Etsy is a really useful selling platform for those who create handcrafted products. Many business owners struggle to know where to start and when to take that first step. There’s a lot of information to research and digest and it can be very overwhelming so this Etsy guide will hopefully help you on your way.
An Etsy shop is always free so avoid any links that charge you, or offer you discounted joining fees, there are no joining fees. Etsy charge you $0.20 per listing and 3.5% transaction fee per sale.
Etsy gives you the option to get paid in a variety of ways, you can use Paypal and Direct Checkout to name a few; you set these up when you first open your shop.
Setting up shop
Branding your shop is extremely important, it is as it says… your shop front! The first thing your customers see when they visit, and first impressions are hugely important. Ensure that you upload a banner that matches your logo, and of course put your logo as your avatar. Ensure that your shop announcement is filled out, as well as the about section. Your policies are also a big factor for customers when deciding where to purchase, they show you give good customer service and have the customer’s best interests in mind.
The next thing you will be faced with when setting up your shop is listing your first item. There are many components that make up listing your product, but the listing interface is fabulous and so easy to use.
Getting the listings right
One of the first things your potential customer will see is the title of your product; it’s very important to make sure it describes the product. Not only so the customer knows what it is, but so that it appears in searches. So if your product is a button bouquet in pink, for example, instead of having the title as “Pink Bouquet” include some keywords “Bright Pink Fuchsia Wedding Button Bouquet”.
The product description is another important section of wording to ensure you fill in completely. I personally prefer “M&S style” descriptions, followed by a bullet point section of key info. This allows me as a customer to imagine owning a particular item whilst also conveying the key information.
A quick example of this, still using the bouquet example is:
“This stunning bright pink wedding button bouquet will add a touch of glamour and sparkle to your big day. Your wedding day is a day when you should feel like a princess, and this bouquet will add that perfect touch. Made with stunning diamante buttons and a hint of pearl, this bouquet will set off your wedding gown exquisitely.
- Pink bouquet
- 104 buttons
- 86cm diameter
- Any other key information”
Tailor to your business
Of course that’s not tailored to your product at all, I just made it up, but hopefully that gives you an idea. Some people may find it difficult to write highly descriptive luxurious descriptions, and that’s okay! That’s one of the tasks you can outsource to your virtual assistant, or take our product description masterclass course.
The tags you use in the listing are highly important as these are another factor to result you being found in searches. Make sure you use all 13 spaces, descriptive keywords of 2 – 3 words are best, such as pink bouquet, wedding bouquet. You can use Google’s keyword tool to help you out if you’re struggling.
Your photos are one of the key tools to enticing a buyer, if a customer likes the photo they’ll automatically read the title/description to find out more. Professional looking photographs will help immensely. Make sure it’s bright, clear, and shows the product at its best. Depending on your product a variety of styling techniques might work, some prefer a white background whilst some prefer a lifestyle setting.
Get the right shot
Etsy allows you to have 5 photos per listing, although if necessary you can use a collage as one or more of your photos so you can show more options. Use all of these slots, showing different angles of the product. Remember that this is the only aid your customers can use to judge the size, quality, material etc. They can’t hold it, touch it, smell it, or use any of their other senses to decide on the product they would like.
Make sure you make the photograph as appealing as possible, although as you gain more experience your photographs will improve with time. Ensure that you crop your photos appropriately, there’s nothing worse than a gorgeous product on a visible dirty windowsill, or a pair of feet in the shot. If you’re uploading a listing of a product that you only have 1 photograph from 1 angle, then use the crop tool of your chosen photo editor to turn the photo into 5 photographs.
On Etsy you get to arrange your thumbnail, you can crop and adjust it so it portrays the product to its highest standard and entices people to click and find out more.
Set the price
The next steps are setting your product and shipping price. Your product should have a price if you’re listing on Etsy, but if you haven’t gotten that far yet then do check out my pricing article which might help you out. Shipping prices can be found through the Royal Mail website (or whatever shipping company you use), and you can add on the price of packaging if you so wish
Make sure to keep active on Etsy, perhaps direct a few sales from social networks to your Etsy shop. This will increase your sales number and show you’re a trusted reputable shop, customers like to buy from established shops as they appear more trustworthy. Although a selection of people do try and buy from new shops to be supportive.
Etsy has a review system to allow customers to review your shop based on the quality of the products, the shopping experience, shipping times and anything else they wish. The percentage of people who leave reviews isn’t great, so a discount code may be beneficial to use as an incentive to encourage people to leave a review. The more positive reviews you have, the better you’ll look to prospective customers.
If you go onto your homepage, you should find a link to sign up for all of Etsy’s newsletters. Make sure you do so as the seller emails are filled with lots of beneficial tips for a successful shop. In addition to this guide to Etsy.
Most of all, have fun! Opening an Etsy shop is a wonderful adventure and you get to be part of a fabulous community.
I really hope this guide to Etsy has made it a little less scary!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!