Re: e-commerce pro's&con's


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Posted by John on February 10, 2001 at 07:50:09:

In Reply to: e-commerce pro's&con's posted by diane king on February 09, 2001 at 18:29:29:

Generally speaking, e-commerce and artistic expression don't mix very well. We're not thinking about SKU's when we view an artist's offerings. In the case of a fine artist, we're looking at original work and, perhaps, limited edition reproductions. And even a production-oriented artisan's work changes dramatically from year to year. What's new is the watchword in this industry.

This is very much a personal industry, and direct contact is the way the sales are made. Even at a retail arts & crafts show this is true. All the wares are displayed in the booth, but it's the "spin" that the artist imparts to the work that sells it. Why else would one spend $15 for a coffee mug that could be had in the store for $1?

So, artists' sites tend to be visual feasts, not stores. If the viewer is tempted, then personal contact is required to complete the transaction. Makes sense to me: romancing the work is every bit as important as producing the work. To the artist these are not generic items in inventory; they are parts of themselves.

There are websites such as you describe, mostly for high volume production studios (meaning lots of employees). They are almost always wholesale-oriented, even though prices shown are at retail.
The number of these artisan sites drops several orders of magnitude from the others out there. Try going to the site of my old company, Santa Fe Stoneworks. There's a link on my home page.


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