Guest blog post by Lisajoy of Saxdsign
Etsy Up – What I Walked Away With
The Etsy Up conference was held August 11th and 12th, 2016 in New York city.
Did you know that there are over 1.7 million Etsy Sellers world wide?
The opening Keynote by Chad Dickerson was a breath of fresh air. Chad was very honest with the attendants about his story and how he overcame life challenges and why Etsy is so important to him.
Chad learned at an early life how valuable money is, when he borrowed $500 from his dad to buy a lawn mower to start his lawn cutting business. His dad made him pay interest every month. He learned that it was hard work, and why making commitments are so important. He learned about finding capital, taking risks, and what a strong work ethic was.
As a young adult he recognized how the power of education is incredibly important, and it can’t be taken away from you. After graduating from Duke, Chad took a lot of odd jobs, like working in a yogurt shop, pizza delivery, and a clerk. He finally got a level entry position at a newspaper where he became fast buddies with some of the other workers where he learned how to code computers. He took this as an opportunity to get excited about his future in the tech industry. He looked at the obstacles that potentially created wind at his back. He became very good at what he did, and ended up moving to San Francisco for 10 years, but ended up going bankrupt, and moved to NYC in 2008.
Even though Chad went through some incredibly hard times he never swayed. He always knew why he was doing what he was doing, he was, and still is following his passion. He says it is all about courage in the end. Chad says that if you find your heart and you connect to what you love and what your passion is, courage becomes a habit.
Start and take the leap
Accept and learn from your failure
Don’t get discouraged
To be successful you have to ignore a lot of advice you get. You must ignore your critics, or people who try to downplay what you are doing. It is imperative that you listen to the voice inside you. Remember what it is it you want, why you are doing it, and go after it, you are not alone.
New Order – Fay Wolf
Organizing your life starts with the ability to declutter, and Magic Happens.
You can buy the book here: New Order
In the second keynote speech by Faye Wolf on organizing the mood in the lecture hall was excited. Faye has an uncanny ability to embrace the audience with utter charm and energy at the same time. She had the crowd at her fingertips, telling stories, and showing us photos of what her bedroom looked like as a teenager. We all had that messy room right?
“There is before and better” Faye said, “it is not before and after”
We learned how important it is to embrace imperfection, and how our decisions are not about right or wrong, they are about what makes you feel good. If clutter makes you feel depleted, distracted and uninspired then you need to learn how to make your life and spaces around you better.
She went on to stress how routines are good, and keep you grounded, and how organization equals access. When you make space for what you love magic happens. She says decluttering is a gateway drug (the good kind) she claimed that once you get started to declutter you life it can become addicting and eventually will make you become more excited about being in your own space. When you are in a space you love you work better, think more clearly, and optimize your success.
Another little tip that Faye offered and I found to be incredibly important, was to turn off notifications, unsubscribe to almost all the newsletters I got in my email, and get the piles of paper off my desk. By doing just these few things I learned, really quickly, that it freed up about an hour a day for me, and since I work a few hours every day, including weekends, I gained about 7 hours a week to do other things that are more important to me. Seven hours is a lot of extra time, especially for someone who needs that extra time.
We all got Faye’s book New Order in our swag bags, and when I got home I started to read it, it is a fast read, and I recommend anyone in a creative industry to read it. Actually I feel like it is a “MUST READ” for all Etsy shop owners. Since the conference, and since I read Faye’s book I have completely changed the way I use my studio. It is organized and easily accessible, I can find most anything I need to make my gemstones and jewelry. My desk and office area is neat and decluttered and a pleasure to be at. I have a much more clear idea of how to utilize my areas to the optimum level, and it only took a few days (30 minutes a day) to get there.
Inside Etsy Search
This lecture was a little mystifying, and I had to do a little more research after the conference to really grasp the concept of “Etsy Search”. Search (as the Etsy team calls it) is not a simple ‘type in some words’ and your items just pop out.
Etsy Search is reliant on your “tags”, you know, the little buttons that show up at the bottom of your listings.
Grammar and vocabulary are very important here, stressing the importance of putting the more important words first.
There are three “Must haves” for shoppers:
Shoppers need to know what to search for.
Their search needs to accurately describe what they are searching for.
They must easily find what they are looking for.
Shoppers – are the most important part of Easy Search, and this is where most shops make their mistakes. We are not thinking like a shopper, we are still stuck in seller mode. Once we switch gears and start thinking like a “shopper” and change our tags to reflect what people are searching for our views, hearts, and sales should go up.
Some of the ideas for tags that were made are:
gift oriented, point the tags toward a holiday, like Valentine’s day, Christmas, Halloween, etc.
are the items seasonal, summer, winter, spring, autumn
what topical points can you use as tags
is the item event oriented, like wedding, bridal, engagement, birthday, etc.
take advantage of trends, colors, styles
Look at what people are looking for in your shop. Don’t know how to do this? Check your stats page!
