Maybe you already went to Google and typed something like “I don’t have sales” and a gazillion results came out how it’s all because of hashtags on Instagram and SEO and oh, look, you need to be on Pinterest! All these different things are just making you more and more overwhelmed without really giving you an idea on how to troubleshoot that situation. Don’t worry, we’re going to do that today!
Are you not getting traffic or is it a conversion issue?
Something that I live and stand by is that you can’t fix something if you don’t know what’s actually broken. That’s why the first step in understanding why you’re not getting sales is being able to answer this one question: is it a traffic or a conversion problem?
If you don’t know that, then you might need to take a deep dive into your shop’s analytics whether you’re using Google Analytics (which is by far the best platform to get those sorts of data and analytics from) or your Etsy shop stats. You need to understand if the problem is that you’re not getting traffic or if you’re getting enough traffic, but it’s not converting into sales.
Get free access to our library of resources for handmade shop owners
FREE WORKBOOKS, CHEAT SHEETS, AND RESOURCES TO HELP YOU START, GROW AND PROFIT FROM YOUR HANDMADE SHOP.
Now, how do you know if you’ve got enough traffic and if your conversion rate is good enough? Well, as a baseline (and it’s going to vary wildly depending on your niche and your own shop), in the e-commerce industry a good conversion rate is 3% or above. If your conversion rate is 2% – I’m happy with it. If it’s 1% – I think you could be working on it. How much traffic is enough traffic? Again, that’s obviously going to depend on a lot of different factors, but you have to remember that if you’re only getting 100 people visiting your shop each month and you are converting at 1%, you only really going to get one sale. If you want to get more sales, you do need to start getting and directing more traffic to your site.
If your conversion rate is somewhere between 1-3% and you want to sell once a day, so one sale each day (I’m just picking that because it’s easier to do the math), that means that you’re getting 30 sales in a month. To get those 30 sales, you need to get 3000 visitors that month (that’s 1% conversion rate) or 1000 people visiting your shop (if you’re converting at 3%). What I mean by visitors is how many actual people visited that page. For example, I could visit your shop 3 times in one month and that would count as 3 views, but 1 visitor. It’s important that you understand those differences in your reports because you want to be looking at how many visitors are going onto your shop each month and if you’re not near those results, then you definitely need to start driving more traffic. Ultimately, it depends on how much sales you want. Take those sales, apply a conversion rate of 2% to it and that gives you your target traffic that you should be getting to your shop each month.
If it’s a traffic issue
Now that you’ve done the work of actually looking into our stats and understanding where the problem comes from, you should know where the problem lies. If it’s a traffic issue, well… you need to get more traffic. If you’re selling on Etsy, it’s important that you understand the basic of Etsy SEO. You could use tools like Etsy Rank or Marmalead to help you level up your Etsy SEO game.
Next is Pinterest, which I would recommend anyone on Etsy or on your own website look into because it is a very, very powerful platform that takes a bit of time to set up, but after that really gives you that consistent traffic without so much effort and time put into it afterward. Next up are Instagram, Facebook, and other social media accounts.
Another very important traffic source is an email list. If someone visited your shop and wasn’t ready to purchase yet, it’s important not to lose that person. That visitor is already warmer than someone that doesn’t even know you exist yet, so you want to grab their email address so that you can bring them back to your shop using email campaigns and email newsletters.
So, if it’s a traffic issue, my top recommendations are:
- email marketing.
If it’s a conversion issue
This is the case where you have a fair bit of traffic coming to your shop but you’re not really getting enough sales. Your conversion rate might be 1% or even lower than that. If that’s the case, then usually the number one thing that’s just really getting in your way is your product photography. You really want to take some time to learn proper photographic skills or work with a professional photographer to get those photos up to standard. Just because your products are handmade you can’t have handmade looking pictures. They need to look like they would belong in one of your favorite magazines or it shouldn’t be listed in your shop. I’m not saying that to be harsh or to sound discouraging because that’s definitely not my style, but photography is the number one sales killer in the handmade industry. You need really beautiful product imagery.
Problem number two with conversion is that your shop is lacking focus. It’s when your shop isn’t cohesive, branded and it’s not clear what you sell. When someone lands on your shop, they’re not getting this beautiful designer kind of look, they’re getting the crafty, homemade vibe and that’s definitely not helping you sell.
Problem number three is not communicating effectively your product benefits in your product description. You might be stuck at listing all the features like how long this piece of jewelry is, how thick this bracelet is etc. All this information is important to have, but that’s not what will sell your product. You want to communicate why this is interesting and what the benefits of each of those features are for your customers instead.
Problem number four is your pricing. Pricing needs to be done strategically, not only so that you can make money and actually have a profit margin, but also because it plays a part in your branding and in the way your customers and visitors perceive your shop. Cheaper is not always better. The price that’s too low can turn someone off from buying from you because they’re thinking something’s up with that and it doesn’t communicate quality and professionalism. So if your prices are too low, that might be a problem.
Pricing can also be too high compared to what people perceive to be the value of your products when they visit your shop. What I mean by that is that if you’re pricing your products at $150 – $200 because that is what they’re worth (and I completely understand that) you have to understand that your shop can’t look like it’s a little craft store or homemade project. It has to look spectacular. The product photography again has to look really beautiful. The shop needs to look cohesive and branded so that people feel like the price is justified.
The last problem related to pricing is your shipping. Shipping is a big, big deal. People get turned off by it really easily. I know I do and I’m sure you do too. Let’s be honest: if you want to buy this thing for $35, and you get to the shopping cart and suddenly it’s $42 because there’s shipping it’s a bad surprise and usually people leave the cart because they were getting ready for this price but not for the product + shipping price. That’s why if you can, I would really recommend you consider reviewing your pricing strategy so that you can include free shipping with each one of your products without losing profit yourself.
I hope this helped. If you have any questions, please free to comment below, I always love seeing the conversation in the comments. If you’d like free resources to help you with branding and pricing your products, you can find them in the free resource library here.
you might also like…
Handmade Product Photography: Getting Started Guide
It’s common knowledge that making good quality handmade products is necessary for your handmade business to succeed. . . . . . but, turns out,
16 Ideas To Boost Your Handmade Holiday Sales
Hello everyone! Today we are going to talk about the nuts and bolts of increasing your handmade shop’s holiday sales. There are two reasons you
The 4 Stages of a Profitable Holiday Season for Handmade Sellers
Today I want to give you an overview of what it looks like to have a successful holiday season starting from July and going all