I always expect a slack time when it comes to sales from my Etsy shop during the summer months but this summer was considerably slower than I expected with a very noticeable downturn after I came back from my vacation in July.
With Q4 rapidly approaching I needed to take action to sort this mess out!
Here’s what I did;
- I set up an ongoing sale. Using Etsy’s “Sales and coupons” tool (go to Shop Manager/Marketing/Sales & coupons) I created a “15% off everything in my shop” sale. I also included details of my sale in my shop announcement. Sale items created in this way will come up in searches where the shopper uses the “on sale” filter in Etsy search. Additionally the sale discount is highlighted in the search results which makes your item stand out among a page of similar items as shown here;
- I set up a free shipping coupon which again applies to all the items in my shop but I used the minimum purchase setting so my offer only kicks in when the buyer spends a minimum amount which encourages multiple purchases. As with sale items, free shipping is also highlighted beneath the product image in search results (as shown above) which again helps the item to stand out. Shoppers also have the option of using the free shipping search filter when they search. In September Etsy published “The Ultimate Guide to Etsy Search” which announced that Etsy search now factors shipping price into search ranking – listings with lower shipping prices are more likely to rank higher in search and offering free shipping could improve your search ranking even more.
- I reviewed my listing categories. Etsy says “Categories act like tags, and you can add as many relevant options as you like. Adding more specific categories will give you more opportunities to match with a search. Remember: When you add specific subcategories to your listings, your items are included in all the categories that subcategory is nested within.” It is, therefore important to list your items in the correct categories – initially I favored the category “Home & Living” with the sub categories “Home Decor”, “Wall Decor” and “Wall Hangings” for my art prints. It occurred to me that the category “Art & Collectibles” with the sub categories “Prints” and “Lithographs” (or “Giclee”) allows me to add a “Subject” from a drop down list. So, for example my Edward Gorey prints now have the subject “Horror & gothic” which is much more specific info on the theme of the prints than the very broad “Wall Hangings” sub category.
- I added all of the “attributes” information – Etsy says “Since each attribute you add acts like a tag (and helps you match with shoppers’ searches when they use matching terms), it’s important to add all the relevant options”
Since putting these 4 simple changes in place my *listing views are up 31%, orders are up 240% and revenue is up 174%!!
*For the 30 day period after I put in place my recovery tweaks compared to the 30 days immediately before.
What is Happening Here?
If you are wondering (as I was) why my shop suffered the downturn in the first place do read through this podcast transcript which was published by Etsy on October 10th – Click here to read the transcript
It provides a great insight into the workings of Etsy search, it busts some search myths and also explains why shops have a negative reaction to vacation mode.
Particularly important to understand is the “quality score” that Etsy gives to listings based on how shoppers interact with them – when shoppers click to view, favorite and purchase items their quality score is enhanced and this enhances their search ranking. So, reducing your prices with a sale is likely to attract positive attention which leads to more listing views, favorites and sales which in turn enhances the quality score of your listings which leads to an improved search rank which attracts more traffic and this virtuous circle continues.
If you are like me you won’t be keen to drop your prices but the way I look at it is it’s better to get 85% of something than it is to get 100% of nothing.
If you feel that 15% is too big a sale discount for your shop the minimum sale that you can offer using the sales and coupons tool is 10%.
Anyway, it’s time I got back to researching and testing some new vintage print niches! – I hope you have found this post helpful particularly if you too have been suffering from a sudden drop in sales – give these tips a try and let me know how you get on!
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