Handmade items are the core offering on Etsy. The marketplace attracts shoppers specifically interested in authentic, vintage, and craft items. It’s, therefore, the best place for positioning your handmade masterpieces. But before you can proceed to marketing your items and scoring sales, it’s worth thinking about one key element – user intent.
Are shoppers predominantly browsing for handmade gifts, or are Etsy purchases intended for personal use?
Let’s find out.
Perhaps the best way to approach the question of how handmade products are positioned on Etsy is to examine the bestsellers.
A look into what the top-performing listings are doing will reveal how attractive handmade gifts are vs handmade items for personal use. By discovering this answer, you can create items guaranteed to attract interest. As a result, you can increase traffic to your listings, convert it into sales, and achieve higher sales numbers.
So let’s glance at the top 10 bestsellers who use the keyword “handmade”. We used Sale Samurai to perform our research and discovered the following listings:
A quick glance at these titles suggests that most products are designed for personal use rather than gifts.
Why? Because only two of the ten top-selling listings include the word “gift” in their titles.
But how popular and profitable are these listings? The majority of listings sell for more than $30 – a price far below the market average for handmade items, which is $87. However, some are positioned near this price point, while others are even higher, reaching prices of more than $120. With all listings recording more than 1,000 sales, it’s safe to say they’re all profitable.
However, we noticed that the few listings intended for gifts had generated the most sales. For example, the “Girls Happy Birthday Gymnast card Handmade and personalised/ daughter/ goddaughter/ Granddaughter/ niece/ sister/cousin/ friend/ 5th/8th” listing has more than 55,000 sales, and the “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Clause, Christmas Gift, Newspaper Article, Virginia OHanlon, Art Print, 1897 Sun Article, Francis P. Church” has more than 16,000.
This is much more than the other listings from the list, which have mostly landed between 2,000 and 4,000 sales each.
The recommendation here is to go for handmade items for personal use if you’re looking for consistent sales volumes. Creating a well-rounded gift can be extremely lucrative, but at only 20% of top 10 bestsellers, such items are risky to say the least.
To be more certain of the positioning of handmade items it’s also necessary to perform keyword research.
Keyword research will enable you to determine the search volume for specific niche-related keywords. In other words, you’ll know how many shoppers are interested in either “handmade” or “handmade gift”. In addition, you’ll be able to see how competitive these keywords are. As a result, you’ll have insights into how quickly you can expect to rank for the chosen tags.
Last but not least, a look into the tags used by bestsellers for listing optimization purposes will show you what the competition is doing to attract buyers.
In regards to keywords, let’s start with a basic overview. We used the Basic Search feature in Sale Samurai to check how keywords like “handmade” and handmade gifts” performed on the marketplace.
We discovered that “handmade” has a search volume of 26,210 and more than 50,000 competition. Some of the top related keywords that shoppers search for include “handmade clothing”, “handmade furniture”, “handmade jewelry”, “handmade mug”, and “pottery handmade ”.
On the other hand, the keyword “handmade gift” only receives a search volume of 21 on a monthly basis. At the same time, it also has a competition of more than 50,000. What does this mean? More sellers are competing for a small target audience, browsing for handmade gifts. This makes it very difficult to gain market share, especially if you’re a new entrant in the niche.
From our list of ten bestsellers, we uncovered that a few had positioned their listings in the gifts space. But what tags do they use to attract shoppers interested in handmade items for a present?
Let’s explore one of the chart-topping listing – the “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Clause, Christmas Gift, Newspaper Article, Virginia OHanlon, Art Print, 1897 Sun Article, Francis P. Church”.
One of the tags utilized here is “Christmas Gift”, which has a monthly search volume of 60. Although not strictly related to handmade, it’s a sub-niche that the sellers have taken advantage of to get in front of more buyers.
A similar scenario can be observed with another item from the list – the “Ring Box Double, Ring Bearer Box, Handmade Ring Box, Wedding Ring Box, Engagement Ring Box”. Although the user can’t see any gift-based words in the title, the seller has optimized the listing for tags like “bridal gift”. Again, the word isn’t necessarily connected to a handmade item, but in combination with the rest of the tags used, it becomes apparent that the intent of this product is to serve as a handmade gift.
Overall, the majority of the other top 10 listings don’t use gift-related tags. Instead, the focus is on different handmade niches, which target personal-use items.
In conclusion to our research, we recommend exploring the personal use handmade niche rather than the handmade gifts market.
Handmade items created for personal use receive substantial attention from shoppers. The market is well-developed and competitive, but with high demand – you can easily grow your Etsy business quickly and efficiently.
Remember that handmade items could be highly diverse. Use Sale Samurai to pinpoint narrow handmade sub-niches that will give you a competitive advantage and be rewarded with higher sales volumes.