Becoming successful on Etsy is no easy task, believe me. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to owning and operating an Etsy shop, especially when you’re just starting out by yourself. Many new sellers don’t realize how munch work is involved such as working on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), marketing your shop, networking yourself, and having excellent product photography. Whew, it gets me tired just thinking about it.
I’ve owned my Etsy shop since 2014 and things have definitely taken off. I can actually say that I do own a successful Etsy shop. But, my definition of success and your definition may be completely different. Success is what you make it. Here are my top tips that will help you become successful on Etsy in 2017.
Set Achievable Goals
If you really want to become successful on Etsy in 2017 then the first step that I would suggest is to set achievable goals for yourself and your shop. Write goals down in a notebook or on a note taking app on your phone. Your goals can be as simple as having X amount of products in your shop by the end of the year, or starting a new product line by July 2017. But, whatever you do, make sure that the goals are achievable. If you set unrealistic goals then you may be setting yourself up for failure. Give yourself some wiggle room for when you have vacation time or if you ever get sick. My problem is that I set so many different goals up for different things. Don’t be like me. Create 2 to 3 realistic goals and stick to them!
Improve the SEO in your Etsy Shop
One of the most important factors of obtaining sales on Etsy is by improving your SEO. While there’s no set strategy, I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips to improve the SEO for your Etsy shop. These tips include finding the right keywords to use, filling out your shop title and announcement. I would also suggest starting a blog for your Etsy shop.
Ship Your Orders on Time
Etsy recently held a conference and at that conference they announced that your processing time will affect your ranking in search. When you receive an order you are given a “ship by” date which is calculated based on the processing time that you set up when you initially set up your listing. You must ship by this date in order to avoid being penalized by Etsy.
How can I avoid shipping orders later than expected?
As you can see, you should avoid shipping orders later than expected because it can hurt your ranking in search. To avoid shipping orders late, always make sure that you have a good amount of inventory of supplies. Keep track of your inventory and keep extra in stock if you can.
Also, if you feel as if you’re falling behind on orders don’t be afraid to put your shop on vacation mode. Putting your shop on vacation mode does not penalize you at all, despite what others say.
If you’re absolutely stuck and you must ship your order out later than the set date then you must notify the buyer first and explain the situation. Ask them if it’s okay to ship the item out later, and if so give an updated date. If this is okay with the buyer make sure you reschedule the shipping date. To reschedule the shipping date, locate the order and click “update” next to the scheduled shipping day.
If you sell custom items and require information from the customer that they did not provide then I would suggest contacting them as much as possible to get the information. If you don’t hear from the customer by the ship date then cancel the order.
Invest in Promoted Listings
Another way to become more successful on Etsy in 2017 is to invest in promoted listings. Keep in mind that promoted listings may not work for everyones shop, so it’s best to experiment by spending just a few dollars a day. Do this for about 10 days and then review the progress by checking your stats page. If you’re making more money than you’re spending on the ads then continue using them.
Market Your Shop
Another tip to become successful on Etsy is to market your shop. You can market your shop in so many ways, and social media is a must. I would highly recommend marketing on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Here are a few great articles that involve marketing your Etsy shop:
Network Yourself and Your Shop
Although your Etsy shop is an online based business, you should also focus on networking offline as well. Join local crafting groups or your local SCORE. You can find different events to attend via Eventbrite.com. Attend some of those events and introduce yourself. You can meet a lot of great people (and, also some very annoying sales people) along the way. Don’t forget to bring your business cards!
Participate in Online Communities
Many shop owners are not aware of the many fabulous online communities. Participating in the forums on Etsy is an excellent way to gain more knowledge from experienced sellers. I also highly recommend joining Facebook groups. There are tons of Facebook groups related to selling on Etsy such as The Joyful Entrepreneur, which has over 33,000 members! Follow and participate in some of the great discussions. Even though I’m an experienced seller I learn something new from these groups very often!
Have Excellent Product Photography
I know that this is mentioned time and time again throughout my blog, but your product photography can make or break your Etsy shop. Consider investing in a lightbox or learn how to make one yourself. Don’t photograph your items in dark places, and especially not on the floor! Check out my other article which includes 10 Etsy Product Photography Tips.
Use Great Packaging
Let’s face it, we all judge books by their covers. This is why you should use great packaging to ship your items. Stuffing a t-shirt into a poly mailer gets the job done, but wrapping the t-shirt in colored tissue paper and tying it with twine and a business card can make a great first impression. Some people really appreciate the time that goes into great packaging. It can be really worth the effort to step your game up in the packaging department.