One of the topics that you will need to master when setting up on Etsy is a full appreciation of Etsy product listings. I am an Etsy novice and I am on a journey to see how easy it is to sell online, and I want to help you via my mistakes.
Getting your Etsy product listings correct is going to be the single most critical factor in getting views and ultimately purchases.
There are 15 top level Etsy product listings categories (click here). I am selling handcrafted costume jewellery, and so when my potential buyer searches on Etsy they see this.
These are the product categories that you assign to your Etsy product listings. Initially, I made the mistake of wanting to be too vague in the hope of catching the gaze of a bigger audience. Originally, I believed that if I honed the listing down, then I would create too much of a niche search. Instead of being specific about the necklace I chose Jewellery>Necklace> instead of Jewellery>Necklace>Beaded. The advice from Etsy is to be specific. “Your goal as a seller is to describe your item as accurately as possible”. Take a look at the search results below. I am not a statistician, however, I understand the term needle in a haystack. Make your haystack as small as possible.
In an earlier blog, I discussed product images and that there are potential benefits in naming your images with keyword rich names i.e., using the most accurate words to describe how you would search for that particular item, such as turquoise-stone-bracelet.
Add as many photos as you can to enhance the buyers experience of your product. Etsy gives great tips on how to deliver a good customer experience.
Sellers control the most important factors in an Etsy Search. When a potential buyer searches, Etsy’s search algorithm works to return the most relevant items based on the details you have attributed to your listing. Yet again, I have made yet another mistake here that you can learn from (See below).
When populating the Etsy product listings page you happily click away with the belief that more is more. There are exceptions to this rule. Do not click “No” on optional attribute questions unless you want a list of ‘No’s to appear on your item summary. A list of “No’s” can give an amateur appearance and be totally irrelevant buyer information. For example in the snapshot on the left – Spinner: No. A necklace is 99.9% unlikely to have a spinner. Trying to undo these errors is a bit of a pain. You cannot un-click ‘No” you can only change it to ‘Yes’. In the end, I called on Etsy Help. They responded within a couple of days and answered……
“Unfortunately we don’t have a way to quickly reset these attributes. To reset these Yes and No buttons, you would need to change your category to a completely different one, which will clear out any set attributes you currently have for the listing. You can then change back to your correct category and reselect the attributes for your listing. We realize this is not an ideal workaround and are continuing to look into improving the process for sellers”
I am not the picture of a skilled handcrafter pouring beautifully poetic narratives into my Etsy product listings – To be honest I started to wear a little thin of the whole process. Here is the basis of my mistake number #214…! Write your product description like your talking to a prospective buyer face to face – flow. Etsy encourage you to show your personality (click here for their advice). Feel free to get carried away with your description – there’s a lot of space to fill (if you want to).
Adding links in your narrative is also a great way to engage your buyer and get more coverage.
A tag is a word or short phrase that describes your item (a keyword). Etsy matches tags with shoppers’ searches to find relevant results. To improve where your items are appearing on Etsy, use tags when listing your items. You can use up to 13 tags per listing. You should always use all 13 tags, even if it feels highly repetitive.
Looking at the marketplace to see how other sellers described their products, I noticed ‘Americanisms’. For example,
Effectively, a search engine will see these as different words, and if they are important to your search then add both versions of the words to your tags.
Stumbling blocks or stepping stones? I have definitely reached a better space emotionally on this quest to sell online. I realise it is all a learning curve and that you don’t start at perfect and then get more perfect.
My mistakes are stepping stones.
In fact, despite having 41 listings now live on my Etsy shop PromisedLandStudio – I have not sold a thing – even worse – no ‘finger-fall’ at all. Yes, you understand me correctly, not one prospective buyer has even looked at my shop. At the time of writing this blog the only activity on my shop is by me and a few close friends checking it over.
I need to update my shop to follow all the advice I have given you. I decided that the research and blogging prioritised getting my shop right. Its going to be interesting to see if the changes make any difference. This is my next challenge.
Follow me to see what happens next.