Small Business Advice

Getting your bag: 26 tips for selling on Etsy successfully

Exploring various effective ways Etsy shop owners can maximize their sales and revenues on the online platform.

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Artists, craftspeople, entrepreneurs, and small business owners worldwide rely on Etsy to market and sell their products without incurring expensive startup costs. Setting up an Etsy account, however, is only the first step. While your products might be spectacular works of art, you might be disappointed by your sales, but this shouldn’t discourage you. To achieve success on the platform, there’s plenty more you can do, and that’s what we’re going to learn today. In this piece, we’ll be giving you effective tips and hints that will help fast-track your journey to Etsy success.

Let’s get right into it.

Check Out The Competition In Your Niche - And Learn From Them

Whatever product you're putting up for sale, the chances are high that you’re not going to be the first one doing it. In the open seas of small business competition, you want to stand out from the crowd and catch the eyes of potential clients. How do you do this? 

Your first step will be to find out what your competitors are offering and how they’re doing it. Find out what works and what doesn’t by reading their client comments, examining their shop layout, reading their descriptions, etc. The idea is to learn what to do and what not to do from them, giving you the basic inspiration to chart out your unique course to success on Etsy. 

Keep Things Up-to-Date On Your Shop

This is a relatively straightforward way to keep your posts out in front of the eyes of potential clients. The Etsy platform bases its ‘refresh’ system on chronological sequencing. The most recent product posts will be given priority over posts posted earlier. An effective way to get around this system is to go back to your previous posts every once in a while and change or add certain features to them, such as pictures, product descriptions, titles, etc., then repost them to give chronological priority.  

Package Your Items Creatively

Etsy is filled with creative people offering exceptional items, so place yourself a cut above the rest by making your packaging exciting as well. Everybody is excited to receive their online purchases, so make those moments extra special for clients with high-quality, creative packaging.

Keep An Eye On Trends

The most straightforward way of keeping tabs on what Etsy clients are looking for is consulting their seasonal trend insight report. Here, you'll learn what is popular for every season, which can help you plan your product launches and give you ideas for expanding your inventory.

Keep Reaching Out To Potential Clients

Once you set up your shop, you’ll probably receive the regular ‘pedestrian’ traffic of users browsing through your products. While this is all well and good, your goal should be to get as much traffic getting to your shop as possible. If you have some real-world clients, email contacts, followers, and general acquaintances, contact them and let them know about the existence of your Etsy shop. Traffic translates to sales, so maximize the traffic levels getting to your site for optimal success.

A point of note here: Etsy’s search engine function is not as powerful as what we’ve come to get used to with Google. Unless you give your potential clients the exact name of your Etsy store, a potential client doing a casual search might not be able to find it right away. A great way to optimize your search results while updating your product profiles at the same time is to add your name to every product you list so that they will all show whenever your name is typed into the search bar.

Showcase A Precise Inventory

If you specialize in a particular product, hand-crafted vases, for example, you might have products on your virtual shelves that resemble each other closely. This might lead to unnecessary confusion, potentially leading to your clients getting the wrong product shipped to them. A solution to this is to take multiple photos of your products from multiple angles that make them identifiable, even when they are among multiple similar products. You might consider placing serial numbers on them so that you can clearly and confidently track them.

Deliver More Than You Promised

In any business, a  good way to keep clients coming back is to deliver more than what you promised. If, for example, you promise to have orders shipped out within 3-5 days of clients making their purchases but find that you have the opportunity to do it sooner, then do it! If a significant purchase is made, tack on something small to the order as a complimentary gift, thanking them for their business. 

It’s like those tiny chocolates you find on hotel pillows - they are relatively insignificant on their own, but they always bring a smile to one’s face. Do this, and you’ll have happy, satisfied clients that will keep you in mind when they need to make their next purchase. Remember, however, that the flip-side also holds - never promise more than you can deliver. 

Offer Your Clients Discounts And Pre-Order Options

There are three basic types of shoppers when it comes to holiday gift shopping - early, peak, and last-minute. Get the early birds by offering pre-order options and discounts. Peak and last-minute shoppers can be attracted by promising fast turnaround times, fast shipping, and ready-to-ship items. 

