Yes, I am screaming it out loud so you can all hear me!
I’m totally in love with the team of developers at Artfire! My gosh, these people are the best of the best!!!
When I heard yesterday that Artfire’s brand new tool, the Etsy Listing Importer had launched, I had to try it immediately, and without a glitch, I have managed to import over 100 listings from my main Etsy shop into my Canadian Rockies Art Artfire Shop in less than 15 minutes in total.
I nearly fell off my chair!
Now, get this – In the past, I just didn't have the time or heart to manually copy-paste all my Etsy listings into my other online selling venues, but now that Artfire has come out with this super awesome "Item Importer" tool, they took all that tedious work away from me!
I just want to give one GIANT hug
to the Artfire team of developers!!!
Can you imagine the time saver that this is???
Have you stopped to think about this for a single minute? Time is money, you know!
It used to normally take me about 15 minutes to list ONE SINGLE ITEM or copy-paste it from one site to another site, multiply that by 114 items and we're looking at 28 1/2 HOURSat a minimum to manually copy over all my Etsy listings into Artfire or anywhere else online.... ouch!
Who has that kind of time?
I sure as heck don’t, and I’m sure you don’t either!
But this is just ONE of MANY super awesome tools that Artfire has been launching lately for their VERIFIED members (US$12.00 per month flat Pro membership rate, no listing fees, no commissions to pay, no selling fees, nothing!) - Look here:
Do you want to be able to offer Amazon Checkout, Google Checkout, and RME (Revolution Money Exchange) on top of Paypal as payment options for your buyers? All of these are INTEGRATED into ArtFire, no workarounds needed!
Do you want a very neat FaceBook Artfire Storefront Module for your FaceBook Page to promote your shop?
Do you want hassle-free coupon discount codes to give to your customers?
Do you want to offer gift certificates for the holidays?
You don’t want to have to send "revised invoices" to buyers to apply the discounts they are claiming from you, right?
Artfire gives you automatic coupon codes that buyers can use during the checkout process, and so your clients can checkout right away and pay right away, and there’s no need for “workarounds” (i.e. the buyer waiting for you to send them a revised invoice like we have to do on Etsy).
And that’s not all, on Artfire, if you sign up as a VERIFIED member ($12.00 per month), you get UNLIMITED listings, full custom Fusion Studio like mine (you can customize your storefront with your own colors and layout!), there’s more and more handmade buyers and sellers visiting ArtFire every month (if you look at traffic stats that some specialized traffic sites compile, Artfire is coming up VERY FAST), and they have really AWESOME STAFF and THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE. They really rock!
The Holiday Shopping Season is starting up now – What are you waiting for?
Get all of your items from Etsy uploaded into your brand new Artfire Shop in MINUTES by signing up right here! I’m so glad I did!!!
You know, there’s a truckload of free information online and on Etsy to help everyone easily improve the look and feel of their Etsy shop, and provide the best shopping experience ever to potential customers.
It’s really not rocket science, but I think that because there is so much information all over the place, and also lots of information overload, people start feeling overwhelmed, and when people start feeling that way, they often end up not doing anything at all, not taking action. It’s just too much.
At the beginning of the year, I launched a small weekly critique exercise with my teammates of the Alberta Etsy Team (which is now being handled by other member of the team), and for several weeks, we looked at various shops that belonged to our teammates who graciously volunteered for the critique.
Although people are selling different types of items, a lot of the same issues kept coming back on the table… and now, I as browse on Etsy for products and shops to feature on my blog as part of my 5 Hot Etsy Picks or for my Wordless Wednesday Etsy Art Treasuries, I come across so many shops that show the same issues, over and over again, that I figured something needed to be done.
So, I’ve decided to put together a very simple list of 10 easy tips to help you improve your Etsy Shop, and help improve the customers’ shopping experience not only in your shop, but overall on Etsy as well. This information can be applied to ANY online venue, so if you have an Artfire shop, a 1000Markets shop, an iCraft shop, a Ruby Lane shop, etc, you can use all these tips to really improve your own online presence.
I no longer have time to do shop critiques (I get many convos and questions about this, so please, don’t convo me about it), but if you apply these 10 easy tips listed here, I’m sure your shop will improve, and the rest will naturally start to follow.
So take notes, and feel free to ask questions by posting COMMENTS below – and I will answer questions in batches in follow-up blog posts so that everyone can find the information more easily.
