In 2023 the arts and crafts market worldwide was worth $48.26 billion and is projected to reach $51+ billion in 2024 (Source: Statista). Marketing in this industry, like any other, needs to capitalize on users’ preferred communication channels to drive conversion. Instead of conventional promotions and ads, marketers should meet customers where they spend the most time – on their messages and emails.
This is where Inbox Commerce comes into play.
This article discusses how Inbox Commerce aids the arts, crafts, and hobby industry drive conversion through improved engagement and instant response.
What is Inbox Commerce?
Inbox Commerce involves marketing products/services, engaging with customers, and conducting transactions within messages and emails.
It is an innovation that lets businesses send messages and emails equipped with website or app-like features. A typical example would be RCS showcasing products and allowing users to choose and buy right within messages. Similarly, brands can use a WhatsApp Business Account to showcase their product catalogs and enable purchases within it.
Inbox Commerce comprises three channels – RCS (Rich Communication Services), WhatsApp Business, and AMP for email. Due to their dynamic and industry-agnostic functionality, they have become the most influential tech combo for convenience marketing and conversion.
The main advantage of Inbox Commerce is that it reduces lead leakage/drop-offs. Users do not have to click links within their messaging app or email to visit a website/app to shop. There are absolutely no redirects in the customer funnel of Inbox Commerce.
Here are a few proven ways Inbox Commerce can help brands in the arts, crafts, and hobby industry grow exponentially:
RCS (Rich Communication Services)
RCS is an advanced messaging protocol to enhance text messaging and multimedia communication on mobile devices. It’s a telecom industry standard backed by powerful mobile network operators, device manufacturers, and tech leaders such as Google.
RCS turns the humble SMS into a powerful marketing tool. It facilitates two-way conversation and is a great deal for businesses. Leverage read receipts, typing indicators, group messaging, and share high-quality media and files seamlessly within the messaging app features. The intent is to provide a more interactive and feature-rich messaging experience within the user’s message screen without downloading another app.
Several surveys and studies have shown that 70-80% of consumers would like to engage with a brand through private messaging rather than promotional emails and banner ads. However, SMS only offers one-way communication, allows no visuals, and limits text to 160 characters. RCS is the perfect solution; craft and hobby businesses can use it to send rich, contextually relevant content to customers.
Create excitement for new products
Are you ready to unveil that new collection of coffee and lavender-scented candles? Use RCS-powered messages to announce it, but don’t just leave things at that.
RCS messages let you showcase all your products, mention details in expandable text/image boxes, and purchase within the message. Brands can use stylized text, high-res images, and even GIFs to display products from every angle.
The product reveal and purchasing happen within a single RCS message, which offers customers the ultimate convenience in laid-back shopping.
Help customers get better at their craft
Has someone purchased acrylics and canvases from your store? Why not help them make the best use of their products?
Send across a couple of video tutorials on how best to use their new purchases. You can even chat with them via RCS messages to get a sense of how experienced they are and what their preferences are. Based on their answers, send them tutorials that align with what they want.
This is the very essence of caring about your customers. You are selling them high-quality products and going the extra mile to help them get more creative with their newfound goodies.
Engage them with backstories of your product
Modern customers care about the origin of their products. They are more keen to buy products from independent creators, artisans, and sustainable production pipelines.
If you have products from such origins, be sure to talk about them. Make a few videos about the creators and sourcing of your product, and let them speak to the customer (through the video).
Use RCS messages to disseminate such videos or similar content in other formats. Customers can see your RCS message, click on the video/content, and view them entirely within the message. They don’t have to click through to a third-party website or open an app. This ensures a seamless experience and makes customers more likely to view your content and listen to your message.
With WhatsApp Business, brands can communicate directly with their customers in several attention-grabbing ways. Like RCS, it aims to establish direct and personalized lines of contact between the brand and the buyer.
Brands can use WhatsApp to send promotional messages, updates, and offers, enabling intimate and real-time connections with their audience.
WhatsApp’s ‘Click to Chat’ feature is especially useful for businesses. It lets them integrate a direct chat link on their websites or social media platforms, and users can access the brand’s WhatsApp channel by clicking on an icon within a website or app.
Brands often need to send tailored messages to specific groups of users rather than to each customer. WhatsApp’s broadcast lists are ideal for sending marketing content, updates, and announcements to select customer segments.
It’s also easy to integrate payment gateways with WhatsApp so customers can buy within it. The official WhatsApp API lets you incorporate PayPal, Stripe, Razorpay, and others.
Help out the newbies
If a customer is new to the game and is trying to pick up a new craft, they could probably use a hand. Hobby brands can offer that helping hand via WhatsApp Business messages.
