Etsy Marketing: Everything You Need to Know

Etsy is a vital retail platform that provides sellers access to a global marketplace of millions of potential customers interested in unique and handcrafted goods. Through Etsy, retailers can expand their reach beyond traditional online stores and tap into a community of artisans, craftspeople, and independent sellers.

In this article, I will tell you about the platform’s features and how to promote goods on it. 

What is Etsy? 

Etsy is a popular global marketplace where users worldwide sell the results of their creative hobbies, antiques, and other unique goods. 

It was founded in 2005, and just two years later, in 2007, the site sold its millionth item, with purchases amounting to $4.3 million. In 2015, Etsy went public and raised $267 million with a capitalization of $3 billion.

The marketplace has several important advantages. 

  1. It has a huge audience of potential buyers who appreciate the uniqueness and quality of handmade products. According to Statista, the platform has about 90 million registered buyers from 234 countries. 
  2. It is the only marketplace dedicated entirely to handmade goods. 
  3. The registration and use processes are simple, making Etsy accessible to sellers with any level of experience.
  4. In 2024, Etsy introduced the Gift Mode tool based on OpenAI GPT-4. It combines artificial intelligence and human expertise to make it easier to find the perfect gift.

What products to sell on Etsy

The target audience of Etsy is people who appreciate unique, high-quality, and handmade products. According to SimilarWeb, a third of Etsy visitors are between the ages of 25 and 34, with significantly more females than males. 

etsy visitors

Here are the most popular categories on the marketplace. 

  1. Home & Living: Home and kitchen goods, carpets, lighting, wall decor, and furniture. Backlinko states that this category accounts for $3.2 billion in annual sales.
  2. Jewelry: Rings, earrings, bracelets, and handmade jewelry.
  3. Craft Supplies & Tools: Paintings, figurines, accessories, and decorative art.
  4. Clothing: Clothing, shoes, and accessories.

popular categories

To sell successfully on Etsy, it is important to understand the needs and preferences of your audience. To do this, there are several points you can analyze. 

1. Demand and level of competition on Etsy. The marketplace recommends using tools to search for popular products in specific categories and analyze keywords, sales trends, and the quality of listing optimization. These tools include Marmalead, Erank, and EtsyHunt

demand-and-level-of-competition-on-etsy

2. Social networks. Etsy has an active community on Instagram, where you can follow the posts of sellers and buyers and keep up with trends.

3. Customer reviews. Analyzing customer reviews will help you understand what users value in products and how to improve them.

customer-reviews

Feedback on the size discrepancy between the real product and the photo

Competition on Etsy

According to Statista, about 7 million sellers are registered on the platform. Therefore, it is not easy to stand out in popular categories, but here are a few strategies that can help. 

  1. Sell unique products that are hard to find elsewhere. For example, offer customers options for customizing products: engrave your grandmother’s recipe on a kitchen board, write a pet’s name on a doghouse, etc.
  2. Create high-quality photos. Photos play a big role in influencing the purchase decision.
  3. Surprise customers with gifts and offers. These added perks will encourage customers to leave feedback about the store.
  4. Provide excellent service. A positive shopping experience increases the likelihood of a repeat purchase.

The WorldWoodToys store puts all of these strategies into practice. It offers a 50% discount on a crib, a pillow as a free gift, and the option of putting the child’s name on the product. 

the-worldwoodtoys-store

How to launch a store on Etsy: step-by-step instructions

Step 1: Create a brand and choose a name for your store on Etsy

Before launching an Etsy store, it is important to create a brand, which is a set of elements that help customers recognize a business: name, logo, visual style, etc. The brand should be:

  • unique to stand out among other sellers;
  • consistent in all marketing materials;
  • easily recognizable by customers.

gibsongirldress

An example of a successful brand is Gibsongirldress.

Pay special attention to the store name, as it is the first thing potential customers will see. When choosing a name, consider several points.

