There are 2.5 million active sellers on Etsy and about 45 million buyers. Although Etsy makes hundreds of millions a year from its marketplace, the majority of its sellers make less than $100 a year. Why is that? Etsy sales aren’t determined by the quality or functionality of your product, but rather on how competitive you are in the marketplace.
If you’re not making as many Etsy sales as you think you should be, you need to reinvent your store in the marketplace.
TL;DR: You can increase your Etsy sales by adapting a traditional retail approach to an online approach.
Making Etsy Sales Is Similar To A Traditional Retail Sales
Think of Etsy as a busy shopping district. There are quite a few stores within this shopping district and lots of eager buyers. If you own a store in this shopping district how do you get people to purchase goods from your store when they have so many other options – 2.5 million other options?
The reason I use this analogy is that online retail is identical to regular retail. The same rules and fundamentals apply. In some instances, online retail can be that much harder to crack because you’ll never find a regular shopping district with 2.5 million stores.
The purpose of this example is to show you that online stores and general stores have one thing in common: Traffic. In a general store that’s foot traffic and in an online store that’s digital traffic.
Therefore, you should implement many of the same basic tactics general stores have implemented to be successful on Etsy. These are the strategies of getting more Etsy sales using some basic retail principles.
Etsy Sales Tip #1: Do Your Market Research
The first step any regular retail store owner will take before setting up shop is to determine who their greatest competitors are so they know what to improve on. Etsy isn’t a cut-throat marketplace, but knowing what your competitors are doing will give you greater clarity on what you should be doing.
Find The Most Prominent Stores in Your Niche. The first step to successful market research is to discover which stores have multiple best-selling items. You’ll notice that a few stores have the majority of best-selling items in the marketplace. That’s because these stores have mastered selling on Etsy and know how to leverage their buyers to increase sales. They also know how to maximize their listings to ensure each of their listings becomes a best-selling product.
Find these stores as there’s plenty you’ll learn from them, including how to write a good product title, which tags to include, and how to create a good description.
Read Their Reviews. What do their customers like about their products? What don’t their customers like? If you were to make the ideal product based solely on the reviews of your competitors, how would you use that feedback to create something exceptional?
Understand Their Sales Process and After-Sales Approach. Typically, every successful seller on Etsy has a fantastic after-sales approach. If you don’t have one, you should research what the after-sales approach is of other sellers. You can do this by asking in the community tab or doing some sleuthing and purchasing products from other sellers. You shouldn’t necessarily purchase products from your competitors. Purchasing products from any popular seller on Etsy will give you insight into how they approach their after-sales.
Etsy Sales Tip #2: Focus on Getting More Traffic
Use Etsy-offered Marketing. For sellers making less than $10,000 in 365 days, Etsy’s off-site ads are optional. But they’re probably the best way to get your product in front of more people and drive traffic to your listing. So you shouldn’t opt-out.
This option is excellent for smaller sellers who can’t afford to invest in advertising their Etsy store. Etsy pays the initial fee for advertising your store and then takes a predetermined amount (12% for those that make less than $10,000) from a purchase made because of the advertisement.
But, to get the most from Etsy off-site ads you should enhance your listing.
Improve your Social Media Presence. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get more Etsy sales is to be more active and engaged in social media. Because Etsy – like most social platforms – is optic, creating visually appealing social posts will increase your Etsy sales.
When you’re engaging on social media, don’t think of yourself as a business owner trying to sell their products to other users. Instead, think of yourself as a user trying to improve the lives of others with your products. This will make your engagement and interaction on social media more authentic.
Sell Your Etsy Products Elsewhere. Don’t rely on Etsy alone for sales. This tip may seem counterintuitive, but a lot of your effort should go into increasing product awareness and accessibility. The more aware people are of your product, the more likely they are to purchase it.
Etsy Sales Tip #3: Improve Your Product Listings
Take Better Product Pictures. Product pictures don’t have to be appealing to you, they have to be appealing to others. If you’re getting clicks on your products but not many sales – you’ll be able to view your clicks in your Etsy analytics – then your product pictures are not the issue. But, just to be sure, test a few images to determine which ones get you the most clicks.
Include Benefits in Your Descriptions. Every buyer, regardless of the platform they use to make purchases, wants to know: What’s in it for me? What do I gain from purchasing this product?
You need to answer that in your listing description if the answer isn’t readily available in your product image.
Create A Practical Description of Your Products. The benefits of your products should take up the first paragraph of your Etsy listing before the “read more” section. After the read more section you should include the practical elements of your products that give a DETAILED description of what customers can expect when purchasing your product. Things like product dimensions, the material used, the creation process, and any warnings or recommendations of usage, etc.
Etsy Sales Tip #4: Maximize Your After Sales
Make your purchases personal. Buyers who shop on Etsy do so for the adventure, in addition to the variety of unique and handcrafted products available. There are many other places they could purchase from – like Amazon or eBay – but they choose to purchase on Etsy. Not because they can’t find what they’re looking for elsewhere, but because they want the “Etsy experience”.
Add to their experience by including a handwritten note thanking them for their purchase.
Entice Buyers To Shop Again. Once someone’s bought from your store, they’ve already taken the most crucial step in the sales funnel: Deciding to purchase.
Digital marketers and other digital retail experts often mention the sales funnel as the stages buyers pass through before they purchase. In each stage, you’ll lose some prospects, but the buyers that have made a purchase are the easiest – and cheapest – ones to get to buy from you again. You can entice these people to return by sending them information about other products they may not have seen in your store, giving them “exclusive” coupons to return, or inviting them to test new items at a discount.
Ask Buyers for Feedback, Not Just Reviews. On any marketplace buyers like sharing their experiences, but as a seller reviews aren’t necessarily the best place to get insight into your store and products. Buyers are less likely to be objective if they feel their comments will be seen by the public.
Therefore, if you’re scratching your head wondering why people aren’t buying from your store, the best people to ask would be those who’ve already purchased. Ask them what enticed them to purchase; you can then include more of that in your store or make that feature more prominent.
Incentivize Sharing. Once again, make use of the sales funnel. Get those who’ve already purchased from your store to recommend others to your store. You can do this by offering promotional coupons or special offers created for specific shoppers. By doing this, you’re creating loyal shoppers.
Just think of how excited Maggie will be if you create the coupon MAGGIE5 for her to share with her friends and family, so they can $5 off when they’re purchasing from your Etsy store.
Maximize Special Occasions. People are more likely to shop on Etsy when they have an upcoming special occasion. You probably won’t know when everyone’s birthday is, but you can prepare for other days. Days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and one of the biggest shopping events of the year Black Friday.