Thursday, 2 July 2009

My Etsy Experiment

This necklace, "Evening Garden" is going to be listed tonight in my Etsy shop. It is a beautiful gothic inspired design, using a row of 5 beautiful semiprecious moss agate cubes. The neckalce chain is a fine gunmetal and measures 18".

It's priced at $20, but for all you lovely blog readers, it will be $10! Just type "EG09" into 'notes for seller' and I'll refund you through Paypal. I only have materials to make 5 of these and when they are gone, they are gone!
I'm still working on my new range "Let me tell you a story" an eclectic mixture of my collages and jewellery. I'll be launching the jewels on Tue 7th July at 8am GMT and reopening "Papier Delights" then too.
But now a little insight into how my Etsy experiment has been going, what has worked and what just has not! Brace yourself it's a long one, maybe grab a glass of cold juice.
Week 1 25.05.09 - 01.06.09
My starting stats:
75 sales,
605 hearts
a -10% drop in visits on my Google Analytics report
opening my shop on 1st Oct 2007

I decided on that day that I was going to invest £10 / $16.40 into listing new items and renewing excisting items. And that I was going to read everything I could about selling on Etsy including the Etsy seller handbook, forum posts on marketing, and all the articles in the Storque. This as you can imagine took time, lots of time, but I feel it has really paid off.
*ESH - . I decided on my goal for the experiment - a sale a day. (This always helps to keep me focused.)
Then I decided that if I was going to list 3 new items a day 5 days a week that I better start making! I made up 15 new picecs and started photographing them. It was at this point that I decided I needed to find a new background and retook all my shop listing photos for continuity.
I signed up for Twitter and started looking for some interesting people to follow and started posting little random snippits of infor about my day, and commenting on other peoples posts. I posted a Tweet when I listed a new item and found my item views jumped from 0-5 to 10-15 depending on the time of day. My biggest tip here is not to post links to your shop all the time. It gets dull for your followers and I have found myself unfollowing people who do this.
This led me to look more into my GA stats. I could see there that there were definate times when I was getting more visitors to the shop and decided to capitalise on this, listing at these times. For me here in the UK this meant a few last nights! I could also see more clearly how people were finding my shop, by keywords and referring sites. This allowed me to adapt my tsy listings tags and put more effort into the places people were finding me. Read more here to get the most from your GA stats.

This was where I invested my time in week one, keeping a daily note of all the promoting I did, hearts and sales. And I made 3 sales in my jewellery shop and 4 in my other etsy shop so that was 7 sales in total.

My shop hearts had risen to 646 (up by 41) and my GA view % was up to 200%

Ok, so a lot of work for only 7 sales, but for me this was amazing. It was working out as a sale a day which is my new goal and I was delighted!

Week 2

02.06.09 - 09.06.09 I carried on with the same amount of listing, renewing and kept up with Twitter and my GA stats. I went through all my listings and sorted out their tags. Making them more rlevant to the piece. This article really helped me out - .This week I made another 13 sales. That is almost 2 sales a day! By this point I was dancing around with every new sale! My shop hearts rose again to 670.

Week 3 10.06.09 - 17.06.09

I made 3 sales, a dramatic drop. This was around the time Etsy changed the way the search engines found our shops. I'm not going into all this here and now but I saw a dramatic drop in views on items, and visiors to my shop. I made a decision this week, there have to be ways around this and good uses of my time just now while things are slow. I dropped the amount of new listings I was putting up and renewing I was doing. This was a difficult decision to make, I wanted to keep myself at the top of categories but at the same time wanted to keep within my budget. I felt a bit discouraged this week, things had been going so well and the SEO thingy just seemed to be messing up my experiment. So I decided to turn this negative to a postive and come up with some new designs and started working on my new range "Let me tell you a story" (launching on 7th July) (shameless plug!!!). My hearts this week rose again to 690.

Week 4 18.06.09 - 25.06.09

Again this week things moved really slowly, another dramatic drop in my views, visits and all round interest. I am totally aware of how things go up and down in retail and the effect the SEO was having on lots of sellers, but again I did not give up. I did still keep listing and renewing to 3 or 4 a day just a my highest visitor times. I kept tweeting and finding new people to follow. So many interesting folks out there, well worth a shot. And generally just tried to keep my spirits hight and focus on the bigger picture - my goal - a sale a day.

This week I made 10 sales. A huge 7 to one customer who found me on someones blog who featured my paper shop and this led them to my jewellery shop. This proved to me how when I keep positive and focused things do happen. Again I spent more time planning my new range and found some new consignment/ wholesale customers. My hearts at the end of this week were 725.

Week 5 26.06.09 - tomorrow

This week has been different to the past 4, I have had computer trouble, which is sorted now. This threw me off a little but meant I have been focused more on making and planning. All systems go again with my internet and I have been listing more and renewing. I am still Tweeting, but definately less than weeks 1 -3. I have spent quite a lot of time this week exploring new venues to sell on, new boutiques to contact (inspired by Plumeadore's forum post And planning my for the launch and my next rough 4 week plan. This week I have made 1 sale and now have 742 shop hearts. This week I have seen quite clearly that when I step back from the intensive promoting and listing new designs, I get less views.

I'm going to carry on this method and will keep posting updates every Friday on my blog Trying new things and tracking what is working and what is not. Overall I have learned some valuable things:

1. The more time, energy and commitment I invest in my Etsy shop the more sales I get.

2. Not to let myself get drawn down when things hit a slump. Use this time to refocus, make and plan.

3. There is so much help and advice aound, taking the time to read it and use it pays off!



maxandmollydesigns said...

This is great Laura! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences ;-)

maxandmollydesigns said...

Laura, this is great! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences ;-)

Sylvia C. said...

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
I find that creating new pieces is fun... but photographing them and listing them is SO time consuming!

I do hope all your hard work pays off for you!


sarta mexicana said...

Thanks so much for sharing! So much valuable information. I will be following!

daisy loves said...

Thanks so much for this Laura! I have just dipped my toe into Etsy as you know and so useful to read your experiences and learn from them!! Thank you!!! PS. I'm so glad I was one of your sales during your experiment! x

katydiddy said...

Fantastic article! Thanks so much for sharing.

Salinda said...

Thanks for passing on your experiences. I've been discouraged with etsy, because I didn't know what to do once I listed items. You've given me some ideas and some encouragement.

Tequitia said...

great post, I'm going to try to take some steps in putting a marketing plan in place for my shop. Thanks for this!