Etsy recommends putting as much information as possible in your listing. Make sure that you are putting your items in the right categories. These categories change frequently and Etsy is constantly updating and adding new categories as per the sellers requests, so this is something that can and should be checked frequently. This is very important so that when shoppers do a search they can find you and your items easily and quickly. Again they stress here to put the most important words first here as well. If you have several items that are similar they recommend that you mix up differentiating tags, and change the order in your listings so that they show up on every page. This way you will have more exposure and potentially more sales.
It was also recommended to check the google view so that you can see what your listing will look like if someone does a google search and your item shows up there. Etsy has a direct account with Google Ads so that your shop listings also show up in Google search. Here is where long titles matter less, on a google search only the first 10 words matter most.
You can also see how many and what listings are being found on other platforms besides Etsy in your stats.
behavior of shop
shipping on time
click to sale ratio
favorite to sale ratio
keeping shoppers in your shop longer
Some of the above are obvious, and some are kind of obscure, so I’ll try my best to explain.
Member experience and reviews are directly related – Etsy gives a score (which I did not learn how this part works, I think it is an internal thing) to help rank your shop based on the customer experience.
Case rate is directly related to when, and if you ever have a case pending. If a shopper has an issue with you, or your shop for any reason what so ever, sometimes shoppers may report you for random things, again I am not privy to this information, and I have not had any cases of my own, so I am just speculating at this point.
Behavior of shop – Again I don’t know the specifics of this, but I feel like it is directly related to how active you are, when and how many items in the shop, how many you list per month, renewing, etc.
Shipping on time, this should be obvious, but you can change your shipping times if you find that you are not able to ship quickly enough. This is also a great way to get your review numbers up – if you are able to get the items shipped before the shipping date you set up in your shop, shoppers LOVE getting their items faster than expected.
Click to sale ratio is very important because the more sales you make the better Etsy does. Yes, we are there for them, but they see this as a business too, and they want us to comply to their patterns so that shoppers can find your items to buy them.
[[[[So, here is where I want to interlude a little mention of “Click Farming” this is a behavior that Etsy does NOT promote. If you are not familiar with “Click Farming” it is basically when shops just click and favorite other shops to drive up stats. The idea is that the more clicks and favorites you get the more you show up when a buyer does a search. But this is actually not true. Etsy can see and tell where these clicks are coming from and they can trace every movement through out Etsy. If you didn’t know this before, there are teams that play Faveathon, and viewathon games. Etsy is aware of this behavior and a mention at the conference by an Etsy Employee mentioned that they are in the process of creating an algorithm to weed out the shops that are practicing that “Click Farm” behavior. Obviously those clicks and favorites are not “organic” and really, hardly produce sales. Etsy wants their sellers to utilize that wasted time to making their shops better, which obviously will produce more sales for the shop, initially making more money for both the Seller and Etsy. So, the algorithm that Etsy is trying to develop will possibly rank the shops promoting “Click farm” behavior lower, and not show up on Search at frequently.]]]]
Favorite (heart) to sale ratio is just like the above, if favoriting produces sales than Etsy will know that you are providing good photos, the favoriting option on Etsy is set up to help people visualize what you have out there, and the hearts are linked up to your followers, if you have a lot of followers, when you or one of them hearts your items it will show up on your home page or on their home page, or on someone who is following their page, potentially getting someone else to click or favorite your items. This is where it is so incredibly important for you to have good photos, because that is what makes people click your items. Etsy wants these to be enticing, and inviting, and good enough to make shoppers buy your items.
Keeping shoppers in your shop longer by putting clickable links of other similar items right in the listing descriptions. This is very important because you don’t want a shopper to click on an item and then immediately leave your shop. Yes, there are thumbnails of some of your other items to the right of each listing, but most of the time they are not exactly related, and doesn’t keep the person in your shop. What you want is to put a note to let the shoppers know that if they like what they see here they can click on this link to see more, or something to that effect.
Shop Updates, if you haven’t started using this tool, you should, the Shop Update tool falls on to the Home Page of anyone who follows you, again it is important to make this an enticing photo, and have it link to a direct item in your shop so it produces good quality traffic to your shop. Hopefully it will make you some sales, and increase your ranking with Etsy.
The top three!!!
Your Brand should be unique, reflect your personality, it should be authentic to who you are, and make a good first impression.
What a shopper first sees should stick with them, this helps the shopping experience, so your shop banner should be strong, and represent you and your shop, This is also true of your shop icon. Consistency is also very important here as well. When you have a visible representation of your brand that follows through to the very last thing the shopper sees, including your packaging, business cards, and invoice they learn to trust you. In today’s marketplace trust is the only thing that brings you loyalty. Once that trust is broken you will start to lose interest in your customers.
Your About page is also a Huge promoter of your shop, this is where people go when they are looking to learn something about you your process, or maybe a little history of how you got started. People love stories, and this is where you could let them know a little bit about you. It should be just enough information to help you connect with your buyers. You should have clear photos that represent your brand, what you are selling, your products and maybe a studio shot of you working. There is also a new option to add a short video, of you decided to use this option you should think of it as if you are making a commercial, again it should represent your brand, you as a person, your products and your studio space.
