Opening an Etsy shop seems to be the first action for anyone wanting to sell crafts online. With 30.6 million people going to Etsy for their shopping, it’s simple to see why it’s a hot place to sell.
But with 45 million products listed for sale on there, it’s easy to get drowned out. Only a fraction of sellers make regular sales. Even less are selling enough on Etsy to make a stable income.
To assist you on your Etsy adventure, whatever stage it’s at, we’ve gone out and spoken to 5 of the most established Etsy shops. These sellers have used Etsy to turn an idea into a brand and grow that idea.
With nearly half a million sales between them, our 5 Etsy pros have given us answers that anyone can use to increase their Etsy sales.
Bonus material: Have your Etsy sales dropped off? Download the Etsy Encyclopedia and start bringing in the sales!
Lea – Etsy Shop: Words and Confetti
11,800+ sales since 2015
Question: What is the best way to drive traffic to your store? Does Etsy naturally take care of it?
The best way to drive traffic to your Etsy shop is to master Etsy’s algorithm and to use accurate keywords!
Indeed, if Etsy provides you with tons of potential customers, they don’t automatically place your products in front of them. That’s your part of the job and I recommend using the fabulous Etsy Stats page to help you with it!
If your product is visible already, you still need to make sure people click on it rather than another one. To do that, you need to have not only the best product but also the best display photo they will see.
To drive traffic, I also use social media and especially Pinterest and Instagram. I pin my products after I’ve listed them in my shop and simply doing that has brought a lot of customers to my shop. To give you an example, I have an art print that was sold over 300 times in one month and every single customer saw it on Pinterest.
You have to take advantage of free advertisement.
Another great way to drive traffic is to collab with influencers whose audience may be interested in your shop. You can do that by sending them free products, asking them if you can write a guest blog post for them or even.
In my experience, driving traffic to your Etsy shop takes time so be patient!
- Understand and use Etsy SEO and tags.
- Optimize your product listings and use the best possible photos you can.
- Use Social Media- Instagram & Pinterest – to drive traffic to your Etsy shop.
- Work with influencers to gain a new audience.
Shelley – Etsy Shop: C and T Custom Lures
34,600+ sales since 2013
Question: What are the key ingredients to growing a successful e-commerce business?
The key ingredients to growing a successful e-commerce business are above all else hard work and the motivation to work long hours.
It’s important to have a product that people connect to and want to purchase for many occasions.
Buying online is an impulse buy a lot of times, so the product has to have instant appeal.
It’s equally as important to provide great customer service and quality work to gain trust and return customers.
- Stay focused, motivated and don’t be scared to put in the long hours.
- Try and make your product more than just a ‘one off’ purchase.
- Make your product appeal to impulsive buyers.
- Follow through with quality customer service.
Natalya – Etsy Shop: Natalya1905
12,100+ sales since 2009
Question: What marketing method has worked best for you?
Since I started Natalya1905 in 2009, things have changed a lot. Almost 100% changed. What worked then, doesn’t work anymore.
There are dozens of ways to market your Etsy shop nowaday – and there’s too many to use them all correctly. Like entering Netflix or Barnes & Noble, you want to see everything, but there’s no way you will.
This is why I believe in optimizing your efforts. It saves you time and your sanity. Choose the marketing method (or two) you like best.
Social media, email marketing, blogging (whatever you’re most comfortable with) and focus on it. Make it the main funnel to bring attention to your brand and drive sales. Pick your method(s) and stick to it. Let any other marketing method work around your main one.
For me, Instagram is the main marketing tool. I post all the news there (new designs, new pattern releases, sales, events, questions, giveaways, collaborations, etc.).
Some of my fellow Etsy sellers prefer Facebook, some love Pinterest, others run a blog or a YouTube channel.
In the end, find out what you like best, learn how to use it effectively and work hard to make your success happen.
- Use what you already know.
- Pick one or two marketing channel and learn them inside out.
- Focus all your marketing efforts into these channels to get the most out of them.
Maiko – Etsy Shop: Decoylab
7,800+ sales since 2007
Question: What’s the most common issue when selling crafts on Etsy and how did you overcome it?
The first thing comes to my mind is pricing.
You have to know how to price your items. You don’t want to undersell yourself. Unlike mass producers, individual crafters pay more in material costs. I see many crafters eventually approached by retailers for wholesaling.
Unfortunately, because they didn’t factor wholesaling into their retail price, they have to decline the option of wholesaling as they’d have to sell to the wholesaler for less than what it costs to make the product.
Their business, therefore, can’t grow, because they’ve been trying to make price the most attractive part of their item.
If your plan is to expand to an Etsy alternative or beyond selling directly to customers, then you do have to alter your pricing.
Pricing is an art of its own. And it is not fixed or rigid thing. Customers have different perceptions, expectations when they see the products and how much they are. Paying attention to that is important.
- Don’t be afraid to make a profit.
- Don’t try and sell at a lower price to get more sales.
- Be prepared to sell to a wholesaler for 30%-50% less than what you sell on Etsy.
Gabriel – Etsy Shop: PrettyGraphikDesign
351,000+ sales since 2012
Question: What was the worst advice you’ve ever heard about promoting your online store?
As we really started our Etsy shop in the early days of digital products for handmade artists, we really had nowhere to look for advice. We basically had no idea how to start an Etsy shop.
We really focused on working on building inventory, developing marketing strategies and sharing our business through social media. Never, ever do tomorrow what you could do today.
Setting goals and action plans and actually doing them is really the best advice we can give.
We studied and took advice from mentors and masterclass over the years, but to this day, but what is most important is that you apply those principles to your business right now.
These simple steps are what we followed to create our dream business.
- Look for the advice of those that are experienced, not just educated or knowledgeable.
- Set measurable and realistic goals to keep yourself moving forward
- Develop a plan for social media and marketing.
- Don’t do it tomorrow if it can be done today.
One observation we have made of all our Etsy pros is that most of them have their own website.
Words and Confetti sell on their website and also show off their great photography, while PrettyGrafikDesign and Decoy Lab operate a blog too. This lets them get the most of SEO and Google searches. C&T Custom Lures sells their entire range on their own website, too which cuts down on Etsy listing and sales fees!
If you’re interested in using your Etsy stock to create a website, check out Shoplo Multichannel.
With these tips fresh in your mind, go forth and do what our Etsy pros have done – sell more!