrait Gallery (during normal times!).
Follow her on Instagram @lynngoldstein_art.
Mega-dealer David Zwirner led the way to online commerce for art when he opened virtual exhibitions in 2017 (just 3 years ago!). When Covid hit this year, he offered his platform to smaller galleries for their use.
Top artist Shantell Martin, whose site-specific work can currently be seen around the Denver Art Museum and elsewhere, sells everything from original art to pillow cases to sneakers on her website. (She also wrote a badass response to Microsoft's botched invitation for her to create a mural in NYC during the Black Lives Matter protests.)
Music by Wildermiss.