Welcome 2013! Last week AWeber wrote an awesome guest post about how you can send emails using their services to help boost your business. If you missed this article, go back and read it.
All throughout January & February we are going to help you turn your small Etsy store into a powerhouse. It’s going to take a LOT of work on your part. And you are going to have to ask yourself a lot of hard questions…but if you are up to the challenge and want to improve your store, sales, & eventually quit your day job, I can help you.
Today we are going to focus on your stores cohesiveness. From your graphics to your listings to the types of things you sell. Are you ready to start? Ready…Set…Etsy Shop Makeover!
Etsy Shop Makeover Series:
Your Stores’ Cohesiveness
The first thing that any buyer is going to do when they go into your store is touch everything … with their eyes. So what they see really does matter! But more than that, it has to make sense to them. Today we’re going to talk about what’s in your store, what your store looks like, and walk you through the steps of discover to find whether or not your Etsy Store makes sense.
Be Hard On Yourself
Getting found and creating a solid business on Etsy take a lot of hard work and drive! Many people may tell you to “lighten up” or “don’t be so hard on yourself.” The reality is that your customer is that hard on you, and therefore you should be that hard on yourself. In order to be in business you have to have elephant skin. What?! Elephant skin? Yes, you go it.
Elephant skin is the thickest skin of any animal on the planet. It makes the elephant tough, able to withstand heat, and provides insulation. The reason that your skin has to be just like this is because inevitably you are going to end up with an angry customer, disappointed customer, or irate customer. As much as you may not like it, it is going to happen and there’s not a lot you can do. But if you develop skin like an elephant it will be easier for you to handle.
Look Around & Be Honest
Often we (the creators & artists) look around our store and it makes sense to us. Why? Because we put those things there. (PS: If you haven’t already customized your store to display your “custom sort” than you need to change that first thing! Read why here). But let me ask you … does your store really make sense?
Start with the basics:
- Do you have any items featured at the top of your store? If not, you should. Here’s the kicker though. Those featured items should NOT be items that are already on your front page. They may be items that are best sellers that appear on page 4 … or in the case of my shop, the headline items to my store that appear on page 3 after my StoryBook Scenes.
- You need to have your store sorted. I have mentioned this before (see this article), but you need to give a sense of sincerity and direction to your store.
- What seems out of place? Is there something that seems out of place to you? Perhaps an item is incorrectly placed, perhaps you have an awful photograph on your front page … perhaps your branding looks “off” compared to the rest of your store. Whatever seems wrong to you is also going to seem wrong to your customer.
- Branding: This is just a snippet of an entire Build Your Brand post from Kelly Sorenson on branding your shop that will appear at the end of this month, however, branding is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your store. Branding is not just your logo or color scheme (though that is included), it is the entirety of the look, feel, and assembly of your store, packages, materials, etc.
What You Sell Does Matter
How many times have you walked in to a department store and said “why is that here?” The last time I was at one of my favorite stores (that sells sweaters) they had this bottle of perfume sitting between a lovely pair of folded sweaters. It was only one bottle, one size, one type … but my reaction was the same … “what’s this doing here; they don’t sell perfume.” And even though I didn’t say it, I did think it. Some people might buy that perfume, it is true. However, the people that go to that store do not go there for perfume, they go there to buy a sweater.
The same is true in your Etsy store. People think it’s okay to “mix” mediums because they simply don’t want the hassle of another store. In some cases this might work, but not all. Whatever your “specialty” is should be the highlight of your store. For example, if you are a store that specializes in custom created digital papers, why would you also sell jewelry? You need to reign in your focus. Just because you can do something does not necessarily mean that you should do it. Here’s the biggest no-no across the board for Etsy, if you’re going to sell vintage, sell vintage. But do not under any circumstances mix vintage with handmade! This is so confusing to many people and takes away from the cohesiveness of your store.
So you need to decide today what it is that you are going to sell. If it’s crochet, then sell crochet, but don’t sell jewelry too. The same is true across any art form, with rare exception.
The Bottom Line
The best thing that you can do for your Etsy store is to look like a reputable place to shop and to buy from. If people come into your store and see lousy photos and incorrect spellings in your ads they are going to think (whether right or wrong) that you don’t care enough about your business to present a decent place for them to shop, peruse, and browse. Be kind to yourself and your customers. Begin your Etsy Shop Makeover by giving your store a complete & proper evaluation. If and when you are still in doubt, ask a friend that you trust to give you an honest & straight forward opinion.
Stay tuned next week as you Build Your Brand with our Etsy Shop Makeovers