Etsy is somewhat of an antidote to the mammoth marketplace that is Amazon.
Unlike the latter – where retailers fiercely compete on price and shipping – Etsy has more of a community-driven focus, with sellers aiming to create a connection with buyers in order to build reputation and drive sales.
You’ll find more on Etsy and other third-party marketplaces in Econsultancy’s Best Practice Guide to Third Party Marketplaces, but in the meantime, here’s a few key tips for maximising sales on the site. Check back soon for follow-up articles on Amazon and eBay.
Build credibility through social media
Etsy first started as a place to sell handmade goods and art. Now, while restrictions have been lifted to allow a wider range of goods sold, it still has an intrinsic community feel.
This means that sellers are expected to directly communicate with buyers – before, during, and after purchase. With less of a focus on product page assets, and more on communication, a key way for sellers to improve visibility and sales is through a wider footprint across social media.
This could involve creating an Instagram channel to showcase products, or starting a blog to demonstrate creative thinking. All in all, a strong social media presence can help retailers to build direct relationships with potential customers (and increase overall discoverability).
Participate in communities
In a similar sense, and due to the often niche and female-focused nature of Etsy products, participating in community discussions can also give sellers a boost.
This could involve taking part in forums, asking for advice, or offering feedback to others on the site.
Meanwhile, it’s also worthwhile for Etsy sellers to consider packaging as a key USP. This is because buyers are, again, typically looking for niche and handmade items which – along with the packaging it comes in – can be a key differentiator against the often factory-made and big brand products found on Amazon.
Combine keywords with clever copy
Like any marketplace, it’s important to know what people are searching for in relation to your product on the site. Alongside top phrases, it’s helpful to look at non-product search terms, too, as these can help identify competition within the category in question.
From this, sellers should then create target keywords related to each product and category, and integrate this into titles and descriptions.
As Etsy tends to sell more desirable products as opposed to functional (think jewellery rather than technology) – it’s also worth injecting a bit of personality into profiles and item descriptions. Again, this falls in line with the brand-focused nature of the marketplace, with sellers more likely to stop and browse retailers that they naturally feel an affinity to.
Take note from competitors
One of the biggest challenges for sellers on Etsy is to differentiate themselves among stiff competition in the same or a similar category. In order to do this, competitor research is a helpful strategy. Analysing competitors doesn’t just help you understand what buyers want, but it can also help you determine what top sellers in your category aren’t doing – and how you might be able to fill that gap.
There are a few common threads among the biggest sellers on Etsy. This tends to be highly professional photography, prominent and slick branding, and fast and friendly communication.
With such a vast amount of sellers on the site, it can be helpful to start with these core principles – regardless of product or category.
Subscribers can download Econsultancy’s ‘Third-Party Marketplaces for Retailers‘ Best Practice Guide
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