Etsy was first launched in 2005, and has quickly become the go-to marketplace for buying handmade or vintage goods.
And with 45 million buyers, it’s easy to see why it’s the marketplace of choice for many sellers.
But with over 60 million products available on the site, it can be difficult getting your listing to the top of the search results where it can be seen by potential buyers.
However do not be disheartened, this guide is here to help you get the most out of your Etsy listings, by taking advantage of all the available features.
The strategy for selling more on Etsy can be broken down into 2 areas:
How to increase Etsy traffic (using keywords, Etsy SEO, marketing, adverts etc.)
How to get sales on Etsy (converting the customer with a good product, good photos and good description)
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HOW TO INCREASE ETSY SALES 2021
This is possibly the easiest way to give your Etsy products a boost, and you only need to do it once.
Etsy ranks sellers higher when they have completed their shop policies.
Click the pencil icon next to your Etsy shop name to head over to your shop profile. From here you can review your shop policies.
Look through the policies and edit if required, then click Publish to get more visits to your Etsy store.
Good quality, professional photographs are essential for catching the eyes of your potential buyers.
Your product photos will not necessarily get your listing ranked higher, but it will make your product stand out amongst all of the other listings on the page, which is essential for converting views into sales.
First impressions are vital; customers can make an unconscious buying decision within less than a second of seeing your product.
Tips for good product photos:
Make sure the photo is clear – there is nothing worse than poor quality or blurry photos.
Make sure the product is emphasised.
Use proper lighting.
Use a simple or plain background, so not to draw attention away from the product.
A relatively new feature in Etsy, is the ability to add a product video.
This is a chance for your product to really shine and turn those page views into sales.
It’s free to add, but it’s better to have no video at all than to have a poor quality one, which could have the opposite effect.
Etsy gives you space for 140 characters to write an eye-catching product title – this is plenty and you probably don’t need to use it all.
Only the first 3-5 words will show on the search results page so be sure that those first words accurately describe your product. For example, on the product below, the seller has accurately described the product in 4 words: “Oak Tea Light Holders”, which is visible from the search page.
Include a few key words or phrases. These should be words that you’d expect people to search when looking for your product. For example, on the listing shown, the seller has included “Candle Holders”.
Although Etsy does pick up keywords in the title, there is no need to fill the whole title with them. Just stick with a few that are relevant.
The categories you set for your product will affect where your listing shows in the Etsy catalogue.
Be sure to accurately describe your product in this section to appear in the correct categories and get more sales.
For example, a candle holder listed in the Wall Décor category, is unlikely to get sales from customers browsing the Wall Décor category, because a candle holder is simply not what they’re looking for.
Likewise, customers browsing the Candles & Holders category will not see your product, which is unfortunate because it’s exactly what they’re looking for!
Attributes covers a number of details that you can add about your product when you’ve selected a category.
These fields will appear when you’ve selected a category, and which attributes you can add will depend on the category. Attributes could include Colour, Material or some more specific ones such as Clothing Pattern, or Room (for Home Décor)
Use these attributes as much as possible, as they will match with a shopper’s search results, helping your listing rank higher.
The product description section is your chance to shine and really sell your product to the customer. Be descriptive and include details of everything that is included.
Try and put yourself in the customer’s shoes; think what sort of questions they might ask about the product and answer them in your description. A customer that is confused will probably just move on rather than go through the hassle of sending you a message.
Break your description into sections to make it easier to read and find information. Nobody wants to have to scan through a large block of text to find the information that they want – they’ll probably just move on.
Give each section a heading – you can use capital letters or bullet points to make the headings stand out. Examples of section headings could be: Size, Dispatch and Delivery Times, Personalisation Options etc.
Include key words and phrases here too. Make sure you repeat the main key words from your title in the description as this will rank them higher in the search results.
Etsy allows sellers to use up to 13 Tags. A tag is basically a word or phrase that a customer might type when searching for your product.
I highly recommend using at least 2 words for each tag – the longer the better. Using ‘Candle Holders’ as a tag is better than using ‘Candle’ and ‘Holders’ separately, and it gives you an additional tag to use.
Popular, generic tags appear across many other listings, so there will be a lot of competition for your product on the search results page.
Instead, try some really specific tags; shoppers that know what they’re looking for use more specific phrases – there will be less competition for your product and the shopper will be more likely to make a purchase. For example, use ‘Oak Candle Holders’ instead of just ‘Candle Holders’.
