Craftbay.ie, a new e-commerce platform for Irish based crafters, has been selected to showcase at this year’s Dublin Web Summit, as part of the Alpha start-ups programme.

Companies from all over the world, recognised for their innovative concepts and technology, are invited to be part of the Alpha showcase that is presented to potential global investors

Headed by founder Lawrence Parnis, the new Craftbay business has created a custom-built website CMS (content management system), very much like the eBay or Etsy set-up, which is scalable to any level, and has extensive additional functions supporting both the sellers and company’s development and management systems.

The online community for Irish-based craft producers provides a ready-made online shop, and the power of the internet to sell unique handmade products worldwide.

Shunning the more basic templates often used for online retail, the portal offers a unique account and shop page for each designer, enriched with features like sales reports, automated invoicing, shipping advice, and customer notifications.

Launched this year, with over 200 contemporary Irish designers and makers on board, Craftbay Marketplace effectively uses digital media and marketing to support craft producers in Ireland in developing their e-commerce potential and reaching a global market.

All of the sellers are verified Irish-based crafters, who pay a €20 monthly fee and 15% commission for their ready-made online shop, ensuring a quality and hassle-free shopping experience for buyers.

Apart from the physical presence and trading capacity online, the strength of the Craftbay proposition is the sophistication of its technology, and the use of social media to drive awareness of the new e-commerce portal, and promote sales.

Search engine optimisation is effectively used to give the site and its craft members top rankings, as well as constant profile and promotion on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, PinIt, Pickture, and popular online forums.

The Craftbay team has refined its marketing activity to specifically identify and target global audiences at a time when they seek to buy. Regular Craftbay e-shots target potential customers in Ireland, England and the U.S., and the site is included on a wide spread of online consumer and business listings.

To encourage consumer traffic, the website also features video tutorials, an original blog, and news and views on the world of crafting.

The high end site functionality and integrated digital marketing strategies were twelve months in development, according to Craftbay founder Lawrence Parnis, but, in less than a year, sellers and sales targets have been exceeded, he says.

“The site is custom designed and built, and fully automated, with bespoke functionality that is similar to the eBay set-up. Craftbay.ie is constantly top of Google rankings, and has successfully optimised digital tools including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Google Ad Words, and affiliate partnerships, to dramatically boost our sellers online sales”, the Craftbay founder says.

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