One best tip for someone starting a new Etsy store?
You know how the military has that saying “Hurry up and wait”? Well the same can be said for owning an Etsy shop. You want to be prepared with plenty of business cards and packing supplies but you also have to be prepared to wait. Most of my sales come in waves. One week sales might be slow (or non existent), then the next week I’ll have dozens of orders. I’ve heard from other Etsy sellers that this is completely normal. So don’t get discouraged if you go a few weeks without a sell. As long as you are passionate about your work and make your shop a priority, customers will find you!
Do you do seasonal promotions/products? If so, can you give an example of one?
Since I like to make items that can be worn all year round, I tend to focus more on seasonal promotions. Around the holidays I usually offer a discount code of 25% off. Last year I did my first ever Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale where I shared a coupon code for 45% off all orders with my Facebook, twitter, and blog followers. I definitely stayed busy over the holidays!
What systems/best practices do you have to make sure you offer fabulous customer service?
I make an effort to answer all emails and messages as quickly as possible. I believe returning messages promptly shows that you value your customers and their concerns. I’m also open to custom orders, where if a potential customer sees something they like in my shop but prefer it in a different color or size I try to accommodate their needs. I also like to add a freebie to my customers’ packages. It’s nothing big, sometimes it’s a flower pin or hair elastic but I usually get a reply from them thanking me for the extra gift.
What has been the best way for you to market your shop? Please give a specific example of results from one of your efforts.
Having a blog has helped tremendously in increasing traffic to my shop. I made sure to include a link to my Etsy shop on my blog so that anyone that is curious as to what I sell can click on the link. I’ve also found that advertising on other blogs helps as well. Whether this be by offering one of my items for a giveaway or having my shop button featured on a blog’s side bar, blogs are a great way to gain exposure.
Has there been a time where you needed to pivot or change your strategy (or, what has been your biggest challenge)?
There have been a couple of times where I needed to change my strategy. Since I like to participate in craft fairs one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is what sells and what doesn’t. I’ve noticed that my biggest sellers at craft fairs are my flower rings and flower earrings. However my biggest sellers in my Etsy shop are my necklaces. I found that the best solution is to bring just a handful of necklaces to my craft fairs, that way even if I sell out of most of my other items I will still have necklaces in stock for my Etsy shop.
How do you plan to expand or grow?
I’m hoping to participate in more local craft fairs, if not for the fact that I love interacting with other handmade artists. Craft fairs are also a great way to get your name out there to people that aren’t yet familiar with sites like Etsy (believe me they’re out there). I also plan to participate more in the blogging community. These days there is no end in sight when it comes to the blogging world. Everyone has something they like to share, so why not share what you’re passionate about? For me that’s designing and handcrafting one of a kind jewelry and accessories.