You’re going to find pin after pin, Instagram post after Instagram post, and reel after reel about how others Etsy sellers became successful overnight. Sadly, if you’re reading this hoping that I’ll be sharing some easy, get rich quick advice, you might be a bit disappointed. What I will share with you is advice that helped me become a star seller after having a previous Etsy store flop.
Let me tell you a little story! 3 months ago, I restarted my Etsy journey. After a failed first attempt, I did some research and learned some important lessons about where I went wrong and how to improve my new store. Before I even made a listing, I made a list of 10 areas, or goals, that I knew would require improvement in order to succeed.
3 months later, I hit 1000 sales and became a star seller in the same week! It wasn’t easy. I won’t lie to you- it wasn’t an overnight success. It took a lot of hours and consistency. Because my shop is primarily digital download based, I have to stay on top of my listings because they resell quickly. If you’re looking to open a store with physical goods, you will likely spend more time making your product than staying on top of listings.
Today, I’m going to share with you the list I made 3 months ago, what I researched prior to opening my store, and what I have learned from trial and error.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!
Tip #1: Research, Research, Research!
Before you make a product, research what similar products on Etsy sell for and what the demand is like. Specifically, look into “best seller” and star seller products. Why? Because they’re doing something right and you can learn from them. What do their products sell for? What are the customers saying in the reviews that the seller did well/they appreciated? How did they word their listing titles and what keywords did they use? This insight will benefit you in the future.
Tip #2: Positive Customer Service
This should go without saying, but there are some really grumpy humans out there- both sellers and customers- and the best way to navigate issues is with a professional attitude. Did you explain something 3 times in your listing and a customer is messaging you because they obviously didn’t take on the time to read before purchasing? Kindly share the information a fourth time and make sure to include, “I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!” Positive sellers get positive reviews. Positive reviews bring more sales. More sales and more positive reviews bring star seller status! Also, make it a goal to respond to all customers within 24hrs. That is the goal Etsy gives you and sadly it looks bad if you don’t.
Hot Tip: you can set an auto response when you’re on vacation or around your business hours! This counts toward Etsy’s 24hr goal. I’ll have more information on this in a future post. Stay tuned!
Tip #3: Choose a product that is in high demand.
Like I mentioned in my first tip: research, research, research. Search for the very product you hope to sell. How many people are selling it? If you find 100 different results of the exact same thing, you will have a difficult time getting attention on your listing. Currently, digital downloads and Canva templates are in high demand. I’ll share a graphic on what is in demand.
Save yourself some time and energy and try to avoid products that are being oversold on Etsy. If you are willing to have competitive prices and possibly make less profit doing so, then by all means take the chance.
Tip #4: Marketing research
Look closely at what other shops are doing. How are they presenting their products? I also recommend reading bloggers’ posts about what helped them, what research they’ve done on the product that you want to sell, and their tips to selling them. Knowledge is valuable. Pinterest is bursting at its seams with bloggers pinning their advice and what works for them.
Another marketing tip I learned was to keep a close eye on my store’s stats. I kept track of trends: what were my highest trafficked days and what days were slow? What time of day did I sell the most? Who is my audience and what are they buying? What search terms bring the most people to my store? All of this information is easily accessible in your Etsy Seller app!
Tip #5: Sales and Promotions
Using that marketing information, pinpoint and target sales depending on that data. For example: I know that Thursday-Sunday are my busiest days. When I do a “flash sale”, I always plan it to happen during those days.
My most popular items are always on sale. Why? Because seeing a product on sale drives people to look at your listing over a product that isn’t on sale. Even if your listing is more expensive! At the end of each month, I end a sale and allow my shop to be sale free for a few days. Starting a new sale will trigger Etsy to notify your future customers who have saved or added your product to their cart. Personally, if I see something on a good sale, I can’t control myself. Bank on that.
Also utilize the targeted coupons Etsy basically begs you to set up. These are coupons sent to customers who favorited your product, left it in their cart, or bought something and you want them to come back. Don’t be stingy. These coupons bring repeat buyers. You want that!
Hot tip: Notice that someone frequents your shop? Message them with an exclusive promo code! They will appreciate it and you will likely get more sales! I always do this for repeat buyers, but also buyers that help me reach a benchmark! Every hundred sales, I give someone something free! Sales + great customer service = lots of orders.
Tip #6: Clean Listings
The remaining points all tie in to this super important concept: You need to have a professional, clean, and organized store! I’ll say it again! You need to have a professional, clean, and organized store!
I cannot express the importance of this enough. You need your listings to be informative, images need to be clear, and ultimately, you need your shop as a whole to look clean and organized. Like listings should look similar: images, mock ups, descriptions, titles, keywords, etc. If you have a clean logo, professional photos, and a well organized shop, you will have more customers. Let me dive into these points a little more.
Tip #7: Consistent Branding
This was one of my biggest struggles when I restarted on Etsy. I couldn’t find my groove and all of my listings looked different, I couldn’t choose consistent fonts/colors, and I definitely couldn’t pinpoint my vibe. Truthfully, I’m still struggling here and I’m actively working to improve.
I often surf Etsy for shops that have professional mock ups because I’m not the best at making them. I buy the templates and use them for my products. That’s what they’re there for! Not everything needs to be original and made by you, just the products that you sell. I like to buy a mockup and use that same one for all like products in my store. Uniformity looks sleek. All tumbler wraps, have the same mockup, Printables have the same mockup, etc. I try to buy everything from a select few stores to keep the same style throughout my store. I favorite those stores and come back when I need to! A huge plus to that is you often get a coupon code because you’ve already purchased from them! Yay!
Tip #8: Organized Sections
Just as I like uniformity in my mockups, I like to sort out all of my items into sections. I go back and forth on how I want to organize, but currently it is my size/file type. This helps people like me who frequent the same store in order to buy products that fit together. I have my 12oz tumblers together and my 12 oz in a different section. This way, if someone comes, they don’t need to scroll through your 200 listings to find what they want. I personally believe that this also leads to more favorited products.
Tip #9: Keywords
Similar to sections helping your customer find what they need, keywords are incredibly helpful! It wasn’t until I mastered this that business boomed! I’ll share with you what worked for me!
Not only do you want to use descriptive keywords in the keyword section of your listing, but also your title.
- What you shouldn’t do:
- Muppet tumbler wrap
- What you SHOULD do:
- 12oz Kermit the Frog Muppet tumbler wrap for sublimation. PNG/PDF file digital download.
See the difference? When someone searches any of those keywords, your listing will be pulled. Clean, concise, and descriptive. This not only helps your chances in the search engine, but customers will appreciate knowing the product description up front.
Tip #10: Product Description
My final tip is one that I personally value as a customer. I could write an entire post about this, but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. Your product description isnt just for a simple description of the product; the description is the perfect place to answer frequently asked questions, clarify copyright info, include a link to a video tutorial or blog explaining how to use the product, etc.
I cover a lot in my description. Over the last few months, I have slowly added on to what I included in my description for my products. Why? Because it helps your customer find answers to their questions without them needing to reach out to you. It also covers all of the bases when it comes to protecting yourself from theft, but also from the off chance that someone is being unkind or leaving a negative review. If you covered yourself, then the issue is usually on their end.
So there we go! There are my long-winded tips to help you find success. I hope that these tips stick with you and that they help you on your Etsy journey!