Potters & Sculptors - Making Rock from Mud
In July I set up an Etsy store for Tamarack Stoneware and have now had it stocked and the information fully developed for a few months. What I'm finding is that unless you add new listings every few days, the traffic generated through the Etsy search engine drops to very low levels. I have tried Etsy's paid promotion option and found that it does not produce traffic. I've connected the Etsy shop to my Facebook page but haven't figured out a way to make the connection link prominent on either side. Has anyone used Etsy and figured out what it takes to make it work well?
My Etsy visits total for last year: 3,406 -- Favorites: 205
My total visits so far this year: 11,763 -- Favorites: 1,242
My sales have followed suit.
You must add/renew a minimum of 3 items, daily, to maintain daily traffic flow on Etsy. You should have between 200 and 300 items in your store (this encourages people to come back again and look through, even if they've "already seen everything"). Update pages with new descriptions, too. (this also means you have enough inventory for a show, at any time)
Facebook is a closed system: what you do there is only available to people on FaceBook. They have throttled business page traffic (mine is down by two-thirds), in order to encourage you to pay to broadcast your posts to those who have Liked your page. There is no way to export your "list" of followers on FaceBook: it's not yours; it's FaceBook's. If you have a page that's well trafficked enough to get around the throttling, use it; if not, skip it.
Most of my traffic comes from Twitter, followed by RebelMouse and Pinterest. Read up (in some blogs) about how to use twitter effectively (most people don't/don't know how). Read up on key words/search words and how to use them effectively in your title, description, and search terms--those make Google, and Etsy paid promotion, most effective. Look at Etsy shops that are well trafficked: note photos, sections, descriptions, policies, groups... emulate.
Join an Etsy group, post in a forum. Favorite others' items and shops, add interesting people to your Etsy Circle (think in complementary ways: if you make salad bowls, go look for those making wooden salad utensils). Make beautiful treasuries, favorite others' treasuries, leave a note on Treasury pages, REPOST Treasuries to Twitter, Facebook,etc. and leave a note on Treasury page that you're doing that.
Post links with your closing, whenever you post in a forum ;)
Leslie, I just started on etsy June of last year. I have tripled my sales this year and my traffic has quadrupled. I am very satisfied with etsy since I also work a full time day job. I agree, you need to list new things often or renew expired listings. I also post straight to facebbok as I post new items and get quit a bit of traffic from my FB friends. Sometimes it does seem time consuming but I enjoy seeing others new listings and new conversations and treasures also. It has become addictive.
Hope you get some good ideas as in the above post also.
I don"t have anything on Etsy, though I love to browse through the pottery on there, But I have often wondered how anyone makes any money selling pottery if they are shipping it to buyers? Aren't shipping costs prohibitive because of the weight, size, packing requirements for pottery?
Shipping for an $80, very well-made teapot is $15. That's about 3 gallons of gas, plus time --not spent, because buyers shopped online. The ability to have it shipped to gift recipients is value-added.
I think a lot of buyers view it this way and are happy to pay shipping. From my own personal experience, I'm happy to pay shipping from a company in California that I can drive to -- because it comes out lower than the combination of gas plus bridge tolls were I to drive over, myself. It also saves me close to two hours of driving time--better spent on other things. (I also purchase online from a company here in town for similar reasons.)
Thank you for the quick response Victoria. This is good information. I guess the best thing for me to do to be sure if the rates will be similar in Canada would be to pack a piece up and pick a distant location and take it to shipping providers to get estimates. I would hate to lose all my profit to shipping costs lol.
Wow, someone else does buttons! I thought that was an original idea lol. Nice work!
I have enjoyed selling on Etsy. I have a full time job so it suites me well, I list items when I have time. Sales follow listing, the less I list the less I sell. I don't count on Etsy to do my selling for me. I use pinterest, blogs, flickr, Facebook and instagram to create traffic. Etsy is a convenient place to set up shop. If I had my own website I would still have the same need to drive traffic to it, so there is some ground work to do but once it is done online it continues to work for you 24/7.
With the recent changes in Etsy, I am hoping to bring this post back for more discussion. I love Etsy, but Etsy doesn't sell things for me. I have to do all the work. This is the same work a gallery would do for me, but a gallery would take 40% of the sale. I can do a lot of online promo for 40% more money (okay 31% after Etsy and VISA take their share), especially since I can do it in my jammies while binge watching Netfix.
I post my work on my personal FB page with a link to my shop. I also post them to Pinterest, Craftori and Wanelo. I don't tweet. I should. Oh, and I use my store link in my signature whenever possible. : )
I looked through the listings on Handmade when they first launched. My hope was that it would be high quality goods but I didn't think that was the case after paging through their offerings. I hope you find great success there.
Have you seen Uncommon Goods? http://www.uncommongoods.com/designs ? I am thinking I will give them a shot if I get some inventory.
Yep, that makes sense. Getting traffic is a huge issue for online sales - Amazon knows how to generate traffic and, as you pointed out, people are comfortable buying from them. I hope you continue to have good success there.
Dani Montoya said:
I wasn't so concerned about what others products are like but more along the fact the Amazon has a lot of buyers. Amazon has been good, a lot better by far than etsy. People are comfortable with Amazon and they shop there for everything, why not handmade!