Etsy Seller Q&A

I'm having trouble figuring out a certain look and style for my Etsy Shop. What should I do?
When we first started the Etsy Shop, my wife had a specific look & feel she liked. At the time, it was a bohemian, deer & antler, brown and white sort of look. She is now more into modern and minimalist stuff. She likes white, beige, pink, and light grey right now. And I am more of a classical modernist. I like white & black and dark wood tones. Between the two of us, we have different styles. Sometimes they overlap and we like the same exact things. But I respect her opinions, and I really like the ideas she comes up with. So between her and I, we develop two times as many things than if we simply worked alone. She understand what women likes, but she also likes things that are not main-stream. But just because we like certain things, it does not mean our customers like the same thing. If we only designed things we like, then our shop would probably only have 100 items in it. And some of the things we like the most about our Etsy Shop sell very, very rarely.  When you develop your own work for your Etsy Shop, you need to think about three things:

  1. What Do I Like?
  2. What Do Other People Want To Buy?
  3. Where Is There Overlap Between These Two Things?

Any business is not just about selling things you like, but also thinking about your customers and meeting their needs. I think the best businesses try to do both as much as possible. You want to be passionate about what you sell. But you also need to make money doing it.  If you are always catering to what Customers like, then you will never develop your own unique style, and you will never really look very different from any other Etsy Shop. But if you are always making things that only you like, then you will likely have very few sales, and you will probably be to Niche and never reach your sales goals. 

What we do to help inform us of the kinds of things we design for our Etsy Shop, is that when you sell something, you need to take note of it, and recognize your best-sellers so that you can continue to make things on Etsy that people actually buy. But use that Sales information to build something that is uniquely you while still keeping your Customers in mind. So, while we have a style we personally like, it does not necessarily mean we only create stuff we like. It's really a balance, and it is something you will figure out over time. As you continue to get more sales, and as you continue to become a better designer, artist, and entrepreneur, this process will become more natural. Just remember that you should not only develop trendy things, and you should not only develop things that only you like. It needs to be both of those things, and then somewhere in between as well, and this is going to take months and years to practice and get better at as you get more Sales. 

 

Etsy came out with a new tool called "Pattern." Should I use that for my Etsy Shop?
This is a great question, and I wanted to think about this for a while before I wrote anything about it. "Pattern" is basically a super easy custom Website to go with your Etsy Shop. Pattern takes all of your listings, and puts it into a Website format. Basically, you click a few buttons, and your website is ready to go within minutes. However, I do not personally recommend a website for any Etsy Shop. This is because I think your time and effort is going to be best spent on your actual Etsy Shop, and not get distracted with other things and other ideas that probably will not pay off.  If you absolutely 100% feel like you MUST have a website, then Pattern is probably the best solution out there because it can literally be made within Seconds, and it is only $15 per month, and it syncs all of your products with no work on your end. However, I feel like a website is extremely unnecessary for an Etsy Shop until you get round 5,000 or 10,000 Sales and you have really got the hang of things. These advanced topics for experienced Etsy Sellers are things that I cover in the Etsy Advanced course. But if you have less than 1000 Sales on your Etsy Shop right now, I strongly recommend against wasting time, money, thoughts, and energy on a website until you fully master Etsy.

 

How much does my Shop's name matter? Should I change my Etsy Shop name to something new?
I don't think names matter that much. As long as it is professional, easy to spell, easy to remember, and unique, then you should be okay. Pick something you like, and want to stick with. Do not worry about SEO or anything like that, because Google is not going to really pick up your name. It's more important that you pick a name you like, stick with, and think works good for branding, as well as something that is easy to say and spell, so that people do not forget it when they try to find you online. For instance, people type in "Melinda Wood Designs" into the Etsy Search and Google Search a lot, and I think it is because the name is easy to spell, easy to remember, and no one else has that name. It's not very creative or unique, but that is a good thing. If it is too generic like "Super Awesome Designs" or "Hundreds Of Items" then if someone types that into Google or Etsy, you will probably not be found, because it is way too generic. So make sure it is unique enough to find, but not so obscure that no one could ever find you in an online search. 

 

Some Etsy Shop Advice: Think of your Etsy Shop like a Retail Store
An Etsy Seller recently asked if they thought that if they took any one of our designs from Melinda Wood Designs at put it in their shop, if it would sell just as well. I think this is a really great question, and something I wanted to share. On average, our customers visit about 5 pages per session. So, they are coming in through 1 keyword, they will then most likely look at 4 more pages on our Etsy Shop.  So having a strong store, brand, and lots of good Listings to choose from is important to keep people on your Etsy Shop, and then coming back later. Your entire Etsy Shop needs to be cohesive and well-thought-out. Think of your Etsy Shop like a Retail store in a real brick-and-morter, physical location. You want to present your best-selling items at the front of the store, and your Sale items in the back of the store. And if you physical store looks really nice from the outside, then Customers may want to come in and poke around for a while to see if there is something they really like. When people see your "Store Front", are they going to want to continue to shop around and look some more? Or are they going to leave because it is not interesting enough. In the same way, treat your Etsy Shop like a real business and make the experience beautiful for people to want to spend time on your Etsy Shop. And this happens when you focus on both the overall brand & style, as well as all the little details. So make your Etsy Shop beautiful on every page. 

 

Justin Wood

JPW Design Studio, California

Minimalist Website Designer