For the past five years I’ve managed to successfully run my Etsy shop of hand knitted and crocheted items. Now success is different to each person but to me I maintained a constant stream of sales and I managed to double my income each year for five years straight. This past year I actually got to the point where I found it difficult to keep up with holiday sales. All of my customers were very sweet and amazing to work with but at the end of the day I found my shop to be too much for me to continue running it as a side job. I recently decided to step back and leave it as a hobby and only sell ready made items on there. I’m not closing my shop by any means but simply can’t keep up with the demand.
After having such an amazing season I decided to share some of my insight with all of the other Etsy and online shop owners out there in hopes of helping each of you grow your business. Here are a few tips on how I managed my shop to the point that I couldn’t keep up.
High Quality Photography
When shopping online images and photographs are very important. You can’t simply pick up an item and feel it so you need the second best thing, great photography. A photo can say a million words and having a crisp clear image is very important in portraying this.
Most shops like to have bright white backgrounds to make their product images really pop but that’s a personal preference. If you want a black background go for it. Just make sure your background is complementing your products and your shop. My shop for example has natural fiber and eco-friendly accessories. If you look at my shop the majority of my primary images were taken outside or on wooden boards which nicely compliment my idea of being eco-friendly.
Awesome Product Tags
In order to create great product tags you must think like a customer. One of the mistakes that I made early on was with my tags, I was creating tags with terms that I use when describing my products but the average person looking to buy a cute baby hat might not know or care about the name of the stitch I used to create it. I learned to step back and think like the customer. What would the customer type into the search field? Those are the terms that you want to use as your 13 tags to describe your product.
Clear Product Descriptions
Along with photography this is the second most important part of selling online. Clients often can’t see every part of the item that they’re interested in purchasing even in the best photographs. The product description fills in any blanks and questions that the customer might have before making their purchase. If you use a special technique or used a special material while making it be sure to include that in your description. Customers shopping on Etsy love hearing the story behind the products that they’re buying and are often willing to spend a little more for an item with meaning.
Make your customer feel comfortable with you and your shop. When a customer see’s you as a friend or family member they’re often willing to make a purchase with you. When they understand why you created your shop or the special methods behind the products they feel like there’s a bond that has been formed. They begin to feel like they know you after reading about you and your passion of creating wonderful, one-of–a-kind pieces. Take advantage of the About section of your shop, include photos of you using or wearing your items. By putting a face with the name or shop you end up personalizing it even more.
Excellent Customer Service
Never leave your clients hanging. One of my main goals was to have clear communication with my customers at all time. I love creating custom pieces and often had to communicate with my customers to make sure the pieces were made exactly as they imagine. I always responded within 24 hours but ideally would respond within the hour. I know when I’m making a purchase, especially a custom order, I’m waiting impatiently by my phone waiting for that email to come in with more information. The suspense kills me and I don’t want to put my customers through that. I know that they’re probably waiting on the other end and want to get to them as quickly as possible. Just remember the golden rule and put yourself in your customers shoes and treat them as you wish to be treated.
These are my top 5 tips on running a successful Etsy shop, or any online shop for that matter. Please share other tips that have helped launch your shop!