How to grow your Etsy shop
You may have got to a point with Etsy where you’ve established the basics, people seem to be buying your products and there’s some income coming in at a regular pace. The next question will inevitably be: How do I grow my Etsy shop? And how do I turn this into a fully fledged business?
To help set you up for growth, we’ve come up with 5 points, which if you hit them, can see you become an increasingly big presence on the Etsy platform (and potentially get you that coveted ‘Star Seller Badge’). These areas of focus are:
- Create what Etsy shoppers want
- Get 5 star reviews on Etsy
- Know your Etsy SEO
- Know your promo channels
- Develop a unique, distinguishable style
1. Create what Etsy shoppers want
Given the volume of listings and sellers on Etsy, it’s important that you understand the needs and wants of your shoppers in order to create distinct products of value.
By now you should have a decent idea of what products are selling more than others. Or maybe if you have one product that’s doing really well but you want to find out more about what could make it better or what people like about it. Gathering feedback and analysing the data can inform about the products and services you're offering through Etsy.
Some ways of collecting feedback on Etsy might be:
- Analysing your review data
- Send follow up messages after each order has been delivered
- Send out a survey to customers outside of Etsy (i.e by email)
- Do competitor analysis and look at the reviews of Etsy shops selling similar products
- Look at other review sites and forums around similar products
When it comes to documenting this information you might find a Google Sheet or Excel Sheet is the best way of compiling it all into comparable sections. Some elements you might want to track are:
- Product strengths
- Product weaknesses
- Brand strengths
- Brand weaknesses
- Brand unique selling point (what makes it different to competitors)
- Service strengths
- Service weaknesses
Once you have this all written up you should get a good sense of what the sweet spot is where you have a product, packaging, photos, site, service all contributing to a great customer experience. It’s then about putting it into action and making the changes that are visible in the data.
2. Get 5 star reviews on Etsy
This might sound obvious, but in practice it’s incredibly difficult to get right. From research carried out by Etsy, they found three key things that shoppers focus on when leaving reviews:
- Quality: How good the product is, how good the craftsmanship that’s gone into it is, it meets all the specifications in the description, it exceeded expectations.
- Customer service: How communicative you are as a seller, how far you go to make sure the shopper is happy, any nice touches you add as part of the service and product.
- Delivery: Clear expectation setting about when the product will arrive from the outset, the more efficient the delivery the better.
As well as using the information from your research in step one, focus on ways you can improve these three areas and you should see an uptick in Etsy 5 star reviews. Some things you can do up front to make sure customers get a good experience is:
- Dispatch on time
- Respond to messages from shoppers quickly
- Answer common shopper questions upfront in your listing description
- Nail your product photography
- Communicate when products will be delivered clearly
Becoming a Star Seller
Since September Etsy introduced the Star Seller badge. This badge features on your shop and listing thumbnail and really sets you apart from the competition as shoppers can immediately see that you give top quality service and products.
Here’s how you get a Star Seller badge on Etsy:
- Respond to 95% of buyer messages within 24 hours
- Dispatch 95% of products within a stated time and use tracking or the Etsy postage label
- 95% or more of your reviews are 5 stars
- Have 10+ orders, $300 and 90 days tenure on Etsy during the 3 month review period
This can be a significant boost to your sales and visibility on the site as it shows you to be an established and trustworthy shop on Etsy.
3. Know your Etsy SEO
SEO means search engine optimisation - So in the case of Etsy making your listing appear in people’s searches more easily.
So if someone searches ‘children’s wooden rocking horses’ and your rocking horse contains these words in its description, yours could be the first to appear, and therefore the most likely one to be clicked on (and hopefully bought).
Generally SEO is a bit of a dark art, with Etsy’s algorithm constantly changing, it requires some decent specialist knowledge to get it right. But hopefully we can chuck a few pointers in here to help you.
Firstly here’s what Etsy’s algorithm is looking for when people search for a product:
- Tags - make sure to use all 13 tags in your listing, and think like a shopper and how they might search for your product or land on it. An example might be if you’re selling soap, in the tags you might include: eucalyptus, handmade, fragrant etc. This way, if someone is searching for those things, yours stands a better chance of appearing first.
- Shop title - if you’ve already started getting business with one shop name this might not be so appealing, but having a descriptive shop name improves your rankings.
- Keywords - Include descriptive keywords that would match what people search for, so if someone was looking for party decorations, you could include ‘birthday party decorations’, ‘anniversary decorations’, to match the way shoppers search for products. Generally, it’s good to load all the best search terms at the beginning of the description, so that it increases the listings relevance in the eyes of Etsy.
4. Know your Etsy promo channels
- The best channel to promote your Etsy shop is on Pinterest.
- The second best is Instagram.
Pinterest acts as a kind of visual Google search. People look for what they want by flicking through images, they might have an aesthetic in mind but not quite know the product they want. By featuring images of your products here you can send people to your Etsy store.
The benefit with Pinterest is the posts never disappear like other social media sites, where they go further down timelines and threads. Instead your pinned Etsy listings can get shared and re-shared potentially thousands of times as the years go by. Etsy and Pinterest are well integrated so it makes it easy to share your listings on Pinterest. Start by having a scan of the products currently being displayed on Pinterest, work out what categories they fit into (lifestyle etc) and then display yours in those categories.
Instagram also helps with its focus on the visual. You can build a following by regularly posting content, and use Instagram stories to send followers directly to your products.
Other useful channels are Etsy’s own Ad tool, where you can pay to feature your listings at the top of pages and as ads in people’s searches (even if the search isn’t directly related to your product). And email campaigns can help, if you build a list of subscribers you can keep them up to date with ongoing changes in your Etsy shop.
5. Develop a unique, distinguishable style for Etsy
In those first few months you might well have come to a conclusion about what your brand style is, or you might be an established brick and mortar shop with its own pre-established aesthetic. If you know what that is then great. The question is how you translate that to your audience on Etsy.
The product will often dictate what the style of the brand is but there are other key elements that dictate your brand image:
- The copy you use to describe your product and shop. It’s important to establish a consistent brand tone of voice. Are you a playful brand, an earnest brand, the list goes on. But it’s worth doing some research and noting down how your shop would talk and act if it was a person. This will dictate your shoppers’ perception of you and can decide your audience.
- The photography. There are many ways to use photography to demonstrate the product in its best light, but also to give a sense of the kind of company you are. If you show the product in action, think about what setting you put it in. A luxury jewellery brand might include an evening sun on the riviera, while a children’s play toy might be in a living room on the carpet. The photography will tell the story of your shop as much as of the products.
- The packaging. Not commonly considered, but some of the best Etsy shop’s will include novelty packaging, or memorable copy on the packaging that people won’t forget in a hurry or will make them chuckle. Sometimes a note to say thanks or some small gifts (for example a bath bomb if you’re selling soap) can give a shopper a tangible sense of connection to your brand, and can lead to those 5 star reviews.
How can Earnr Help?
Earnr allows you to track your ingoings and outgoings over the course of the year, and automate your tax return. You mark each payment and each expense as you go so that by the time you get to doing your tax return, we’ll have everything we need to do the process for you.