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Livestreaming: Part Three

Livestreaming

In the final part of our livestreaming triology, we cover the housekeeping pieces: best practices, promoting, and all of your livestreaming options.

Best Practices and Promotion

For best practices we’ll keep it short and sweet:

  1. Prep your materials and setup before you go live.
  2. Include a promo code during your livestream to further entice viewers to shop your product.
  3. Include links to the products highlighted to the archived version of your livestream.

As for promotion, think about the build up prior to the event. Include “sneak peaks” in your story, and ask your followers to vote on options they want to see.

Livestreaming options

Many platforms offer livestreaming capabilities, so we included a list and description for each to help you determine which is the best for you.

  • Zoom: Two years into the pandemic people are very comfortable using Zoom. This could be a great option to start practicing livestreams.
  • Instagram: You’re likely pretty familiar with Instagram live videos. Know you can split screens with other accounts, simplifying the livestream work load.
  • Facebook: Livestreaming on Facebook shows up as videos in follower’s timelines. You can also archive the livestream to your page as a recorded video.
  • Twitch: Although this platform originally began for gamers, Twitch is a livestream-only service. As the platform grows so does the types of content so this might be a good place to grow your audience.
  • Amazon Live Creator: Only look into this option if Amazon is a major source of sales for your shop.

Inspiration for this post came from “Connect Through Livestreaming” by Sommer Leigh published in the December 2021 issue of American Quilt Retailer.

AQR Academy Live!

One last thing before we go—AQR Academy is going LIVE for three days! The event runs April 19 through the 22nd just outside Des Moines, Iowa. Registration is $250 and you can find all of the details including a full schedule, meals, and lodging at the event link here.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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Selling on Amazon

Amazon

How do you know if selling on Amazon is the right move for your business? This post will help answer some of your preliminary questions and give you a gist of the service so you can make the right decision before putting any money down.

Currently, 44% of shoppers start on Amazon and 40% of Americans purchase products on the site every month. This step-by-step breakdown will give you a preview of the process.

Pick a selling plan

As a business owner, you’ll likely chose the Professional Plan, which comes out to $39.99 a month. You can also chose to sell as an individual, and will be charged $0.99 for every item purchased through the site. Amazon recommends the Professional Plan if you plan on selling more than 40 products a month. This of course, is assuming the products you sell are approved to sell (you can check out a list of products that require pre-approval here).

Register on Amazon Seller Central

After you create your account, you can manage your products and start uploading photos. Batch options are available with the Professional Plan and photos can be uploaded one at a time with the Individual Plan. If your product is already listed in Amazon, the only other information required is the amount, condition, and shipping options. Otherwise, you’ll need to have the SKU ready.

Choose your shipping options

Speaking of shipping, the best way to go is to sign up for the Fulfillment by Amazon option. Fulfillment by Amazon takes away the hassle of packing and shipping, and even deals with returns. Through this you get a check every two weeks of the products sold two weeks prior, less Amazon’s fees. Fulfillment by Amazon also makes your product eligible for Prime, and helps your product to be listed higher on the search page.

Promote your products

There are multiple ways to promote your own products, including good, clean, and concise copy, encouraging reviews, and running ads on the site. The three factors that contribute to higher listings are price, feedback rating, and fulfillment method.

Analyze your performance

Similar to Google analytics, Amazon Seller Central provides interactive charts and numbers that help you compare your sales to other industry averages. Checking these statistics before and after making changes to your process can help you optimize the Amazon experience.

Does your store sell on Amazon? Have you found the service useful? Have your experiences been good, or bad? Share your comments to help your comrades in the quilt retail community.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Quilting and Technology

Technology

Quilting has come a long way since it’s origins thanks to advances in technology and society. Like most other industries, quilting has made even more progress in the past three decades than the rest of it’s history combined.

Quilts can now now be much more elaborate and patterns much more varied thanks to the artistic freedom technology provides. Fabrics come in all colors and designs, and the number of tools available to quilters continues to grow.

On the flip side, dedicated quilters are also spending more time online. The amount of time they spend researching the quilting industry increased from 2.5 hours to nearly 8 hours a week since 2014. Further, “68% of dedicated quilters were buying fabric, batting, and thread online,” as of 2017.

Technology is disrupting the traditional business model that brick-and-mortar stores follow. In order to compete now you have to learn how to establish an online presence as well as make your product as easy as possible to get into the hands of the consumer.

Industry professionals feel like they’re behind in more ways than one. Common areas they want education include:

  • Product photography
  • Video workshops with best practices for Instagram and YouTube
  • Best ways to sell fabric on Shopify
  • The ins and outs of selling through Amazon
  • Copywriting for social media posts and online content in general
  • Shipping logistics
  • Email marketing with details on specifics like list segmentation and more

What’s Next?

The times are always changing and it’s up to us to keep up with them so our businesses stay relevant to our consumers. How is technology helping your business and how is technology making things more difficult? What tech-related skills do you want to learn?

American Quilt Retailer is dedicated to connecting you with like-minded professionals to help out with problems like these and many more. Share your tips about what technological advances have been the best moves for your business.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.