Selling on Etsy can be a bit of a rollercoaster... Things can start off well, but over time you may notice that your sales start to die down a little, and you might even hit a bit of a dry patch.
If that sounds like you then please don’t worry, there are actually loads of things you can do to pull yourself out of the slump, and make your shop a roaring success.
Today we are going to be talking about how to increase sales on Etsy, so that you can stop worrying about selling and focus on creating and sourcing your products!
Etsy is one of the best and most well known online marketplaces for selling handmade and vintage items, and the beauty of it is that it already has a HUGE customer base of loyal fans, so selling on Etsy is absolutely one of the best things you can do to get your products in front of people that are ready to buy.
And week after week, more and more people are quitting their 9-5 jobs to focus on their Etsy side hustles as they grow. It’s the dream, and with a little hustle, you can do this too.
Why People Are Using Etsy to Sell Products
It’s simple enough to get started with Etsy, and it’s free to sign up, you just pay a small fee per listing and you are ready to go, so it’s one of the most cost effective ways of selling your products online.
Plus there is no commitment, so if you need to close your shop for any reason, you can easily ‘pause’ it (by using the vacation mode) or close it with no penalty to pay.
Here are a few other reasons why it’s so great to have an Etsy shop:
- You can start slowly and build it up over time
- You can sell both physical and digital products
- It’s easy to use
- It’s low cost
- You can do it from home in your own time
So now let’s get into the good stuff. We are going to go through the best ways to boost your Etsy sales. These are all simple, actionable steps you can take to increase your sales. You don’t need to do everything at once, you can work through these steps one at a time, and see what works best for you and the products you are selling.
Let’s dive in…
1. Make sure your branding is on point
Having cohesive and attractive branding can help you stand out against your competitors, and stay ahead of the competition. As well as looking attractive, there are lots of other benefits to having good branding.
Why good branding is so important:
- Branding can help you to stand out in a saturated market
- It provides you with credibility and makes you look like an expert
- You can charge more, as customers perceive the product to be of higher value
- Builds recognition with customers, and leads to future brand loyalty
- Helps you to attract your ideal customers
- It will make you feel more confident in your business
Make sure you take advantage of both the logo space and the banner image. Try to also make sure your product images are ‘on brand’ by either using your brand colours in the products, or in the background, this way everything will look like it belongs together.
The shop ‘NoOrdinaryEmporium’ are a great example of how branding can be done well. They have used the logo space for their logo, and also incorporated the logo within the header image. The colours are cohesive, and the same wood effect background has been used in their header image, and their product photos below.
2. Add new items to your shop
The more items you have in your shop, the more chance people will have to find you. Etsy’s algorithm also gives you a little boost each time you add a new product. Don’t have any new products to add? No problem. You can create bundles from your existing products. For example, if you sell headbands, you could create a 3-pack or 5-pack bundle. This has the added benefit of increasing the spend per customer.
You don’t need to be adding new products every day (that’s a great way to burn out) but try to add a few new products each month to keep our shop from becoming stagnant.
3. Create Social Media Pages for Your Shop
Having an active presence on social media can be one of the best ways to market your Etsy shop. With social media you can easily share images of your products, and lets your fans share them too. You can build up a loyal fanbase and build familiarity and trust with your followers too, so that they are more likely to buy from you in the future.
The best social media platforms for people selling products are Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, as these are all very visual platforms that will allow your products to take centre stage.
4. Know Who Your Target Customers Are
It’s really important to know who your target customers are. Why do they want your products? Where do they hang out online? Once you know who they are and where you can find them you can start to hang out where they hang out. If you are a vintage clothing seller for example, you can look for facebook groups for vintage clothing fans. By participating in conversations and offering advice to people who need it you can establish yourself as an authority on the subject and get your name out there.
5. Use Product Categories to Group Your Listings
You can group your products into different categories for buyers to explore. This lets people see the different types of products you sell, and view all products in each category at once. This guide shows you how to add different sections to your shop.
The popular seller ‘Katie Abey Design’ does this really well, with over 13 categories for her customers to choose from. This helps shoppers browse her store, and may even help them find additional products to add on to their order.
6. Work on your product photography
Since your customers are shopping online, they will be buying your products based solely on the images you provide, so it is important that your product images stand out. It’s worth investing in a good camera and some lighting. You can buy fold away light boxes on amazon, which are great for taking professional photos of small to medium sized products.
Make sure you take multiple shots of each product, so the customer can see it from all angles. You can also provide a range of different images, such as images of the product being made or used, but make sure the main photo for the product shows a clear picture of the front of the product.
If your photos still aren’t perfect, then you can always use a photo editing software such as photoshop or lightroom to brighten, edit, and retouch your photos.
7. Use the right keywords in your profile, product titles and descriptions
Keywords are important for Etsy SEO, so make sure you are using words that your customers will be searching for in the titles and descriptions of your products. This doesn’t mean stuffing as many related keywords into the title and description as possible (that doesn’t work anymore) but rather, using the right ones, and making your description as accurate as possible, so that people find exactly what they are looking for.
- What is your item?
- What colour is it?
- Who is it for?
- What materials is it made from?
- Is it seasonal?
You can also use a tool like Marmalead to help you find the right keywords to get you found on Etsy. Marmalead is a dedicated Etsy keyword tool that lets you search for long tail keywords, and can also let you know how your keywords will perform depending on the season. For example some keywords may perform very well at Christmas, but poorly for the rest of the year.
