Every couple weeks, we receive an email inquiry just like the title of this blog post, asking us for help. Usually it’s an etsy shop owner that had fantastic sales and success 3, 4, 5 years ago, but in the last year or two, sales have dropped off dramatically. They don’t know why. Their customer reviews are great. They have good photos, product titles and descriptions, and tags. They have fully optimized their shop and are doing all the right things for etsy. But they simply are not getting near the volume of orders that they used to.
This is a difficult email to respond to because we have to tell the etsy shop owner that they are going to need to do more outside of etsy to start moving the needle again.
Being an etsy shop owner isn’t what it used to be due largely in part to the incredible growth the online marketplace has seen. There simply are far more shop owners selling their wares today than there were 3 or 4 or more years ago. More sellers mean more competition. And more competition means fewer sales unless you can break through the noise in other ways.
How to Optimize Your etsy Shop
We never take an etsy shop owner’s tale for granted; we always ask them for their shop name and link, and review their shop announcement plus a handful of listed items to make sure they have strong product names, multiple, high-quality images of each product, fully filled out product descriptions and strong product tags.
- Keyword-rich product titles not only help your product surface in etsy searches, but your etsy listings can and do show up in Google search results if done well. For example, “Throw pillow” as your complete product listing is not going to perform as well as “Navy Monogram Personalized Throw Pillow – 20×20”. It might seem like the more general “throw pillow” product name should have a broader appeal, but it’s unlikely a shopper is using such a general term to look for the perfect pillow for their already-designed room. Also, you are probably selling more than 1 pillow in your shop, so each pillow’s description will be different, thus expanding your potential customer base.
- Online shoppers want as much information as possible before placing their order. This is why they’ll want to see multiple views of your products. Far away, close up, a side view, the product in use, details of the product, even a photo of all the color options to choose from.
- Complete product descriptions are critical for the same reason as mentioned above. You don’t want to leave your potential customer wondering about how to order, your product’s size, color or material, how personalization or color choice works, shipping estimates, etc. Give them all the details they can need in the product description area, and also suggest they send you a convo if they have any questions.
- Product tags are the tags listed all the way at the bottom of each product listing. You’ll want a couple general tags but mostly specific tags that really zone in on exactly what your product is. The best ways to make sure you are optimizing your tags would be to look at the tags your competitors are using for the same product, and to type in the tags you plan to use into etsy search and see what other types of results surface.
It’s only after we see that they are doing all the right things inside their shop that we suggest some next steps increase their chances of success.
How to Increase your etsy Shop Sales
Once you know that you’ve done all that you can with your shop and individual listings, the next steps would be to establish and grow your business’ presenceÂ in other ways.
- etsy Ads – I’d be remiss to not point out that etsy has an ads program. If you are interested, you can read more about it here.
- Blog or Website – If you are serious about your business, setting up a web presence that you own and control is critical (I’m sorry to say but you don’t have any true ownership over your etsy shop. Only etsy does.). Make sure to purchase your own branded URL, too. You could setup a blog or a website with a blog (and even have your own online store and shopping cart!). Having a blog or website gives your business a true “home base” on the internet, and provides you with strong SEO capabilities. It also adds legitimacy to your business.
- Social media accounts – Promoting your business and products on 1 or more social media channels is an excellent way to search for and connect with potential customers. Use social media to tell the story of your business, products, brand, and you. Nearly all social media platforms have their own ad product as well. You can share links to your products either on etsy or your own website.
Don’t let the drop in sales for your etsy shop get you down! The best first step is to assess your shop to make sure it and all your products are optimized to their fullest potential, then decide what your best next step is towards growing your online brand presence.