Give Your Clients Multiple Payment Options

With so many options available, it can be hard to figure out which method would be most convenient for your clients. The solution here is to have as many options as possible. A recent study showed that up to 7 % of shoppers would abandon their shopping before completion if they found that their preferred payment method was unavailable. Be sure to include all the popular favorites such as bank/debit cards, credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, as well as Etsy Credits and Etsy Gift Cards.

Add Some Special Touches

Another way to make your products stand out from the crowd is to add an extra bit of detail and attention to your product shipments. If you’re an artist or craftsperson, adding a personal thank you note to each order can greatly enhance the connection with your clients, making the product more special in their eyes. Be creative here and figure out what you can do to give your products an extra touch of magic.

Communicate Effectively With Your Clients

Like with newlyweds, the best advice to give new Etsy sellers is to communicate! Keeping the lines of communication between yourself and your clients. Whenever a client purchases from you, take the opportunity to thank them and then continue the conversation by letting them know of what you have coming up, any special deals you might be able to offer them, and so on. Wherever possible, make your messaging personalized rather than generic, one-size-fits-all spam. Nobody likes that.

Offer Free Shipping 

The impact of Amazon on the online shopping world has made it so that you need to offer your clients free shipping if you hope to be successful selling products online. Understand that there’s no such thing as ‘free’ shipping - someone has to pay for it. As a seller in today’s market, that person will have to be you. 

The way around this is to tack on the price of shipping your products onto the product prices and offer discounts for bulk purchases since they will likely cost you less to ship in the first place. The idea is to give your clients the feeling that they are getting a discount. Etsy also tends to give listings that offer free shipping higher priority and visibility on the marketplace, so this is definitely something you’ll want to implement.

Launch A Blog Highlighting Your Niche

We’ve mentioned blogging elsewhere in this piece concerning SEO practices, but it deserves its mention. In a crowded marketplace, where many vendors have similar products, launching a blog can be an effective way of standing out and promoting yourself outside the confines of the platform. Write about topics relevant to your products, the materials you use, your inspiration, and whatever else you think your clients may be interested in. 

Keep Your Pricing Strategy Consistent

As much as you might love what you do, you still have bills to pay, so your Etsy enterprise should make money for you. Product pricing strategy is how you calculate the amount to charge your clients so that you will not only recover the cost of your raw materials and supplies but have some profit for your time, effort, and skill. Find out what your competitors are charging and take that into consideration, keeping in mind that, generally speaking, clients won’t have any problem paying a premium for high-quality products.

Build a Narrative That Your Audience Can Follow

Everybody loves a good story. While a movie with gorgeous visuals, action sequences, and imagery will be a great way to pass a Saturday afternoon, you probably won’t find it on the list of many people’s all-time favorite movies - you’ll want a story for that. When you write compelling content in your product descriptions and shop information sections, you will attract clients and create a solid connection with them. 

It may come as a surprise, but customers read through all those paragraphs, giving you the chance to open up to them and tell your story as well as the story behind your products. Your clients are on Etsy because they’re looking for items with depth and spirit. Once you establish this foundation and connection, your chances of making a sale will go up astronomically.

Participate In Etsy Sales Events

Etsy regularly holds seasonal sales events that have a track record of boosting the sales of participating sellers. Keep abreast of upcoming events and register yourself for them. Be especially keen during the holiday seasons, as these are the times they are usually held.

Encourage Feedback From Your Clients

The fact that we can’t physically examine and inspect products before making online purchases has made us highly skeptical and suspicious when making online purchases. There’s plenty of good reason for this, as the internet has countless scams and crappy products waiting for unsuspecting shoppers to fall prey to. The solution we’ve all come to rely on is feedback. Our minds are put at ease when we see reviews, ratings, and comments from previous clients. 

When you service a client well, being attentive, courteous, and delivering above and beyond expectations, don’t be content to leave things at that. If they thank you personally with a message, ask them to leave a public comment that other potential clients will be able to see. Where possible, ask them to be specific about what they liked, e.g., quality, service, shipping, etc. Feedback is the currency of trust in the online shopping world, so be sure to get it.

