Boasting an impressive 54 million members, 1.4 million active sellers and 19.8 million active buyers as of December 2014 (source), this is a market you definitely want to get into. The customers are there, they’re already looking for lovingly handmade products to buy and all you need to do is to show up and claim your piece of the pie. Right?
In today’s Etsy landscape (and fast-paced digital world, for that matter), customers skip right past any stores that don’t impress them right away. There are so many other options to choose from, remember?
But don’t let this fact discourage you.
Actually, let it turn into an empowering mantra: if you focus on doing everything in your power to grab your visitors’ attention, you’ll be light years ahead of the competition.
Which brings us to this: nobody is exempt from making mistakes with their Etsy shop.
Regardless if you’re a complete newbie or if you already have hundreds of sales under your belt, these 6 common Etsy mistakes can still affect you and keep you from making good progress.
Without further ado, here they are:
Etsy Mistake #1: Subpar Photography
Easier said than done, right?
You may already know the drill about good composition, natural light and all of that. (And hey, you may even be applying it!) But are you paying attention to other small details which can make or break your shot? Here are other not-so-obvious product photography mistakes you might be making:
the props obscure or take away from your product
parts of your product are blurred or not in the shot
over-the-top photo editing and unrealistic contrasts (remember, customers want to see how the product looks like in real life!)
Etsy Mistake #2: Your Product Descriptions are Too Short
Product descriptions should be more like a story than a technical listing of attributes.
This is your chance to charm your readers, so let them in on the magic than went into creating the final object and share bits about its story or its inspiration.
If you still lack motivation to improve your product descriptions, here’s an extra push: the first 160 characters are also crucial from an SEO perspective. They are used to create the meta description for your listing, which is to say that they will appear under your page title on a search engine’s results page – exactly where prospective buyers come from. Cha-ching!
P.S. More on SEO below.
Etsy Mistake #3: You Don’t Pay Attention To SEO
Ugh, that SEO thing again.
Well, unless you want to get stuck with having exactly 1 buyer for the rest of your shop’s existence, you HAVE to get into it.
Learn about it, implement it, love it, tweak it and the customers will follow.
And don’t be scared of the technical “mumbo-jumbo”. It’s actually quite easy to understand and apply to your own shop and listings. This Etsy help article will walk you through it.
Etsy Mistake #4: You Don’t See Your Shop As A Business
If you’ve only opened your Etsy shop as an experiment (kind of like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks), don’t be surprised to see that customers are not exactly flocking in.
Before buying anything, customers need to make sure (even if at a subconscious level) that you’re a reputable seller.
How do you convince them of that?
By being dead serious about your Etsy shop.
See it as a real business, with a real mission and real products.
Visuals: give your shop a unified look, feel and voice.
Be active on one or two social media platforms to expand your reach (even if your following is tiny at first – everybody has to start somewhere!).
List new products constantly or renew old listings.
Make your About page as complete as possible and give customers a peek into your work environment.
Be genuine and helpful.
Rinse, repeat, grow.
Etsy Mistake #5: Plateauing
Ok, this one is geared more towards experienced sellers, but everyone can learn something from it.
As your shop grows bigger, you’ll find yourself focusing more on completing and shipping orders than on beautifying or writing original descriptions.
And that’s great.
But don’t forget how you got started.
Take a few minutes to write original descriptions for each item, even if the listings are similar (you still want to draw in and convince new customers to buy) and be sure to provide enough information to entice them to make a purchase. Just a few sentences won’t do, even if you have thousands of previous sales to back up your reputation. You’ll only be playing yourself – for an extra motivator, see mistake #2.
YOUR TURN: What is the biggest mistake you’ve made on Etsy? Is it one of the above?
Share with us below!
Images via Pixabay