How to Grow Your Etsy Shop
Updated: Jul 12
Created for makers, Etsy is an online marketplace filled with beautiful handmade and unique products. It is a special place for creatives to showcase their talents while simultaneously being a place for buyers who want something personalized or one-of-a-kind. But with such a large and saturated platform, one may ask how to stand alone and grow as a successful online shop.
7 Actionable Steps to Grow your Etsy Shop:
Regularly update with unique products
Sometimes people get into the mindset of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This mindset often leads to shops with limited inventory and little to no variety. When it comes to e-commerce sales, it is vital to stay ahead of the curve. Start working on new or updated projects BEFORE sales slow down on your existing popular products. With that in mind, remember you do not always have to reinvent the wheel. Simple changes can have a significant and lasting effect. Customers will return to your site if a product is seasonal or replaceable after being worn down or broken. You can choose to post a product similar to your existing products (such as new color, size, texture) to give customers the option to expand an item they already know and love. The key to adding or creating new products is sporadically and ensuring you are producing quality work. When your Etsy shop constantly updates inventory, it helps keep your products fresh in the consumer's mind, making them more likely to check back to see what's new.
Market on other platforms
Etsy is a fantastic platform for hosting your creations, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't explore other media. Just because a consumer is looking for a product like yours on Etsy doesn't mean that they will find it. That is why you should be marketing your shop on social media platforms, such as Pinterest, Instagram, or TikTok, as well as utilizing other marketplaces (if applicable). Setting aside a marketing budget to promote your products on social platforms can help create referrals to your Etsy store. You won't win every customer over, but half of the battle is getting your name out there.
Improve product photography
Spend time and money investing in product photography. A lousy product photo can be a huge deterrent for potential customers, leading to a loss in sales. Without extensive product photography to show off what your item is, consumers won't have a reason to trust your store or the quality of the product you are offering. Like selling a house, the picture gets the buyer in the door, and the product quality gets the buyer buying.
Improve store SEO
Etsy works similarly to a search engine, like google or bing. The better keywords you use to describe your product, the more likely the platform will associate the keywords typed into the search bar with the products you are selling. The best way to utilize this feature is to look up what is being researched by the consumer. Are they using specific words or key phrases like "handmade," "unique," or "vintage"? By researching keywords related to your product or inventory, you can make sure that your descriptions are full of these keywords, which will result in more traffic to your storefront. Remember, the best way to come upon the platform's first or second page is to be smart with your keywords!
If you have not already, opening your shipping to international clients is excellent to increase sales. Not every consumer will see your product and see you are from a different country and want to wait for its time to ship or the costs. On the other hand, some consumers are more than happy to get the product they want at whatever price. Opening your shop to ship internationally gives you a whole new group of people to sell your unique products. Don't close off potential new clients.
Promotions are best for shops that feel they need to gain visibility, promote a new product line (or just one product), give their loyal customers a treat, and want to go with the holiday trends (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.). Offering promotions is unnecessary for every shop; many well-established Etsy stores do not feel they need to offer advertisements to continue with a steady stream of orders. With that said, offering promotions can be a great motivation for someone to pull the trigger on their purchase or bring in new customers to your store. Even if a customer does not buy this time around, it doesn't mean they won't keep an eye on your store for the next time they are in the market. Etsy stores have very loyal customers. Etsy shoppers love to buy and support small businesses. They know that a considerable discount (such as 40% off storewide) is not necessarily something a small business owner can do. You are not trying to compete with the big box stores; you try to compete on the platform with other makers.
Understand your target market and talk to them
Who is your target market? Companies who speak directly to people rather than screaming to the masses are more likely to get the sales they deserve. When a company or business owner tries to market to a large audience, i.e., casting a wide net, they will not catch more than one or two fish. Then of those one or two fish, will they bite? Probably not because they do not have a connection to the product or business. They will get a more extensive and loyal following. when they speak to a straightforward person
When you do not develop or market to your target market, you cannot develop a solid and authentic brand. Consumers can smell inauthentic brands and will not buy from them. The best way to start communicating with your target market is to find out who they are—research demographics: age, sex, where they live, how they buy. Once you decide who they are, you can start speaking to them effectively. Talk to the right person instead of talking to thousands of the wrong people.
Etsy is an excellent place for wildly creative people. Sometimes, creatives are not always sure how to spread the word about their unique products. Understanding your target market will help sales to your Etsy store. Do you feel like you have done all of these things and are unsure what to do next?
3 Bonus Tips for the More Seasoned Seller:
Pay for Advertisements: Sometimes, paying for advertisements is not the best way to promote your website because prompting or boosting posts can seem fake to consumers. With that said, if it is the only way to jump out in a saturated market, then it will probably be your best bet. When you search for goods on Etsy, you will see promoted items mixed with organic items. Doing this makes your promotions seem organic and authentic even though it's not. Sometimes, you do have to spend money to make money! Set a budget and back out if you do not see a return on investment. Wait about three months before seeing actionable ROI. After that three-month mark, it's time to reevaluate and either walk away or invest more money into advertising.
Audit Products: Sometimes, products are flops. For whatever reason, even if the product is the most unique and well-made item, it can still flop. If a product has been sitting in your store and is underperforming, it is time to pull the product or change it. If you have checked off all the boxes and made your Etsy store as efficient as possible, it is probably the product, not your marketing efforts. Ask a trusted friend or business advisor to give you an unbiased viewpoint.
Market the Maker: Etsy shoppers know they are shopping from a person, not a corporation. Etsy shoppers want that connection, and they want to see the person behind the craft. Customers want to know why you are creating what you are making, your inspiration, and heck, they want to see what you watch on Netflix! It might seem easy to talk about yourself, but in reality, it is much effort to keep customers up to date on what you are doing all the time. Not every Etsy shop needs to promote their store this way, so it is for more seasoned store owners. Sharing the person behind the craft is a great way to promote your business and bring more shoppers to your store!