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how to grow on etsy
starting an etsy shop
I am Dylan, a multi-six figure Etsy & Shopify seller. My Etsy shop ranks in the 0.1% of Etsy shops worldwide and we reached $1M+ in sales in just 5 years.
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Embarking on the Etsy journey is an exciting venture, filled with possibilities and the promise of turning your creative passion into a successful business. However, this path is not without its challenges, and many new sellers often find themselves stumbling into common pitfalls that can hinder their shop’s growth. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 17 mistakes that new Etsy sellers frequently make and offer valuable insights on how to steer clear of these obstacles.
1. Using Generic Mockups: The Head-to-Head Conundrum
New shops often fall into the trap of using generic mockups, unwittingly blending into the competition. To stand out, consider investing in unique mockups or showcasing your items in real-life settings. Your goal is to differentiate your products and create a distinct brand identity.
2. Dark, Dingy Photos: The 50% Devaluation Rule
Unprofessional photos automatically devalue your products by 50%. Don’t underestimate the impact of quality visuals. Utilize natural light and portrait mode on your phone to capture high-quality, enticing images that showcase your products in the best light.
3. Pricing Missteps: Balancing Marathon and Sprinting Phases
New sellers sometimes struggle with pricing, either overpricing or underpricing their products. Finding the right balance is crucial. Start with competitive prices to maximize initial sales, then gradually raise them for increased profitability as demand grows. Remember to keep pricing dynamic.
4. Variation Visuals: The Importance of Showing Every Option
Listings without visuals of every variation can lead to missed sales. Potential buyers want to see exactly what they’re getting. Ensure your listing photos provide a clear and comprehensive view of each variation your product offers.
5. Quantity Matters: Moving Beyond 50 Listings
Waiting after 50 listings can hinder growth. Aim for 100-500 listings to increase your shop’s visibility and attract a diverse audience. Avoid overlapping long-tail keywords to target different customer segments effectively.
6. SEO Sins: Steering Clear of Short Tail Keywords
Avoid the temptation to flood your titles with short tail keywords like “wall art” or “home decor.” Instead, opt for specific long-tail keywords tailored to your niche, enhancing your shop’s visibility to the right audience.
7. The Face Behind the Shop: Adding Seller Photos
Shops with no seller photos or sales may appear untrustworthy. Build trust by including genuine photos of yourself and providing a glimpse into the person behind the creative process.
8. Banner Blunders: Making Your Banner Speak
A banner with just the shop name lacks customer appeal. Use this valuable real estate to communicate what you sell and who your target audience is. Make it a visual representation of your brand identity.
9. Targeting Profitable Customers: Moving Beyond the Flea Market
A lack of target customers can leave your shop directionless. Define and target profitable customer segments to create a more tailored shopping experience.
10. Section SEO: Beyond Generic Labels
Sections named with short tail keywords do little for SEO. Use sections strategically with SEO-friendly labels that not only categorize your products but also enhance your shop’s overall visibility.
11. Copycat Strategies: The Downfall of Imitation
Copying bestsellers often results in failure without differentiation. Focus on originality and unique selling propositions to set your shop apart from the competition.
12. Readable Wording: Prioritizing Mobile Visibility
Fine and unreadable wording on listing photos can deter mobile users. Opt for bold, high-contrast lettering to ensure your product details are clear and legible, even on smaller screens.
13. Canva Pitfalls: Unveiling Novice Designs
As more people use Canva, it becomes evident which shops are using basic clip art. Differentiate yourself by investing time in unique design elements that reflect your brand’s personality and style.
14. Zooming Matters: A Thumbnail’s Impact
Failing to zoom in enough can affect visibility on search pages. Optimize thumbnails to make listings more enticing and ensure your products stand out in a crowded marketplace.
15. Variation Offerings: The Power of Choices
Offering only one variation limits potential sales. Provide enough variations without overwhelming buyers, giving them the freedom to choose the product that best suits their needs.
16. Marketing Initiatives: Beyond Etsy’s Boundaries
Relying solely on Etsy’s traffic can stunt growth. Execute daily Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram strategies to drive your own traffic and enhance your shop’s visibility.
17. Embracing Imperfection: The Iterative Process
Waiting for perfection delays progress. List items promptly and refine them over time based on customer feedback. Your first rendition of a listing will not be your best one, so embrace the iterative process of improvement.
By avoiding these 17 pitfalls, new Etsy shops can pave the way for sustainable growth and success. Each aspect, from product presentation to pricing strategy, contributes to building a reputable and thriving Etsy business. Remember, Etsy success is a journey of continuous improvement and adaptation.
How many variations should I showcase in my listing photos?
Offer enough variations to provide choices but avoid overwhelming buyers. If a buyer asks for a specific size or color for personalization, the answer should always be YES if possible.
Is it necessary to have a seller photo for a new Etsy shop?
Yes, including a genuine photo builds trust and credibility for your shop. This paired with a personable about section will draw buyers to return to your shop increasing their lifetime value.
Should I prioritize quantity or quality in my pricing strategy?
Initially, focus on quantity to establish momentum, then gradually raise prices for profitability. Ultimately, you want to make sure you are keeping track of your hourly wage and increasing your amount per order. Check out this post to dive deeper into pricing strategy and how to leverage it in your shop!