By 2021, it’s been projected that retail commerce sales in the U.S. will reach a staggering $485.27 billion. While corporations like Amazon tend to dominate, the Etsy platform — which focuses more on unique, handmade, and vintage items rather than on great deals and fast shipping — has been one to watch for quite some time. Whenever someone needs a one-of-a-kind, personalized gift or is on the hunt for something quirky, pop-culture-inspired, or totally niche, Etsy is usually a good go-to.
But in a survey of 5,500 Etsy sellers, data shows that approximately 74% considered their shops to be businesses rather than hobbies. Some sellers are able to make their Etsy shops a full-time enterprise. While a good portion of their achievements can be attributed to their skill, the goods they sell, and their general hustle, the Etsy platform provides a lot of support that can allow sellers to succeed. Plus, the platform itself really lends itself well to digital marketing efforts. Even if you aren’t an artisan or sell vintage clothing, there’s a lot to learn from successful Etsy sellers and what makes this website work. Here are just a few things that Etsy can teach you about business marketing in the digital age.
Customers don’t want to struggle
The Etsy website is very user-friendly and focuses on gently guiding their visitors to their destinations. The search tool is extremely precise, allowing users to search for specific items, seller locations, price ranges, and more through different filters. And if a user doesn’t really know what they want or need, Etsy can provide inspiration and point them in the right direction.
You should never allow customers to feel frustrated when they visit your website. Instead of making them search high and low to find what they need, you must make it easy for them to navigate your site and obtain information about your products or services. Chances are that if your site is difficult to figure out, consumers won’t take the time to even try; they’ll simply give up and look elsewhere.
While this can come down to good web design, it’s also important to keep this in mind when marketing your business too. Marketing materials should be clear and focus on solving a problem, rather than on blatant promotion. Make sure that anyone who becomes interested in your offerings after seeing your marketing materials will be able to easily find what they’re looking for.
High-quality photos and info are a must
In terms of aesthetics, Etsy kills it every time. The website itself is quite attractive, striking the balance between bold, ethereal, and simple with its excellent use of white space and creative graphics. Ultimately, the most successful sellers have carefully curated shops with high-quality images and accurate descriptions chock-full of useful information.
Even if your site isn’t set up at all like Etsy, you still need to embrace the concept of creating an enjoyable browsing experience for web users. Your site and all pages should be visually enticing, complete with professional images and lots of relevant web copy that seeks to educate, rather than to simply promote a product or service.
Don’t forget about SEO and social media
The realm of SEO is ever-changing, but successful Etsy sellers know how to pick relevant keywords and optimize their listings to get traffic. Etsy’s category pages allow sellers to reach new audiences by being strategic about their SEO strategy. In addition, many Etsy sellers maintain their own solo websites and are active on social media platforms to further their marketing efforts.
Etsy can make it easier for sellers to reach a wider audience than, say, a standalone company will be able to on its own. Having a comprehensive SEO and social media strategy is just as imperative (if not more so) for your business. After all, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, as compared to outbound leads link print ads or direct mail, which offer only a 1.7% close rate. Working with an SEO analyst to conduct keyword research and to optimize your site or a social media strategist to gain followers and engagement is an important part of marketing, no matter what.
Focus on community and your brand story
The Etsy platform has a unique focus on the community-at-large and also on telling the sellers’ individual stories. This allows for a greater sense of connection between buyer and seller, which can ultimately translate into more sales and a sense of support. People want to feel as if they know the person behind the business. In a time when brand loyalty is more difficult to come by, this personal connection can make all the difference.
Etsy makes it easy for sellers to tell their stories with their storefronts and bio sections, as well as an easy messaging tool that allows customers to get in contact with a seller with a question or a concern. Keep these features in mind when building your marketing strategy and your own website. Consumers want to know more about you and what makes your company special. By posting relatable content, giving insight into the people behind your daily operations, and putting an emphasis on customer service, you can really improve those customer connections and carve out a niche for yourself in just about any industry.
Marketing your business in the digital age certainly isn’t a breeze, but we hope these Etsy-inspired tips can help take some of the guess work out of the process.
Have you had success with Etsy? Have any tips of the ecommerce trade to share? Let us know in the comments!