  1. Make sure it is not registered yet. To do this, create a link like https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrandName, but use the name of the store instead of BrandName. You can use the name if you get an error when loading such a link.
  2. It should be short and easy to remember.
  3. It should describe the business or products sold by the store.
  4. The maximum length is 20 characters without spaces.

busypuzzle

BusyPuzzle is a good example of a short and effective name.

Step 2: Register a seller account on Etsy

To register on Etsy, you must have an active and verified Payoneer account. 

1. Go to the Etsy website and register as a buyer using the Register button.

register-etsy

2. Confirm your email address by clicking the button in the email that Etsy sends you after you have registered.

3. Click on Sell on Etsy in the seller profile menu.

4. Select your country and leave English and US dollars as your primary currencies.

5. Enter a unique store name. You can change it later.

6. Create your first listing by adding a photo, title, and product description. Etsy’s suggestions make this step as easy as possible.

7. Specify the bank location and connect your existing Payoneer account. After confirming the registration in Etsy Payments, all payment methods will be available to buyers.

etsy-payments

8. Enter the details of the payment card you will use to pay Etsy commissions. Initially, the marketplace will charge a small amount for verification, so I recommend having it in your account.

9. Provide your address, which a bank statement or utility bill can verify. It must match the address you have on file with Payoneer.

10. Set up two-factor authentication to protect your account.

11. Click Open Store, and you’re done!

Tip: After registration, do not forget to copy the list of backup codes. They will come in handy if you need to recover your account password or if you can’t receive a code via SMS to your phone.

Step 3: Create visual content

It is important to take high-quality photos of products. Here are a few tips to follow when taking photos. 

  1. Think about the composition of the photos.
  2. Take photos in the interior, on the model, and with other accessories.
  3. Take centered and distant shots so the images are not cropped when scaling.
  4. Use a professional background and good lighting to make your photos look professional.
  5. Take photos from several angles so that customers can see the products from all sides.

kharkivforge

As an example, KharkivForge is a store with several professional photos.

In addition to photos, use other types of visual content.

1. Infographics can illustrate product information, such as materials and care instructions.

infographics

2. Size charts will help customers choose the right product for them.

size-charts

3. A comparison image can showcase different product options or demonstrate their differences from competitor products. 

4. A video of the product in action or a video of its creation will give users a look behind the scenes of the store.

Step 4: Create product listings and descriptions on Etsy

In your Etsy store, “product listings” refer to pages with information about products. Here are some tips for creating them. 

  1. Use short and informative product names so that buyers can easily find them in search results.
  2. Include photos you’ve already created. 
  3. Add clear and detailed product descriptions that include the unique features of the product: size, material, color, etc.

When creating descriptions, keep the following in mind: 

  • Attract customers from the first line. The text should be clear and contain the main keywords.
  • Add information about the benefits of the product.
  • Place links to popular listings, categories, or coupons of your store.
  • Encourage customers to take action: add the product to the cart, order the product now, etc.

create-product-listings-and-descriptions

Step 5: Etsy pricing plan

The right price is an important factor for success on Etsy. If you set it too high, customers won’t buy your products. If you set it too low, you will lose money. Here are the main pricing strategies. 

  1. Competitive pricing. This is the simplest strategy where the price matches the competitors’ prices, but it does not give a competitive advantage.
  2. Cost-based pricing. The price covers the costs and provides the desired profit.
  3. Premium pricing. The price is higher than the competitors’, but the product or service offers an additional advantage.

For example, the Plum and Posey store sells its products at a higher price, but each piece of jewelry comes with a description of its own unique and special meaning. The seller positions them as “jewelry with meaning.”

the-plum-and-posey-store

Step 6: Use promotions and offers on Etsy

Here’s how you can use promotions to boost sales. 

1. Offer significant discounts, for example, 40% or 60% discounts. People tend to buy when they see an opportunity to save money.

2. Limit the duration of the promotion or offer. Indicate that only three products are left or that the promotion ends in two days. This will create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to take action.

limit-the-duration-of-the-promotion-or-offer

3. Share the promotion or offer. Create a promotional coupon and share it on social media, your website, and other product listings.

