Small Business Advice

5 tips for Etsy sellers

Selling on Etsy is quickly becoming a popular way to start your own business. Take a look at our list of the top 5 tips for selling on Etsy successfully.

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From homemade and vintage goods, to arts and crafts, Etsy is home to some of the finest works by freelance artisans and craftspeople. The platform allows you to turn your passions and hobbies into a money-making online store.

But with more than 4.3 million active sellers on Etsy1, how do you set yourself apart from the rest? Creating a distinctive store will certainly make you and your products more noticeable. Here are the top 5 Etsy tips that may take your store from 0 to 100 really quickly.

  1. Start with some groundwork

One of the most important tips for selling on Etsy is to begin with some market research. Spend a few days learning the ins and outs of the platform. There are lots of community forums, how-to guides and sellers’ stories that are packed with strategic advice based on first-hand experiences of other sellers. Many of them will give you the helpful do and don’ts of selling on Etsy.

While at it, check out Etsy’s policies for sellers. The last thing you want is for the platform to shut you down for flouting its terms and conditions. And yes, Etsy can shut you down at will for not following its selling policies2.

Don’t forget to check out similar products as the ones you’re planning to sell. Those are your direct competitors. In whatever kind of business, you always want to know what the competition is up to.

Run a quick search on Etsy and filter the results until you find shops that sell the same items as you. Pay close attention to the bestselling stores. What makes them stand out? What’s their business style? How do they take product photos? How do they write product descriptions?

If they are making lots of sales, then they are doing all (or most) of these things right. Use their store as inspiration, but don’t copy paste. Remember, you want to have a unique selling point for your Etsy store.

  1. Make your brand memorable

This is up there with the best Etsy tips because a memorable and appealing brand will lead to customer retention. You already have the product you want to sell. Now create a brand identity that reflects craftsmanship, quality, creativity and efficiency. Make your shop enchanting to your target audience.

How do you go about creating a memorable brand on Etsy? Start with a strong name and an attractive design palette for your brand. These are things that you can brainstorm. If it comes down to it, hire a professional to help you out.

Next, head over to the “About” section and tell a good story about yourself and your store. This is essentially your public profile on Etsy; people will visit it. Ideally you want your brand story to be one that your target audience can relate with on an emotional level. After all, 95% of purchasing decisions are based on emotions3.

Take great photographs of your products. Good imagery is one of the most essential tips for selling on Etsy for one reason: there will be many other shops selling similar products; the one thing that will set you apart is your choice of photos.

Make sure your product photography makes you stand out. You want clear, stylized and high-resolution images; not blurry, burry, grainy and fuzzy pictures. But that doesn’t mean you should go and buy professional photography equipment. Oftentimes your smartphone will do just fine. However, if you have the budget for it, then by all means consider hiring a pro photographer.

Something to keep in mind is that branding should come before you launch your Etsy store. Therefore, take time to properly plan it out before you open your shop and start listing products for sale.

  1. It’s all in the title and description

Third on this list of Etsy tips is the title and description of your product. When listing items on Etsy, keep in mind that the first five words of its title will show up in its HTML address and in search.

While you’re free to use more words, only the first five will appear in search and HTML. You want to use those five to grab the attention of the reader. Therefore, pick the most relevant and accurate terms to describe the item.

If, for example, you sell high-end, handmade jewelry, you can have title that says,

Golden necklace, pine tree pendant – minimalist gold-coated necklace with a pine tree pendant.

The first five words – the ones that will appear in search and HTML – pretty much relay all the information that the searcher needs to know. The rest simply provide additional information.

When you get to the product description, make sure it’s as detailed and concise as possible. You don’t want your audience to feel like your product descriptions lack enough details. At the same time, you don’t want to write boring essays. Therefore, find the best balance between providing adequate information and being concise.

Back to the necklace example: include information like the material used, the length of the necklace, the type of clasp, size and color of the pendant, and so on. Use Etsy keywords to write these descriptions. That will help you appear in relevant searches.

  1. Promote your Etsy store

Of all the tips for selling on Etsy, marketing is perhaps the most obvious. You just have to get the word out and let people know that you have what they’re looking for.

There are several ways of promoting your Etsy store, but using word of mouth is arguably the most effective. Tell the people you know in real life about your store, and ask them to spread the word. Oftentimes it only takes a handful of people to try your product, like it, and they’ll tell other people about it. That’s how word spreads to create a loyal customer base.

There are buyers who will leave positive reviews whenever they buy your products. Those too will help a great deal because 89% of consumers rely on online reviews when making purchasing decisions. And 79% trust these reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations4.

In short, the more positive rep you get around your Etsy store, the more you’re likely to attract and retain customers. And of course, don’t forget to use built-in shop announcements on Etsy. Use them to notify buyers of new products, coupon codes and your days away so that they don’t wait on you when you’re vacationing.

Finally, take full advantage of social media to promote your Etsy store and products. Target platforms that most of your buyers use. These typically include Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest5. The rule of thumb is to create as many posts as you can, complete with images and links to your Etsy store. The more posts you have, the higher the chances of leads and conversions.

  1. Keep an open mind

As is the case with almost every online marketplace, Etsy is always evolving. You may occasionally hear stories of the platform changing its algorithm. Such a case may require you to reevaluate your Etsy SEO strategy so that you realign it with the new algorithm. But it’s not something that you have absolute control over.

However, the one thing you can control is the types of products you list on your Etsy store. Part of keeping an open mind is keeping up with market trends. Look out for seasonal products and avail them (if you can) when they are in high demand.

Similarly, keep a good record of customer feedback, and pay close attention to critical comments. Those will help you understand what’s lacking in your products. Perhaps the pine pendant in your necklaces is too weak and prone to cracks. Critical customers will tell you this. You can then try something new – like using a thicker material. Whatever the case, having an open mind will help you adapt quickly and work towards creating the perfect product for your audience.

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