This is one of the million dollar questions posted on Etsy forums, that and how to use tags and titles effectively. Looking at user behaviour is not only governed by the behaviour of your potential customers, but also what you are posting and when. Your own behaviour, naturally, has a knock on effect.
I have taken to experimenting with the Sell On Etsy app and Etsy’s forums to advertise my shop. With the app I have been posting at key times of the day and I change it each week to see if that makes a difference. Getting lost in the din is a continuous problem so it makes sense to post when you think most people are online.
When you add an item in your shop, anyone who is following you will get a notification to tell them. But I don’t know how much of this is affected by time of day. I’m also unsure how the Sell on Etsy app drives notifications to your users, if it’s different from the above. In any case, the experiments have been useful and the app clearly is having some affect on my numbers.
So far I haven’t seen any clear pattern between peaks in view numbers and orders being placed. If anything sales seem to come when views are down. I also haven’t seen any connection between an item being favourited and it being purchased. Personally, as a buyer, I use favourites lists as a wish list and I suspect most other people do too. If I am planning on buying the item at some point, I’ll move it to my cart until I’m ready. Most of the items I sell are not favourited at all and, in fact, my most favourited items are never purchased.
Here are examples of my three months since October when I started to utilise my shop again and use shop updates and the Sell on Etsy app. Red lines are views. Blue bars are orders.
The first couple of graphs show a correlation between traffic peaks and purchases but after that, it seems to change. December is only partial at the moment, since we’re still in it. I’ll have a fuller picture on this at the end of the year:
With regards to high traffic times, I’ve taken one 48 hour period (Monday-Wednesday) in November to show how much traffic can spike at various times of the day and how much days can differ. No two week days are alike and across the month there is no defined pattern. Now, although a lot of my traffic is from the UK, the USA runs a close second. Unusual UK traffic times, are more likely to be from viewers overseas and, generally, most of my sales go abroad to the USA.
This 24 hour period showed both places being about neck and neck view wise. 3pm GMT, which shows my biggest spike, is 10am in New York but I can’t be specific as to where in the US views are coming from so it could be a couple of hours even earlier than that:
The peaks and troughs roughly coincide with what you would expect for a typical work day governed by commuter times, lunch breaks and evenings at home. But it isn’t a given, and day to day throughout the week it does vary without any particular explanation. Fridays and weekends are generally very different. Traffic will often spike mid afternoon Friday as people leave for the weekend, Friday night is slow, Saturday is slow throughout, and traffic tends to peak into late Sunday. Therse patterns obviously arise because of weekend family commitments and social time. Posting updates at lunchtime and early to mid evening on a general basis stand a better chance of being seen.
These statistics, for all their vagarity, can be useful for tracking customer behaviour in your own country. As viewer numbers increase so I hope to see clearer patterns appear. My numbers are still fairly low though growing but like anything with Etsy, nothing is like waving a magic wand. They are all small contributions to an overall improvement and you need to do a bit of everything. Perseverence and patience are important characteristics if you want to stay focused.