5 Things To Ignore on Etsy

Etsy is a great platform for selling to the whole world. It is the 35th most visited website in the United States, and the 132nd most visited website in the World. And it has more potential to grow. 

But Etsy can often give you bad advice when it comes to managing your Etsy Shop. Based on a lot of research and experience, here are the Top 5 Things to avoid when using Etsy.


1. ETSY BLOGS

Etsy has a lot of Blogs to give you advice about how to run an Etsy Shop.  Probably like you, I have read them as well. And over the past 2 years, I have found that almost all of it is useless advice. The Blog Posts are usually not written by Etsy Shop Owners who have a track record of success. They are usually written by employees of Etsy, who have not actually made any sales. Their ideas are theoretical, and not based on real experience. I highly recommend not wasting much time reading their Blog, except for the occasional Case Study about a real shop that has a lot of sales. The successful Etsy Shop owners are the people you should listen to and study.

 

2. ETSY FORUMS

Just like Etsy Blogs, Etsy Forums are full of conversations between people who generally do not run a successful Etsy shop. They may have a couple hundred sales, and feel good about themselves, but the truth is that these people are spending more time chit-chatting on Forums, and not spending that time trying to get more sales. The successful business owners are spending time on their business, not on Forums.

 

3. ETSY TREASURIES

We get featured in at least 10 treasuries per day. Most of them are from other Etsy Shop owners thinking that they will get more attention through Treasuries. The good news is that these Etsy Shop Owners are not your competitors, because they are wasting their time on something that leads to no sales whatsoever. Out of 1,300,000 views we've ever had on our Etsy Shop, only 4,443 views have come from Treasuries.  That is 0.3% of all Traffic we have ever gotten. In summary, do not spend any time thinking about, looking at, or creating Treasuries. 

 

4. ETSY SHOP UPDATES

This is a new feature from Etsy that allows Shop Owners to post visual updates about their Shop through the Etsy Seller App. It's a great idea, and something that may end up being a good tool in the future. But after doing several tests, trials, errors, and studies, we have found that it does not lead to much traffic right now. Probably because it's so new that Etsy users are still looking at Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for social media inspiration. Keep this feature in mind, and try it out a few times. But don't spend much time on it, as it seems to be a bad use of your time and resources. Using good Keywords are still a much better way to get people to your Shop. 

 

5. ETSY FAVORITES (BOTH GOOD & BAD)

Etsy Favorites are clearly not a bad tool for customers.  When an Etsy Shopper is looking for items they like, it's easy for them to add an item to their Favorites to save for later. However, Favorites do not lead directly to sales. Some of our best-selling items have very few favorites. And only 2% of our Etsy Traffic comes from views deriving from someone's Favorite List.  Instead of thinking about Favorites, worry more about Views. Views are a much more important indicator of how successful your item is, because it means someone actually took the time to look at your item closely. Etsy users can "Favorite" an item very quickly without ever actually looking at the item. That is why some Etsy shops only have 500 Sales, but they have 10,000 Followers. Their products look great and seem inspiring, but no one actually buys them. But the more people view your items and shop pages, the higher chances you have of getting a sale.  So do not ignore Favorites altogether, but don't spend too much time over-analyzing them either.

Your Etsy Traffic Should Come From Real Etsy Customers

A big problem I often see with newer Etsy Shops is that they spend a lot of time trying to get their items featured in Treasuries, or Favorited a lot. But what really matters is getting natural Keyword searches, which then leads to natural page views to your Etsy Shop from real Etsy Customers.

Instead of spending your time on Etsy Treasuries, Forums or Favorites, look at your Etsy Shop Stats and see where your traffic is coming from. Most of your Traffic source should be within Your Shop, Your Listings, and Searches, because those kinds of views are where real Etsy Customers are. 

For instance, below is a chart of all of our Etsy traffic.  62% of all traffic to and within our Etsy Shop occur within the Shop, Other Listings, and Etsy Searches. That's where the action is happening, and that's the kind of views you want to see because those are the ones that actually lead to sales. 

Below is an example of the traffic we've gotten to our Etsy Shop in the last 12 months. 

So here's what you need to focus on:

  • Improving your keywords & using a broader range of keywords
  • If you're playing Etsy Games, or Treasury Games, or Favorite Games - Stop immediately.
  • Focus on optimizing your Etsy Shop layout so that customers can quickly find your best sellers.
  • Make your product images compelling and interesting so that customers actually want to click on them.

Stop Making These 5 Etsy Shop Mistakes

I've spoken with hundreds of Etsy Shop owners, and helped them with easy ways on how to improve their shop. After reviewing many of their stores, there are 5 common issues I am seeing with Etsy Sellers right now that you ought to address with your own Etsy Shop immediately:

1. Stop using the same keywords over and over
It seems like most Etsy Shops use the same keywords over and over.  I have had numerous Etsy Sellers come to me and say "I am not seeing an increase in sales!" Then, I look at their Etsy Shop and they are using the same words on every single product. You must, must, must use new and different keywords and keyword combinations on your products. Stop getting stuck on using the same words!

