Gemma Hotchkiss is the illustration talent behind Jurassic Panda. She creates a world inhabited by panda bears and dinosaurs, which adorn items from bags to T-shirts, badges and cards. She sells a lot of her wares on Etsy – the giant of handmade goods online. Here she shares her five top tips for increased Etsy sales.
As an English person selling on a huge American site like Etsy, it’s easy for your shop to be overlooked. While it can be disheartening not to achieve overnight success, it is important to be patient. Here are a few tips that I have found can help maximise the opportunity for potential sales.
1) Fill your shop
There is nothing less appealing than visiting a real life shop with no choice or bare shelves and the same goes for an online shop. We have all been to buy an item of clothing and you see something you like but it isn't the right colour or size it’s frustrating. Give people choice! They may like your postcard but have no need to purchase one, a similar design on T-shirt might be just what they are looking for. A shop with choice looks more professional and is more engaging for a shopper.
2) Make your tags count
In order to maximise your searchability on Etsy, you should tag your listings wisely! Always use up all 13 to give yourself a good opportunity to get spotted, for example if I was selling a dog painting I would make sure I used the tags ‘dog’ and ‘painting’ separately as well as ‘dog painting’.
3) Stand out with good images
It is important that the images show the item clearly and that the colours are true to the product. I like to have at least one picture of the item in context and others showing close-ups of design features. If selling clothes or jewellery, try to get a pal to help you model them, so that shoppers can then see exactly what it looks like and what they are getting. Even with good item descriptions and product measurements it is sometimes difficult to envisage. Find creative ways to display your items. Do you have a gorgeous hand-knitted throw for sale? Display it on a bed with some gorgeous linen and a cute display on a bedside table as well as on a sofa draped nicely with some beautiful cushions. If you are unsure how to display your products then check out other Etsy sellers with similar products and do some searches on Pinterest to give you some inspiration for your own products.
4) Make it easy for people to find your shop
If you have a page on Facebook with a lot of likes then there are apps that integrate your Etsy shop with your Facebook page. This not only increases the chances of your products being seen but it also means that people can browse through your products without even leaving the familiarity of Facebook. I use the free app Easy Social Shop, but there are other ones around.
If you have a website you might be interested in ‘Mini Etsy’ – a piece of code you can use to embed your Etsy listings directly into your own web pages. As with Easy Social Shop, when shoppers click on the embedded items it will take them directly to the product on the full Etsy site. Both of these tools can maximise the potential for people to see your products.
5) Be sociable
If you want Twitter to work for you, then be picky over who you ‘follow’. Don't just follow 1,000 strangers because this won’t necessarily benefit you. You need to engage with other artists, designers, companies and potential customers. Never see other sellers as competition. Think of Etsy and Twitter as a lovely community of people helping one another out.
Keep potential customers aware of what you have for sale by sending links to new products and posting pictures. Do this across all of your social media channels so that nobody gets left out. Engage with businesses that are helpful to you. Has printed.com just rushed an order through? Then thank them via social media. This not only helps you create a great relationship with businesses you are dealing with, it also means that other people become aware of companies that provide services that might be of benefit to them.
Businesses might also contact you. I once tweeted about some new mailbags I had ordered and I received a tweet from a local company saying that they had some really good deals on mailbags if I was interested for any future orders. It turned out that they were actually cheaper than my original supplier.
And don’t just tweet about your products, tweet about you! People love having a little insight into the lives of the people behind the products – that’s what is unique about buying independent. People love to know where your inspiration comes from, and to find out what you get up to.