Etsy Shop Tips - Learning to Maximize Your Sales Potential
Etsy is one of those places that people either find success on, or sit and stare at it, and wonder why their items are not selling. When you first sign up for Etsy, you are excited. You just know your items will sell fast, and before you know it, you'll be able to quit your job.
Reality is far different. In reality, it takes a lot of hard work to get Etsy to work for you. The average brand new user on Etsy does not realize how much work is involved in making sure your shop is gaining organic views.
What are organic views? Views that are not coming from a clickable link. Someone searched for something, and stumbled across you. Organic searches are worth everything, because those are the shoppers looking for you.
I've learned a lot about Etsy over the years. I've had a shop since around 2012, but it was not until late 2014 that I really started to focus on running it. Before that, I was lucky to snag a sale here and there, usually not many, though. I did not have many organic views.
In 2014, I earned around $1600 total on Etsy. In January 2015, I sat down, and got to work. I looked up how to make my shop efficient. I looked up how to get more organic views. I talked to other shop owners. I made some serious changes. I mean, I made a LOT of changes. From January 2015 until today (February 22, 2015), I have already made over $750. That's almost 50% of what it took me 12 months to earn in 2014.
Here is my very basic list of the changes I made to my shop, the tips I followed, and some plain old common sense thrown in.
- Make sure your titles, descriptions, and keywords are working FOR you, and not against you. The first 3-4 words of your title are the MOST important words, and should ONLY be used to state exactly what you are selling. Don't clutter the front of your title with descriptive words. If you are selling a Lavender Candle, then that should be the first two words. It should not be Glass Votive, handmade, soy based, purple lavender candle.
- Look up SEO. Don't ask about it, look it up. There are countless websites, blogs, and even YouTube videos that explain it. Put the effort into it. I see people asking about it all the time, and getting conflicting info. It is JUST as easy to type "What is SEO" into Google, as it is to post it on Facebook. It's worth your time to make sure you understand it by looking it up, vs having someone give you an answer that may or may not be correct.
- Your photos are what people notice first. They don't look at the titles. They look at the photo, and that's how they decide if they are going to click the item open. If your photos are dark, blurry, covered with watermarks that obscure it, they won't bother looking at it. Your product photos are worth their weight in gold. If you are unsure about your quality, lots of people are around and willing to critique- just ask.
- Invest in a banner,
or make one that is the correct size for Etsy. Don't use ill fitting graphics,
or stretch or shrink graphics. Make one that is the correct size. While you are
at it, matching avatars, and business cards can brand your shop's look. I
am happy to help here. My shop is shopkandy.etsy.com
- At most, Etsy will give 250 pages of items back on a search. At most, the average "browser" will look at 5-10 pages. If your items are not in the top 5 pages, they are much less likely to be viewed, or sold.
- The number of items you sell will effect how quickly your shop is seen. If you have 5 items sharing the same keywords, you have 5 chances of being seen. If you have 45 items with the same keywords, you have 45 chances to be seen. Your shop should have as many items as you can post. If you offer an item with multiple variations, it would work better for you to have individual listings for each variation. The cost is the same.
- Where do you fall on Etsy's search? Your title, keywords, and first 2 lines of your description are how Etsy decides where you fall in the results. Find where you fall for all your items. If you can't find your own items with BASIC search words, then neither can anyone else. Remember, while you named it a Bright Baby Blue Super Soft Cowl, shoppers are only searching for a Blue Cowl, or Baby Blue Cowl, so those are the words you need to use to search for your items (to clarify- the words need to be about your own items)
- Network. If someone favorites your page, or an item, return the favor if they have a shop- but NEVER send unsolicited convo's to them about YOU. Sending coupon codes, sending "I saw you liked this... want to buy it?" convos are all unsolicited, and against the Etsy TOS.
- Research & Compare. Look at 1st page of results for items you have. Look at what other people have for titles, descriptions, and photos. Don't copy them, but keep in mind that they are your competition, and they're doing something you aren't. Try to figure it out.
- Photos and Descriptions SELL your item. You are not Walmart, or Target. People can't walk in, try on what you have, inspect the item, decide on the color, pattern, and fit. They have to rely on YOU to tell them they WANT your item. You know what the item is, but if you don't tell your shoppers what it is, why would they want it? I often see descriptions that simply say "Blue shirt". Ok, that won't make me buy it. SELL the shirt by telling me about it, and why I want it. Your quality work means nothing if you can't tell us about it, and back it up with good product photos.
These are just a few brief tips. Your shop may need different help than another shop. But until you start looking at how to fix it, you'll never know the potential you have.
Need more help with your shop? Check out both of my links below to see how you can utilize social media and Etsy both to promote your items!