etsy sales dropped

Running a successful Etsy shop is not an easy task and maintaining consistent growth is something that even the most seasoned business owners struggle with every day. After some initial success, you may notice that your Etsy sales begin to dwindle and for no apparent reason. Don’t panic, take a deep breath because you can solve this issue! Here are:

10 Things to do When Your Etsy Sales Drop:

  1. Pay Attention to Trends
  2. Analyze Your Competition and Others in Your Niche
  3. Update Your Return Policy
  4. Rebrand and Redesign Your Etsy Shop
  5. Marketing, SEO, and Social Media
  6. Offer Free Shipping
  7. Improve Your Photos
  8. Update Listings and Product Descriptions
  9. Have a Memorable Slogan
  10. Offer Discounts and Giveaways

There is no reason why your Etsy sales should drop if you have a quality product or service, great customer relations, and you follow everything listed above. Read below to find out what you can start doing today to bring your sales back up and continue to grow your Etsy business!

What Should You Do if Your Sales Drop?

Ah yes, the age-old dilemma for any business owner. What to do when sales drop. First of all, realize that you are not alone and everyone who has started an e-commerce business has experienced slow or diminishing sales at some point. You may think that your ‘beginners luck’ is declining but the truth is when sales drop that’s when you know you are onto something!

Sounds counterintuitive right? Well, think about it, you have already acquired a set of customers, you know who your market is, what they like and what they don’t like, and you have had proven sales. You’ve done one of the hardest parts of running an Etsy shop, you actually got sales! Now all you have to do is repeat your success and make sure your customers come back for more.

So, what should you do when sales start to drop? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter program that you can implement in a day and start seeing results. There are a number of factors that could be hindering growth and several factors that your shop may be missing. Here is a list of 10 reasons why your Etsy shop may be slowing down in sales. For a detailed breakdown of each, scroll down for more:

  1. Your products aren’t trendy or in line with what is hot in the market. You need to keep your inventory up to date at all times.
  2. You aren’t paying attention to your competitors and other Etsy shops in your niche. You may also need to reach out to some of your competitors and build relationships where you can ask for tips and advice.
  3. Your return policy may be outdated, difficult, confusing, or just plainly non-existent.
  4. Your Etsy store’s design, theme, and look may need some updating to adhere to modern trends or Holidays.
  5. You may not be doing any marketing inside or outside of Etsy. Pay attention to your website’s SEO ranking and your social media analytics.
  6. You aren’t offering free shipping on certain items or orders over a certain threshold.
  7. Your photos and product images are dated, pixelated, low-quality, or boring.
  8. Your listings and product descriptions are not Etsy search optimized so people can’t find you!
  9. You don’t have a recognizable slogan that creates a lasting memory for your buyers.
  10. You aren’t offering sales, discounts, or giveaways throughout the year.

Quite an extensive list wouldn’t you say? If you have neglected one or more of these reasons, you should definitely read on to find out exactly what you need to do to stop your Etsy sales from dropping.

1. Pay Attention to Trends

A successful e-commerce business is always inventing and reinventing its catalog. You don’t have to create something from scratch, but you have to pay extremely close attention to everything happening around you.

You need to continuously evaluate the items you are selling to see if they are still relevant or popular. Kill your losers and expand your winners. If some of your products just aren’t selling it means no one wants them, plain and simple. So don’t hold on to items that take up space in your inventory and distract your customers.

If you really want to test whether something is actually trendy or relevant, run a sale and see if people are interested. If you still fail to make headway, then your Etsy product or service just isn’t trendy enough.

Pay close attention to buyer behavior year over year because customers who purchased something from you last Christmas may not do the same this year if you are still selling the same products, collections services, and designs.

Keep things new. Keep things fresh. Keep things trendy!

2. Analyze Your Competition and Other in Your Niche

There’s a famous case study in business school that any MBA will tell you about. Ford is the number one customer of all other car manufacturers and brands. Whenever a competitor comes out with a car, Ford will purchase the vehicle, tear it down, and build it back up again until it is operational.

Ford continues to practice this even with new emerging EVs. Why you might ask? Because large companies and successful businesses, whether it’s a car company or an Etsy shop, are always putting themselves in a position to learn!

As an Etsy business owner, you have to constantly embrace your competitors’ products and learn from their mistakes and successes. Familiarize yourself with brands that you want to be like and brands that sell similar products within your niche. Order a few items, pay close attention to customer service, shipping time, ease of use, product or service quality, marketing tactics, follow-up emails, etc…

This tip also coincides with the aforementioned idea that you need to keep up with trends. By observing your competitors closely, you will also get a good sense of what is working in your niche at any given moment. The important thing is to not copy anyone but think of ways to outshine your competition on Etsy.

