Etsy is one of the most popular platforms for online merchants, with over sixty million products in its marketplace and total sales of more than $3B after the first three quarters of 2021. While many of its users sell their items to share their creative works or to supplement their income, some have converted their Etsy stores into full-time businesses.
Because of their incredible Etsy popularity, some shops have left Etsy and established their own internet presence. But how exactly did such amateur merchants become skilled entrepreneurs and turn their Etsy shops into thriving businesses? Here are a few things they did that might help you on your own journey to being the next success story.
Paying attention to metrics is a must. The back-end information your Etsy store will give you can be gold in the right mind. If you learn how to properly navigate what the numbers are telling you about what you sell, you can gain an advantage not everyone out there has. By examining previous sales, you can swiftly convert your ecommerce venture into a career. Using Etsy Stats to gather insight into the vintage market on the website and track client behavior is also a wonderful way for you to learn how to understand trends. Knowing what is working can be seen, learning what is emerging is a different sort of thing. But with your finger on the pulse of what is going on out there, you can learn in time how to predict certain trends.
Etsy Stats provides analytics for sellers’ shops, allowing them to analyze data such as traffic, orders, conversion rate, and revenue. You may also monitor how customers discovered you based on their visits to Etsy versus your site visits alone. You can use these technologies to track what types of products were selling on Etsy and at what price ranges, which can assist you in determining client demand. Use the marketplace’s statistics to determine the location of your clients and the keywords they used to reach your shop. You can then optimize your shop for search, reach new customers, and, ultimately, earn a profit with this knowledge.
But what to do about catching that customer’s eye in the first place? Superior photography of your items to market your goods is essential. It really is a simple thing yet so many ignore its importance: how can a potential new customer know if your product is great unless they can see it in its best (pun not intended) light? You can distinguish yourself and your products from other listings by using professional lighting, models, and photographers for each of your products. Analyze styling for every product regardless of what it is that you’re selling in addition to creating outstanding images.
Pay close attention to competitors selling comparable things on Etsy and evaluate what was and wasn’t working with their product images. Also, you might consider simply asking for feedback from friends and even other sellers that you know to determine if your product photographs are appealing.
(Above: unique pink LED’s for modular synth systems from FIN Studios, an Etsy seller with excellent customer service)
Apart from the products themselves and how they are presented, how you conduct yourself and your manner with customers is vital to growth and market success. It’s really the only way to provide exceptional customer service. Be open, friendly, and transparent with consumers and users, as well as during conversations with bloggers if you are lucky enough to be mentioned by them. Get yourself out there if you ever are approached by a vlog or a podcast and let people see the person they’ll be dealing with when they do business with your shop.
A personable demeanor will attract more people, it’s why celebrities do talk shows. What keeps these people coming back will be the excellent customer service provided by you through your Etsy shop. And while great customer service is a value in and of itself, there is additional advantage to providing that level of service: increased search ranking. To compute the business’s “customer and market experience score,” which impacts search placement, Etsy’s algorithm examines a shop’s customer service rating as well as whether the shop is in good standing with the marketplace’s policies. If you succeed in that, you’ll succeed when your shop is also on your own site.
You should also consider focusing on the individual parts of your particular industry rather than just the overall feel of it, and we mean the entire marketplace of what you sell. There can be a lot of opportunities out there for people who provide the things that others in your same community need. Someone who produces mirrors might never make a car, but car manufacturers rarely make a car without mirrors. You might want to carve out a unique niche for yourself by selling bulk supplies at inexpensive prices rather than finished products. People sell knitted items, but who is selling the yarn and the needles? Someone clearly does, and you could be that someone. Just one more way to really think outside the box on how to become a unique and successful seller.
Another thought on how to expand is to literally expand: expand what it is that you sell. Whatever it is that you’re selling, someone else might be only selling that same thing. So, diversify. Very often, it seems that in this type of online business people prefer to think linearly, selling the same product or service and simply spending additional hours to do more of it. Instead, why not go outside the box to see how you might use your skills and knowledge in innovative ways to generate additional money? Do you only sell handbags? Have you ever thought of selling all the things that people generally put in their handbags? In time, focusing on what else it is that you can sell or offer other people (and even other businesses) might be the very thing that sets you apart and brings in increased profits.
These are just some ideas of what you can do to get yourself to the level where you branch out into your full website store. And there’s not rule saying you cannot have both! Stay with Etsy as well, as many people will only go there to shop. Never cut your potential customer base, only ever grow it.