Listings with promotions get into a special On sale filter on the website, increasing store traffic. Therefore, set discounts continuously and change only the extent of the discount and the validity period.

special-on-sale-filter

Step 7: Set up delivery templates

Delivery templates will allow you to set prices and determine how to send products. The right templates will also help you to:

  • avoid discouraging customers from purchasing because of high shipping costs;
  • create a positive shopping experience for customers. 

an-example-of-a-list-of-shipping-templates-for-an-etsy-store

An example of a list of shipping templates for an Etsy store

Here are a few ways to make your shipping templates both attractive and effective.

  1. Create separate templates for each product category. This will make it easier to edit the processing time, cost, and delivery time later.
  2. Enable standard delivery and express delivery.
  3. Consider where potential customers live to determine the most convenient delivery method and set discounts for orders from certain countries and regions.
  4. Enable free US Free Guarantee Shipping to increase traffic and orders from the United States.
  5. Set the processing time to 1 day or 1–3 days, which will allow listings to be displayed by the Ready to ship in filter.

ready-to-ship-in-filter

SEO on Etsy to increase store visibility for customers

SEO is an important aspect of selling on Etsy. Proper listing optimization increases the visibility of your store in search results. 

At the store level, it is worth adding unique SEO names for the store itself, product sections, announcements, and the About Us page. Why?

  • The Etsy search engine will better understand and index the content.
  • Users will find what they need faster. 

After that, you need to optimize each listing in turn. To make them more visible in the search results, you should add tags to the titles and descriptions. Tags are words and phrases with keywords that users use to search for similar products. 

relevant-tags-for-selling-wall-shelves-for-cats

An example of relevant tags for selling wall shelves for cats

How to monitor relevant tags for Etsy

1. Search on Etsy. Look at the keywords that appear in the search bar. 

search-on-etsy

2. Analyze competitors’ listings. Find similar bestselling listings in the search results for your main keyword and analyze them.

analyze-competitors-listings

3. Use keyword research tools like eRank, Marmalead, and EtsyHunt. They help you find relevant keywords and assess their frequency of use, popularity, and level of competition.

use-keyword-research-tools

Tips for SEO optimization of listings

1. Don’t overuse tags in every sentence.

2. Use keywords that organically fit into the text.

3. Place the main keywords at the beginning of the Title, in the first lines of the Description, and in the Tags block. 

tags-block

4. Choose tags with a high search volume, meaning many buyers use them in their queries.

5. The tags should have low competition so that it is easier to get to the first pages of search results with them.

the-tags-should-have-low-competition

6. Do not include tags with the names of other people’s brands in the semantic core of listings, as this is a copyright infringement. If you violate copyright rules, Etsy can deactivate your listings or even block the store.

7. To evaluate the effectiveness of SEO strategies, regularly monitor the keywords that drive traffic to listings. Useful tools include Alura, eRank, and EtsyHunt.

Using Etsy Ads to promote a store on the marketplace through internal advertising

Etsy Ads has a number of advantages. 

  • Compared to SEO, Etsy Ads will more quickly bring about the first sales in a newly created store.
  • Listings will be shown higher in Etsy search results.
  • It will drive traffic to the store.
  • Etsy Ads will help build a reputation on Etsy and increase brand awareness. 

Etsy Ads aims to increase sales by reaching a wider audience and showing products to people who are already interested in them.

an-example-of-ads-on-the-marketplace

An example of ads on the marketplace

Case study: Netpeak specialists helped an Etsy store set up an Etsy Ads campaign. The budget was $100 per day, and 116 listings were promoted. During the advertising campaign period, they spent $722. 

Results: 

  • 166,200 views
  • 2,440 clicks on listings
  • 36 orders
  • $6,827 in revenue 

Positive aspects

  1. The CTR (click-through rate) was 1.46%. This is a good result for Etsy Ads.
  2. The CR (conversion rate), which indicates the effectiveness of listings in converting clicks into orders, was 1.47%.
  3. The store achieved a ROAS (return on advertising spend) of 9.44. In other words, the store receives $9.44 for every $1 spent on advertising.

case-study-etsy-ads

Tip: A successful advertising campaign requires monitoring and regular performance analysis, which allows you to optimize it for better performance. 

