It’s time. Actually it’s well over due. Shamefully, painfully overdue. The problem is, I have a love/hate relationship with Etsy. It is a sales platform that’s largely out of my hands, but it is also a ‘go-to’ site for potential customers worldwide. That said, some (check – most) of the problems I am having with it, are absolutely and categorically my fault.
When sales platforms don’t work it’s easy to lose heart, enthusiasm and go elsewhere or just give up. You set up a shop and you think the sales will miraculously appear. But it takes time, and you have to follow basic golden rules of consistently. Shop housekeeping is very important. You also have to adjust your methods when Etsy decides to change the way it does things, like adjusting its algorithms, which can be devestating to a shop if you’ve been doing well or boost a shop if you haven’t.
I have had about 40 items in my shop consistently for a while now and I get views but converting them to sales is something else entirely. It requires hard work, maybe paid adverts, a lot of listings, a lot of sharing. I don’t like bombarding my followers on social media with the hardsell, it’s the one thing guaranteed to make me unfollow a page. But I read somewhere how you should be posting two or three times a day across your platforms. That would bug me but I’ve added it to my house keeping list.
I also read how 125 is an optimum number of products to have in your Etsy shop to attract buyers, so I’m falling well below even though I’ve spent the last week migrating listings from my website shop over to my Etsy page and now have 79 listed with Etsy. At the moment, that’s almost all the stock I have to offer which comes with suitable imagery. Using Etsy’s social media sharing facility does seem to be having an effect and Facebook seems to be coming out on top at the moment. My total views and visits has shot up by 2/3rds and my items and shop are being favourited more. So MAYBE this is the way forward after all. Now I need sales. But I appreciate buying fashion is not the same as buying charms.
I have been searching Youtube for some motivation. The below vlog by Heather Wells, whilst actually being several years old now, is what inspired me mid March and got me thinking harder about the way I approach online selling. Whilst there are plenty of ‘what to do’ guides which pretty much churn out the same information about uploading quality images, using tags, pricing etc etc, I am obsessed with statistics and so this motivated me more than telling me all the things I’ve heard before a thousand times and already implement in my shop.
Once you understand the numbers, it gives you the impetus to try again. Making a living from Etsy is not easy. You are not the only one strugging and in fact this thought can be very motivating in itself. Studying how changes you implement affect your statistics is vital to giving you the energy to carry on. Studying the stats on your Etsy page is useful.
I quite like my stats. My viewings are good, in my personal opinion, but I don’t doubt they fall well below what a successful Etsy seller would want to see. The fact is, sales don’t automatically follow, which shows that those viewer numbers are actually quite low. If, for every 1000 views, you make a sale, I have a very long way to go. What I need to know, like many sellers, is how to convert likes, views and shop favouriting into hard cash. I guess it comes down to having saleable items.
Are your items being seen? Tagging, and doing it effectively is incredibly important. In the stats section you can look at which of your tags are working best, and also see what search terms potential customers are using around the Etsy site to find products. Trial and error is key to finding out what works for you. Change something, see how it affects your stats, then try again or improve on it.
Over the next few months I am going to report back on how things change and, hopefully, improve. And of course share any other tidbits of handy information I find along the way. If you have any yourself, please post them here. I’m always receptive to advice. Something has to change this year.