Beginning an Etsy shop can be a thrilling experience, as it offers the opportunity to work for yourself and pursue your passion. However, starting can be daunting, especially if you are concerned about making mistakes without even realizing it. I have encountered my share of challenges, such as my listings not appearing in Etsy search results, customers not making purchases, and not knowing how to respond to negative feedback. So, How to start a successful Etsy Shop?
Commencing a fresh business venture on Etsy can be a daunting prospect. However, you can make the process more approachable and enjoyable by implementing a handful of easy-to-follow guidelines.
Consequently, I have compiled over 20 of my most valuable insights to help you establish your shop on the right footing, allowing you to focus on perfecting your craft. If you are eager to gain an edge over your competitors on Etsy quickly, this guide is perfect for you, and at the end of this article, you will know how to start your own successful Etsy shop.
How Etsy SEO Works?
In order to achieve success on Etsy, understanding and mastering Etsy SEO (search engine optimization) and the workings of the Etsy search algorithm is critical. For most sellers, organic search traffic from Etsy will constitute their primary source of traffic. With a thriving shop, it is possible to sustain substantial search traffic without relying on external sources such as social media or blogs.
The primary step to rank on Etsy search is to match the words and phrases that shoppers enter into the search bar with the titles and tags in your product listings. It is important to consider the descriptive keywords that customers are likely to use when searching for a product.
For instance, if they are looking to purchase a ring, they may search for “gemstone”, “silver”, and “for daughter”. By thinking like your customers and brainstorming relevant keywords, you can optimize your product listings and improve their visibility on Etsy.
A Consistent Brand means happy customers.
Contrary to popular belief, branding encompasses more than just a shop’s logo. Oberlo defines branding as a process that involves researching, developing, and applying unique features to your organization to enable customers to associate your brand with your products or services.
This implies that branding pertains to every aspect of your shop that customers encounter, including your brand’s color, packaging, product design, customer service, and even the tone of your social media posts.
Consider the overall impression you wish to leave on your customers when they make a purchase from your shop. Whether you aim to project an image of luxury, carefree spirit, or eco-friendliness, consider how you can convey that impression in every aspect of your shop.
Do you have an Email List?
Email marketing is a highly effective way to establish lasting relationships with your customers, enabling targeted communication that fosters trust. However, it is important to avoid violating Etsy’s terms and conditions by directly adding customers’ email addresses to your mailing list. Instead, you can encourage customers to sign up for your mailing list by offering incentives such as coupon codes or informative content.
To initiate email marketing, you can use service providers like Mailchimp and Aweber. The primary goal of email marketing is to cultivate a strong and trusting relationship with your customers by providing relevant news and information. While promoting your products via email is tempting, it is crucial to avoid bombarding your customers with promotional emails too frequently.
Doing so may cause them to lose patience and unsubscribe. Instead, space out promotional emails with informative ones, maintaining a ratio of three informative emails to one promotional email.
Get some Inspiration
It’s crucial to closely observe thriving Etsy shops within your product category, particularly those with thousands of sales. These sellers have demonstrated that they offer products that customers purchase and adore. Examine their shop’s offerings, paying particular attention to their ‘bestsellers.’ You can easily identify them by the ‘bestseller’ label or when the product displays the message “Over 20 people have this in their cart.”
Apart from the product itself, analyze their branding, packaging, customer reviews, and other aspects for inspiration on how to enhance your shop and products.
Do you write Product Descriptions?
A compelling product listing description is crucial in persuading shoppers to purchase your product and dispelling any doubts they may have. To achieve this, it’s important to highlight both the features and benefits of your product. For example, a coffee machine not only makes coffee but also jumpstarts your day and boosts productivity.
In essence, you need to demonstrate how your product can enhance your customers’ lives. Additionally, address any common concerns that shoppers may have, such as ease of use, return policies, and warranties.
In today’s fast-paced digital world, it’s recommended to keep your sentences and paragraphs short and straightforward to ensure easy comprehension by shoppers.
Reply to your customers
Having friendly and responsive customer service is crucial for small businesses to stand out from big corporations. When customers reach out with questions or concerns, it’s important to be helpful and empathetic.
