Tumblr's users are young, artistic and tend to engage enthusiastically with the brands they love, so it makes sense to tap into that demographic if your products fit their interests. A Tumblr blog works well as a hub to a dedicated e-commerce tool, such as Shopify or Etsy. However, the customizable platform can also work as a standalone storefront with a few tweaks.
Quirks of Code in Tumblr Posts
While Tumblr posts support nearly any code and script you throw at them, there is one problem: not all external and scripted content shows up on your followers' dashboard. Certain HTML code, CSS and script displays on the dashboard as a gray box. However, the code is visible when visitors view the post on your blog. Consider putting any shopping cart coding under a "Read More" link to keep the code off the dashboard and direct interested visitors to your page.
Embedding From a Dedicated Storefront
Having a separate dedicated store means that you do not have to add any sort of payment method to Tumblr manually. Shopify has widgets that integrate seamlessly either into your Tumblr theme or posts. The e-commerce platform Ecwid offers a shopping cart for Tumblr that embeds into the body of a post. While Etsy doesn't offer a specific method for sharing to Tumblr, photo posts using your Etsy photos and a link to the store in the caption work as unobtrusive promotion.
Selling Directly on Tumblr
If you want to use Tumblr as your storefront without a middleman, then you need to take advantage of all the customization Tumblr has to offer. Create pages on the "Customization" page for your blog for dedicated placement for important posts, such as term of service, privacy information and even a shopping cart. Services like PayPal provide the option to add a shopping cart to your Tumblr blog, and can add shopping cart buttons to your posts.
Promoting Your Shop on Tumblr
Creating your store blog on Tumblr is all well and good, but you need to engage in the community and share your content to bring in new visitors. Track tags relevant to your interests (such as "jewelry" or "handmade shoes") and interact with other users on a personal basis. Add tags to the posts you create to put your posts in front of a new audience. Create blog content that makes users want to follow you. Tumblr is motivated by creatives and individuals; boring posts tend to get lost in the din.