When Christine Lucas created her Etsy shop Lula Flora, she likely never thought she’d be in the top 1% of all Etsy sellers. The Lula Flora product line consists solely of miniature pinatas - and they've sold over 10,000 of them. It’s hard not to be impressed by Lula Flora's success in transforming an arguably niche product into such a massive eCommerce success. Clearly, consumers are loving the miniature pinatas - but Lula Flora didn't become a top 1% Etsy seller just by having the best pinatas. After a few rounds of trial and error, and some help from Etsy, Lucas learned the game of marketing. Once equipped with the proper strategies, Lula Flora seemingly blew up overnight. To emulate Lula Flora’s success in your own eCommerce business, it’s essential to understand what benefits Etsy holds for their sellers, and how you can make the most of them.
Etsy is a great platform for entrepreneurs who are in search of a user-friendly eCommerce marketplace to sell handmade, vintage, and craft items. While Etsy is a practical resource for all independent artists and creators looking to monetize their trade, it’s particularly handy if you’re new to the eCommerce world. With an astounding 89 million active buyers, the marketplace provides a head start to new eCommerce shops looking to gain traffic quickly. Furthermore, Etsy brings additional traffic to their sellers’ shops through running advertisements on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Bing.
Etsy boasts 89 million active buyers
It’s easy to assume that the exposure Etsy helps their sellers gain would come with a steep price tag attached - yet Etsy has no startup costs and only charges their sellers an advertising fee when a sale is made because of an advertisement! As a result, Etsy spent an astounding $500.76 million on advertising in 2020, while still achieving a net profit of $349 million the same year. In contrast, it’s not uncommon for an aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner to feel advertising is a costly, precarious commitment. Etsy’s ability to bear the financial weight of advertising mitigates many of the risks associated with starting an eCommerce shop. While Etsy greatly aids their sellers through providing the tools for success, unfortunately it’s still up to the sellers to optimize their uses. If you’re considering making the leap and opening an Etsy shop, or simply want to improve your existing shop, consider trying out the following tips...
With the number of both Etsy’s new and active buyers continuing to rapidly increase, it’s clear there’s not an issue getting consumers to Etsy. However, the real battle for sellers lies in getting your target audience to your shop. Establishing and maintaining a desired perception of your brand can help you to reach the appropriate audience. When considering who your shop is attracting and how it’s being perceived, all aspects relating to its overall look should be considered. Everything from the language you use to photo quality will construct your branding and therefore how consumers perceive your shop. Who you want to attract and how you want them to perceive your brand is entirely up to you. However, it’s always helpful to research your ideal client and attempt to follow their thought process. A mistake Etsy sellers commonly make is including the words “part-time” or “hobby” in their listing. While you may not see your shop as a “real business” yet, you should make your shop appear as professional as you can. After all, it is what you make of it!
Aside from establishing the desired perception of your brand, the keywords you use in your titles, tags, and descriptions are one of the largest points of control you have in who visits your shop and where you land in consumer searches. There are a few different things you can try when looking to optimize your keywords. The easiest starting point is to search your product on Etsy with broad terminology and assess the automated suggestions to see what’s worked for competitors. If you want to take things a step further, Sale Samurai is a worthwhile outside platform that can help sellers to determine what keywords will be the most successful on Etsy. This tool can easily present the keywords that bestsellers in your products category are using, as well as come up with individualized keyword recommendations. Lastly, Etsy Analytics is an incredibly valuable tool when it comes to reviewing what has worked for your shop and what hasn’t. This feature of Etsy allows you to see which of your keywords are generating the most sales, helping you to gain insight for the future.
Whether referring to product listings or your shops' supporting social media content, consistency is one of the most important things for your brand. You want to deliver a clear sense of who you are as a brand, and want an eCommerce consumer to know its your product as soon as they see a listing. Etsy provides motivation for sellers to create new listings regularly by boosting new listings, giving you a better chance to be found. If you’re unsure of how many product listings you should be aiming for, you can get an idea by monitoring competitors listing numbers as they change day to day. As you re-post listings to try and boost sales, always keep your brand's theme and feeling in mind so that you create a brand identity that's easily recognizable for your buyers!
While it seems a small shipping fee wouldn't be a huge factor in a consumer purchase, data shows that 50% of Etsy buyers' final decisions are influenced by shipping costs and methods. Further incentivizing sellers to do away with shipping costs, Etsy’s algorithm gives priority to the product listings that offer free shipping on orders $35 and over. An easy way to navigate this as a seller is to simply include the shipping cost in the total price of the item. Consumers tend to be more apt to pay a couple extra bucks for an item as opposed to paying that equal cost in a separate shipping charge. This strategy aims to increase, or at the very least maintain, your sales without losing money to shipping.
In reality it took about a year for Lula Flora to hit massive Etsy success. But in the grand scheme of things, a year isn’t a lot of time to build a business from the ground up. With the potential to go viral and blow up overnight, you must be prepared to manage your shop's success. The worst-case scenario is having large order volumes that you can’t keep up with on the fulfillment side due to lack of resources and/or expenses. To keep up with the growth of your shop, it’s best to outsource what you can, where it makes sense. There are some things only you can do for your shop, such as being the visionary, creator, and shot-caller. PackYak can be a valuable resource to scaling eCommerce businesses, offering premier shipping rates and reliable order fulfillment. If you have any questions about partnering with a fulfillment center, or want to request a cost estimate on working with PackYak, reach out here! Through seeking outside help, you will be able to focus in on the heart and soul of your business - allowing it to grow in ways only you can!
That's all for this week's edition of The New Yak Times! Tune in next week and subscribe below!