Getting started with Etsy

Have you been thinking about dipping your toe into the ocean of e-commerce with your very own Etsy shop? Or maybe you’ve already taken the plunge and sales are a little…stagnant? Worry not; we’ve gathered a list of nine tips for running your own Etsy storefront. 

1. Research the market

If you’re starting out with a product idea, that’s great! If not, that’s OK, too. What’s important is doing the research for the product you may have in mind. Look to see how many other storefronts are selling the same (or similar) product. Research what your future competitors are selling, how they’ve set up their storefronts, what customers are saying and how they’re pricing their products. Knowledge is power—gather what you can and price your merchandise accordingly. 

2. Take (or design) quality photos and graphics

You know the adage: A picture is worth a thousand words. And that holds true for all your product listings, whether you’re offering a physical or digital product. Make sure photos are well-lit and attractive. Short video clips for physical products are helpful for buyers as well. If you’re selling digital products, make sure your graphics are streamlined and uncluttered. Use an editing tool such as Canva or utilize the help of AI if you’re not graphically inclined. 

Also, include multiple photos of your products; buyers want to see as many details as possible. Lastly, see if your images pass the clickability test. Search for your item to see what other products appear and how their images stand out. If you’d click on another seller’s item, make some adjustments to your images or graphics.

3. Create detailed descriptions

Provide accurate and detailed descriptions of your products, along with the benefits they provide. Include dimensions and materials, or whether the buyer will receive a downloadable product vs. a physical item. If you make one-of-a-kind items, also include the story behind them. Keep it professional, but make it personal. 

4. Use SEO keywords…everywhere

Help your storefront and products appear in front of more potential buyers by using SEO (search engine optimization) keywords in your product titles and descriptions. Use all 13 tags that Etsy allows within product descriptions by including phrases people will use when searching on Etsy and search engines like Google or Bing. 

5. Set competitive pricing

Pricing your items to sell can walk the fine line between overcharging and making zero profit. Review the way similar items are priced and be aware of your costs. You want to be competitive, but you also want to make a profit. Keep in mind that you can adjust pricing if you discover that you’re charging too much or too little. 

6. Define clear shipping timelines

If you produce items once an order comes in, be upfront about the manufacturing, processing and shipping timelines. If you can bundle multiple items for your store into one shipment or possibly offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount, make sure those terms are clearly listed. Most people aren’t expecting big-box-store shipping speeds, but they do need an estimate of how long their items will take to arrive. 

7. Boost your brand awareness

Make sure you’ve thoroughly considered your brand identity. This means your shop name, logo, colors and the aesthetic of your storefront. You’ll want your brand to shine through with your product listings, as well as your presence on social media. Use platforms such as Instagram or TikTok to promote your products to a wider audience, and encourage customers to tag you when they receive or use your products. 

8. Deliver with style

If you’re sending physical items to customers, try to send them an experience. This doesn’t mean a package that explodes with confetti (people may decline to purchase from you in the future if you do this), but one that is wrapped neatly, with a business card and a handwritten “thank you” included. A personal touch and attention to detail can go a long way. 

9. Be aware of the business things

Stay on top of Etsy policies, along with any legal requirements you may need, such as taxes and business licenses. And consult professionals as needed. Also, take advantage of Etsy’s analytics tools to track your store’s performance. Be prepared to adapt to shift your strategy based on what’s working for you and what isn’t.

Come on in; the water’s fine

Setting up your Etsy business can take time; like most things, slow and steady wins the race. From doing your market research to delivering products with style, use these nine tips to get started with your storefront. And remember: Your store doesn’t have to be perfect to get started—you just need to start. Happy selling! 

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