For instance, I see Etsy Shops using the same word, like "Blue Dress"  "Blue Dress"  "Blue Dress" over and over. But there are so many other things you could do, like "Navy Dress"  "Blue Skirt"  "Turquoise Dresses" "Dress Blue" "Blue Evening Dress" and so on. These are subtle differences, but it makes a huge impact on helping Etsy Customers find your Etsy Listings faster through Keywords. 

2. Don't create a ton of products when you have very few sales
In the early stages of your Etsy Shop, it can be very tempting to make a billion Etsy Items. If you spend too much time on Product Development, you are neglecting other areas of your shop, such as: Shop Optimization, better Product Descriptions, analyzing your Stats, improving your Keywords, providing good Customer Service. You must balance your time between each of these things.  If You have 800 Items, but only 100 Sales, you have too many items! People will look at your shop, and say "Why are you making so many designs that no one buys?"  And then they will leave your Etsy Shop and find a different shop that is more successful. So you need to grow slowly. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 1 Sale for every Item you have.  For instance, 50 Sales and 50 Items is perfect.  At that point, you know you can make a couple new items based off of your best sellers.  In the very beginning, it is okay to have 50 Items and no Sales, but don't keep making more items. If you are not getting sales, you need to focus your time on other areas of your Etsy Shop, and not just keep pounding out new designs that no one will buy. 

3. Don't expect overnight success
You may have been working hard on your Etsy Shop for the last 1 or 2 months and say, "I haven't seen a big increase in View or Sales."  And that is okay. Your Etsy Shop is going to take time, and you are going to learn for many years to come. However, you should set your expectations to be realistic.  If you implement changes over time, and do it intelligently, with a plan, you should expect to see a realistic growth of maybe 10-20% each month, but not overnight success.  We have seen some Etsy Shops that have had wild success after using our Guide, which is great. But our Etsy Guide is a tool for good information, and it does not replace the need for you to critically think and analyze your own Etsy Shop. You must have a plan, and you must write out your own plan, and expect to see slow, steady growth each month.  It is not going to happen overnight. 

4. Make your product descriptions easier to understand
This is an easy one, but with lots of Etsy Shops, I am seeing big blocks of tons of text in their Etsy Listings. Here is a news flash: No one is going to read it!  You need to make it easy for someone to read, and to be able to read it very quickly. People need to understand what your item is within 5 seconds or less. Which means, use less text, use bullet points, and use the most simple language you can possibly use. Keep it simple! Help your customers understand what they are buying! 

5. Learn from your past mistakes and past successes
This one is really important, and is a concept you must use for any business. When you are successful and make a sale, you need to use that information to tell you: "You Are Doing The Right Thing - Keep Doing More of This".  If something you are doing is not working, Stop Doing It! For instance, we get featured in a Treasury probably 10 Times per day.  I look at that person's Etsy Shop (because everyone who has a Treasury has an Etsy Shop) and they have maybe 50 Sales in the last 2 years.  These people keep doing Treasuries over and over. I think they are trying to get Sales from it or something. NEWS FLASH: It's not working! They need to stop doing treasuries and do something else. But it seems like in their mind they are thinking, "If I just do 1,000 Treasuries, then that will be enough."  No!  If it doesn't work within a few days or even in a few weeks, stop doing it. Try something else. Build off of your successes. Stop doing the same things over and over that are not working. Keep learning something new every day. And write those things down so you don't forget! 

Spend Your Time Wisely On Etsy

When I speak with Etsy Sellers, I find that many of them tend to focus most of their attention on 1 aspect of their Etsy Shop. It's either a hyper-focus on redoing their keywords, making more products, or worrying about Views & Stats.

Based on my experience selling on Etsy, I personally believe it is not good to focus on just one aspect on your Etsy Shop too much.  Instead, you want to evenly divide your time between all the tasks that are needed to build a good Etsy Shop.

When getting your Etsy Shop off the ground and built up to your first 200 Sales, there are 5 main things you want to equally spread your time on with Etsy, with each area using an equal 20% of your daily efforts. They are:

1. Improving your Keywords (20%)
2. Optimizing your Shop's Layout (20%)
3. Improving your Listing Descriptions, Policies & About Sections (20%)
4. Improving your Listing Designs & Photography (20%)
5. Analyzing your Stats & Analytics (20%)

If you are neglecting any of these 5 areas, or spending too much time on one aspect of these 5 areas, then you are going to see slow growth in Etsy, and you'll be likely wasting your time. 

To help you ensure that you are growing your Etsy Shop in the right direction, ask yourself the following question to see where you are at right now with your Etsy Shop:

  • Do you have more products than you have sales?  If you have 100 Items in your Etsy Shop, but only 20 Sales - slow down!  You are not spending enough time keywords, listing descriptions, quality product design, and analyzing your Stats.
  • Do you have more than 50 items, but no sales?  Spend more time on keywords before making new products. Make sure your listing descriptions are clear and helpful. Make sure your Shop Policies are concise and not to strict. No one wants to buy from a strict Etsy Shop that won't offer refunds if something goes wrong.
  • Are people even viewing your Items or favoriting them?  Make sure your Etsy products are beautiful, inspiring and high quality. Even if your Etsy Listings show up in keyword searches, if your photos and designs are not beautiful, people will not bother to click on them and view your items more closely. 

As you work to get your first 200 Sales on Etsy, keep track of your work, set out daily to do lists, and get in the habit of spending your time wisely.