Etsy marketing tools as additional promotion opportunities

Here are some additional Etsy tools that increase store visibility and boost sales. 

Etsy Plus

Etsy Plus is a paid subscription that allows you to customize your store’s design and receive monthly promotion credit. It costs $10 per month. 

This is the storefront of beStylishWood without an Etsy Plus subscription:

bestylishwood-without-an-etsy-plus-subscription

In comparison, this is the CustomCraftUA storefront with a subscription. As you can see, there are additional banners for selected Featured Items categories:

customcraftua-storefront-with-a-subscription

Sales and discounts

The Sales and discounts feature on Etsy allows stores to:

  • set discounts for one or more listings;
  • automatically send promotional codes to customers;
  • attract new customers and gain their loyalty;
  • increase the frequency of orders.

Go to Etsy Seller Dashboard > Marketing > Sales and discounts to find the tool. To create discounts, click Run a sale; for promo codes, click Create a promo code.

sales-and-discounts

Make an Offer

The Make an Offer option allows you to interact with customers and make them personalized offers. How does it work?

1. Activate the Make an Offer feature for individual products or the entire store.

make-an-offer

2. The customer sees the Make an Offer button on the ad and enters the amount they are willing to pay.

3. You will receive a notification about the offer. You can then accept, reject, or make a counteroffer.

Tips:

  1. The maximum discount should be in line with the store’s pricing policy.
  2. Respond quickly to customers who have sent offers.
  3. Consider the customer’s history in addition to the price. 

Share & Save 

After enabling the tool, you will receive unique links that will allow you to attract customers and save on commissions. Share these links on social media, and for each successful order, you will receive 4% cashback to your Etsy account. 

Go to Etsy Seller Dashboard > Marketing > Share & Save to use it. Next, copy the link to your store by clicking on Copy, or create a link to a single listing using Share a listing.

share-save

Offsite Ads

Offsite Ads are a great way to attract new customers and expand your store’s audience from external resources. It allows you to advertise products on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Orders received through Offsite Ads are subject to an additional fee, which is calculated based on the total revenue of the Etsy store for the previous 365 days.

  • If the shop revenue is < $10,000, the fee is 15% of the sale amount before applying the standard Etsy transaction fee;
  • If the shop revenue is ≥ $10,000, you can get a discount by paying only 12% of the commission for Offsite Ads.

The commission amount will never exceed $100 per order, regardless of its total value.

Case study: Netpeak specialists helped an Etsy store set up listings for its Offsite Ads advertising campaign. The cost of Offsite Ads advertising amounted to $2,125. 

Results:

  • 24,183 clicks
  • 46 orders
  • $17,904 in revenue 

Other indicators

  1. The CR (conversion rate) was only 0.19%, which indicated that the listings need to be optimized. 
  2. However, the ROAS (return on advertising spend) was 8.42. This is a good result.

offsite

Conclusions

  1. Etsy is a popular marketplace where sellers worldwide sell the products of their creative endeavors, antiques, and other unique goods.
  2. It has several advantages: a huge audience, a simple registration and use process, and being the only marketplace fully dedicated to handmade products. 
  3. To compete in the marketplace, it is important to sell unique products, create high-quality photos, encourage customer loyalty using free gifts and offers, and provide excellent service. 
  4. Creating a store on Etsy is straightforward. First, choose a name, take photos of the products, and create listings on the marketplace. You can then strategize on prices, set promotional offers, and customize delivery templates. 
  5. It is worth using tags to optimize your store and each individual listing. 
  6. Use Etsy Ads to promote your store on the marketplace through internal advertising. 
  7. Additional useful marketing tools on Etsy include Etsy Plus, Sales and Discounts, Make an Offer, Share & Save, and Offsite Ads.
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