I've spoken with hundreds of Etsy Shop owners, and helped them with easy ways on how to improve their shop. After reviewing many of their stores, there are 5 common issues I am seeing with Etsy Sellers right now that you ought to address with your own Etsy Shop immediately:
1. Stop using the same keywords over and over
It seems like most Etsy Shops use the same keywords over and over. I have had numerous Etsy Sellers come to me and say "I am not seeing an increase in sales!" Then, I look at their Etsy Shop and they are using the same words on every single product. You must, must, must use new and different keywords and keyword combinations on your products. Stop getting stuck on using the same words!
For instance, I see Etsy Shops using the same word, like "Blue Dress" "Blue Dress" "Blue Dress" over and over. But there are so many other things you could do, like "Navy Dress" "Blue Skirt" "Turquoise Dresses" "Dress Blue" "Blue Evening Dress" and so on. These are subtle differences, but it makes a huge impact on helping Etsy Customers find your Etsy Listings faster through Keywords.
2. Don't create a ton of products when you have very few sales
In the early stages of your Etsy Shop, it can be very tempting to make a billion Etsy Items. If you spend too much time on Product Development, you are neglecting other areas of your shop, such as: Shop Optimization, better Product Descriptions, analyzing your Stats, improving your Keywords, providing good Customer Service. You must balance your time between each of these things. If You have 800 Items, but only 100 Sales, you have too many items! People will look at your shop, and say "Why are you making so many designs that no one buys?" And then they will leave your Etsy Shop and find a different shop that is more successful. So you need to grow slowly. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 1 Sale for every Item you have. For instance, 50 Sales and 50 Items is perfect. At that point, you know you can make a couple new items based off of your best sellers. In the very beginning, it is okay to have 50 Items and no Sales, but don't keep making more items. If you are not getting sales, you need to focus your time on other areas of your Etsy Shop, and not just keep pounding out new designs that no one will buy.
3. Don't expect overnight success
You may have been working hard on your Etsy Shop for the last 1 or 2 months and say, "I haven't seen a big increase in View or Sales." And that is okay. Your Etsy Shop is going to take time, and you are going to learn for many years to come. However, you should set your expectations to be realistic. If you implement changes over time, and do it intelligently, with a plan, you should expect to see a realistic growth of maybe 10-20% each month, but not overnight success. We have seen some Etsy Shops that have had wild success after using our Guide, which is great. But our Etsy Guide is a tool for good information, and it does not replace the need for you to critically think and analyze your own Etsy Shop. You must have a plan, and you must write out your own plan, and expect to see slow, steady growth each month. It is not going to happen overnight.
4. Make your product descriptions easier to understand
This is an easy one, but with lots of Etsy Shops, I am seeing big blocks of tons of text in their Etsy Listings. Here is a news flash: No one is going to read it! You need to make it easy for someone to read, and to be able to read it very quickly. People need to understand what your item is within 5 seconds or less. Which means, use less text, use bullet points, and use the most simple language you can possibly use. Keep it simple! Help your customers understand what they are buying!
5. Learn from your past mistakes and past successes
This one is really important, and is a concept you must use for any business. When you are successful and make a sale, you need to use that information to tell you: "You Are Doing The Right Thing - Keep Doing More of This". If something you are doing is not working, Stop Doing It! For instance, we get featured in a Treasury probably 10 Times per day. I look at that person's Etsy Shop (because everyone who has a Treasury has an Etsy Shop) and they have maybe 50 Sales in the last 2 years. These people keep doing Treasuries over and over. I think they are trying to get Sales from it or something. NEWS FLASH: It's not working! They need to stop doing treasuries and do something else. But it seems like in their mind they are thinking, "If I just do 1,000 Treasuries, then that will be enough." No! If it doesn't work within a few days or even in a few weeks, stop doing it. Try something else. Build off of your successes. Stop doing the same things over and over that are not working. Keep learning something new every day. And write those things down so you don't forget!