Starting an Etsy shop can be a daunting task. Your products and their listings are the least of your worries. In fact, it is a given that your items will be pristine. So, what are the other peripherals that you ought to be aware of? What to know before starting an Etsy Shop—Checklist, perhaps? Fret not, for you’re just in the right place.
Most Important Parts to Know
We’ll get straight to the point. In order to maximize sales and attention, you need to get a few basic things right. Keep in mind that these are the quintessential elements—do not venture before having checked them all. What are those? Read below.
Apply SEO to Your Listings
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a foolproof way to ensure healthier and greater visibility of your website. In other words, it is a way to ensure that you are favored by the respective search engine to push your items to more and a wider range of customers.
The question is—how do you ensure that Etsy or any search engine favors you? Simple—you play to its nature. You can either use third-party software that helps in boosting SEO, or you can do as we suggest.
First, be sure to provide the name of your product in the description title itself. In the world of Etsy, there is very little scope for the obscure or the absurd. While you’re at it, be sure to use long-tailed keywords too. For instance, if you are selling cardigans for children, be sure to add “for children” in your title.
This would ensure greater and more efficient filtration of your searches. Second, be sure to put proper tags as part of your product description. Keep in mind that Etsy allows up to 13 tags which are 20 characters long—make the most of it.
What Niche and Products Will You Sell?
Remember when we said that the product is the least of your concerns? Well—not if you don’t know what you wish to sell, to begin with. In that case, we strongly urge you to do proper background research and assess the market.
Once you do so, analyze whether the niche of products you wish to sell will have a fair demand in the Etsy market. For instance, everyone sells phone cases, right? But how many of them sell vegan cases? Or ecologically-safe ones? There you go—that is where you start carving your own niche.
If you think your products fall into a competitive niche, you need to do greater research into the market. From here on, your goal is to provide that one thing that your competitors would fail to provide. Removal of shipment costs? Or perhaps greater discounts? If you want to step into an already-established niche, be sure to have an ace of a selling point.
Understand Etsy Fees
We understand that fees and convenience charges can be another hassle to deal with. That being said, you also need to understand the idea of “credit where it’s due”. Sure, you can sell your items elsewhere, but to an audience as large as Etsy holds?
In order for Etsy to exercise its brand value, you too need to help them. For every item you list, you pay a minuscule amount to them (~6USD). For every transaction you make, you provide a 6.5% cut to them. We suggest you go through their legal fees policies for more insights. There are ad-related fees, off-site fees, and so on. It sounds like a big hassle, but in the grander scheme of things, it sounds like Quid Pro Quo to us. You can also calculate your Etsy fees through this calculator we made for you.
What shows is what sells. Even before your customer checks up on the description, they would quickly browse through the photo gallery. When people are shopping online, the only sense that you need to stimulate is the sense of sight.
Using good quality images not only provides greater credibility to your product but also establishes unsaid trust. This is very important in order to mesmerize a wider range of audiences, as well as tap into newer customer demographics.
Social Media Promotion
Even if Etsy is doing its job perfectly, you should strive for greater ambition. Social media is a powerful tool, and it’s best if you know how to use each one separately.
For instance, Facebook is where you can connect with your buyers, whereas Instagram is where you sell your ideas and passion through storytelling. Twitter seems great for launches and starting new trends, whereas Pinterest is exclusively for the long-term customer’s visual delight.
Be sure to meticulously promote not just your products, but your brand itself. You can link it with Etsy so the curious consumer can be redirected to your online shop.
Less Important Items
Now that you have covered the essentials, you should look into these too. Only when you have covered the aforementioned items, try these out.
While it sounds like one of the most important things because it is your identity, you’d be surprised to see how many customers just focus on the product and not the shop, per se. Sure, you can choose something unique (within 20 characters) so that it stands out, but focus on your products and their promotion first.
Understand Shipping Costs
You can set up shipping costs, or Etsy can do it for you based on weight and distance. To be fair, when you’re starting your shop, your goal would be to attract as many customers and keep them around for as long as you can. Mind compromising shipping costs marginally for the long-term brand establishment?
Set Up Policies
This covers the “what-ifs” and other legalities, such as exchange and returns policies. You have to set this up on Etsy’s website yourself and be sure to cover legal fronts. From policies pertaining to damaged products to modes of transactions, be sure to have this filled up.
Branding Your Shop
If we are being completely honest, branding comes in handy only when you have developed a great reputation in the existing market. The reason why branding is “less important” as compared to the others is that it comes in handy later down the line.
Either way, if you wish to brand your shop, you can start by sticking to palettes and hues that you deem unique. You can also ramp up the customer service, or perhaps start customizing products around your brand.
Opening an Etsy Pattern Account
If one shop doesn’t cut it, we suggest you listen to your appetite. With just a fraction of your investment, you can make Etsy open up a second shop for you that is not on their website per se. The benefits to this are many—custom products, direct emails to customers, greater inventory, blogging capabilities—the list goes on. The only question remains—what are you waiting for?