Etsy is a marketplace where more than 33 millions shoppers and sellers come together to exchange homemade items and craft supplies which are available only on this platform. It is one of the most recognizable ecommerce platform with a impressive base of buyers and sellers. Unlike Amazon and eBay, Etsy is focused on micro-businesses and aims to “re-imagine commerce”, as they like to highlight. That’s why this is one of easiest platform to start your online business.
Before you start, you should know all marketing tools Etsy has to offer and see how they can help you achieve your goals without investing too much money. To be successful at selling products on Etsy you will have to be able to create an emotional connection with your buyers. Writing great and creative copies, posting beautiful pictures, having competitive prices are just some of the things that will help you connect with the buyers.
How to get started?
The first steps of selling your products on Etsy might seem a little confusing. That’s why professionals at Etsy created their own official seller handbook with more than 600 inspiration articles to become successful on this platform. There, you can discover advice and recommendations about growth hacking, productivity, seasonal tips for selling successfully on Etsy, etc.
Of course, you should consider the reason why you think Etsy is the best platform when you compare it to others. With Etsy, you get started for free and with maximum convenience. However, before fully investing in product and inventory, you will want to get a few initial sales. For all other information, check their handbook or keep reading this guide.
STEP 1: Choosing names
The sign up process for Etsy will require a shop name and list at least one product when you first setup your account. You should think about the names before the sign up process since it will be very difficult to change them later. Take your time and write down some of your name ideas and choose the one that will represent your e-store the best. Regarding the name of your shop, Etsy has a great primer on shop name considerations. Keep in mind that account name and shop name are actually two different things. One account can have more than just one shop.
After setting up your account, click “Sell on Etsy” to check the availability of the name you’ve chosen. Also, don’t forget to search that name on Google to see if somebody is already using it and if it’s going to create confusion. At this point, you will not have to insert a shop description or your logo, but you should consider creating them as they are inevitable part of your strategy.
It will cost you $0.20 to list your product on Etsy. But, before listing that product, you’ll have to consider a few things. First, you will need photos of the product. Photos should be of high-quality JPG, PNG or GIF flies that are at least 570px wide – but 1000px. Photos you upload will have to be with natural or diffused lightning. Try to avoid flash lighting. They will have to be in thumbnails with the option to zoom and view the product in full size. You will have to include the product description as well. Write something informative and clear with details. Think about those who will be reading that description and make sure they are not rejected by it in any way.
You will also have to list out categories for the chosen product. Research product categories and description to get an idea. After you have chosen the name for your shop and decided on the product, you can start with setting up your store.
STEP 2: Setting up your store
The good thing is that the shop sign up process with Etsy is very simple and clear. Firstly, you’ll have to start with setting up a general account and clicking “Sell on Etsy”. Secondly, you’ll give your shop a name and add at least one product. In the next step, you will see the listing screen where you need to fill out all the field required. Don’t worry if you wish to change something later, you can edit it without any complications.
Fourthly, you will have to edit listing by entering search terms and then enter into your shipping preferences. Finally, you will have to enter in your bank for deposits and your credit card information for listing payments. After you confirm your location, you are able to open your shop! Immediately or later, you will wish to list more product. Simply navigate to your Listings Manager to add, renew and manage all your listings, but make sure you’re using Quick Edit and Organize in Sections to save your time and help customers in sorting your products.
Let’s not forget about the fees when you decide to sell on Etsy. While listing of a single product is not expensive at all, dozens or even hundreds can add up since they expire after four months. This model focuses on the top few sellers with high margins. However, you can easily deactivate, renew or delete items you have in your listing.
Etsy’s customization is limited for its users making it easier for them since they don’t have to worry about factors such as design and functionality. The elements that can be customized are your cover photo, shop title, shop logo, featured listings and shop announcement. Don’t overuse this because most of Etsy users are going through the items on their mobile phones. Don’t write too much text and don’t use blurry images. Again, you should always keep in mind the needs and habits of the customers.
There are so many features on Etsy so you should really invest your time in getting to know the platform before you get down to business. See which features would bring most benefits to your store and use them frequently. Also, Etsy occasionally has updates. Be sure to check them out! As you’re learning more about how to sell on Etsy and getting used to its features, one of them will be crucial for your marketing – Etsy Analytics.
STEP 3: Do your marketing
Even though Etsy really is a terrific platform for both buyers and sales, it can’t guarantee you will sell your products there. Your competition is not just on Etsy. You’re competing with everyone who is selling same or similar products anywhere on the internet. It’s totally up to you to decide who is your target audience and where should you market to get their full attention.
When you sell on Etsy, the great thing is there is an unique audience of Etsy Shoppers. To be exact, there are more than 20 million people who are already on this platform. It’s up to you to caught their attention with your product or your store. There are a few ways you can do ensure that, and it’s with Etsy Search, Etsy Promoted Listings, Etsy Affiliates, social and other channels, SEO (organic), PPC (paid) and referrals.
Etsy’s search engine is very different from the ones we are used to such as Google or Yahoo. This platform has its own algorithms and data which helps both buyers and sellers to have the best experience. If you’re still relatively new or small when compared to others, you can try Etsy Promoted Listings. This way, you’re paying to appear in the Etsy search results and enjoying many benefits from traffic and sales.
With Etsy Affiliates, you can easily recruit partners like niche blogs, sponsorship opportunities, different collaborations and many more. It’s a great way to drive sales and Etsy will handle the technical work for you. One excellent benefit when you sell on Etsy is that it works great on social channels such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other ones. If you wish to move beyond social media and try other channels while building your brand, you can do it without limitations. You can have your own domain and have external links that will go to your site.
Let’s not forget about the organic search, popularly known as SEO. Your shop on Etsy will be indexed by Google, Bing and other search engines from which you can get valuable traffic. You can even run small paid campaigns (PPC) for your shop and experiment to see which elements of campaign will bring you most traffic and sales. Lastly, there are referrals. Even one sentence that mentions your shop or your product on a blog or any other platform can drive a significant number of sales.
STEP 4: Go beyond Etsy
Etsy is an excellent place to start your business online. If your shop becomes very successful, you’ll want to get your own domain. You can buy a domain from GoDaddy or NameCheap for your future use. You can redirect your custom domain to go directly to your Etsy shop. There is a service by Etsy called Patterns which allows you to connect a custom domain and a storefront for $15 per month. Actually, a lot of sellers on Etsy launch their own ecommerce store on their own custom domain.
Even though Etsy is an amazing platform for buyers and sellers, success is not something you get as soon as you sign up. If you want to successfully sell on Etsy, you should list a new product every day, work hard on promoting your product and refresh them frequently. Otherwise, your Etsy store will not be successful at all. If you don’t put your efforts into it, you will end up at the bottom of Etsy search results. Who is searching until the last result? Probably no one! This is why it’s important to think who your buyers are, what do they want, and how can you give it to them while being informative and creative. Also, Etsy offers so many features for its users. If you’re not using them, failure is inevitable. How much time and effort you invest is how much you’ll enjoy the benefits of Etsy!