Are Your Etsy Sales Slow? Here's What You Can Do
**Article updated 09/28/2020.
**Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links.
All eCommerce platforms go through rough patches (or slow times). It doesn’t matter what platform you use, who you are, or what you sell. It will happen. Spring and Summer months are usually the slowest times of the year, simply because people are outside or going on vacation. So, here are some things you can do to improve your shop while sales are slow (I’m mostly going to focus on Etsy):
1.) Add More Listings. Yes, this one is number one for a reason. I’m not sure about all other selling platforms, but Etsy favors recency. When you add new listings consistently, update your shop info and policies, etc., that shows Etsy that your shop is up to date and active. Besides, the more items you have, the more you’ll show up in search results and that goes for all platforms!
2.) Look at your least popular items (low views/favorites) and see what you can do to tweak them. Maybe your SEO could be better, maybe you added those products when you first opened your shop and haven’t touched them since. I highly recommend using eRank (formerly EtsyRank) to help with keyword research, SEO, and more. Their Pro version is $9.99 a month and 100% worth the price. You do get a ton of features and tools with the free version so I would suggest getting familiar with all of that before you upgrade. They are also working on a lower cost Pro version so be on the lookout for that!
3.) Raise/Lower Your Prices. Shoppers may not be buying because of your prices. If they are too high, they will look elsewhere for a cheaper option. If you have them priced higher than average for a reason, be sure to convey that in your product descriptions. If your items are priced too low, shoppers might think “what’s wrong with this item?” and assume it’s not the best quality.
4.) Renew listings that are about to expire. I wouldn’t just go and renew listings for the hell of it, though. Etsy does give a very small search boost to renewed items, but it’s not that serious and only lasts for a few hours. However, if you have listings that are close to expiring anyway, you could revamp them and then relist before they do expire. What do I mean by revamping them? Fix your titles, tags, and descriptions. Use eRank to see which keywords are still working for you and which may need to be changed. Add better photos if you can.
5.) Take Better Photos. Etsy favors items that are on white or light-colored backgrounds. I also wouldn’t suggest using watermarks or adding your logo to the main photo because you’ll never be featured by Etsy if you have watermarks or logos on your photos. Why? It looks unprofessional. I hear a lot of back and forth about this subject in Facebook groups, but trust me, it’s in Etsy’s Seller Handbook. ;) Also, watermarks are very easy to remove. If you can’t or don’t need to take new photos, but they could do with some editing, check out iPiccy (it’s free or you can pay for extra features). I will also link some awesome YouTube tutorials below.
6.) Rearrange Your Items. Yes, you can control the order of your items in your shop and this is not a paid feature, it’s free! You could change it so your bestselling items are seen first or items that are on sale.
7.) Make A New Banner. If your shop looks professional, shoppers will associate you with professionalism and are more likely to purchase from you. It’s simple psychology. I recommend using Canva to create a new Etsy shop banner and even a logo if you want to rebrand. They have a free and paid version.
8.) Update Your Profile Photo. Buyers love to see your smiling face! Again, it’s a psychological thing. If you look welcoming and friendly, shoppers will be more likely to purchase from you.
9.) Add A Shop Update. This can only be done from the Sell on Etsy app (I wish they’d add this to the web version) and it’s a great marketing tool. When you post a new shop update, anyone who has favorited your shop will receive a notification!
10.) Use Pinterest. I cannot recommend Pinterest enough! I went from 1,000 monthly viewers on Pinterest to over 34,000 in less than a month, just by pinning my products, repinning other people’s pins, creating relative boards for my content, and joining group boards. The best thing about using Pinterest to advertise: IT’S FREE. There is also the option to switch to a Business Account and I highly recommend it since it gives you a few more features (rich pins, analytics) and it’s also 100% free.
11.) Watch YouTube Videos. There are a ton of useful YouTube videos about running your own business, starting an Etsy shop, etc. I’ll link some of my favorites at the end of this post.
12.) Do A Giveaway. But it must be done right. Don’t just throw something together and tell people to join. Be strategic. Plan ahead. Make sure you set some ground rules for joining the giveaway. Click here to read my blog post on setting up giveaways.
13.) Research Suppliers. Easy, peasy. Find new suppliers for your supplies. Maybe there’s someone out there who has lower prices and better quality or maybe they offer faster shipping.
I will add to this list as I think of more things you can do while sales are slow. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment below! Now, I promised you some YouTube links…
- Starla Moore - Her videos are awesome. She has videos about getting started on Etsy, how to keep your shop relevant, and even does iPiccy tutorials! Every Friday she has a Q&A video about different business topics (usually related to Etsy).
- Pam Duthie - She's an amazing mentor from Scotland who has her own Etsy shop for needle felted dogs. She is also an employee of eRank so she has some great eRank tutorials you should check out!
- Nancy Badillo - She has a lot of Etsy help videos as well as videos on how to market on Social Media, and more! Also, I love her accent. ^_^
- Moe Howard - I absolutely love her videos! She doesn’t really discuss Etsy, but she does have several tutorials that are perfect for digital sellers (especially if you sell printable planner stickers). Her tutorials are usually about Inkscape (amazing free program), Cricut Design Space, and Silhouette Studio.
- Etsy Success - This information comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Their videos are usually short and sweet, but sometimes they have podcasts and interviews with Etsy sellers or staff members.
- eRank - They are just getting started with their YouTube channel and usually do live videos within the eRank Facebook group, but I suggest subscribing, watching the videos they've uploaded so far, and keeping an eye out for new ones!