How to boost your Etsy sales – 7 universal elements of success
My personal background on selling on Etsy is focused on the print on demand space, but as part of my E-commerce consultancy, I have also had the pleasure of working with a lot of brands and sellers and I’ve noticed that whatever the business model (handmade necklace, wigs, shirts, whatever) there are some universal best practices that you must follow if you want the best chances at success.
The fact is, most successful Etsy sellers will 100% have all the following locked down:
Thing 1: Your offer & product differentiation
The first mistake a lot of us make is not thinking about differentiation in what we sell, we tend to focus on what we personally feel and know about our products (I know the quality is the best etc) – the problem is, the buyer doesn’t know and it’s not always communicated properly.
For sake of ease, we’ll presume your item quality is good (you should always be selling good quality products) but you need to stand out.
This means your mockups or main image should ‘pop’ in search results page – look at some competitions and see which main images really compel you personally to click and make sure you are replicating this style.
If you are trying to sell the exact same stuff as other people and have no way of standing out, you have a deeper problem and need to come up with ways to make your offer more attractive!
Thing 2: Sell something that people want!
While you may be passionate about selling something like potty bombs, but as you can see, there’s not much demand!
You can also check demand using my personal favorite method, which is using a keyword tool and look for a sweet spot, for example:
Estimated 10k searches with not much competition
Other tools are Marmalead and Etsy Rank that are a bit cheaper and have a sleek UI but whatever the tool, your aim is to gauge search traffic to understand what has the demand.
Thing 3: Proper pricing
Next up, your price point needs to be (objectively) right – if you sell, for example, mugs and price at 37 dollars and the average mug price is 15 – you are going to have a problem with sticker shock & conversions– unless you can convey in one image why your item is worth more!
There will always be cheaper sellers, but generally, I would only advise dropping prices to help improve conversions and sales – then put them back up.
If you are unsure about the best price, simply duplicate your listing and test different price points to find the winner!
Thing 4: You better have your tags and Keywords locked down!
For Etsy sellers, I notice this is a bit of a sore spot as most I meet tend to be more on the creative side and are less interested in the grizzly bits like keyword research and listing optimization. SEO is a dirty word!
Problem is, Etsy is a product search engine and we need to tell that engine how to understand our products – keywords are how we do it.
So first up, you should be using a keyword research tool (here’s how I recommend doing that).
You need to use a variety of keywords that your possible customers might be using and, as I talk about in my article linked above, pick a combination of popular and less popular keywords – ideally, you want a sweet spot of people searching Vs not so much competition.
As for your tags, can duplicate some of the main keywords from your title and also check the most popular similar items and use the same tags as them (where relevant).
Generally, one of the most serious errors I see sellers make is with their titles and keywords so it’s for sure worth paying attention to!
Thing 5: Boosting review count
A tricky one here, but we all know that reviews matter – a lot! Now it’s hard to convince people to leave them but the good news is, it’s way easier getting reviews on Etsy than, say Amazon.
What I recommend is for saving a message snippet that you send when you mark an order complete.
I like something along the lines of:
Thanks so much for your purchase – if you have any issues at all with anything, don’t hesitate to send me a message.
And if you are happy with your purchase, please leave me a review as it really helps small sellers like me :)
You don’t have to be a sleaze marketer, just include a small message you can save and use each time when you mark an order complete instead of typing it out.
This absolutely helps increase review rates, but you do have to ask for the review, even if it makes you a wee bit uncomfortable!
Thing 6: Etsy Marketing (PPC, discounts and social media)
A successful seller is usually running PPC (here’s how you should be doing that), google shopping via Etsy and also using the discounts when people favorite things or abandon cart.
I haven’t noticed much of a spike from doing the coupons, but conversions are always good and over time, the effect can build.
A trickier aspect is social media, in fact, it’s a whole other topic on its own, but I better mention it.
A lot of top sellers also are active on Pinterest, facebook groups and Instagram. Whether it’s paying for ads there, or running a fan page or group and growing an audience in their niche.
To avoid getting overloaded I usually recommend starting with Pinterest since it’s very visual and it’s mostly female buyers – a similar demographic to Etsy shoppers
Thing 7: Your store look and feel
You don’t want your store page to look like some baron crack den (unless you’re selling handmade zodiac themed crack pipes that is), add some images and make it personal so people can connect with you and your creations!
Plus, the Etsy algorithm also likes it when these things are all filled out - so if there is a space, make sure you use it!
The 80 / 20 rule
Generally, of all these activities, if you had to limit your focus, I would stick to doing an amazing job on the keywords, title, and your images, then test price points (again, just duplicate the listing).
But success leaves clues and if you can start to lock down some of these points, you will be able to turbo your store’s income!