Getting consistent orders on Etsy is definitely not an overnight success kind of thing! But it also is not rocket science. After 7 years of experience on Etsy and thousands of orders mailed out from my studio, I can sum up the mistakes I did (& see struggling Etsy sellers making every day) into 10 important bullet points. No judgment, I’ve done ALL of them too when I started and I did not even know it’s such a big deal! But these innocent mistakes can really hurt your Etsy shop and listings performance! So, if that is you too, let’s get your Etsy shop fixed up right now.
1. NOT VERIFYING IF YOUR PRODUCT IDEA HAS SELLING POTENTIAL ON ETSY
Not every product sells well on Etsy. I wish it would, but it doesn’t! Verifying whether your product idea is in demand before you make it can save you a lot of time, money & frustration. Before you make your next product, look on Etsy for similar products with “bestseller” or “popular now” badges to see if your product idea is already in demand on Etsy!
2. NOT FOLLOWING ETSY’S RECOMMENDED PRACTICES
Etsy wants you to do well. The more orders you have, the more profits for them, right?! But they prefer to support legitimate shops, which follow their recommended practices to avoid customer cases and refund requests.
How do you make your shop legitimate?
- Fill out your shop policies
- Fill out your shop announcement & about section
- Add more listings to your shop – the more active you are in your shop & the more listings you have, the higher the chances that Etsy’s algorithm will start noticing you, and so will Etsy customers.
3. USING OVERSATURATED KEYWORDS IN YOUR LISTING TITLES
It makes it almost impossible for your product listings to rank high (show early in Etsy search results for your customers), if you are using generic keywords in your listing title, such as “gift for her”,“coffee cup” or “wedding gift” . While generic keywords may have a high volume of searches, they also have an incredibly high volume of competition. If you are just starting out and haven’t earned your space in the early pages of Etsy search results, you need to focus on getting found in search for more specific keywords.
Using more specific keyword phrases (long-tail keywords) in your titles, which have less search volume, but also less competition, helps to get your listings found in search and bring higher quality traffic to your shop – aka. customers who already know what they are looking for and are ready to make a purchase.
If your shop traffic is low, chances are that you still need to work on this. If you are brand new to keywords and need more help, check out my free Etsy SEO guide here.
4. NOT DEFINING YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION AND INSTEAD UNDERCHARGING FOR YOUR PRODUCTS
Defining what makes your products different/better than your competition makes you stand out from the crowd. Without doing that your product will just blend in with hundreds of similar products. Spend time studying your competitors and decide how are you going to compete with other established sellers already selling similar products. Are you going to offer faster shipping? Better value? Nicer presentation? Options are endless!
5. ASKING OTHER PEOPLE TO CHECK OUT YOUR SHOP AND LIKE YOUR PRODUCTS
While this may sound like a great idea to trick Etsy to think that people are liking your products, it actually works against you. If you are asking your friends, family and other small business owners on social media (and Facebook groups) to go and “check out your Etsy shop”, it can really hurt your organic reach. Especially if these people coming to your shop are just “checking out” what you are selling and liking your products with no intention to buy them.
This gives Etsy a signal that there is something wrong with your listings – so many people checking them out from your own traffic sources but no one is buying it? They will instead show Etsy shoppers products that are selling!
So, if you are sharing your products to random Facebook groups and telling people to go check out your shop, this is your sign to stop doing that. Rather focus on creating content on social media that attracts your ideal customer, instead of random people or other small business owners, who are not interested in buying your products anyways. No idea how to create content that attracts your ideal customer? Check out my social media guides here.
6. NOT CREATING YOUR UNIQUE BRANDING THAT SETS YOU APART
If you pay attention to successful Etsy shops – they have one thing in common – they stand out from the crowd. Don’t try to be like others; put your creativity into your aesthetics, it will set you apart from other sellers! Use your own unique photography background, photo style & colours to differentiate yourself! Need more help creating branding around your products? Check out my step-by-step small business branding guide here.
7. NOT IMPROVING YOUR PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY
When your potential customers see your listing in Etsy search results, your product photo makes a difference in whether they will click on your product or your competitor’s. In Etsy’s customer research shoppers confirmed that product photos are crucial for their purchasing decisions, even more important than postage cost, 5-star reviews and often the price of the product itself!
I get it. You probably have no idea how to take pretty product photos & that is OK! I also did not know, and one thing I can promise you with product photography is that PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Look up a few tutorials on youtube and allow yourself to practice until your product photos are bright, clear and make your product stand out from other similar products showing in Etsy search results.
8. NOT KNOWING YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER AND INSTEAD TRYING TO SELL RANDOM PRODUCTS
Whether you are a luxury brand, eco-friendly small business or affordable gift shop, knowing who is your ideal customer allows you to market your shop strategically and present your products in a way that they are appealing to your customers, which helps to make their purchasing decision faster. There is a hundreds of candle shops, but a customer who cares about all-natural candles will shop from a small business using natural ingredients compared to a shop selling artificially scented candles! If you need help defining who is your ideal customer, this guide will help you define yours step-by-step!
9. DID NOT PUT ENOUGH EFFORT INTO MAKING MY SHOP AND LISTINGS LOOK PROFESSIONAL
Did you know there are over 4 million active sellers on Etsy? That’s a lot of shops! Putting effort into making your shop look and feel professional can make a difference in whether the customer will buy from you or someone else. But how do you make your shop look professional? Great question! Start by looking at your competitor stores and write your notes down: Do they have shop banner? How many listings do they have in their shop? How are their listings organized? What does their product photography look like? Then focus on improving one thing at a time!
10. NOT BEING COMMITTED
I will call it straight out. Because I’ve done this mistake many times! I had one foot in and one foot out, waiting to see results before I would put more effort in. Once I committed myself to work on my shop several times a week and kept uploading new listings, the traffic was higher & orders started to roll in. If you are still on the fence waiting to see results before you commit yourself to work on your Etsy shop consistently, this is your sign to create your accountability calendar and improve your shop one step at a time. I promise you will see more results if you start focusing on your action.
That is all my friend! If you found yourself making one (or all) of mistakes mentioned above & need more help with your Etsy shop, make sure to follow me on Instagram for daily tips at @smallbizbabescommunity & check out my Etsy resources here.
Good luck & talk soon!