SELLING ON ETSY: HOW TO MAKE YOUR ETSY SHOP STAND OUT

Thursday, October 01, 2015


It's almost been two years since my last Selling on Etsy post and to say a lot has changed would be an under statement. I've got lots of opinions on Etsy and some day I'll share those with you (including why I've basically broken up with them) but for today, let's talk more about how to make Etsy work for you. 

Hands down, each and every week my post Selling on Etsy: How to Set Yourself Apart is the most viewed post on this blog. You can head over and read that post too, if you like, but I'm going to recap it here as well as make some changes and add a few new tips because as I stated above, a lot has changed when it comes to selling on Etsy.


Shop featured in image above is One Swell Studio.

01 | BUILD YOUR BRAND, NOT ETSY'S

One of the hardest things to do as an Etsy seller is establishing a lasting relationship with your customers. This is because Etsy buyers often lump shops into one category. When asked where they got a particular item, instead of sharing the shop or artist's information, they simply say the item was purchased from Etsy. This is why you MUST go the extra mile. You have to leave a lasting impression with your customer so they come back to YOU again and again.

WAYS TO BUILD YOUR BRAND:

 CONSISTENT VISUAL BRANDING  Do you have a professional logo, set color palette and font library? From your Etsy banner to inserts sent with your packages, you should be visually communicating your brand message consistently.

 CREATE A UNIQUE DOMAIN  This one is super easy and for generally around $10, it's very affordable. If you're not quite ready for your own home base on the web, go ahead and lock down your desired URL before someone else snatches it up. Link it to your Etsy shop and now when someone asks you what you do for a living you don't have to include .etsy.com when giving out your shop URL. It will sound more professional and it will be easier for people to remember. Plus, your business cards will look much cleaner!

 GROW YOUR MAILING LIST  I'm not sure what the correct answer is on this because based on my research through the years I've seen different answers, BUT, the emails collected through your shop belong to Etsy, not you. Technically you're not supposed to add those emails to your newsletter list, so make sure you're asking them to sign up for your newsletter anywhere you can. Include the sign up link in any correspondence online or inserts sent with your packages. Ask your social media and blog followers to sign up as well. This will make your job so much easier when the time comes to launch your own online shop. You will need traffic, and lots of it. One of the best ways to do this is to reach out to your mailing list!

 GROW YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE  Social media can be intimidating, but if done right, it can be very successful, free advertising. Choose the top three platforms that you A. enjoy and will consistently post on and B. choose the ones your ideal customers are using. My favorite to use is Instagram. (Did you know I have an Instagram for the Creative Entrepreneur e-book?) Social media is the perfect place to create a lifestyle built around your products. People don't buy what you're selling, they buy why you're selling it. Let them get to know who you are. Show them around your studio. They want to see that sort of stuff and the more open you can be, the more you're able to create trust.

02 | CREATE AN ABOUT PAGE

Because Etsy doesn't give you much room for customization it's important you take advantage of all the areas in your shop to tell your story. One of these areas is the About page. You're able to share your bio, photos of yourself and behind the scenes, introduce team members and talk about the quality that goes into your products. I think Little Low Studio is a great example of an About page well done. If you haven't take the time to develop your About page, get to gettin'!



03 | SHOP ANNOUNCEMENT

Another area to take advantage of is your Shop Announcement. I would consider including a quick explanation here about what it is you're selling. Think SEO. What keywords are your potential customers using to search? Make sure you include those. I would also include any information regarding shipping delays and or shop policies and FAQs.

04 | PACKAGING

I know how special and excited I feel when I order something offline and the company goes that extra step to create beautiful packaging. I also know how disappointed I am when it just comes in the USPS Priority mailers. Bor-ing. Now, that packaging may be fine in some instances, so be sure to consider your brand and what you are selling. On the other hand, special packaging can be tricky because there is a fine line between having great packaging and customer experience and eating your profits. If you are going to have elaborate packaging, make sure you factor that in to the cost of the item.

WAYS TO SPRUCE UP YOUR PACKAGING:

 STICKERS  Stickers are an inexpensive way to add a little flair to your packages. You can put a sticker on the outside of your boxes, on the packaging of the product itself and you can even include stickers as swag for your customers.

 HANDWRITTEN NOTES  In this digital world we are living in, a handwritten note can go a long way. Write a quick note to your customers letting them know how much you appreciate their business. I know a few companies who not only send a note with each order but they also send a follow up card to their customers. Can you imagine how special this must make those customers feel and how much more likely are they going to be to make another purchase? Probably pretty likely because the company has shown interest in them and as made it clear they are valuable.

 FUN INSERTS  This can be anything from a branded desk print to a "share us on Instagram" prompt. Anytime you can include something extra the customer wasn't expecting it's sure to make an impression. Surprise and delight.

Tissue Paper  This will definitely take your packaging to the next level but again, keep in mine the cost of this extra delight. We use tissue paper but only when packaging our return address stamps. We do this because one, we have healthy margins and two, people purchasing these stamps are in an exciting season of life (getting married or moving into a new house) or they're purchasing a stamp as a gift.

05 | PRESS

This can be as simple as a mention in a blog post. I've had two products featured in Southern Living's Holiday Gift Guide (which was super fun and awesome) but what I wish I could repeat was the awesome opportunity that came my way with the Hunted Interior. I sent one of our Hey Y'all prints for a project she was working on and the post went viral. That post helped launch quite a few other features of the print and they Hey Y'all print literally single handedly paid my rent for two years. Who are some influencers, bloggers or Instagrammers, that would be a good fit for your brand? In what ways could you collaborate with them to get your products seen by their audience? Try to get more creative than just offering a giveaway. In my opinion this doesn't result in actual customers as many of the people paying attention to that sort of post and entering the giveaway are only interested in free stuff.

06 | EVOLVE

Look at and edit your shop listings daily. Make little tweaks here and there to constantly improve the quality of your shop and your customer's experience. Are you getting asked the same question about a product? Address that question in your listing. Pay attention to your stats and how people are stumbling upon your shop. Know what is working for you - what is selling, what is not and what doesn't speak to your brand. Get rid of products that aren't your best and sell items that you, yourself truly love. Don't be afraid to abort a project or product that isn't doing as well as you had hoped. (Hey even Blake Lively isn't too proud to do this.) Flexibility is key. This is going to be a learning process, but pay attention to your customers. They will be your best teachers.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SET YOURSELF APART ON ETSY?
I WANNA HEAR ABOUT IT, SO SOUND OFF IN THE COMMENTS!

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