Freelancing offers great freedom and flexibility, but it can also be a bit daunting at…
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Etsy is undoubtedly the best marketplace for independent sellers, freelance artists and artisans who want to reach as many customers as possible all around the globe.
Although the competition is fierce, the number of active buyers on Etsy constantly keeps growing. This means that there are potential clients for everyone who knows how to sell on Etsy.
Even though the platform is user friendly and easy to use by inexperienced sellers, it isn’t straightforward to run a successful shop. To achieve a steady flow of monthly sales, you need to invest a lot of your time and effort to reach the users. You need to gain certain expertise and skills to make sure that your efforts are in the right direction. In short, you really need to know a lot of tips for selling on Etsy.
In this blog post we will provide you with the tips for selling on Etsy that you must know in order to get your products seen and sold.
Tips for Selling on Etsy – How to Get Your Products Seen
The first thing that independent sellers, freelance artists and artisans have to do to get your freelance Etsy products seen by potential customers is to optimize your SEO.
SEO is the only way to hint to the Etsy search algorithm that your listing matches the query which the user has entered in the Etsy search bar.
Getting your listings optimized for search is complicated and can’t be covered in a single blog post. However, the most important thing to remember is that it all boils down to choosing the right keywords.
The tags are the best way to instruct Etsy what you are actually selling. Etsy can’t understand your images and, thus, it counts on you to decsribe your product properly.
You should always use all 13 tags in each listing. Every tag which you don’t use is a missed opportunity to get seen by more potential customers. In most cases tags are not visible to the customers, so you can let your imagination run wild and cast as wide a net of keywords as possible, as long as the keywords are relevant.
Your product titles serve two purposes – they help both Etsy and your customers understand better what you are selling.
They have to be accurate, easy to read, and keyword-rich. Don’t keyword stuff them, though, and try to make them relatively short and concise. Etsy’s algorithm is smart enough to be able to recognize when you are trying to fool it. Your customers are even smarter and they will quickly turn away if they see a title that is confusing or unreadable.
Listing descriptions have always been important on Etsy. Their main purpose used to be to provide the final nudge to the customer to buy your product. The description would be used to convince your customer that this is indeed the right product for them.
Nowadays, the descriptions are much more important than this. In May 2022 Etsy announced that their search algorithm will start looking for keywords in the listing descriptions too. So now it is more important than ever to write accurate, descriptive and keyword-rich descriptions that will be helpful both for Etsy and for the customers.
Every Etsy seller knows that titles and tags are very important for their success. Most sellers, however, don’t realize that one of the top tips for selling on Etsy is listing attributes.
The listing attributes are unqiue for each product category. They help the seller provide structured information about their product.
This information is later used by Etsy for two purposes. First, the attributes are treated as additional listing tags – if a listing contains a certain keyword as an attribute but the word is not in the listing title or tags, the listing will still be considered relevant to this keyword and will show up in searches.
The second application of the attributes is that they can be used as filters by the customers. This is equally important because it might let your listing show up much higher in the filtered search results.
Choosing the right keywords for your listings can be challenging. Ideally, you should focus on descriptive keywords which fit your listing, are searched by the customers, and have low competition. This is not an easy task.
Your best bet, especially in the beginning, is to use a dedicated tool for this. Koalanda’s keyword tool will save you tons of hours and effort while working on your SEO.
In this day and age, a proper marketing strategy is a must-have for every business, big or small.
The desire to cut down costs and expenses to the bare minimum is understandable, however it is rarely the right choice. Failing to invest in marketing will hinder the growth of your business.
Etsy ads are the easiest and the most cost-effective way to promote your products and to reach a wider customer base. They give you the opportunity to reach many customers in a matter of days. They are especially useful for promoting new products.
Getting your new listings seen by many people quickly might lead to quick sales. This will hint Etsy that your products convert well and Etsy will increase their search rank. And if the listings don’t start getting sales this will be a hint to you to check if there is something that you are missing.
The best part is that the Etsy ads are relatively cheap. Sure, 30-40 Cents per click seems like a lot. But comparing this to the cost of advertising on Google, this price sounds like a dream come true.
Tips for Selling on Etsy – How to Get Your Products Sold
Getting your products seen is the first step towards your success but it is far from enough. After all, it is sales what you are looking for, not views.
You want to ensure that your listings convert well, i.e. a reasonable percentage of the people who see them, buy them. A healthy conversion rate varies widely for the different niches and marketplaces, however anything between 1% and 4% can be considered normal. If you have a lower conversion rate, think about working on some of the items below.
Do not compromise on the quality of your photos
Photos are the first thing that a customer sees when they interact with your listing. It is hard to convince someone to buy something if their first impression is negative. Therefore, you can’t have a successful e-commerce business if your photos are not of the highest quality. This is one of the top tips for selling on Etsy. It is also as true for Etsy as for any other e-commerce platform.
