Etsy can feel totally mystifying when you’re just starting out, and repeat sales and traffic can be inconsistent when you don’t know the rules. The Etsy algorithm is also notorious for changing frequently, meaning even the best SEO on your listings can flop overnight. That said, there are a definitely a few consistent tricks that work even when it feels like all the other rules are changing. Here are the 7 things that actually get you traffic and sales on Etsy:
1. Regularly posting new products
This is huge, especially for new or smaller sellers. This is the #1 confirmed way to get Etsy’s algorithm to recognize your shop and put your products in front of more people in search. This makes sense because it shows your shop is active, and rewards you for raking in more money for Etsy (lol, it’s true!).
So how often are you supposed to be adding new products? Some gurus swear by one product per week, but unless you’re doing this full time or have tons of products planned ahead, I wouldn’t recommend it. For the sake of sanity I recommend at LEAST one new product per month, ideally two. For me this generally means one new design, available in two different colors. Easy-peasy.
2. Getting reviews
This might actually be the biggest deal for getting more sales and traffic, but it’s also the hardest to control. Etsy does a pretty good job of reminding buyers to review products, and I’ve noticed as soon as I get a review I will have an almost immediate uptick in sales. We’re talking within five minutes to an hour between a review and a sale.
So how the heck do you get more reviews? (Especially positive ones??) There’s a couple tricks. First, Etsy does send email reminders to buyers to review products. Another way to remind buyers is to include a note with your order shipment asking them for a review. Check out the example below:
If you’re just starting out and getting your first handful of sales, it’s also totally encouraged to directly message your buyers and politely ask for a review. Since they’re one of your first customers, they are even more likely to help.
3. External traffic
This is where the long game of social media marketing comes in. When outside traffic is coming to your shop (meaning not in Etsy search, Etsy Ads, etc) Etsy assumes you must have a great product that people want and starts driving more internal traffic to your shop. This is excellent because not only are you driving your own traffic, but the Etsy algorithm is also rewarding you. Pinterest is the most popular solution for Etsy traffic, and you can check out the post below for more help.
4. Running promotion/sales/coupons
Running sales is a great way to get customers who have favorited your product to finally purchase, but more importantly it can also get your product featured with other sale items when Etsy is advertising products that are 10%, 20% off, etc. This is especially common around the holidays and good information to keep in your back pocket. Checking the main page for Etsy is a good way to stay posted on when this is happening.
5. At least 50 products in your shop
This has long been a key factor to the Etsy algorithm favoring your shop. Not only that, but having a full shop is visually pleasing for your customers and creates more opportunity to browse. It’s no coincidence that shops with hundreds of listings are usually killing it!
Now if you struggle with this and don’t have a big product line, there’s a couple tricks to creating more listings. First, split up any color variations in your products into multiple listings. If this isn’t possible, you can also create your existing products in new colors, sizes, etc. This is a great strategy to pair with tip #1 above. Bundling your products as sets is also another great way to add more listings. This takes away the guesswork for your customers and sets are very popular as gifts. I have started offering sets of my most popular prints and it’s been a HUGE success.
6. Built in cost of shipping
This was a huge initiative pushed by Etsy and it’s strongly believed that sellers that incorporate free shipping are favored in the search algorithm. It also makes a lot of sense because customers tend to make purchases from multiple shops in one order, and paying multiple shipping fees can be a huge turn off. Now this is obviously not ideal for heavy products such as shipping furniture, but it your shipping cost is under $5 per order you should just go ahead and raise your product prices by that amount and offer free shipping.
A note on this: shipping internationally is expensive everywhere, so it’s okay to just offer free shipping in your country. This has worked really well for me.
7. Running Ads… Sometimes
Etsy made an infamous change to how they operate their on-site ads, and boy were sellers mad. Previously Etsy let you set your cost-per-click so you could drive additional traffic to your products for pennies. Now, you don’t get to decide how much you pay for each click, which means higher prices and a worse return for your advertising dollars. Boo. Obviously this is not ideal, but if you still want to experiment with Etsy ads on your products check out the guide below to get the most bang for your buck.