Knocking Down Online Barriers for your Antique Store

 Jun 04, 2020
Antiques is a market that has made a slower transition to the digital arena for its sales. The nature of the business is such that many customers won't buy large or expensive antiques unless they can see and touch them first, and also there tends to be negotiation so the listed price may not be the final price. While web sales have always traditionally been a small percentage of sales, the picture is bound to change with COVID-19 crisis affecting the way people are shopping and the habits they take away from this.

Arts and antique dealers are steadily moving towards online sales with their own sites or on shared sites such as Selling Antiques or 1st Dibs. So if you are an antique store owner newly venturing into digital sales how do you go about it? 

Highlighting the positives always helps! And when it comes to your online store, the best part about it is how it takes you from your local town and puts you right into the national and global market. The change in the current scenario could be a changing point for people to get comfortable buying antiques online. 

So how do you go about embracing this trend? There are a few steps you could start taking steadily to create a strong online foothold for your antique shop:
  • If you don't have a website already, make sure you get started immediately. 
  • For those with a website already in place, work on making it more user-centric and free of glitches if any. Improving and updating is very important and will be helpful for you.
  • For an antiques' website, it is important that it is made to impress. It should be user friendly, content rich, and most importantly, it should have the products sorted out neatly to find and browse.
  • Next step is promoting your website well in order to attract the right set of organic visitors.
  • Work on getting better resolution pictures of the items for your website, which will allow the viewers to get a better idea of the products. Consider the background and complementing items to help viewers picture it in their home.
  • A video description of the antique can work very well.
  • Video viewing of the items by an appointment is something that many are resorting to. And in fact, may well start to become a standard requirement that any serious buyer would want before committing to a journey. 
  • You could also think of a digital viewing room that will divert interest online.

For antique dealers, while the actual fairs and auctions may be cancelled, a rise in the number of auction houses going live has been observed. The bidding, in this case, takes place online, with no bidders physically present in the room. 

Associations like LAPADA are also making further efforts in this direction to encourage online business for its members. If you already aren't associated with such antique dealers associations, it is advisable that you think of it to help boost your business online. 

These are a few tips that will help you in creating a better digital platform for your antique store. For help, advice, or a new website, speak to a company that works in the antique business and understands you and your customers.