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Why and how to sell well on Etsy?

Etsy: discover the advantages of this creative marketplace.

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When you want to launch your online shop, choosing your sales platform is one of the very first steps, taking place shortly after the idea of setting up your business has emerged. This is a key decision, and one that should not be taken lightly: once your brand has built up a customer base, it is difficult to change anything, as this would make it harder for people to find you.

Among the integrations you are offered, you have probably heard of Etsy. Its creation dates back to 2005 in the United States: suffice to say that the site has had plenty of time to establish the popularity it holds and to reach its impressive turnover, which amounted to $818 million in 2019. A pretty respectable sum, in our opinion.

So what does Etsy actually consist of? It's what's known as a marketplace: it brings together a whole community of sellers and shares all their listings in one place, which consumers can then find using keywords. Its identity is primarily creative, so think of Etsy as a kind of online craft fair, where you can find a lot of unique, often handmade, items.

With 81 million buyers and over 4 million active sellers in 2020, it is hard to imagine the marketplace losing even a little of its popularity in the near future. It should be noted that a certain portion of the Etsy community comes from the United States; however, the site remains widely popular around the world.

So, for you, yes, YOU, the Print on Demand entrepreneurs, what would be the point of choosing Etsy as a platform to sell your cool products? That's a great question and we'll answer it right away.

Why choose Etsy to sell your POD products?

1 / Reserve better margins for yourself

The creative and marketing aspects of running a Print on Demand business are exciting, but you don't balk at a good income, do you? The first benefit of Etsy is that the perceived value of the products found there is generally higher than elsewhere (i.e. users will be willing to spend a little more than the usual market prices). This can be explained by the "independent designer" atmosphere given to the shops by the identity of the marketplace.

2 / A creative atmosphere suitable for Print on Demand

The concept of Etsy has always been based on the principles of craft and DIY, which automatically makes it a great place to sell your beautifully designed Print on Demand products. It is also important to note that this artistic aura attracts a lot of consumers looking for gifts for their loved ones, especially personalised items. Our service includes an easy-to-use customisable product option. If you're going to set up your business on Etsy, we highly recommend you use it.

3 / Ease of registration and use

Chances are you are not a web designer or web developer... Are we wrong? Don't worry, it's completely normal, you can't be everywhere; you already have enough to do with your art and your marketing. In any case, if you're a computer novice, Etsy is a good choice for hosting your shop. Registration is simple, the user interface is classic and intuitive and the platform does not hesitate to guide its users from A to Z. As far as the design is concerned, you will soon discover that the customisation options are limited.
Well, actually, there are none: the platform only lets you choose an icon and a banner. However, this can be an advantage: everyone is on the same page and you don't have to worry about this.

4 / A minimal cost

When you are an entrepreneur, every expense counts: even the smallest ones. Etsy understands this, as it requires very little financial participation from its sellers.
First of all, if you choose the standard plan, you will not have to pay a subscription fee to the platform; you will only have to pay a small amount when you put a product online ($0.20) and when you place an order (5% on the transaction and 3% + $0.25 on the payment). This is an advantageous point, especially if you sell small quantities. For a beginner who wants to make his marks, this is simply ideal.

5 / Optimal traffic

As mentioned above, Etsy is a marketplace, a sort of search engine where your products are integrated. This brings a significant benefit: it automatically makes you accessible to the platform's public by placing you in their catalogue as soon as your product is uploaded. Given that Etsy has a lot of traffic, this is excellent news for your business. Of course, you'll still need to do some careful marketing to stand out from the many other sellers, but we can assure you that it gives your brand a head start.

So you get the idea: Etsy is a great selling platform, especially if you're a beginner and want to get your feet wet in the online retail world. For some, its lack of customisation options is limiting; for others, it is comforting. It all depends on how you see things and your skills.

Are you ready to host your shop on Etsy? Well, that's good news: we've kept some good tips on hand just to help you optimise your sales.

How to sell better on Etsy?

1 / Analyse popular shops

It's always, ALWAYS worth taking the temperature of your market before you launch. The huge community of sellers on Etsy is a valuable database for you to analyze to know where to focus your efforts to satisfy your audience. We recommend that you do your research to find the major players in your niche, and then take note of their strengths or areas for improvement. Of course, don't go in for plagiarism: copying is bad.
However, there is always a lot to learn from the competition.

2 / Taking care of your photos

Photographs play an absolutely crucial role in the buying process: 75% of buyers consider them to be a major persuasive criterion. Similarly, 22% of returns occur because of product photographs that are deemed "misleading"...
Do you now understand the importance of paying particular attention to this aspect of your product sheet? Do not hesitate to put all the chances on your side by using a good quality camera, by favouring a bright space for your photo session and by capturing your item from every angle to leave no room for mystery.

What do you mean you don't have your item at hand? You haven't ordered your sample yet? Don't wait any longer, there are far, far too many good reasons for you to take the plunge. We recently put them together in an article.

3 / Optimising your referencing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a rich world that can appear quite obscure from the outside. Rest assured, you don't have to learn everything about it: to be successful in Print on Demand you need to have several strings to your bow, but you don't have to collect them all to the point of turning it into a harp. To make the most of your chances on Etsy, follow a few easy-to-apply tips:

  • Include the category your product belongs to directly in its title (for example, if you sell a T-shirt, it would be... "T-shirt". It's not much more complicated than that);
  • Make sure that you create well-filled product sheets, this is very attractive to search engines and will save your customers from having to contact you for product information;
  • For similar products, do not hesitate to vary the keywords by using synonyms;
  • Be sure to place your most important keywords, such as the product category, at the very beginning of your title (within the first 30 characters or so): this is the part that search engines mainly rely on;
  • Mention your niche in your title, preferably alongside the category of your product, to increase its visibility (example: "geek t-shirt").

4 / Market via social networks

We swear by it, but believe us, it is worth looking into. Social networks are now the most effective and cheapest way to get your name out there. Each network has its own identity and can serve a different purpose for your business: telling your story visually (Instagram), informing and helping your customers promptly (Twitter) or connecting with a diverse audience (Facebook). Check out our recent article on how to create a good Instagram promotion:

The bonus to note: Etsy makes it easy for your buyers to find you on social media by placing access to your Facebook and Twitter profiles directly on your homepage.

5 / Encouraging opinions

Have you ever heard of the concept of "social proof"? This term refers to the principle that when an individual is unsure of what to think or is in a state of hesitation, they will tend to rely on the opinions of their peers. This is precisely why getting reviews is important for your business: it will be a major persuasive lever for your potential buyers... And, what's more, it's free.

To obtain reviews, don't hesitate to conduct an e-mailing campaign sent automatically after receiving orders, all in a sincere and friendly tone, making them understand that a review takes little time to compose and will help your shop in a significant way.

6 / Vary the means of payment

Ah, shopping cart abandonment... As an e-tailer, to say that we could do without it would be an understatement. It must be recognised that the decision to buy is a real step for shoppers, especially when you consider the breadth of choice on the web. Knowing that consumers often have a preferred payment method, don't hesitate to allow as many as possible to optimise your conversion. Plus, it will make you look more trustworthy and professional: it might be worth a try, right?

Etsy is an intuitive and beginner-friendly sales platform; knowing that many print on demand sellers are won over by this mechanism because it allows them to focus on the creative and marketing aspects of an online shop, choosing such a marketplace can be quite wise. Whatever you decide, we send you lots of good vibes for your career with print on demand and hope you get the success you deserve.

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