Utilize The Power Of Social Media

Your social media presence can become powerful leverage for getting your Etsy enterprise to the next level. Don’t be afraid to let our friends, family, and contacts know what you’re offering. People are more likely to become loyal clients when they feel they have a personal connection with you, knowing they can trust you to deliver top quality.

Choose A Good Name For Your Store

While this might be an obvious piece of advice, it is well worth repeating. Your name is what will represent your brand, so you’ll need to ensure that it reflects all the qualities you hope to inspire in those who hear it. If you’re just starting, it would be wise to give this careful consideration and, perhaps, make a change while you can still do so without too much inconvenience.

Use High-Quality Photos

Your clients don’t have the option of viewing your products with their own eyes, so it’s your responsibility to provide pictures that come as close to the real thing as possible. Use a quality camera to take multiple, high-resolution images of your products from various angles and depths to give as much detail as possible.

Understand And Implement SEO Best Practices

What’s the best place to hide a dead body? On page 2 of Google search. The old joke holds when it comes to making Etsy sales since most clients start their search by consulting Google. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how you can optimize your page content so that it ranks as highly as possible on search engine result pages. This might involve including precise product descriptions (uses, condition, size, color, etc.), regularly updating your content, blogging, etc.

Think Globally

The world is a big place, and there are opportunities for online Etsy sellers willing to look for and attract foreign clients. In 2020, international sales increased by 145 %, and the trend seems to be holding steady. Your marketing efforts should consider the various cultures that congregate on the internet, so use different approaches online to maximize your reach.

Optimize Your Seller Profile

First impressions matter, more so when you’re to convince someone to spend their hard-earned money on your products. Some good ways to come across well to viewers is by using cover photos rather than banners, optimizing your content for accuracy and relevance, and filling out your profile in a well-thought-out and professional way. The idea is to build trust and reliability in potential clients.

Keep Your Shop Policies Clear And Simple

Your shop policy guides the way transactions in your store will take place. Clients will likely have already found something they would like to buy from you, so you need to make sure you don’t lose them here. The key is to be as simple as possible without losing any important details. Describe what clients can expect in terms of shipping, exchanges, payment, returns, and all pertinent aspects of your interaction.

Maximize The Effectiveness Of Your Product Tags

Coming up on Etsy search is going to be important for potential customers to find your products. Tags are short phrases or words that describe the product's attributes you’re offering. Etsy offers you 13 tags on each product, and the successful seller will be wise to use them all. The types of products found on Etsy tend to be unique, creative, and often one-of-a-kind items. What this means for sellers is that Etsy relies on tags to figure out whether what clients are searching for matches what your tags are describing. Poor tagging might mean that clients looking for what you’re offering might never get the chance to see it. 

Take Advantage Of Holidays And Special Events

The nature of Etsy’s platform and the types of items on sale there mean that many products are purchased as gift items, so Etsy sellers must be aware of and take advantage of holidays and gift-giving seasons. Christmas, Mother’s Day, graduation season, back-to-school season, the new year, and so on offer you opportunities to market your products towards people shopping for gifts for these occasions.

Final Thoughts

The internet has made it possible for people worldwide to share their passions, talents, and skills with the world through the international buying and selling of items. Etsy is among the biggest platforms supporting these activities, facilitating over $3.3 billion worth of sales transactions in 2020. The tips and insights we’ve highlighted here can help you earn your share of the pie, as long as you are willing to implement them. In any case, here’s wishing you the greatest success on your Etsy journey!

Sources:

1. https://www.etsy.com/sell

2. https://www.business.org/services/website/how-to-sell-on-etsy/ 

3. https://cedcommerce.com/blog/tips-and-tricks-increase-sales-and-boost-traffic-on-etsy/

4. https://ladybossblogger.com/selling-on-etsy/

5. https://www.alura.io/post/15-etsy-selling-tips-all-sellers-need-to-know

6. https://toughnickel.com/self-employment/10-Common-Etsy-Seller-Mistakes

7. https://www.dailydot.com/debug/12-tips-etsy-small-business-success/ 

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