Tags are the most important thing for shop optimization, look at your shop stats and concentrate on the top ten search words people use, this is what is driving traffic to your shop, so obviously this is what is going to sell right? Well, that is what one would think, but it doesn’t always work that way. What is important once you come up in a search is to keep the shopper motivated. Your photos should be clear concise, and have a good representation of size. One of the biggest mistakes most sellers do is to not put a good clear photo with a representation of scale. This can cause a lot of problems once your item(s) are purchased, if you don’t represent your items visually your clients will not be happy. You need to build trust, and the first way to do this is through your photos. You might want to think about photo styling, backgrounds, and make sure you use all 5 photographs.
Search relevancy is also a key component of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). you are allowed 13 tags for each listing. Etsy recommends that you use ALL of them and most importantly use compound phrases. Put the most important phrases first. If you have trouble trying to figure out what tags to put in, and yes we all get stumped, there is a little blue button where Etsy offers some ideas for your tags.
Shop Sections should be clear and precise, easy to read and not complicated. This is very important to make sure that your shoppers have an opportunity to find exactly what they are looking for in your shop.
Bullet items are a great use of the allowed space because they are quick and to the point. Some bullet items might look like this:
Etsy also encourages you to include links back to you shop or other items in your shop here because it encourages your shoppers to stay in your shop and not leave. The links should always have a description above or below explaining why you posted the link inside your description.Social media is one of the greatest way of marketing your shop. Easy encourages shops to use social media to drive traffic to your shop. one of the best ways is to use photography to entice and push new traffic to your Etsy shop, one of the ways to see if it is working is in your shop stats. Here you can see how and where traffic to your shop is coming from.
Some popular Social media sites are:
You want to use outside links and sources to entice emotion so that your potential clients feel something that motivates them to click on the links you provide. They will want to see something that they bond with so that they will follow you for the long haul. They also want to be able to rely on the fact that you will continue to post and share updates of your brand, your products, your ideas, works in progress. Basically something that lets them know that you are serious about what you are doing. People don’t want to see pictures of kittens, or your dinner, or your family vacation. Stay on point and be consistent, post frequently, but not too much, stay in your comfort zone, think about what you would want to see. Remember, your customers want to know whats going on. Here is where you want to share something unique, make sure to listen to your followers, and see if people are liking your photos, make sure to time it best for the most exposure. Your photos and posts need to appeal to new and current clients and you want to set yourself apart, and be unique.
Sometimes it helps to make a social media posting schedule to help you create less anxiety. If you are posting on Social media daily you want it to be consistent, and you want to get your customers excited. Visual consistency is also very important when someone is looking at your social media it needs to be pleasing to the eye.
Sometimes it is ok to put yourself out there and be a little vulnerable, it just shows character and helps build trust with your clients.
What is a call to action?
Letting your clients know you are going to have a sale or offer a coupon code can be another way to drive traffic to your shop. You want it to be clear concise and have enough information to let your clients know where to find you. Some of the ways people use “call to action” are
sending a post card
writing a little note on the invoice
mailing an e-newsletter
Note: If you are emailing or sending a newsletter, please abide by Etsy’s rules of conduct, you need to get permission to add your clients to a mailing list.
Again, Etsy stresses the importance of customer service, this eventually helps your SEO down the line because of loyalty and repeat buyers. Customer service builds trust to help encourage repeat customers, which will intern help market your shop. Shoppers want to feel safe and know that they can trust that you’ll follow through. The best way to attain that trust is through your reviews. Most buyers will read at east the first 10 reviews from your shop. If you ever get a lower star review than you were expecting, make sure that you reach out to your customer because chances are that there was just a small misunderstanding and they will actually change their review because you reached out to them. Make sure that your shipping and return policies are clearly stated and there is no confusion. Having great customer service spreads brand awareness and produces loyalty which makes a buyer’s experience authentic. Always respond within 24 hours after getting an order. Give your items a personal touch. Offer coupons, or let your clients know about upcoming trade shows or sales. Go above and beyond, they are buying from you because you are you, make your items exciting to open so it also becomes a good experience for them, that they will want to have again. Remember news of a bad experience spreads faster than a wildfire….
Shop stats and data is incredibly important, and you should be using it every day. Not just to look at your sales and revenue, but it is important to look at your views, favorites, traffic, and most importantly what people are searching in your shop to help you figure out your tags.
You want to keep an eye on direct traffic sources from outside of Etsy and promote those areas through social media however you can to increase traffic, and see what is working the best. How are people finding your shop?
Compare – Compare – Compare!
Look at what you did last year, and the year before, where the traffic sources are coming from and notice from year to year what your shoppers are looking at and buying. This is very important because this is where you will notice trends and how and what tags you will need to change to drive more traffic to your shop.
Look at the most active listings from year to year and then concentrate on editing those listings to drive even more traffic to your shop. Learn how to use the Stats to your advantage, become comfortable with them, and make the stats work to your advantage. It is a tool that Etsy provides to the shops to help us learn about our shops and grow our businesses to be successful. It is exciting to see the development or how your Etsy business has developed and changed over the years.
Lisajoy Sachs is the President of the Etsy shop saxdsign, and the team Captain of the Etsy Trade Team.
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