Enabling notifications on the Etsy Seller app can help ensure that you reply to messages promptly. Many customers appreciate a seller who is quick to respond, and it can even lead to positive reviews. Aim to answer within a few hours to provide the best customer experience possible.
You Should have ample Products at starting
It is advisable to start your Etsy shop with a minimum of 20 products. Starting with just 1 or 2 products can limit the visibility of your shop. If you have a small product line, consider creating variations in color, size, and other features to increase the number of your product listings.
It is important to ensure that all the products in your shop are related and make sense together. As a small handmade seller, your expertise lies in your craft. If your shop sells both crystals and cookies, for instance, customers may doubt your credibility in either product.
Consistently adding new products and listings is a good practice to follow. The more products you add, the more keywords you can cover, which makes it easier for customers to discover your shop.
Encourage Your Customers with Coupon Codes
Etsy provides a coupon code system that allows you to send coupons to shoppers and customers automatically. Providing a coupon to a customer who has made a purchase can encourage repeat business. A discount of 10-20% is usually sufficient to entice them to return.
You can also send coupons to shoppers who have liked your product or have added your product to their cart. After a certain period of time, the coupon will be automatically sent to them.
Another option is to set up a coupon code to encourage customers to sign up for your email newsletter.
Take Good Photos of Your Products
The quality of your photography can make or break your Etsy shop, as it’s often the first impression that a shopper has of your brand. In fact, it can be the deciding factor on whether they click on your shop or not.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an expensive camera to take good product photos. Most modern smartphones can do a good job.
Simplicity is key, so use a clean background. A white or off-white background works well in making your product stand out. Avoid using patterned or colorful backgrounds, as they can distract from your products.
Natural lighting is the easiest to work with and can result in beautiful photos. Early morning or late afternoon light is ideal, as the sunlight is not as harsh. Direct, harsh sunlight can create hard shadows, which can be distracting.
Be on Social Media
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that can be leveraged by small businesses to reach potential customers who are scrolling through their phones on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. However, it’s important to avoid the pitfall of only promoting your products on these platforms since users tend to avoid accounts that only do that.
Instead, aim to create content that is useful and interesting to your target audience. This could include behind-the-scenes glimpses into your handmade process, instructional posts that help customers with their purchases, and more.
User-generated content (UGC) is another effective type of social media post. UGC involves sharing photos that are taken by your customers, provided you have received permission to do so.
To save time, you can use free social media post templates from sites like Canva and Over. You can customize these templates by changing the colors, words, and images to align with your brand.
Keep Nice Packaging
Small handmade businesses can differentiate themselves from big brands by incorporating their personal touch into their product packaging. This can be a significant advantage for your business.
Customers tend to appreciate small touches, such as including a thank-you card or a small gift with their order. These personal touches can encourage them to leave a positive review for your Etsy shop, which can lead to more sales and higher customer satisfaction.
What is Your Shop Name? It should be a Nice One!
In general, it is recommended to keep your Etsy shop name or title simple and clear. A unique name made up of a new word does not necessarily guarantee success on Etsy, and many successful sellers on Etsy have simple names.
It is also important to include your niche and keywords in your shop name and tagline. This will help shoppers understand what your shop is about and what products you offer right away.
Shop Policy is Must
Establishing your shop policy may not be the most exciting task, but it’s crucial for your shop’s success. It establishes clear expectations for your customers.
Etsy provides a straightforward template that you can use to create your shop policy quickly. The template allows you to specify how you handle returns and exchanges.
Having a shop policy in place can slightly improve your shop’s ranking in Etsy searches, so it’s well worth the effort.
It is important to keep in mind that completing a task is more important than striving for perfection.
In the creative Etsy community, perfectionism is quite common. However, striving for perfection can sometimes hinder the learning process of trial and error. It’s essential to recognize that selling is an experimental process, and waiting until everything is perfect may hold you back. Therefore, it’s crucial to remind yourself that getting started is more important than achieving perfection. Start your Etsy Shop Today.