A bit about me:
I’m a seasoned online shopper with many years of Customer Service work under my belt. I’ve been shopping online since 1999 (yup, 10 years already!). I LOVE to shop online. In fact, I seldom shop in real stores and malls anymore. 99% of my shopping is done online. I love the convenience of it. I love that I can compare and research products, read product reviews, get access to products or items that I would not find locally, and I love to buy “Handmade” gifts and treats and there’s no better place than shopping online for that!
At the time of writing this article, I have over 500 sales in my main Etsy shop, and close to 1000 feedbacks (100%). I buy, I sell. I know what I’m talking about both as an online buyer and seller :)
10 EASY TIPS TO HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR ETSY SHOP (Part 1):
1. Make sure your shop looks like there is someone there!
“Hello? Anyone home?” (………….silence…………)
By this I mean that as a buyer, I always check to see if there's some kind of 'Seller activity' in the shop, before I buy anything (if it's my first time shopping with a seller, or if I only buy from someone on an occasional basis).
I look at when the last item was listed (most recently listed in the shop), and when the last item was sold. I also look when the seller last left feedback for someone.
If a shop looks deserted - like there is no activity for several weeks (and there’s no vacation notice or anything in the shop announcement to say that they are away), I start wondering if the seller is actually “there”. I start wondering if the seller will actually answer convos if I buy something and then I don’t receive it within 3 weeks, etc.
If you don’t have a lot of feedback (or no feedback at all), then I feel that it’s a good idea for a Seller that is starting out to purchase a few items on Etsy in order to learn how Etsy works when a person is buying something (that way you can help solve buyer questions), and it also helps the seller build up their feedback, and make it look like not only they sell on the site, but that they also buy and are an active member of the site. They get feedback, they leave feedback = their shop starts having some kind of “life”, some kind of activity. It starts to look like someone is home and manning the ship.
It’s also a good idea to list new items on a regular basis, or to renew an item here and there if you haven’t listed anything new in a week or two. There’s nothing scarier to me, as a buyer online, to see that the last “activity” in a shop goes back to a month or more. I hear an echo of “abandoned ship” ringing and I move on.
Let me ask you:
If you walked in a real “brick & mortar” store and you saw no-one welcoming you and happy to answer any questions you have, no other customers, dust bunnies gathering up on the floor, and an echo of emptiness.
Would you really want to stick around and shop there?
Would you be likely to go back again to see if they have something new?
Would you trust that if you bought something and left the money on the counter (cuz there’s no one there to take the money it seems, the store has no “life”), and then had a problem with the item that there would be someone at the store to actually address your concerns or problems?
That’s my point exactly.
2. Where am I shopping?
I cannot understand why a seller would not indicate where they are located. This is basic and it’s costing you traffic if you don’t clearly list the city, state/province, and country where you are located.
Etsy has the Shop Local search tool which is very cool.
If you don’t list your location, or don’t list it properly, you’re being overlooked by a bunch of local shoppers. People shop local for various reasons, and buyers also like to know if something is coming from half-way around the world (it will affect the delivery time-frame) or if it’s coming from their own country. Buyers have to think whether they will have to possibly pay duties or import/custom clearance fees, etc, (depending on what they are shopping for and their own country’s restrictions), or if they’re in a rush to get something because they forgot a friend’s birthday and the item needs to reach them within a certain period of time, so the closer you are located to that buyer, the better.
Yet, I see a lot of sellers who do not indicate anything in that field in their shop, or they write an abbreviated State or Province, or worse, they write something totally irrelevant in there, which means they won’t get picked up by the Etsy Shop Local tool.
If your goal of opening a shop on Etsy is to actually sell as much stuff as you can, then I think it’s worth it to put in your location. I actually get a good number of local sales that way. Try it, it won’t bite :)
3. The facts Ma’am… give me the facts…
I cannot tell you how many shops I come across where there is absolutely NOTHING (zip, nada, zilch…. nothing) written on their Profile page and/or their Shop Policies page. Yikes!!!!
As a buyer, if those are empty, I move on. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
People (read: customers) want to get to know you! They are interested enough in your art to stop by your shop to look at what you have listed – please, at least give them the courtesy of telling them a little bit about yourself, make them feel welcome in your shop and fill out your shop policies so that these potential buyers know upfront what they are getting into when they shop with you.
When buyers have questions, often they will not even bother to send a Convo. If they do not see the answers to their questions in your Shop Policies or in your Profile sections, they just move on to another shop. They do!
This comes back to item No. 1 on my list – would you shop somewhere in a real store where they have no signs to answer your questions or direct you to the right place, etc? Of course not. Why then, do people treat their Etsy shop differently? Take the time to do it. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. It just takes a few minutes. Truly!
