Looking To The New Year on Etsy

With Christmas just a few days away, Holiday sales on Etsy are pretty much over with. Everyone will be doing their last-minute shopping at places like Walmart and Target to get cheap, last-minute gifts. 

The great news is that people get back onto Etsy very quickly right after the New Year starts, and now is the perfect time to plan ahead and think about how to optimize your Etsy Shop for January. 

Most items that do well in January typically include things related to New Years Resolutions and a lot more focus on the consumer's own identity, rather than focused on giving gifts to other people. Things that sell well in January typically include:

  • Fitness & Health - especially trying to lose weight after all the Christmas party dinners
  • Calendars & Planners - to focus on the new year ahead
  • Academic & School Items - as students head back to school
  • Spring Fashion - people start looking to see what the warmer-weather clothing trends will be in March
  • Home Decor - there's usually a surge in redecorating the home after Christmas ends

If your Etsy Shop focuses on any of these items, it's already time to gear up for January and optimize your shop to focus on these New Year trends. For our own Etsy Shop, January is always the biggest month of the year for sales, so we're anticipating the trend to continue. 

Until then, we hope you have a great Christmas and New Year, and we'll be back to continue sending you topics for selling on Etsy next week! 

- Justin & Melinda

 

Get Your Etsy Shop Ready For Holiday Sales Now

Most businesses see their biggest sales surge in November and December. The Holidays are always an exciting time for people to do Christmas decorating, buy some new clothing for colder weather, and order wine, food, new tableware and gifts for the Holidays. 

Just like many other businesses, Etsy tends to see a surge of traffic from November 15th to December 26th, and that surge slowly decreases during the month of January, and then the buzz of holiday sales normalizes by February.

If you are serious about growing your Etsy Shop, right now is the time to make the necessary changes to take advantage of Holiday Sales. Just because the holidays are here, it does not mean that Etsy Customers will automatically flock to your Etsy Shop. In fact, last November, I did not make the appropriate changes necessary and saw the absolute worst month we've ever had on our Etsy Shop. I didn't put in any extra time, and I didn't optimize my Etsy Shop for the holidays. The absolute worst thing you can do right now for your Etsy Shop is to do nothing. So don't simply assume that your Etsy Sales are going to increase. You're going to have to work extra hard to make sure your Etsy Shop thrives during this crucial time. 

Here's what you need to do: 

  • Continue to focus on your best sellers. Most people who buy things during the Holidays are not necessarily Holiday-related items. So keep promoting your best sellers and items with high conversion rates.
  • Prepare your Black Friday discount. Almost all holiday shoppers are looking for good deals. So if you do not offer an enticing deal, you may miss out on selling opportunities. Just because Etsy focuses on handmade, unique items, doesn't mean that people are going to forget about cost. People have a lot of purchases to make during the Holidays, so they will be looking to save money as often as possible. In fact, most Holiday Shoppers expect to be enticed by great deals. According to sales studies, over 80% of Holiday Shoppers shop exclusively with places that offer a unique deal.
  • Extend your discounts to be a bit before and after Black Friday. Especially for online sales, people will be looking for discounts from now until about December 1st. So, most people will not necessarily make purchases on Black Friday, but also during the Weekend afterwards, as well as Monday and Tuesday. So be prepared to optimize your Etsy Shop for the entire week of Black Friday. 
  • Be prepared for Sales to slow down right around December 10th, unless you offer Rush Shipping for the holidays. The closer we get to Christmas, the more likely people will be doing their shopping in person. For instance, sales on Amazon.com peak from November 25th to December 10th, while sales at places like Walmart and Target peak around Black Friday, as well as just days before Christmas for last-minute shopping. So in order to ensure your sales do not decrease as we get closer to Christmas, make sure to implement rush one-day shipping. Make sure you figure out which mail carrier you will use for rush shipping, and how much it's going to cost to offer that as an option. Otherwise, I guarantee you will see sales slow down from December 1st to December 25th. People don't want to take a risk with slow shipping during the holidays. 
  • Re-design your Etsy Shop for a Holiday feel. Right now, colors like Black, White, Silver and Gold help people feel like it's the holidays. You don't need to do anything dramatic, but nice touches to get people in the Holiday Spirit can help people feel encouraged to Shop with you instead of someone else. Remember that very small branding details and touches actually do make a difference when it comes to increasing sales. 