You can pay a professional photographer to take the photos or you can learn how to do it yourself. There are pros and cons for both, and the decision largely depends on your niche and your skills.
Etsy allows you to upload up to 10 photos for each listing. Try to make good use of them. Add photos of your product from different angles and in different settings. Include photos of the product being used in real life. Remember that the customers cannot touch or try it and the photos are the easiest way to communicate to them exactly what you are selling.
One idea to use your photos creatively is to add one to two images with important information about your product. Most people never read the listing description – even the ones that buy them. Including an image with the product’s USPs (Unique Selling Points) will help it convert better.
Price your product competitively
The price of your product is obviously one of the most important factors that determine if people will buy it or not. You have to choose a pricing strategy, and you should do it thoughtfully and carefully.
On the one hand, you need to price your products fairly. Inexperienced sellers often underestimate the amount of effort and expenses they have while making the product. Make sure to account for all costs – materials, packaging, your own time, marketing, discounts, fees, etc.
When pricing your Etsy products think about the following:
1. Are you going to offer free shipping? If yes, then you have to fully include it in your price. As we all know, free shipping is just a trick which is supposed to make the customer’s experience more convenient. It is up to you to decide whether you’ll offer it or not.
2. Do you plan to offer discounts or other special offers? Your products have to be priced correctly so they can occasionally absorb a 20-30% price decrease. Otherwise, you risk being left out during major sales events, like Black Friday.
3. What is your ad budget? No matter if the ads are running on Etsy, Facebook, Google, or somewhere else, you have to add this expense to your price.
On the other hand, you have to be able to offer a fair price from a customer’s perspective. Look at your competitors and analyze their prices. If your prices are higher, your products need to provide a better value to your customers than theirs. Otherwise you will not be able to sell them.
Offer excellent customer service
A great way to stand out from your competitors is to make the purchasing experience a pleasure of its own. People come to Etsy because they want to buy products from small businesses, freelance artists and artisans. If you spend time interacting with your customer, they will remain loyal to your business for years.
There are numerous ways to improve your customer experience. Here are a few ideas:
1. Always keep the promises you make.
Customers will often write to you with strange requests. They will want different product customizations, style advice, special delivery instructions, or others. If you promise them something, do your best to really do it. And if you can’t satisfy their request, be upfront and don’t mislead them.
2. Provide realistic times for order processing and shipping.
We all know how annoying and disappointing it can be to get a package delayed by a few days or even a week. While you can’t control the shipping carriers, do your best to dispatch your packages on time. Otherwise you risk having annoyed customers, bad reviews, or even cancellations.
3. Always reply to your customers quickly.
Good communication is key to establishing loyalty. Always respond to your customers quickly, even if your response is to say “no” to a request. Good communication will pay off quickly, especially when it comes to problematic orders or open cases. Last year, Etsy even included the 24-hour reply deadline in their Star Seller requirements.
4. Make your clients feel like they are special.
Customers are coming to Etsy to get a personal touch rather than automatic replies. Do your best to give them what they need.
5. Encourage your customers to post reviews.
Positive customer reviews are very important for the trustworthiness of your shop. Most people read them and this directly influences their decision whether to buy from you or not. An occasional negative review is inevitable, and the best cure for such is a bunch of positive reviews. So, encourage people to leave them – either with a message after the order, or as a thank you note inside the package.
6. Build a strong customer base.
From a marketing perspective, it is easier and cheaper to encourage an existing customer to buy from you again than to convince a new one to trust you.
7. Write your descriptions for the customers
We already mentioned that descriptions are important for the Etsy search algorithm. But don’t forget that it is the customer who decides whether to buy the product or not.
If a customer has made an effort to read your description, they are most likely looking for additional info about your product. Make sure to include all important information in it, even if you think that it is already available in the photos or title. Add extra details, like care instructions, personalization options, size charts, color palettes, and more. And don’t forget to add links to your social media accounts and mailing list.
Etsy is a great place for independent sellers, freelance artists and artisans to sell handmade, vintage, and print-on-demand products. But if you want to be successful on Etsy you’ll have to work hard for it. The good thing is that there are many tools out there that can help you be more productive – this article provides a nice overview of the most popular ones.
The most important of the tops tips for selling on Etsy is to remember that the beginning is always the hardest. If things are not working out for you, don’t give up. Just adapt your strategy, be flexible, experiment, and try again.
Want to learn more tips for freelancers? Enroll in my free mini-course Get on the Right Path to Freelancing here.
Alice Frank is an active Etsy seller with a passion for marketing and SEO. In the last few years she's been a part of the team which developed Koalanda - a platform for Etsy SEO, competitor analysis, and market research.