Summer Product Development

In any business, seasonal cycles are incredibly important to understand and to prepare products that customers want to buy at any given time of the year. For instance, people mostly buy indoor items during the Winter, and outdoor items during the Summer. Lighter and brighter colors tend to be more popular in the Summer, and darker, rich colors are more popular in the Winter.

When you are developing your Etsy Shop's branding and style, you want to think about the items you are offering, and how they fit into yearly cycles. As you are developing new products today, think about how the upcoming season (Summer) is going to effect your Etsy Sales.

You also want to think about what is Popular right now. There are different kinds of trends. There are trends which cycle over and over each year, or every few years. And then there are very niche trends which come and go very quickly. When someone is in "purchase" mode, they are likely looking at what is trending and popular right now. And trends and designs which are being marketed to them through magazines, TV ads, and email newsletter campaigns are all going to influence which item they decide to purchase.

As you develop products this Summer, keep these things in mind. But you also want to keep your Etsy Shop's long term health in mind as well. If you were to create a new product today for the Summer, does that product seem like something that someone could purchase in the Winter? If you are going to create something that is trending right now, is it possible someone would purchase in a few months as well? 

These are the overall concepts you want to keep in mind, but here are some real-life examples:

 

What's Trending Now
As trends come and go, see which of these items seem like they will sustain their popularity for years to come. For instance, here is what we see trending right now:

  • Linen Clothing for Summer
  • Blues - Light Blue, Navy, Turquoise, Teal
  • Grays  - Light, Medium, and Dark
  • Summer Decorations for Indoors & Outdoors
  • Summer Patterns - Aztec, Pineapples, Palm Trees, Oceans

For instance, linen has been a popular material for years, but it is best suited for Summer, as it is a very light and cool fabric. If you create clothing for your Etsy Shop, always preparing to do Linen in the Summer, and then warmer materials like Wool in the Winter, will help you be prepared for cyclical trends, and reduce the time it takes for you to prepare for new items for the upcoming year.

Also, Navy seems to be a popular color year round. It is very trendy in both Winter and Summer, and has always remained a classic color for clothing, home decor, and even graphic design. Black and White has always been a classic year-round color pallette as well. 

However, designs like Pineapples, Palm Leaves, and Ocean patterns tend to do best in the Summer. But they also have a world-wide appeal, even to people who do not leave near the Tropics or the Ocean. So these trends like this can occasionally be lasting and sustainable to create for your Etsy Shop as well. 

 

Short Lasting Micro-Trends
We have seen lots of strange short-term trends, like bright Yellows and Purples, which we have created in the past. While they can trend for a short period of time (as short as one week long), these types of things come and go very quickly. If you spend a lot of time developing products on these very short-term, niche trends, you'll usually see a very small amount of sales at first, and then it could be months before something else sells again. So for items that seem way too niche, and too specific, I recommend staying away from those because by the time it takes for your to develop new products, take photos, figure out keywords, and write a description, this trend may have already come and go. Which is why I recommend going after developing items that can be both trendy in the short term, and still popular in the long term.
 

 

Where To Do Your Research
Don't look on Etsy too much for inspiration for your own Shop, unless it is totally different from what you do. We love a lot of clothing and interior furniture companies on Etsy. And we use ideas from other companies and genres of shops to inspire new artwork. We also look at what's going on with our favorite clothing companies like H&M, Forever 21, and Banana Republic, as well as other furniture stores like Ikea, Scandinavian Design, West Elm and Crate & Barrel. Although we create artwork, if you look too much at other Shops that do the exact same thing, you can find yourself copying instead of being inspired. Try looking around at what's going on in the rest of the world, especially with the companies you love most, and not just on Etsy. 

 

Whenever you develop a new item for your Etsy Shop, ask yourself these kinds of questions:

  • Does my new item's style seem popular right now?
  • Does it seem like something that could be popular 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months from now? 
  • Is this style something that I enjoy creating, or would I want to buy it if someone else made it? 
  • Is this item something I can feasibly make without spending too much time or money creating it? 

If the answer is "Yes" for most of these questions, then you are probably on the right track for the new item you are considering to make.

 

So try it this week!
Create one new item that you think is trending for Summer, but could possibly sell in the Winter, and something you can easily make with very little money, time, and resources. 

 

Justin Wood

JPW Design Studio, California

Minimalist Website Designer