It’s strange how a business evolves. When we opened the gallery, we knew we needed an online presence, not only for a place of contact but also because art sales through a web portal can significantly boost any business. However, we never anticipated that our online offering would be our sole source of sales and our biggest marketing tool.
Now it seems our choice of website structure was invaluable. We had never used Shopify to build a website before. But after some substantial research, we decided that the clean relatively easy to adapt software was begrudgingly worth the $29 basic monthly subscription. Luckily the team behind the gallery have a range of skills which include web design. Still, building an e-commerce site was new to all of us.
Over the last few weeks, it has proved to be invaluable. Our focussed marketing campaign has attracted many more visitors than we could have hoped for and more importantly, a huge rise in the number of newsletter subscribers. Our visitors also seem to like not only what they read but also what they see. Our online products, cards, posters and paintings, have proved more popular than we anticipated. Needless to say, it has taken us a bit by surprise, and we are planning to add more products as soon as we can.
The unforeseen closure has also meant a change in our other activities, including our exhibition schedule. Our next ‘show’ with the very talented local artist Ella Carty was due to open on the 16th of April. Followed by Open Studios Cornwall due to take place in May has hopefully been postponed until September. However, there is a silver lining to this change in our schedule. Ella’s exhibition will still go ahead online, with one piece of her work in the window and can now continue for an extra month until June, when John White is scheduled to show his work. Hopefully, by then, the world will be back to normal, and we can once again crack open the fizz to celebrate the reopening of the gallery for the launch of our third exhibition as originally scheduled.