Remember, it’s also about friendly competition so feel free to reach out to people in your niche and like-minded Etsy shop owners. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be direct. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help and give advice for free! You may end up building lifelong friendships and actually learning a lot about strategy, marketing, and operations.

3. Update Your Return Policy

A lot of Etsy businesses fail to have a solid return policy that is efficient and easy to use. Do you know why Amazon grew so fast? Because they had the mission to be the world’s most customer-centric company. That’s why you can buy items, receive your order, click a return button, and they will either pick up the order from your front door or ask you to drop it off at a convenient location near you.

You may not be aware of it but your customers may be reluctant to purchase from you again because they had a tough time returning items they purchased from your Etsy site. Make sure you have an updated return policy that coincides with your operational capabilities and is clearly visible to your customers.

4. Rebrand and Redesign Your Etsy Shop

This is a huge one! When we talk about keeping things trendy it doesn’t just refer to your inventory and product catalog. You also have to make an effort to redesign and rework your Etsy website and Etsy brand when you notice that sales may be declining.

You may need to hire a professional to take care of this, but Etsy is so easy to use that you could do it yourself! It’s no different from setting up your Etsy shop.

People love to see an e-commerce site rebranded to match the season, Holidays, or a special event. Is your Etsy shop turning 2 years old? Update your website! Is Halloween coming up? Make a spooky-themed Etsy shop! Groundhog’s day? Well, maybe that’s taking it too far, but you get the idea!

But we aren’t just talking about the look of your website. You should also update your pricing and products throughout the year and notify your customers. Got a Black Friday sale coming up? Great! Show how much customers could potentially save on items. Update your Etsy banner to include your shop-wide sales percentage. Get creative!

A great way to get people excited about changes to your business is by letting them know via email or social media but we’ll get to that in the next tip.

5. Marketing, SEO, and Social Media

If you take anything from this article it should be this point right here. You know how real estate agents love to say location, location, location? Well, when it comes to reversing dropping sales, we like to say marketing, marketing, marketing!

Everything else in this article deals with actions you can take within Etsy, which is great because the e-commerce site gives you a lot of options and flexibility for growth. However, it never hurts to go above and beyond.

From our experience, many Etsy shop owners with declining sales really struggle with marketing. We get it. There are so many moving parts and between email, text, SEO, and social media marketing; people get confused and aren’t able to split their time effectively.

Here are 5 steps that we think anyone can do today to massively increase their marketing output.

1. Start a Blog

Having a blog section on your Etsy shop where you consistently provide great content to your customers is a great way to increase website visits, time spent in your store, and ultimately sales. Providing value through informative blog articles and entertaining blog posts is a great marketing tactic that requires no financial investment. Even if you aren’t a great writer, you could potentially hire someone to write a blog post for you.

2. SEO

Search Engine Optimization also feeds into the previous point about blogging, but it goes way beyond that. You should optimize your Etsy business to be keyword-friendly and easily discoverable. SEO is an affordable and highly effective way to appear first on Etsy and search engines and beat your competitors to your future customers.

Update your product titles, description, and overall Etsy copy to massively increase the amount of traffic you get to your e-commerce shop. SEO can be complicated and requires serious attention. For SEO best practices and improved discoverability check out our Ultimate SEO Guide article.

3. Email and SMS Text Marketing

So far everything we’ve mentioned has been about copywriting and this is the last one we promise! Email marketing is a proven strategy that should be a pillar of your customer retention action plan. You are already gathering customer contact information through checkout lead forms, why not use that digital asset?

You can write informative email newsletters that coincide with your blog posts and send those out throughout the month. When you are ready to create a Call-to-Action email you can do so with a special offer or product launch. You’d be surprised how many customers return to your Etsy shop through email outreach.

SMS Text messaging is a fairly new marketing tactic and needs to be applied differently from email. However, text messages have shown time after time to have a higher open rate than email. In fact, SMS messages and FB messages have between an 80 and 90 percent open rate while email has only around 10 to 20 percent.

A word of caution. You can run into a lot of problems including legal trouble if you send out emails and text messages to customers who weren’t informed about the fact that they are subscribing to be a part of your newsletter. Depending on where you live, you will need to allow customers to opt-in to receive messages from you or have it written in your terms and services. We recommend doing independent research to find out what laws apply to email and text marketing in your area.

