Original Article found on A Fuller Day.
This month, I celebrated an anniversary with Etsy. It was our 4 year anniversary. Me as a seller, Etsy as my marketplace.
I run 2 shops. Superkid Capes™ has to 6900+ sales on Etsy-which amounts to nearly 10,000+ actual capes and accessories being sold around the world. Elizabeth Brooke Designs has near 700 sales-which equals 1000 patterns, baby items, and scarves having made their way around the county. In its 4 years of existence, Superkid Capes™ has had the honor to be featured a number of times in “Etsy Finds”, magazines, blogs, on Zulily, and television shows.
- Is there a demand for what you are making?
- Have you found items similar to yours for sale?
- If yes, what are your competitors selling their items for? Are their items selling?
- If no, why don’t you think there are items similar to what you are making out there?
- If you don’t see anything like what you make, why do you think that is?
- Would your items meet a need if they were available? If yes, who specifically would they meet a need for?
- Would customers be able to imagine via a picture and description, what they would do with your item or use your item for?
- Do you know your product well? Meaning, do you know what it costs you to make it, how much time it takes, and what you would need to charge to make a profit? And the icing on the cake, would someone be willing to spend what you want to charge for that item?
- What exactly makes your product stand out?
- After doing some research, you might determine that you do have competition. If that’s the case, what would cause a customer to purchase your item over your competitor’s?
- What do you offer that your competitor does not offer?
- What makes your item one of a kind, what is the draw? Is it the style? Price? Quick turn around?
- If you determine there’s not something out there like what you are making, how will you draw in your customer?
3. Target Market
- Who do you envision as a customer? What is their age, sex, occupation, etc.?
- Why would they purchase this item from you?
- How will your target market find you? Will they be online? On social media? On Etsy? Will you spread the word via referrals and word of mouth?
- Is the nature of your product something that can create repeat customers within your market?
What kind of time are you willing to devote to your shop? If you don’t have the time to devote to creating and maintaing a shop, you will not be successful. The most successful Etsy shops are maintained regularly, regardless of the amount of sales coming in. What does that mean exactly?
But it doesn’t end there. Once a shop is created, there is the actual running of the shop. That means checking in on the shop regularly, answering conversations, making changes to listings, responding to sales, checking shop stats to see if people are visiting the shop. That means asking questions when viewing shop stats:
- What do you notice about your traffic?
- Are people all viewing the same listing?
- Are people favoriting one item in particular?
- What are the search terms people are using to arrive at your shop?
- Is there outside traffic coming from other locations?
- Is there really a demand for what you are making?
- If you believe there is a demand, are you having trouble being found?
- Is your pricing too high? Should you try running a special or sale? Would that be something your target market would be interested in?
- Are you promoting your shop elsewhere to drive traffic to your shop?
- How are your competitors doing?
- If it does not appear that there is a demand for what you are selling, do you need to reevaluate how or what you are selling?
- Do your research and determine if your product is something people want or meets a need.
- Know exactly how much time and money it takes to make your product and if you could make a profit.
- Ask yourself what would make someone buy your product over similar items out there.
- Determine who your target market is, how they might find you, and if they would be willing to buy your product at the price you are wanting to sell it for.
- Decide if what you are making is a hobby, or if it something you can make a business out of. If you want to make selling your items a real business, that means investing some serious time, commitment, late nights, and being consistent and constant in maintaining your shop. Are you willing to do that?
- After analyzing your product, pricing, market, and potential buyer do you feel confident Etsy is the place for you to set up shop?