The Holidays are here, so right now is the time to make these changes. Don't wait any longer to figure these things out, and remember to work extra hard during November, December and January, and push yourself to have some of your best months ever on Etsy.

Talk With Your Etsy Customers

One thing I often forget to do is ask my Etsy Customers what they thought about their purchase.

I can easily come up with new ideas for new products or changes to make to my overall Etsy shop. But without talking directly to my customers, I'm always just guessing about what next step to take. 

I recently decided to make a new Customer Survey regarding our Etsy Shops' physical Premium Print artwork. I sent the survey out to about 50 customers. In total, 6 of them replied.

These 6 customers gave me feedback that was incredibly helpful. They told me they were looking for prints that were larger than what I currently offer, as well as more horizontally-oriented art options. Almost every single customer said the same thing. And for our Etsy shop, I have not offered those options at all. Every time I do a customer survey, I learn a ton of new things I never could have guessed on my own. 

What I recommend for your own Etsy Shop is that roughly every 3 months, you should send out some sort of Customer Survey to your previous customers. Even if you only have 10 Sales on your Etsy Shop, you can still try out Customer Surveys to learn what you need to work on in order to get more Etsy Sales. Even getting 1 reply back is better than nothing. This way, you are asking questions towards people who have actually spent money on your products - and that kind of information is extremely valuable. 

Here are 4 Tips that I have seen work best for Customer Surveys: 

  1. Offer an incentive for the survey, like a coupon code or a chance to win a free product from your Etsy Shop.
  2. Send it out to about 20 Customers and see if you get any responses back. If you don't get any responses, your offer may not be compelling, or your questions may be too long and too confusing. After your refine and improve your Survey, send a new one out to another 20 Customers. This way, you can learn to perfect your Survey, rather than just sending out 1 to everyone at once.
  3. Keep it to roughly 2-5 questions. The shorter it is, the more likely they will answer.
  4. Ask questions that are crucial to the issues you need to figure out. Don't ask things like "Did you like your order?" or "Would you recommend our shop to a friend?" Those kinds of questions are completely pointless. You want to ask things like "What was something you were looking for that you did not find on my Etsy Shop," or "What was the most difficult and frustrating experience you had with your Etsy Order." These are just examples. But you want to ask questions that really get to the heart of things that your Etsy Shop desperately needs in order to change and improve. 

Whenever I feel stuck, I always turn back to doing Customer Surveys. They are one of the best ways to get you motivated to fix the problems that your Etsy Shop is not addressing. 

If you're unsure how to send out customer surveys, the two easiest options are to simply write customers through Etsy Conversations or to set up a survey web page on a website such as SurveyMonkey.com. 

I hope this helps! Now, keep at it and continue to improve your Etsy Shop! 

 

Make Etsy Items That People Actually Want To Buy

I'd like to go over something that I do not address enough, and that is Product Development. 

The more I sell on Etsy, the more I realize over and over that selling on Etsy requires two very essential components: 

  1. You absolutely must understand Keywords and how to use them properly on Etsy.
  2. Like any business, you need to sell things on Etsy that people actually want to spend money on.

When you connect Keywords with Good Designs on Etsy, you get Sales. There are so many ways to market your products on Etsy, such as Promoted Listings, Instagram, Pinterest, and Newsletters. But Keywords should always be priority #1 as your main marketing strategy. 

But having good Keywords doesn't matter if no one likes your Etsy products.

So don't be offended if you have ugly Etsy products and you know it. Instead, I am instead going to offend myself by telling you a story about one of my biggest failures on Etsy. 

 

Here's my story about selling on Etsy

In 2010, I started my first Etsy Shop. I thought it was awesome that there was a website that focused on helping individuals sell creative, independent items online. 

I sold minimalist, very rectangular, geometric paintings, in various colors. I sold a grand total of 1 painting on Etsy. The lady was from Florida, and she said the painting matched perfectly with her home decor. It was the blue painting shown below. I was so excited to get a Sale, and I figured that at least someone else would buy something too! 

I had about 8 paintings all together on my Etsy Shop, and in order to try to get a sale, I lowered my prices from about $400 USD to about $150 USD per painting and included free shipping.  Little did I realize that it would cost $75 USD to ship the item. And then after subtracting the cost of the canvas, painting, packaging materials, and the roughly 8 hours it took to make the painting, I was basically making no money at all. 