4. Social Media Posting

Content is truly king. Your customers are already on social media sites like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat so why aren’t you? You can post at any frequency you like and it’s completely free! One thing to keep in mind; if you are already posting on social media and notice sales dropping, it may be because you are posting too much throughout the week so pull back on quantity and step up your social posting quality.

5. Paid Advertising

When it comes to paid advertising, you can go the traditional media route or you can listen to us and stick with digital ads. Lucky for you, Etsy has a great ads management service where you can purchase ad space on Etsy and get your company and products featured on Etsy and Etsy search.

Outside of Etsy, you can experiment with Google, Facebook, Snapchat, and even TikTok ads. Every Etsy business is different and you never know where you will find your audience and at what cost. So if Google ads prove to be too expensive don’t just give up on social advertising, switch over to Instagram or LinkedIn ads because your market may be there. The best part is that compared to traditional media, you pay per traffic, click, lead, or conversion so you know how to track the money you spend.

Digital advertising can be complicated if you are just going into the space but there are hundreds of free courses and training videos all over the internet that provide real value. You can also hire a VA to take on some of your marketing responsibilities including paid advertising.

6. Offer Free Shipping

You would be surprised how many of your potential customers are leaving their Esty carts full without proceeding to checkout because they don’t want to pay $15 for shipping. Try offering free shipping on orders over $50 or whatever number works for you.

Make sure your margins cover shipping costs and that you still make a profit but otherwise you should advertise on your Etsy shop that you offer free shipping. You can even create a free shipping discount code and offer that to your social media followers or as a reward to people who opt-in to receive emails and text messages.

7. Improve Your Photos

Most consumers will look at your product and website photos more than they will look at things like a product description or additional information. While those aspects are also important to keep up to date and maintain good SEO, having a low-quality product photo will severely impact your sales.

The reason you may be noticing your Etsy sales dropping is that you have poor-quality website images and product photos. Your Etsy photos may also be pixelated or boring. A great tool to use to spice up your images is to use Canva. It’s free and perfect for people with little to no graphic design experience.

8. Update Listings and Product Descriptions

One way to stop Etsy shop sales from dropping is to regularly update and maintain your listings. This tip fits into your Etsy SEO but it’s something that you need to pay close attention to. The best part is that you can update your listings and product descriptions today!

In fact, you can use the Etsy Stats tool to see exactly what keywords are performing well. That being said, the stats tool is not the end-all-be-all. For optimal listing SEO, you need to do more in-depth analysis and research as well as use tools and software specifically designed to increase your Etsy page visibility and deliver massive growth.

9. Have a Memorable Slogan

Here’s one that most people won’t tell you. Your Etsy shop should have a catchy and memorable slogan that you have throughout your website. Don’t think this is going to help? Well, take a look at your competitors. Your products are similar if not the same and you may even have a similar-looking visual aesthetic. What’s stopping a customer from buying their products and services instead of yours?

If a customer doesn’t remember your Etsy brand then you can expect sales to continuously drop. Give your customers a unique part of your brand to remember and show them what makes you special!

10. Offer Discounts and Giveaways

The quickest and most effective way to stop your Etsy sales from dropping is to offer discounts, sales, and giveaways periodically throughout the year. Everyone is already used to Holiday sales so kick it up a notch and surprise your customers with discounts during the off-season.

A good practice is to notify your customers of an Etsy site-wide sale whenever you notice sales dropping for more than 2 weeks at a time.

A good discount rate is anything above 20% or more than $5 to $10. Most consumers won’t care for anything less. If your margins can support a sale price above 20% then go for it! You can kill two birds with one stone by offering an initial sale price of 20% and then an additional 5% if they opt-in for email newsletters or to your Facebook Messenger list.

One thing you could also do is host monthly giveaways. Not only will this encourage people to visit your Etsy shop but you get your products in the hands of more people which will inevitably lead to more exposure and long-term growth.

When sales drop on an Etsy shop it’s simply no fun. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to avoid diminishing sales in the long term especially if you aren’t following the guide above. If you want to know more about how you can stop your Etsy store from losing sales follow us on social. If you are really serious about your business on Etsy and want to take it to the next level through data-driven exponential growth contact us today!


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Sale Samurai Team
Sale Samurai Team

Sale Samurai is your all-in-one tool for massive Etsy growth. With thousands of users and years of e-commerce experience, Sale Samurai is built by sellers with the data and analytics in mind that you need for a successful Etsy shop. Start with a free account to explore how Sale Samurai can help expand your business today.

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