When we speak to Etsy sellers, the most common complaint is that the marketplace is more congested than ever. Naturally, this congestion means that sales become harder to come by. For those that have used the site for a while, what was once a reliable, solid income has been cannibalised simply because there are so many different competitors out there. With similar products and prices, the share of sales becomes thinner. With Etsy no longer being a niche sales site and now firmly in the mainstream, it has never been more important to ensure that your products and listings stand out in the crowd. Fortunately, using our tips below, you’ll be able to ensure that your products are front and centre in front of the most interested buyers.
1. Stay on Top of Seller Guidelines
At times when sales are down, and your products do not receive as many views as they used to, the last thing you need is to receive a penalty because one or more of your products break the terms of service. Etsy provides a Seller Handbook that is packed with useful information. Not only will it ensure that you stay on the right side of the terms and conditions, but it also includes information on listing marketing. Of course, it is not an ultimate guide – every one of your competitors has access to the same information, and when everyone does the same thing, no one can stand out. Nevertheless, it is a handy baseline and essential reading for anyone that wishes to succeed on the platform.
2. Think Like a Business When You Set Up Promotions
Promotions and discounts are a sure-fire way to increase sales, shares and visibility. While you might not be a business in the conventional sense, your end goal is the same and every sale counts. Promotional pricing can become a balancing act, as you don’t want to reach a point where you work for free or cannot keep up with demand. Nevertheless, the Etsy platform enables users to set up discounts, free shipping promotions and other offers that are bound to make their listings more visible.
3. Use the Built-In Social Sharing Tools
Few business opportunities have the potential to go viral like the perfect Etsy product. Every viral campaign ever started when someone noticed a product, video or service and helped it to snowball from there, so you have to ensure that you get the initial word out and make it easy to share. You can do much of what is required from social sharing within the Etsy interface itself, so if you add a product or run a promotion, take full advantage to let everyone know about it.
4. Work on Your Photography
The best-written listings in the world can be let down by a bad photo. Conversely, a great photo can secure a sale regardless of the accompanying words. Make sure your photos are not just descriptive but active sellers. If at all possible, make your pictures so unique that when someone sees them, they immediately associate the style with your Etsy store. This could involve backgrounds, props, filters or anything else that makes your product jump off the screen even in the most crowded listings.
5. Get Your SEO Right
More Etsy products are sold through external channels than on the site itself. If you sell exactly what someone searches for, you need to make sure they can find you. Consider the most relevant keywords of your products and set up your content accordingly, through titles, listings and image tags.
6. Join Groups
While increased competition can be a bad thing for sales, it can also be an opportunity. There are seller groups on Etsy itself, known as Teams, and numerous communities built around the platform. These communities can be a great place to meet like-minded people, ask for advice and to share tips, so their value cannot be underestimated.
7. Consider Paid Traffic
Paid traffic is all about margins. If you can sell enough products and take a big enough cut to account for the fact that not every paid visitor will convert, then it is a viable marketing strategy. You can pay to promote your products within Etsy itself, but might also consider more extensive paid listings on popular search engines like Google and Bing, or on Facebook for even more targeted traffic.
8. Don’t Let Etsy Rule Your Online Presence
If you want to ramp up sales, the last thing you want to do is to become overly reliant on Etsy itself. After all, if the issue is increased competition, sellers on the platform have all the same opportunities that you do. If you can set up your own website, do it. There, you have full control over design, listings, SEO and everything else that goes with it – while retaining the goal of making an Etsy sale. If you ever encounter account problems, it is far easier to migrate an independent site to another supplier than to start over.
9. Don’t Neglect Real-World Opportunities
An online business is the dream of many, but you should never forget that there is a market out there for your products in person – often without many other Etsy sellers as competition. Look up local craft fairs and make your presence known. Etsy itself offers assistance with payment processing and other offline tools but, once again, there is plenty of scope for independent operation too.
10. Focus on Customer Retention
It is a great feeling when you make a sale, but that does not need to be the end of your relationship with the customer. Use mailing lists, social connections and other options to ensure that the next time they want to buy an Etsy-style product that you are at the front of their mind. You already know they are ready to buy, so don’t give them the chance to try another seller.