Starting a business is scary. Starting a online creative business featuring your handmade crafts and artwork is even scarier. Luckily, Etsy’s marketplace is a pretty easy transition into the world of e-commerce. Here are my tips on how to secure your first sales, based on my own Etsy selling experiences!
Have at least 10 products.
While you could technically start your store with just one product, the larger the product offering, the more credibility you’ll have among Etsy shoppers. It shows that even though you’re the new kid on the block, you have a lot to offer!
Since I letter and paint all of my works by hand, I made sure I had at least 10 completed works before opening my store for reprints. I’ve slowly grown my listing volume over time, but having the initial 10 helped me get things started while I worked on other projects.
Do your research on what similar stores are selling their products for. With just a few searches, you can see your competitors’ pricing, how quickly they ship, and what their customer experience is like. When you’re first starting out, you have to make sure you’re not overpriced, where no one will consider you (since you’ll also have zero reviews and sales for shop credibility).
Have Awesome Product Photography.
Include as many high quality photos as you can of your product.Also try to stay consistent in your product photography in order to tell a consistent “brand” story.
I like to use one close-up of my artwork, one free-hanging shot, one framed shot, and one staged shot in my workspace. I also invested in a portable scanner that allows me to scan everything at home at a high resolution (I try to scan everything at at least 600 dpi).
Download the Sell on Etsy App.
The app gives you real-time notifications for everything that goes on in your store, which keeps me looped into my shop 24-7! You’ll know exactly when someone favorites your product or your shop, and when orders come through. This allows me to be more nimble in fulfilling orders and reordering product supplies in order to keep my processing time as minimal as possible.
Utilize the Keyword Tags.
Etsy allows you to target 13 keyword search queries to get ranked organically (and for free!). I highly recommend using all 13 tags, ranging from very broad and very specific search terms. You’ll never know who might find you based on the keywords you tag.
Promote Your Listings.
As someone who’s heavily experienced in the digital marketing realm, I know how expensive promoting products online can get. In my experience with Google Adwords, I’ve seen cost per clicks as high as $12 (for highly competitive industries). So at first, I was hesitant to promote my listings.
However, Etsy makes it easy to set an advertising budget (both overall and by day), and you can set the maximum bid you’re willing to pay per click for a specific listing. True to my marketing roots, I had to test promoting my listings. I set my max budget to $10 overall, at a $1 spend a day. All of my listings were set at $0.10 max bid per click. Surprisingly enough, my promoted listings landed at around $0.05 per click on average, and I gained additional exposure to my products that I would not have had. It’s been several weeks and I still have yet to hit my $10 max budget, and I’ve already made a few sales!
I have to be honest; after opening my store, I didn’t get my first sale until a month later! Talk about anxiety. I thought no one liked anything I had, but the truth is, I just had to be patient. In my second month of business on Etsy, I got another 4 orders. That’s 300% growth month over month!
Go the Extra Mile.
When you finally do get your first order, go the extra mile! Do your best to make a stellar first impression: handwrite a thank you note, personalize your confirmation emails, give a gift, and take the extra time to package everything beautifully. Not only will this help you secure some 5-star feedback, it’ll help you make future sales. An excellent customer experience is what drives online sales. People take unbiased reviews very seriously, and if your first few customers have nothing but good things to say, you can bet new customers won’t hesitate to purchase something!
That’s it! That’s a sure-fire game plan to get over the first-5 sale hump. Happy selling!