I can't even begin to tell you how EXCITED I am to be writing this blog, on THIS day! Why is today so special? Well... because I haven't written a blog for my website in exactly THREE YEARS! March 15th, 2014 was the last date I published a blog on this site. You might be wondering, what the heck was she doing the past 3 years! The answer, selling bracelets.
This business started without any real goals. I just wanted enough income to pay bills, eat, and purchase a few shoes now and then (I'm addicted). What resulted was a company that is growing faster than I can keep up with sometimes. I literally work 10+ hours most days, 7 days a week. I have hired contractors to assist in the daily processing of orders and other daily tasks but there is still SO MUCH to be done (a topic of another blog, coming soon, LOL!).
But let's talk about what I want to share with you today. I want to share the top 10 tips I used to build my business on Etsy and to finally make it to a double digit 30 day period. Over 10K! On Dec 16th, we reached our highest 30 day sale period of all time!
In the 5 years eb has been in operation, there was not one single source that produced over 10K in sales/month (that is until Jan 2, 2017 when we landed the largest single purchase order to date, but that's another blog as well, LOL). From Nov 16, 2016 - Dec 16, 2016 we generated $11, 555.81 in revenue on Etsy! That's minus fees, shipping costs, etc. That doesn't include our main website, Amazon Handmade, trunk shows, vendors shows or any wholesale orders. All of those sales are run through other sites and card processing systems, not ETSY. So yes, what you see below is our biggest, greatest accomplishment on Etsy thus far.
So now to answer the burning question you must have inside your head, how was it done?
There's not a simple answer. It has been a lot of work, stress, anxiety, sleepless nights, not attending family and friends' events and missed vacations. The best way I could explain what was done, outside of just plain 'ole hard work, is to list my TOP 10 ETSY SELLING TIPS.
Before I list the tips I must say, your story is a part of your brand. Please be sure to completely fill out your shop's profile/bio, welcome announcement and the about us section in detail. You will see in your store's stats that people actually view these sections of your site. So don't give them an excuse to leave your shop. Create a presence, a brand.
Here are my Top 10 Tips to Selling on Etsy!
Photograph Captivating Photos
This is more than just a notion, it takes time, effort and some research. But trust me, it will be time well spent. Before anyone even knows your shop name on Etsy, they will likely find a picture of your item from a search. They will only click on the picture if it moves them. Sounds a little dramatic, but so true. Try it yourself. Search for items with your commonly used tags and see which items make you want to click to see more. If it's not yours, therein lies a problem. Check to see if your photos are drool worthy, captivating and makes the buyer want to buy from YOU. Everything doesn't have to be on a white background. You see the pictures above are not on a white background but they are very drool worthy and this girl boss has over 10K+ Sales on Etsy!
Create a Consistent Theme
Ensure there is a theme to the items you are selling. You want a cohesive feel to your shop. Just because you have it to sell doesn't mean you have to list it. I have been guilty of that myself, and I still need to narrow down the items in my shop. But consistency is not the issue, just too much variety on the same theme. If a customer feels lost in your store, they will quickly exit stage left. You don't want this happening especially since there are thousands of other options available at their fingertips.
Title It/Tag IT
Your title should be keyword heavy! And not just any key words, relevant keywords to your specific product. Make sure you are using terms that a buyer would use to find your item. Although it may be precious gemstones, the customer may not know that and may not find your item under that title. When it comes to creating tags for your items, if you do not have 13 tags, you have not completed this task. When you are deciding on tags, think of your keywords. You want your potential customer base to be able to find you so you need to give them as many opportunities as possible to search and find you. Do a search of similar items and see what tags/keywords are being used to get the ball rolling. If you have 13, USE THEM ALL. Here's some additional Etsy info on How to get found in searches. https://www.etsy.com/help/article/34234144469#Q4
There are three drop down menus for category placement when editing your listings. Etsy has made several updates over the years and added more detailed categories. You should be able to find a category your item fits, in all three menus. Go back and check periodically, sometimes there has been a change that effected your listing and it may no longer be categorized accurately. Be sure to sign up for their newsletters so you stay on top of the changes. Not updating your listings for 6 - 8 months at a time can leave you falling behind in the search results. Just recently Etsy introduced attributes (read more here: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/95284237119 ) which will aide in the process of your items being found. If your item is not categorized properly to begin with, this can affect the selection of attributes available for that listing.
Use Keywords and Create Clear Descriptions
This is where you get to tell the story of your item. It doesn't have to be a novel and I struggle with how much to include. I will also be making changes to the info in my shop descriptions. My suggestion, make sure it includes keywords (at the beginning) relevant to that item. Shop some sites to see some great examples. You will know it is a great example because as a shopper, you will be looking for what makes sense to you as a buyer. Let the buyer know what they are buying, type, size, color and options, a picture is not enough. If you create detail in the description, this ensures your customer is aware of, or at least was given the opportunity, to know exactly what they are purchasing.
Promote on Social Media
Whichever channel you choose to use, the one that works best for your business, is the one you want to stick with in the beginning. Make sure you are sharing your newly listed items, sales, etc on social media so that customers know what's going on in your shop. This drives lookers to see the items and some will convert into sales. It's as simple as sharing. You can share from the listing, in the shop's manager section or via your mobile app. SHARE. SHARE. SHARE.
This is the traffic stats from our shop during the busiest 30 days of 2016. You can see we received traffic from our social media channels, a direct result of sharing content and listings.
Start an E - Newsletter
Create one! It doesn't have to be high end and it doesn't have to have hundreds or thousands of subscribes. Start small, test the waters, see what works and track your results in your analytics page (of the source you are using). I prefer Mail Chimp and it is free!!! https://mailchimp.com/
Share Shop Updates
This is another way to share your items to your followers. These may be people who do not follow you on social media, but do follow your shop. You don't want to miss an opportunity to engage them and keep them updated. You can share new items, sale items, discount codes or anything that promotes your shop!
Provide Stellar Customer Service
My all time favorite! Just by making sure you are providing your customers with all the info they need when they come to your shop may save you several back and forth Etsy convos. Trust me, I learned the hard way. Make sure everything is spelled out and this way you can easily direct them back to the provided info. Some ways to provide excellent customer service are:
- Answering convos quickly (Nothing should sit over 24 hours unless it is the weekend. My first 3 years I answered emails/convos almost around the clock.)
- Shipping orders ahead of schedule
- Contacting them immediately with concerns or issues with their orders
I could go on all day about ways to wow the customer, but if you treat your customers how you want to be treated (or better) then you are on the right track!
Get Great Reviews
You have to give excellent service to get a great review. You want to aim for an overall five star rating. Not an easy task but one of the most important ways to avoid a disaster is by addressing any issues promptly. Having your email addresses and ways to contact you visible on their order form and/or the business card you ship with the items is a great way to have them come to you first before leaving a review. Each one of my order receipts is printed with a message that instructs the customer to contact me first if they feel this is not a five star item. I handle this before it gets out of hand. No, you can't catch all of them or make everyone happy, the goal is to go above and beyond their expectations and you let the rest take care of itself.
Yes, there are many things that have been tried, but I can only tell you what has worked for me. Keep in mind, each one of these tips individually is a blog unto itself. I only stated the basics under each, and over the next few months tackling one tip at a time in my follow up blog posts (and no, not 3 years later, I heard you say it, lol).
My long term goal is to create a series of blog post to educate, inform and encourage other girl bosses. Check back in two weeks for the next blog post. Leave a comment or question and I will get right back to you!
Blessings, peace and love,