I had no clue what I was doing, and after 6 months, I gave up. I had all these other paintings available for sale, like the green painting shown below. Personally, I really, really like this design. The problem is that no one else likes it and no one wants to spend their money on it. When I look at it now, it's probably because of the ugly green color. No one uses green to decorate their home, especially in a modernist home. But I thought the design was cool, so shouldn't at least 1 other person like this design? 

The thing that I did not realize back in 2010, is that I am not creating things for myself on Etsy. Instead, I am creating things for other people. And they are paying me to make it for them. But what I kept doing was making things that only I liked, and I didn't try to figure out my own target customers and cater designs towards their knees. I should have continued to develop products based on my Blue Painting - but I didn't do that at all. I ignored what a customer bought, and continued on my own path. 

Your goal on Etsy is to sell things that other people want. But you're a creative person & you'll want to make things that you like, too. If you want to just be a business person, then you sell on Amazon or Ebay. But just like selling on other online platforms, your goal should always be to make money and sell things that other people want.

Six years later on Etsy, I finally created a modernist painting design that both I like and lots of other customers on Etsy like, too. Below is a black and white abstract painting I made and it has sold hundreds of times.

In terms of style, it's minimalist, it's a painting, and it is sort of like the designs I did in 2010. The difference is that people are willing to pay money for this design. And they can find me on Etsy through the use of good, clean, simple Keywords. 

Why do people like this design? I have no clue. I have some theories, though:

  • Modernist design is much, much more popular today than it was 6 years ago.
  • Black & White is so much easier to match to a home than blue or green is.
  • I've figured out a way to lower the cost of my designs.
  • I've also realized that it's hard to sell very large paintings, like my original 24" x 48" paintings because they are so expensive. Now, our best seller is a much more affordable 8" x 10" print. 
  • I've also learned a ton about Keywords in the last 6 years, and this helps me get my artwork in front of more people. 

So the whole point of this story is to tell you one main piece of advice: It doesn't matter what you like. It matters what your customers like!  And you need to find a way to create things that both you and other people enjoy at the same time. That way, you have fun doing it, and you get to make money at the same time. 

So learn from my mistakes. Get over yourself and what you like. And start making things that other people are going to enjoy. 

Get More Etsy Keyword Searches Every Week

A healthy shop on Etsy continues to get regular visits through Keyword Searches. 

And the best way to continue to get more Sales, is to get more Views to your shop on a regular basis.

Here's an easy way to see if your Keyword Views are effective and increasing. We will calculate your Etsy Shop's Average Daily Keyword Views with these 4 easy steps:


1. First, go to your Stats page at:
https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/YourShopName/stats

2. Next, scroll down to "Traffic Sources" and click "Search" under the "Within Etsy" column.

3. Next, you will see how many Keyword Searches you've received within the last 30 Days once you click on "For: Last 30 Days." For instance, in the image below, our Etsy Shop has gotten 46,799 Views.  Of those, 5,153 views came from Keyword Searches. 

4. Next, find out the Average Daily Keyword Views you get per day by dividing your total number of "Search" Views by 30 Days. For instance, 5,153 Views divided by 30 is about 171 Search Views per Day. 

Once you find out how many Average Daily Keyword Views you are getting per day, you can then set a goal to continue to increase those views by making simple improvements to your Etsy Shop every day. 

Since our own Etsy Shop gets 171 Keyword Views per day right now, our goal is to continually and slowly move this number up higher and higher each week byupdating best-selling items that are currently getting 5 Keyword Views or less within the last 30 Days. 

Knowing your Average Daily Keyword Views can help you establish a baseline for where you should be at each day, and aim to grow this number daily. Don't expect you daily Keywords to double all of a sudden. Instead, plan to make small, incremental growth every week so that you're making calculated, planned, and logical steps in growing your Etsy Shop, rather than leave it to chance. 

If you see that your Keyword Views are getting lower or staying the same, then you know the work you are doing on your Keywords is not improving, and you need to try a new strategy. 

Generally, the best way to improve your Keyword Views is to continue to think of brand new Keyword Ideas, research new and emerging styles, and experiment with Keywords to find the right combination and match them with the correct Etsy Listing in your Etsy Shop.

It can be a lot of work, but there is no better strategy to grow your Etsy Shop than to master Keywords.