8. Make your product descriptions count
Having a great description can go a long way towards persuading a potential customer to actually buy your product. Use this opportunity to tell your customer about your product, is there a story behind it? How will the product benefit them?
You should also include more specific information about the product such as the material, colour, size, and how it is used.
9. Research Your Competitors
You can browse Etsy to find your competitors, and see what’s working for them. What keywords are they using? What are they offering? What tags are they using? How much do they charge? Do they offer free shipping?
These are all things that may make a customer choose your competitor over you, so have a little look and see where you can up your game.
10. Join the Etsy Community
Etsy has a huge community, with over 172k discussions taking place on their forum. You can join discussions to look for and share advice, and promote your shop. It’s a great place to meet like minded sellers, collaborate, and find out the latest news and gossip in the Etsy world.
11. Join Facebook Groups for Etsy Sellers
If you search for ‘Etsy sellers’ in the Facebook groups section, you will find lots of groups filled with other people who are selling on Etsy. These are great places to hang out to find support and tips on how to promote and grow your Etsy store.
12. Create a ‘Thank you’ offer to turn customers into repeat buyers
Whenever a customer makes a purchase you can send them a ‘Thank you’ email with a coupon code for a discount next time they shop with you. This is a great way to turn purchasers into repeat buyers, as you know that these people are already interested in your products and are likely to buy again.
Your ‘Thank you’ email is also a great time to invite your customers to follow you on social media!
13. Start an Email List
Starting and growing an email list is one of the best things you can do for your business. An email list allows you to contact your customers directly at any time, and unlike with social media, you own all of the data. You can contact customers to let them know about new products, sales, special offers and any other news you think they might like to hear about relating to your products.
Here are some ways you can get customers to sign up to your newsletter:
- Include a link to sign up to your newsletter in your social media profiles
- Collect emails in person if you are selling products at markets or fairs
- Include a link to your email sign up page in your shops ‘about’ page
- Include a link in your ‘message to buyers’ or ‘shop announcement’
- In your ‘thank you’ email to people who have made a purchase
- On your blog or website
14. Create a Blog for Your Brand
Having a blog based around your brand is an important part of your marketing. It helps you get found in search engines, it builds trust and familiarity with your potential customers, and it is yet another way you can drive people towards your Etsy shop. So let’s look at an example of how content marketing can work for an Etsy shop…
If you sell decorative items for childrens bedrooms for example, you can create your blog around decor ideas for children's bedrooms. You can include your own products with links to your Etsy store. By using the right keywords within your blog posts, people who are searching for children’s bedroom ideas on Google will find your blog, see a product they like, and then (hopefully!) purchase from your store.
You can use a keyword research tool like SEMrush to find competitive keywords in your niche to increase your chance of appearing in the coveted first 5 results on the search engine results page.
15. Provide Your Customers with Excellent Customer Service
Make sure you respond promptly to any questions or concerns your customers may have. If you are answering questions about a product before they have made a purchase, the customer will feel like you care about them and see that you are trustworthy and reliable. The result of this is that they will be more likely to make a purchase.
If a customer contacts you after making a purchase with a problem or complaint, it’s really important that you resolve it quickly and professionally, to avoid getting bad feedback. Bad feedback can negatively impact your store, as future customers will be less likely to make a purchase if they see that someone has had a negative experience with you.
Remember, even if someone has a complaint or a problem with what they received, you still have the opportunity to turn this into a positive experience for them, by sorting out the problem quickly, apologising genuinely, and perhaps offering them a future discount or freebie for any inconvenience it might have caused them.
16. Ask Your Customers for Reviews
Reviews are very important, and most people will read reviews for a product before they make a purchase. The problem is, most people don’t think to leave a review, even if they loved your product, so they might just need a little nudge.
You can ask nicely for reviews by sending your customers an email like the example below:
Hello (*customer name*),
Thank you so much for your recent purchase, I hope you loved it as much as I loved making it!
It would really help me if you could leave a quick review, would you mind?
You can leave a review here: https://www.etsy.com/your/purchases it just takes a few seconds!
Thank you again,
By doing this you can start to build up a bank of great reviews, so that when people visit your shop they will see that you are trustworthy and that people love your products, which will result in more sales for you (whoop!).
17. Use Promoted Listings (Etsy Ads)
Etsy now offers the option to promote your listings by using Etsy Ads.This can be a great way to give yourself a boost, particularly if you are in a competitive niche.
How Etsy Ads Work
Etsy Ads work on an ‘Auction’ system, where you can choose how much you are willing to pay per click on your listing. This means that your listings are competing against other promoted listings in the search results, but the good thing is you can start with just a small budget and experiment as you go.
There are a few things which can affect your ads performance in the search results, which are:
- The relevance to the shoppers search
- Your bid amount (how much you want to pay per click)
- The quality of your listing (enticing photos and description, etc)
- Other factors such as the time of day
Ads will show up in the designated ads space, and do not have any effect on non promoted listings. If you have a promoted listing it can show up in different ad spots throughout the day, due to Etsy’s algorithm, and how the auction system works. For more information on how Etsy ads work, click here.
Etsy is a great place to start if you are selling your own products online, and many people are building successful careers on Etsy, and finally escaping the grind of their 9-5 jobs.
There is no quick solution to making your Etsy store an overnight success, it can take time and dedication to get everything right and build a loyal following of repeat customers, but if you take on board some or all of these tips, you will be well on your way to success.