Happy Tuesday! I get a lot of questions about Etsy and our success on there. I receive regular requests from customers for me to have a look at their shop and critique it. I know there’s a section on Etsy for this, but I’m always happy to help as well! If you check out that team they’re also sure to be very helpful!
Off the top of my head here are a couple things you really MUST have.
1) Interesting, clear and concise graphics. I can’t stress this enough. Ideally you should have a banner that makes it really clear who you are (business name) and what you sell (product). Now my banner actually doesn’t do this (totally) and I’ve considered changing it up for that reason. I love the style of it but it doesn’t tell you what we do. If it made it clear what we did maybe I wouldn’t get so many questions about if our flowers were ready to wear.
I have ads I’ve used were we add the words “craft supply” below fleuriste and I think I need to get that added to my own banner!
2) Great photos are a must. I see lots of photos that are grainy or badly lit. Photos with really busy backgrounds so you hardly notice the product. Photos that are out of focus. You don’t need a fancy camera to achieve a photo like this:
Seriously you guys-you can DO it with a fancy camera-but you can do it with a point and shoot as well. You just need good, natural light and some practice. I’d say photos are the number one mistake I see shots make. There seem to be lots of attempts to create really artistic photos. Don’t. Do. It. Just keep it simple, focus on the product. You’ll be much happier for it!
3) Titles. Y’all-Etsy has whole articles on how to properly title your items. I realized one day while searching through the supplies category that when I search “silk flowers”, my items actually don’t come up that often. I could also see through my google analytics that most folks who came into the shop were coming in from the headband and rosettes pages. But our shop is probably 80% flowers-so what gives? Well when I looked at my titles they hadn’t been adjusted for the new search Etsy rolled out a few months back. Basically the first word or two of your title should say EXACTLY what the item is. I’m having to slowly go through and redo all my titles-but they should go something like this for example:
“Silk Flowers-Sequin Centered Flower-Set of Two-Hot Pink”
Then when people are looking for silk flowers, my first two words will help ensure I get shown higher in the search. Since we started making these changes our shop has really taken off.
4) Good customer service. I cannot stress this enough. I respond VERY quickly to people. I’ll admit I’m a little of a workaholic, which my fiancee can attest to! Even this weekend when we were out of town on a mini vacation, I was checking my phone every time we came back to the room. I’m not necessarily advocating that for everyone, but responding same day or next day is very important. There are enough people out there who ARE responding that quickly, that if you don’t you seem less than attentive.
I also see lots of complaints in the “business topics” section of the forum about problem customers. They say the package didn’t arrive but it shows arrived. They want to know why it hasn’t arrived to Kuwait yet after 2 weeks. They want me to ship FedEx but they don’t want to pay for it. I’ll say this-make your policies very clear and concise and you will hear these complaints less. I’m also pretty up front with people. If they ask me about international shipping I’ll say, “International shipping AVERAGES 2- 6 weeks but can take longer, and we have no way to track it. If you’d like quicker shipping we’ll have to upgrade to Fedex, which is fairly pricey”. I’d say that makes it fairly clear.
If there is an issue however, make sure you take care of it professionally and quickly. I have rules, and then I have what I actually do. I find the rules tend to weed out folks that are just trying to take advantage of lax policies. If I ever have a package go missing and the usual efforts don’t turn it up-I’ll usually replace it for the cost of the items. I’ve never had someone be unhappy with that resolution.
Its important to make sure your customers know their business is important to you-even for small orders. I try to make every customer feel like I’m thankful for the order, whether its one flower or three hundred. EVERY customer is the reason you’re successful, not just a few.
Here’s a comment I get alot (and I promise I can empathize!).
“My competitor has higher prices than me and they’re selling TONS more than I am, what gives?!”
Well read numbers 1-4 and think realistically about your shop. Look at your shop as if it wasn’t your shop. If it was someone else’s who you didn’t know, what would you remember about it? Would the pictures look like good pictures? Would the explanations be clear? You have to take the emotion out of your shop to be successful. Look at it with a clear mind.
Or if you can’t……………….
I’m going to start a shop makeover series this week! This is the first post with information about general things you’ve got to have to be successful on Etsy. What I’m going to do now is select one shop every week to feature on the blog with a before and after. We’ll do some screen shots of the “before”. Then we’ll spend a week working on your shop/photos/descriptions etc. Then we’ll post “after” pictures the next week (or later if you don’t have that much time to devote to it).
If you’re interested in being considered please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get started! Alternatively you can comment here and I’ll send YOU an email 🙂