There are a plethora of Etsy shops out there, and those of you who are considering opening one may be downtrodden thinking you don’t have a chance. To that I say, ha! And yes! You do have a chance! I believe that any shop with the following 3 things is bound to make sales and be successful. No one thing on my list is more important than the next- each is equally important to making a shop the best it can be!
3 key components of a successful Etsy shop.
I don’t want to be cliche and say that you must be passionate about your product, but I’m going to be cliche and say that you must be passionate about your product. It needs to be something that you really, really like. If you really, really like your product, then there is a good chance that your customers will like it too.
Another reason you need to be passionate about it is because if it’s something that you aren’t 100% into, then you won’t be willing to put in the time and effort that your shop will need. That passion and energy will transfer right into your shop. The time you invest in a beautiful header and a nicely composed about page will not go to waste. When you’re passionate about your product, you’ll want to stay up late brainstorming new designs and creating cute packaging. It’s the little details that matter!
2. 50+ items.
This is a biggy. Shops with larger inventories sell more. It’s kind of a no brainer actually. The more products you have listed, the more likely your items are to be found by a customer searching for it. Think of every product in your shop as a little lighthouse pointing your customers toward the shore (that’s your shop). That got a little dramatic. But really- having lots of items will definitely help sales.
This doesn’t mean you want a shop full of so many different things that it becomes a jumble. Your product line needs to be cohesive and make sense together. If someone comes into your shop because they were looking for soap, I don’t think they’re also going to be interested in a cool handmade wallet. But someone who was looking for soap would probably be interested in hand lotion or a crocheted loofah. Brainstorming new products can be a fun exercise. Think of your ideal customer and the things they would be interested in.
You’ll also want to think about offering items at different price points. If your shop is full of costly items, try thinking of something smaller and easier to make that you can offer at a lower price. The same goes for shops that have a lot of inexpensive products. People who are buying for others are often looking to spend somewhere $20-$50 on a nice gift. You could be missing out on a great market! Diversifying your products and expanding your horizons a bit could provide the boost that your shop needs.
3. Great photos
Photos are the pinnacle of an Etsy shop. They’re the pinnacle of any online shop. Online shoppers really solely on your description and the images you provide to make a judgement on whether or not they are going to purchase your item. They can’t smell it, touch it, or hear it so it’s your job to convey as much information as possible through your pictures.
For starters, the photos should be bright, clear, and numerous. Make use of all 5 photo slots that Etsy gives you! Use the same or similar background in all of your product photos so your shop looks cohesive and organized. The background should be unobtrusive and simple. For this reason, many shop owners use a white background. This is a great option and one that I utilize for my own shops.
I have, however, seen shops utilize more complex backgrounds to provide a bit of ambiance. For instance, if you were selling shabby-chic home decor, you may want your background to be a worn-in painted table. Try to think of the message you want your photos to convey. ShopNestled.etsy.com, shown below, does a great job of using a background!
Tips for great Etsy photos.
To make your photos bright and clear, you need 3 things: Natural light, a camera, and an editing program. Don’t think that you need to have a top of the line camera to open a shop though. If you look in my shop right now, you will see some pictures that have been taken with my iPhone camera and some that have been taken with an expensive DSLR camera. Both are clear and bright and that’s all that matters.
Far more important than the camera you use is the light that you use. Natural light is absolutely the best. Just make sure you aren’t taking photos in direct sunlight (it causes harsh shadows) and you are golden. I take my pictures in my room- the light that comes in from my 2 windows is perfect.
Lastly, a little bit of editing can really make a huge difference in your picture. I have previously used a program on my home computer, but I have more recently been using Afterlight on my iPad to edit my product photos. Adjusting the brightness, contrast, saturation, and temperature just a tad can do wonders for a photo. Just be sure not to over do it- you want the colors of your product to be accurately portrayed in the picture.
Here are the types of photos you will want to show: A picture that clearly shows the whole product straight-on. You’ll also want to include a closeup. Is there any special details about your product? Display it in a closeup shot! Next, include a photo that shows the scale of the item. This might mean modeling a knit beanie, placing a pencil next to a printed notebook, or putting a penny next to your earrings.
Get creative with how you show the size of your item. Try to include a photo of your item in use. If you sell lip balm, this could mean a styled photo of it spilling out of a makeup bag. For accessories or clothing, this means you need to model the items you are selling! Another picture to consider including would be the packaging that you send your items in. A lot of sellers put plenty of effort and time into cute, branded packaging, so why not display it?
So there you have it! In my opinion, the 3 most important things for success on Etsy. Hopefully this was helpful to you. Until next time, Andrea