How to Transform Your Art Into Products to Sell Online

Whether you’re a digital or traditional artist, there has never been more income opportunities available to you as there are today. Today’s artists can easily create a thriving online business while sharing their work with the masses.

Just How Easy is it to Sell Art Online?

If you decide to carry inventory and ship it yourself, things become a little more complicated and risky. Like any retail business, you don’t want to become stuck with stagnate inventory. Shipping and logistics are a headache and the cost of shipping alone in Canada is enough to make small businesses give up before they start.

You can remove both the risk and the shipping headaches by choosing print-on-demand (POD) with branded dropshipping. The best POD drop shipping suppliers will do everything for you, from creating products with your original designs to shipping them directly to the buyer. They integrate with online marketplaces and ecommerce platforms so you can manage it all with a few clicks.

When we’re testing new products or designs for clients, the first thing we recommend is drop shipping to test the market. After that, you can stock the most successful products yourself or continue on with dropshipping…or both.

Additionally, the larger POD wholesalers will have manufacturing and warehouses in multiple countries. You can choose to sell only in Canada, or easily and inexpensively expand your market globally.

Start Your Online Business Journey

You’ll follow the typical route to starting an online business in Canada, with a few exceptions.

The typical journey to launching your own online art products business is as follows:

  1. Choose or narrow down your niche
  2. Create original art
  3. Select the formats and merchandise you want to sell. If you’re going through a POD supplier like Printful, all of the design tools you’ll need are available within the platform.
  4. Launch an online store through an ecommerce platform and/or marketplace. Your products can be added manually, or be fed into the site/marketplace using integrated tools provided by the supplier’s platform.
  5. Add your products to the ecommerce platforms and marketplaces you’ve selected.
  6. Start marketing with a blog, social media, email, influencers, and promotions (such as contests)
  7. Ongoing engagement with your customers
  8. Build ‘social proof’ by encouraging your customers to share reviews. Make sure you publish testimonials on social media and on your website.

Steps to Selling Art Online

Infographic provided by Printful

Top Types of Art Products Sold Online

The top three types of art products sold online are:

1. Wall Art

The market for wall art is worth billions of dollars. You can sell your art as paper posters or canvas prints for homes and professional settings.

2. Digital Art

Digital Art is downloaded, much like a photo would be. It can be sold for multiple purposes, from website graphics to templates, metaverse products, or customized items like greeting cards. It can be customized by you as an additional revenue stream, or be in a template format for the buyer to customize.

3. Unique Merchandise

Applying your artwork to merchandise is one of the most profitable ways to sell your art online. Just imagine your design on clothing, dishes, phone cases, home décor and so much more.

If you use POD dropshipping, it’s entirely hands-off! For example, you can add your designs to hundreds of products with a platform like Printful, which will then be shipped directly to the customer on your behalf. You’ll still be a creator with your own online business, but with half the headaches.

If you’d prefer to manage your own inventory, you can still order it easily from the POD supplier and have it shipped to you. Some even offer free shipping with a minimum order.

These options are always available to you, so you can change your strategy later if you want to.

You can also expand your income potential by providing complimentary services, such as customization or design services.

Success

The key to success is in the originality and quality of your artwork, as well as the demand for it. The cost to apply your art to original products will put your retail price point higher than generic product designs. People are willing to pay more for unique designs, but it must be exceptional to make it to their ‘gotta have it’ list. Chasing trends can be exhausting, but you’ll improve with practice and it’s often where the most money is.

Have you tried selling your art online? Please share your suggestions or questions in the comments below, or join us to discuss online art sales in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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