Make sure you use all 13 tags – this is free marketing and it’s a waste to not use it. If you have to fill the rest with shorter, more generic tags, then do it. This is better than not using them at all.
If you’ve used all of the above steps to optimise your listing and you’re still not getting many sales, it could be because you’ve priced too highly.
It’s one thing getting your listing on the search results page, but then you’ve got to make the sale. A shopper will not purchase your product if they feel that it’s not good value for money, or they can get something better for the same price.
Work out your minimum selling price; the lowest price you'd be willing to sell the product for, that still makes it worth your while. Start selling it at this price, and see what happens. If your sales improve, perhaps you can start bumping the price up again until you find the right balance between sales and profit.
If your sales still do not improve, you may need to look at reducing your cost per unit. Try shopping around or buying in bulk to source materials cheaper. This will allow you to bring your selling price down further still.
In the list of filters on the Etsy search results page, there is a tick box titled ‘FREE delivery’.
Shoppers that use this filter will obviously only see listings where there is no delivery charge. If you currently charge for delivery, your listing will not appear in front of these shoppers.
Offering free delivery does not mean that you need to accept less profit. Simply add your delivery charge onto your product selling price instead.
This might seem pointless to you, however it is a well-known fact that most shoppers prefer free delivery. Psychologically, it seems like better value to pay more for the product, than it does to pay for delivery.
Finally on our checklist, is Etsy Ads. If you’ve done all of the above and you’re still not getting the sales, you can enrol in Etsy Ads and have Etsy do the selling for you.
In return for 15% of the sale price, Etsy will boost the promotion of your products to increase traffic to your listing.
You only pay the fee when you make a sale, and only if that sale came directly from one of the paid adverts. Any sales that you get through the normal routes will not be subject to the 15% commission.
Make sure that you have enough profit left after Etsy fees. A sale that leaves you out of pocket is a complete waste of your time.
HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR ETSY SHOP 2021
Promote Your Product
After you've hit that Publish button on your Etsy listing, you can sit back, relax and watch the sales roll in - just kidding.
After you've published, there are always things to be doing to get more potential customers to see your product - like social media marketing - this is how to get more Etsy traffic.
Pinterest and Instagram are great platforms for this.
Get yourself a business account and start following people to build an audience. Post content about your products and offer discounts to direct people over to your Etsy shop.
If you're wondering how to get more views on Etsy for free, this is it - you may as well make use of it.
I use a website called Tailwind to schedule my Instagram and Pinterest posts in advance - it saves so much time and optimises my social media presence to get the most views and clicks possible. It's a must-have tool for anyone that is serious about marketing their products on these platforms.
Targeted Adverts on Pinterest
In addition to the free marketing, you can also run paid adverts on Pinterest that have proven to be very successful in my Etsy business.
I recently ran a couple of adverts before Mother's Day with a budget of £8 to be spent over 4 days (£2 limit per day). Looking at my statistics now, those adverts got around 7,400 impressions in total, meaning they were on screen 7,400 times in just 4 days.
I know for a fact that those paid adverts accounted for most of my Etsy shop traffic over that weekend and resulted in multiple additional sales.
General Tips for Etsy Success
Long tail keywords are better than short keywords – fewer shoppers use the longer keywords which means less competition for your product. Shoppers that use more specific keywords usually know what they’re looking for and are more likely to make a purchase.
Repeat keywords throughout the listing - a keyword or phrase that is used in the Title, Description and Tags will rank higher in the search results than if it is only used in the Title.
Use all available free features – apart from Etsy Ads and price adjustment, all of the other features cost you nothing extra. Use them, it’s free marketing.
Materials do not appear in search results – the materials section on the listing is there for the shopper’s benefit only. Materials listed here will not rank your listing higher when searched for. If you think the material will be searched for by a customer, then add it in one of the keyword-friendly fields.
Still Having Trouble?
Then it may be time to consider going back to basics: product design and market analysis.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Is there a demand for my product?
Is there a lot of competition for this type of product?
Is my product good value for money?
Would I pay this price for my product?
If the answer is no to any of the above, it could be wise to consider redesigning the product, or moving to a different product entirely.
Selling on Etsy not for you? Find more awesome side hustle ideas here.