Create a set of 101 videos and transcripts or matching articles that explain the video content textually. When someone buys a new product, use a WhatsApp message to ask them if they’d like to see some beginner tutorials and ideas. If the customer clicks “Yes,” they can view multiple videos of ‘getting started’ content with corresponding transcripts.
This is a great way to get customers to love your brand. They won’t just see you as a place to buy things from but also as a knowledge bank they can use to better their skills. The result is better brand credibility.
Make product search quick and easy
Whether looking for card stock, craft paper, or DIY shelves, people shouldn’t have to go to a brand’s website or app and click multiple links to get what they want.
Bring the entire search-and-buy experience within your WhatsApp message. With WhatsApp Business, users can type in keywords to search for their required items, go through categories on your product catalog, pick what they want, add them to a cart, choose delivery slots, and complete their payment – all without leaving the message screen.
Establish resonating connections with customers
This is best explained with an example.
Tata CliQ, the digital commerce initiative for an India-based conglomerate, used WhatsApp Business to send personalized messages and offers. The messages averaged a 57% clickthrough rate, and the website visitors from a WhatsApp notification were 1.7 times more likely to make a purchase. The brand saw USD 500,000 in sales attributable to WhatsApp campaigns, with an ROI 10 times higher than conventional channels.
AMP for email
AMP for email presents an innovative framework, revolutionizing traditional emails by infusing them with dynamic, interactive elements. It integrates captivating features such as forms, image carousels, collapsible content sections, real-time data updates, engaging quizzes, seamless payment gateways, interactive games, and more into emails.
Picture this: A user immersing themselves in an email, scrolling through a catalog of products, reading user reviews, placing orders, executing secure payments, monitoring delivery progress, and even providing valuable feedback – all within the confines of their email inbox. The need to redirect to external sites or apps becomes obsolete, eliminating the ‘lead leakage’ that commonly occurs with conventional emails.
Enter Inbox Commerce – a game-changer. By filling the gap between receiving the product marketing email and buying the product on a website , businesses can witness a remarkable surge in conversions. Users seamlessly navigate a comprehensive, end-to-end experience without leaving their email environment. It captivates user interest and significantly boosts conversion rates, ushering in a new era of immersive email interactions.
Keep users informed of contests and events
Perhaps your customers enjoy displaying their work and being celebrated for their talent. Who doesn’t, after all?
Use AMP emails to notify customers about contests and exhibitions (like the State Fair of Texas Arts and Crafts Contest), inviting submissions in any given month or quarter. Send these notifications well before the submission deadline so your audience has time to develop their project, work on it, and refine it for entry.
The dynamic elements in AMP emails will also allow recipients to register for these contests from within the email itself. They do not have to click out to another web page or app.
This exercise won’t get you immediate sales; but think long-term. Your customers will appreciate you for the extra effort and will be inspired to buy new supplies for any contest they wish to enter.
Promote your customers’ business
If your customers are creating beautiful needlework tapestries and selling them on their own Etsy, why not help out?
You can use WhatsApp to ask your customers if they have an Etsy store or any online store. For those who do, offer to promote their store/products in your brand newsletter so that other customers can also look at the store.
Use AMP emails to create and send exciting newsletters from which recipients can choose items and order directly.
Again, this does not immediately translate to revenue but goes a long way in creating brand loyalty and advocacy.
Give preferred customers exclusive treatment
Your Best Customers deserve special treatment, and AMP emails can help you roll out the virtual red carpet.
For example, let’s say you have a sale coming up. Shoot your Best Customers an early AMP email, giving them first dibs on everything. Of course, they can search for and buy anything they want within the AMP email.
Another tactic would be to offer them a higher discount on newly released items. Since they are among your most frequent buyers, reward them with a 20% discount on new drops instead of the 10% for other customers. Once again, customers can effortlessly conduct all transactions within the AMP email.
Leverage Inbox Commerce to offer the ultimate shopping convenience
Creative customers will naturally respond better to the innovation of Inbox Commerce. If the products are high-value, who will your customers choose – a brand that gives them the convenience of shopping within their preferred channels or one that makes them click through multiple web pages or download an app and its frequent updates?
RCS, WhatsApp Business, and AMP for email allow brands to meet their customers where they are rather than make them put in extra effort to navigate to eCommerce sites and apps. Since convenience is the greatest enabler of conversion, Inbox Commerce helps hobby and craft businesses offer new dimensions of easy use and direct engagement to their audience.
Inbox Commerce is not an untested technology; it is a proven approach, and its adoption is quickly becoming a mark of future-forward marketing strategies.
If you’re already curious about Inbox Commerce, let’s talk. Connect with us to understand how you can benefit from our expertise and experience.
Serving over 6,500 customers across 40 countries, Netcore delivers over 1 billion inbox experiences every day – including 500 million emails and 700 million push notifications. Netcore’s AI is trained on 25 billion interactions, making it an invaluable asset for global brands.