Contrary to what you’d expect, this post is not going to be about banners, shop icons or any of that stuff.
In fact, it won’t be about graphics at all.
Because, if you’ve ever wondered how to make your Etsy shop stand out, you must have realized that the answer to this question is not as easy as slapping a super creative banner on your front page and calling it a day.
In order to make your shop stand out, you’re going to have to take a step back and think about its overall appeal. And here’s the thing: instead of seeing it as just a digital space, switch your thinking and picture it as a real, brick-and-mortar enclosure.
Why? Because brick-and-mortar stores have very particular ways of attracting clients into their carefully constructed universes and keeping them there until they (inevitably) decide on buying something. And, with a little shift in perspective, you too can pretend that your digital shop is a physical one and apply the same techniques to make it stand out.
Step 1: Set The Atmosphere
All the stores from Anthropologie to Zara and all the way up to Prada have very specific environments, which were carefully curated to fit the clients’ profile.
From the way in which the lights are placed, to their intensity and style, to the way products are displayed on various shelves, in various nooks and at various heights, and all the way down to the a faint scent, these stores have everything in place to keep visitors around for longer and to immerse them into a story.
How do you apply this to YOUR shop? Well, follow the same paths. Sure, you can’t rely on physical factors to make an impression, but you can tell a narrative using other means. Things like matching visuals and packaging, clear and descriptive item categories, fresh updates with charming photos etc. all add up to tell your story. Put them to good use!
Step 2: Focus On Navigation
Brick-and-mortar stores take advantage of their floor space by organizing it in such a way that shoppers don’t have to *think* where to go next. They are subtly, but cleverly steered along a very particular route. Related, but not necessarily similar products are often placed next to each other to encourage the purchase of more than one item.
How can you apply this? Well, do your best to organize your items into clear categories in your left sidebar. Make their names as expressive as possible, so that they lead your visitors to what they’re looking for quickly.
Then, you can proceed to interlink related products by placing direct links at the end of your product descriptions or, why not, even links to entire categories.
Aim to maximize the exposure for each and every product. You can even draw a chart – it may be easier to map out links this way.
Step 3: Make It An Exciting, Discovery Process
Some real shops choose to engage their visitors in a discovery process where items are displayed in small nooks, rotating shelves, surprising little boxes etc.
You too can adopt this strategy andinsert small discovering points along the way in your own shop.
Surprise your customer by leading them to related, but not immediately intuitive products. This will further spark their interest and keep them browsing in your shop for longer. For example, you can link from a plate to a collapsible breakfast tray etc.