How to become a top shop
It really is my desire for everyone with a handmade business to be successful on Etsy. It has opened the biggest door ever for me and really has changed my life. it’s allowed me to replace and earn more than I did at my former 9-5.
There are many, many shops on Etsy, but only a percentage of them get consistent sales. And everyone’s measure of success is different. One person may be happy with a revenue of $25,000 a year. While somebody else may not think their shop is doing well unless it’s making over $100,000 in revenue every year. Whatever your definition of success is, it’s just that, it’s YOURS. So don’t compare yourself to someone else.
Just because a shop isn’t in the “top 1%” doesn’t mean it isn’t doing well. My shop isn’t in the top 1% but I could care less because I’m making enough sales!
What I’m about to talk about is what “top shops” do that make them successful. Not every shop is getting sales, in fact, most don’t. Most give up too quick or they don’t bend to the market.
Before you sign up with Etsy and open your shop there are a few things you need to know about the shops that are doing well.
Have you ever gone to a craft fair and there is someone there with some awesome product, yes probably you have, and there’s probably people that tell that person hey you should try selling online.
I mean, it looks easy, right?
Well, there’s more to it than just selling.
There’s a good chance that if that person opened a shop, nothing would sell, and then they decided Etsy is terrible.
Now what you don’t know is most shops continually pivot until they find a sweet spot of 3 things: what works for them, what they can make and what the market wants.
That last part of the sentence, what the market wants, is the biggest factor in what you will expect to receive in sales.
Because if there is no market for your product then nobody will buy it.
There is a difference between not being able to reach your target market and not offering what your target market wants.
I am talking about offering what your market wants.
There are trends for just about everything. In order to stay on top of the game in your industry you are going to have to follow the trends even if you don’t want to.
You don’t have to be wearing the latest version of mom jeans, I’m talking about your products and if they are up-to-date or outdated.
Periodically in my shop I go through and update with new products that are trending for weddings. I also remove old product listings that are outdated because I don’t want to look like someone with old, out-dated merchandise. That makes my whole shop look bad.
For example, let’s say that you specialize in making wood benches. You have assorted sizes but for the most part the benches are very similar to one another. I see this a lot with woodworkers, they use red Oak and use the same golden oak or red oak stain color for everything. Well my friend, the glory days of the golden red oak are over. I would offer my benches in different stains or paint finishes, so for example a black stain. Or paint the bench white and distress it for a distressed farmhouse look.
You just need to spend a few minutes on Pinterest looking at some home decor to figure out what is popular now. And honestly a lot of trends don’t just last one year, so you’re looking at a few years of a time frame.
Have you ever looked at a house for sale and saw the shag carpeting and green toilet? You don’t want your shop to be that outdated house! We want someone to find your listing, look at your other listings, and go I feel confident that this product will match my taste!
If you have a shop you are going to have to bend to the market. If you can only make one thing, a certain way and a certain style, and it could never be changed, you are limiting yourself because you have limited your customer base.
I know most of my fellow handmade makers don’t have a ton of extra time but it doesn’t take a ton of effort to stay up to date.
How do we stay up to date?
- Subscribe to a magazine or follow a popular blogger in your niche. There are a ton of amazing influencers out there that give you free content and inspiration in hopes that you will buy from their affiliate link. Even if you don’t buy from them, you still can consume their content.
- Ask your customers. Make a poll on your IG/Facebook page and ask them this or that.
- Add new listings. Just experiment and add new listings to your shop. You should be doing this anyway! When you start to see people buying that new listing then that is an indicator you should make more variations of that and expand.
You need to ride the trend waves. Even if you don’t really want to. Be flexible and open to new ideas.
The creators that are stuck in their ways will eventually fade out.
I hope that inspired you on how to approach new products and listings.
Here’s an action tip for you: go to Pinterest and Etsy and type in your products as if you were a customer searching for it. See what populates and take note of the colors, designs and patterns. Is it time to update some of your products?