Over the summer most Etsy sellers have already structured a marketing plan, networking and specials for this fast approaching holiday season. Etsy sellers who have been through a few holidays already share a few core essentials for any newbies looking to get ahead like:
- start planning yesterday
- create a sustainable marketing plan that works for you
- enjoy yourself as much as possible
In case you are starting a bit late this holiday or just want to tune up the plan you already have in place, these 10 tips below are perfect for you:
1. Cater to Your Most-Likely Customer – Once you have a clear understanding of your most-likely customer, include a sentence or two that describes this ideal demographic and personality traits in your item listings. This information will help gift buyers feel confident about their purchases.
2. Get Your Shop Into the Holiday Spirit – Consider adding seasonal designs to your collections or organizing a special photo shoot to show off your items’ context for the holidays. Take time to ensure that your item titles, descriptions and tags are relevant to increase your potential to be found.
3. Spotlight Key Items – Kirsty Harltey of Wild Things Funky Little Dresses has been selling on Etsy since 2011 and recommends spotlighting key items like a boutique would on an end-cap. “Build on the strength of these items and make them visible in the Featured Listings section of your shop,” she says.
4. Share Your Story – Kirsty says customers go to Etsy in search of unique, authentic items made by real-life people. “Buyers want innovative, fresh gifts with heart and soul,” the U.K. seller says. “Bringing that special something to your customer with beautiful photography and an honest story of how it was created is key. It’s a personal thing, but customers really do appreciate your honesty, and this builds their trust in you and your brand.
5. Clearly Communicate Customer Services – Jill, the owner of natural perfume shop For Strange Women, recommends preparing for hurried shoppers who tend to speed-read. “If there’s room for confusion within the item title or first photo, you may run into issues with customers who thought they were purchasing something else,” the artisanal scent-seller says. “When in doubt, take time to send a convo to make sure there isn’t a misunderstanding.”
6. Attract International Shoppers – Did you know that people around the world are buying Etsy gift cards? Here’s why this is good news for you: In the 2012 holiday season, over $1,000,000 worth of gift cards were purchased on Etsy, which means that the coming months are the best time to capture that increased traffic and purchasing power. Another important fact: Buyers with an Etsy gift card spend 24% more on average than their gift card value when using the gift card to pay for an order.
7. Get Creative With Holiday Promotions – Samya of Firedaughter Clothing says she’s learned a lot in the last five years of fulfilling holiday orders and now has a brick-and-mortar shop. Though she’s not a fan of discounting her prices, she’s created her own version of a Cyber Monday sale, and her customers love it. “I call it my Firedaughter Nation Appreciation Sale. I post a beautiful flyer on my Facebook page a few days before Cyber Monday that features an Etsy Coupon Code.”
8. Inspire Repeat Business – What can you do to make a lasting impression on your customers and encourage them to come again? Offering gift-wrapping or attractive packaging is one way to do this; read Packaging Inspirations for clever ideas. You may want to consider offering personalized details on your items; for advice, read Top Tips for Managing Custom Orders.
9. Get Your Brand Out There – In addition to optimizing your tags and beautifying your photos to help buyers find and select your shop on Etsy, it’s important to network. Spread the word about your business wherever your most likely customers can find you. And, no, you don’t have to spend a fortune in the process.
10. Make the Most of Social Media – To help your customers remember you, select one or a handful of your favorite forms of social media to get creative about engaging followers.
You can always try throwing a contest through your social networks which is pretty effective this time a year.
How many holiday selling seasons have you been through and what have you learned that you can share with our readers below?