4. Whoa!!! That’s just waaaayyy too much info babe!
Now, on the opposite corner, we have those shop owners who have a 1-mile long “Announcement” on their Etsy Shop home page, when a lot of that info should really go in the Shop Policies page and/or Profile page.
You scroll down for ages and ages of “blah-blah” before actually getting to see what’s available to buy in the shop.
Consider this – If you have a very long shop “Announcement”, when customers click on the page numbers to get to the 2nd page, 3rd page etc, every single time, they have to scroll down a mile before getting to see what’s on the next page because that super long shop announcement shows up at the top of every page when the shop reloads. NOT FUN… Especially for those who are on a slower Internet connection (and yes, there’s still many folks worldwide with slower connections).
I seldom see shops where these long announcements are necessary.
99% of the time, the info written in those super long shop announcements would be better off moved to the Shop Policies page or Profile page. When your shop announcement is written up, your buyers SHOULD SEE the first row of your products without having to scroll down to see them when the page loads. Look at my Etsy shop, and see what I mean.
You want your items to catch the buyer’s eyes right off the bat! They get curious and then they continue scrolling down to see what else there is to buy.
5. Selection and variety of products:
Would you shop in a real “Brick & Mortar” Shop if there were only 2 items on the shelves in the entire store? 10? 20? 30? 40?
Would you shop in a real “Brick & Mortar” Shop if whenever you went in that store, there was never anything ‘new’, never any new designs or new creations?
An online store is the SAME as a real store.
The more choices you have in your Etsy shop, the more chances of a buyer finding the one item that they cannot live without :)
Your Etsy shop should have at least, at least, AT LEAST (did I say, “at least”????) TWO (2) full pages of products. At a very minimum.
I try to have at least 4 to 5 pages as a minimum in my shop at all times.
At 21 products per page (on Etsy), if I have 5 full pages, that’s 105 products. If I have 4 full pages, that’s 84 products.
Would you go in a real “Brick & Mortar” jewelry store that had less than 80 items on display for you to choose from/buy?
Think about the last time (for example, since I sell jewelry) that you visited a jewelry store or a jewelry counter/jewelry department at a retail store.
They have several hundreds of items on display, and out of the whole lot, you might go really “ga-ga” on perhaps 1 of 2 items, and you perhaps go “oh, that’s nice” or “oh, I like that too” to another 5 to 10 items….. out of several hundreds of jewelry pieces.
It doesn’t mean that the rest of the items aren’t nice, but they aren’t necessarily your taste, your size, your color, your type of gemstone, your type of metal, too chunky, too delicate, the price is out of your league, etc.
Every person is different.
Every person has different tastes, needs and wants.
That is why you definitely need to have more than 2, 10, 20 or 30 or 40 items listed in your Etsy shop. You also need to put in more types of products that would go well with what you currently sell in your shop. This will help you widen your customer base.
This is just an illustrative example: You sell pictures/photography or mixed media artwork, paintings, drawings, etc? How about adding some pretty calendars that feature a picture of your gorgeous artwork for each month. Or get a some mini “perpetual calendars” printed and put your artwork on the cover. How about selling sets of postcards or greeting cards, stationary, bookmarks, journals/personal diaries covers, mugs, t-shirts, all these items (and more) featuring your art, and the list goes on, etc.
Think of all the uses for your creations, look around in stores and malls for ideas, look in magazines and catalogues, think outside the box, ask your friends and family for ideas on how and where your artwork could be used too! Brainstorm :)
I’m not going to tell each person what they should be adding in terms of products in their shops (well….unless you want to pay me an hourly fee of US$35.00 for a private consultation, then we can talk!!!), that’s for each person to figure out on their own, doing their own research, but what I’m saying is that the more “quantity” and the more “variety” you have (even if you specialize in something very narrow/specific – you can offer a variety of colors, sizes, metals, or gemstones), the more chances you have of catching someone’s eye, or landing in the search results when a buyer is looking for something with specific characteristics.
* * * * *
Some people will perhaps say that there’s nothing new listed here, but the problem is that a lot of Etsy shops do not do these simple easy basic things, they do not stop and think like a customer, and they are losing sales because of this.
Even if you’ve had your shop for awhile and aren’t doing too badly with your sales, every shop needs a tune-up once in awhile. It’s good to take a step back and take a good look at your shop with a ‘buyer’s eye’ and go through a serious look, and compare your shop with an honest critical eye to every item I have listed above, and see if you’d enjoy shopping in your own Etsy shop or not.
I hope that you have enjoyed Part 1. Part 2 will follow soon. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing your comments and questions on the above tips! Don’t be shy :)
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