These days, it’s not enough to just be a great artist or maker.
If you want to sell your products online, you have to learn how to run a business and do the marketing right.
If you’re an Etsy seller or you’re interested in starting a shop, keep reading!
I’m going to share with you the 4 most common mistakes that creatives make with their Etsy shop, which could be costing you sales.
I will help you fix those issues, and position your shop to make a lot more sales!
Hi, my name is Mei Pak and I help makers, artists and designers make a living selling their products online.
I recently made a video on how we made over $200,000 on Etsy in just four months.
Just like in that video, I need to preface this one as well.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I don’t recommend you focus your time on an Etsy shop, but that you should focus on your own website instead.
Etsy is a great place as a different stream of income and sales, but it shouldn’t be your primary stream of income.
Having said that, let’s dive into the four most common mistakes I see with Etsy shops.
1. Your Customer
The first mistake I see is sellers don’t really know who is going to buy their product.
This is SO important because it helps you price your product and personalize everything in your listing towards that person.
This makes them feel your listing was created just for them.
Etsy is growing each year and with over 2.5 million sellers it’s too easy to blend in with everyone else.
If you’ve read my other posts which show you how the Etsy algorithm works, you’ll know that standing out from the crowd is super important.
That’s where knowing your ideal customer comes in.
Have you ever bought something where you felt like it was made just for you? Everything about that shopping experience and the product really resonated with you?
- product itself
- the way the product description was written
- the product photos
- the shop’s brand colors
- the way the seller responded to your messages
You were that shop’s ideal customer!
So, turn the tables. Think about who your ideal customers are.
- Earn a modest living or are you aiming your products at people with large disposable incomes?
- Work full time?
- Read? What do they read?
- Like bright colors or monotone?
- Like lots of furniture and stuff or are they minimalist?
When you start to think more about who your ideal customer is, getting your products to stand out, appeal to them and make sales becomes so much easier.
Have you ever applied for a job with one resume or CV but applied for a different job with a different resume because the normal one wasn’t specifically relevant to the company?
Writing your listings is the same here.
The more you know who your ideal customers are, the better you can personalize your products and listings to them.
And the more likely you are to make sales.
2. Product Photos
Think of these as your shop window.
If you don’t like the shop window or there’s nothing special or interesting about it, you don’t go into the shop.
Your shop window must clearly showcase what your product is and how it’s different.
Most listings on Etsy for a particular keyword search show you a ton of listings that all look the same, more or less.
But they’re all from different shops.
How does a potential buyer make the choice to click on one listing over the other?
They’ll likely pick the listing that fits within their price range.
But if the prices were all about the same, the customer will choose the listing that stands out to them the most.
So what can you do to make sure your photos are different from other shops that are selling something similar?
I’ve got a great two-part video series about taking product photos here so you can check that out for photography tips.
3. Your Keywords
That brings me to the third mistake – not learning how to do SEO and keyword research.
It’s one of those tasks that creatives put off but with how big online marketplaces are getting it’s really important even if you have the most unique and best product ever.
I can’t stress this enough.
Your product will not sell itself.
You need to get it seen by potential ideal customers and one way to do that is by making sure your listings are appearing in Etsy search.
How do you do that? By adding keywords to your listings that you know your ideal customers are searching for to find a product like yours.
There’s no surefire way to know what those keywords will be.
That’s why this is an iterative process that requires patience, testing, and being organized with what you’ve tested and what worked and what didn’t.
A keyword that works for one shop, may not work great for you.
This is truly a personal thing you have to do on your own.
For doing Etsy SEO, we like using Erank. They have a free version so you can test it out.
It’s great for doing keyword research because it gives you a ton of data that Etsy itself doesn’t show you.
Although to get access to the cool keyword data features like search volume, Etsy competition, search trends and so on, you will need a paid account.
But it’s well worth it if you know how to use the tool.
Basically, the concept of doing keyword research is the same regardless of what platform you’re doing it for, whether that’s for Etsy, Amazon, or Google search.
You want to select keywords that have high search volume.
This means a lot of buyers are using that keyword in Etsy search, but you also want the keyword to also have low competition.
That’s when not a lot of other shops are using the same keyword.
Of course, everyone is doing exactly that so it can be quite challenging to find good keywords that match that criteria.
The next best thing is to use long-tail keywords that have lower search volume and low competition.
As you can see, based on what I’ve been talking about, it’s a process of research and a lot of patience but it’s super important that you do this right.
4. Customer Service
Mistake number four is not prioritizing customer service on Etsy.
I’ve always believed that customer service is super important, but it’s even more so on Etsy.
Etsy has specific requirements that you, as a seller, need to follow in order to stay on Etsy’s good side.
You will get penalized for providing poor customer service repeatedly.
For example, if you have too many open orders that are late and haven’t shipped yet, or if you keep getting less than five-star feedback, those things will reflect poorly on your shop.
Etsy does pay attention.
It’s a slippery slope and the further down you go, your Etsy listings can suddenly stop appearing in Etsy search and you can stop getting any traffic.
A more common customer service problem I’ve seen is sellers who respond super slowly.
You would ideally respond to messages within 24 hours, anything beyond that, and customers tend to get pretty upset or lose trust in you as a seller.
Another common issue is not going above and beyond to help your customer out.
- a customer says their package didn’t arrive
- it was crushed
- the item wasn’t a color they liked
- or the size didn’t fit them
I’ve seen lots of sellers make the mistake of becoming defensive and not want to help because it costs money to address the situation.
Whether that’s with remaking the product and shipping out a new one or giving a refund or exchange.
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and think about how you would like to be treated if you were the customer.
Because I have a healthy profit margin, I can afford to remake and reship orders on my own dime if it means making a customer happy.
Remember that whatever experience they have with your shop is what they’ll walk away with.
And you don’t want the last thing they think about to be something negative.
Then they’ll never buy from you again, or worse, they’ll tell everyone they know not to buy from you.
If you found these tips helpful or have any suggestions of your own leave a comment below. As always thanks for reading!
And don’t foget to check out my YouTube Channel for more great handmade business tips and tricks.