Creating a Successful Etsy Shop

January 15, 2015

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Hey there! We are excited to start a new series of articles sharing a few bits of knowledge that we have learned along the way, starting with creating a successful Etsy shop! If your just getting started selling your products online, Etsy is a great place to start. Here are the reasons why we recommend starting out on Etsy

1. ETSY IS CHEAP AND LOW RISK

  • COSTS: It is free to open a shop on Etsy, and there are no membership fees. To sell a product online in an Etsy shop, they’ll charge you $.20 a listing plus 3.5% of your total sales. You are only charged as you sell.
  • CREDIT CARDS: You can use Etsy’s built in credit card functionality for customers to make purchases from your shop. Or they can always use the default, which is Paypal. If you were to set up a credit card payment system on your own site, you would need a merchant account, or find a third party card service, which gets pricey and can be a hassle. With Etsy, customers can use their credit card for an additional 3% of the sale, and you don’t have to do any additional work.  It’s an easy-to-use check out process that customers trust.

 

2. ESTY IS EASY TO SET UP

  • SET UP: You can open an Etsy shop in a day! All you need is an email and password, paypal account, and an image for your banner and logo.
  • EASY-PEASY: With so many e-commerce platforms available today, people have the misconception that it’s quick and easy to run an online shop. Yes it is true you can set one up fast, HOWEVER, online shops take tons of work! In order to have a successful online store, you have to not only worry about the product you’re selling, but the pricing, the photography, the branding, the user experience, the organization & flow, the SEO, the marketing, the sales tax rates, the shipping labels, etc. With Etsy, your site isn’t as fancy, HOWEVER, it takes the time consuming work out of managing your shop. Keeping your work load down while starting out is a good idea so you can concentrate on whether your products are worth the effort or not.
  • LISTINGS: With Etsy (and many e-commerce platforms) duplicating product listings is a well loved function so you can easily mass produce your array of products.
  • FUNCTIONALITIES: Other great included functionalities that I love are: credit card payments, digital downloading (your customers buying digital products with out you having to do 1 thing), the conversation tabs to keep all your correspondence in one place, order tracking, shipping labels, and last but not least, shop stats (great feedback for your product)!

 

3. GET ORGANIC TRAFFIC FROM ETSY
Another huge advantage for starting out on Etsy is the organic traffic you will get from its thriving community. There are millions of people searching on Etsy every day. You will get looks at your shop just from people searching in Etsy itself. Here are some useful tips to help increase traffic to your Etsy shop…

  • KEY WORDS: Load your descriptions with key words. Think of what customers would type into the search field to find a product like yours and fill your product description with those search words.
  • PROMOTE: Etsy has many ways of promoting your items. You have access to set a budget to pay to promote your products based on impressions and clicks, pay for ads when customers search internally in Etsy, enable your products to automatically syndicate with external shopping engine ads, and socially exposing your products via internal Etsy followers.
  • PINTEREST: Pin directly from your listing pictures. Minimize your customers distractions and get them right to the point of sale. This will take interested pinterest followers directly to your Etsy shop.
  • STATS: Utilize the shop stats function. See who and how many people are looking at your shop. Strategize marketing and product development based off of what most people are looking at.

 

TIPS FROM THE PROS
Now for the goods! We reached out to 2 crazy awesome Etsy shops and asked them to share tips that helped their shop be more successful.

The first shop is a past client of ours, Chris Carlisle, who founded the business, Look Here Jane LLC.

LOOK HERE JANE LLC

Look here Jane Etsy Shop via October Ink Design

Chris is a powerhouse entrepreneur. She got her start on Etsy and has been consistently making four figures a month selling her awesome pillow covers! Check out her shop at www.lookherejane.etsy.com

 

Here’s Chris’s tips on getting successful on Etsy.

Tip 1: Get Started
I opened my shop in 2009. I didn’t actually list an item until 2011! I convinced myself that my shop needed to be perfect and flawless, so I was hesitant to list anything. Once I dove in and got my first couple of sales, I felt liberated.  I thought “I can do this!” Filling the shop has been an evolution and is still a work in progress. It’s never perfect.

Tip 2: Take Nice Photos
This was a hard one for me.  I had a point and shoot camera with no experience.  So, I did the best I could with the resources I had.  Natural light is the key.  Once I had a bit of cash flow, I invested in hiring a professional photographer.  That was one of the best decisions I made because it took a bit of pressure off of me.

Tip 3: Key Words are Important
I went through my listings about a year ago and really re-assessed my keywords/tagging for each listing.  The payback for the effort was well worth it…there was an immediate uptick in sales.  I also purchased a handy guide through Etsy which was a great resource:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/193210523/etsy-seo-ten-tips-for-better-tagging-on?ref=shop_home_active_1

Tip 4: Maintain a Sense of Gratitude
When I had my first couple of sales that was so exciting!  I couldn’t believe that there were people out there that wanted to buy my handmade stuff…and from all over the world.  Then to get 5-star feedback was just over-the-top! I wanted to hug each and every customer.  I try to remind myself (especially during stressful or busy times) that this has been a tremendous gift and to continue to be thankful.

The next shop we asked is Little Crane Headbands, by Maddie Crane based in Denver, Colorado.

LITTLE CRANE HEADBANDS

Little Crane Headbands Etsy Shop via October Ink Design

Maddie has impeccable taste, and creates darling children’s head bands and bows that are sized correctly (don’t take over you baby’s head), and are soft & stretchy (so it’s comfortable for your child). I can’t get enough of these, along with the rest of the world. Maddie occasionally has to shut down her shop because she gets so many orders! She’s killin it. Check it out here www.etsy.com/shop/littlecraneheadbands

Here’s what she has found helpful on Etsy…

“Etsy reaches a very widespread, international crowd for me, far beyond social media. I have found that it is helpful to keep the items that i am selling current within the Etsy search engine. to limit the number of available quantity and renew when sold, it refreshes my items to the top of the “baby headband” list. This generates much more exposure and traffic. Without renewing items often, they get buried in search results and statistically have far less views.

I also really love the stats feature on Etsy. it helps me see what items are being viewed/purchased most often, shop views, and revenue charts. It helps me better asses items that should be featured on my Etsy home page.”

We hope this has been helpful! If you’ve been thinking of opening a shop (or need to kick yours into shape like we do!), now you have no excuse. Go for it! Here’s a few more links to articles we found useful. Happy Etsying!

https://blog.etsy.com/en/2013/top-10-tips-for-starting-an-etsy-business/
http://www.handmadeology.com/starting-an-etsy-shop-here-are-8-articles-you-must-read-first/

And here is our shop if you want to peek around!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/OctoberInk

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