Arts and crafts retailer Michaels has launched MakerPlace by Michaels, a new marketplace where consumers can buy handmade products and take artist-led classes.
The platform, which already boasts hundreds of thousands of SKUs and how-to classes for beginners, hobbyists, and aspiring professionals, has been launched after three months of beta-testing.
“The launch of MakerPlace by Michaels deepens our ability to support customers in all of their creative pursuits, whether that be learning new skills, discovering handmade goods, or growing their own handmade business,” said Ashley Buchanan, chief executive officer at Michaels. “MakerPlace provides a new way to buy and sell unique handmade art, gifts, goods and classes while empowering our customers to directly support or become handmade sellers themselves.”
With the launch of the new platform, Michaels has sought to lower the barrier of entry for artists by offering free product listings and referral fees. In addition, the marketplace gives sellers additional ways to earn by hosting virtual classes and posting how-to guides with supplies lists that earn them commission when users make purchases on Michaels.com. MakerPlace also seeks to give sellers added flexibility and choice with two membership tiers and multiple shipping options.
While sellers can today offer their products on several platforms, including Amazon, Etsy, and emerging platforms such as Artisans Cooperative, many of these marketplaces pose several challenges that make it difficult to conduct business — something Michaels has looked to address with its new offering, according to Heather Bennett, Michaels’ executive vice president of marketing and eCommerce.
“Our research found that nearly three in four makers believe there’s a void in the online marketplace landscape today and that existing platforms come with pain points like high upfront costs, increasing fees for product listings, and competition with an overflow of mass-produced goods,” Bennett said. “MakerPlace by Michaels was designed in direct response to these challenges with the goal of helping handmade artists and makers succeed.”
Photo credit: Michaels