If you run an Etsy shop there are a lot of things you should think about that have nothing to do with your items. And so there could be a lot of reasons why your shop doesn't have a lot of sales even if your items are really good! We analyzed these reasons and made a list of 15 most important of them.
Your titles and tags are not optimized (SEO)
We've put SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on first place in our list for a reason - it is the most important thing for online selling. Without optimized titles and tags your shop's items won't be found by buyers which means no sales. If you are not familiar with SEO we have an article here that covers all important aspects of SEO for beginners.
Your photos doesn't show up your products in a best way
Online shopping is all about photos. Of course photos should be clear, not blurry, with good light and details. But it's not just about that. Your photos should not only show up your products as "this is a white shirt with this kind of sign on the front", for example. This is boring and this kind of information you would put in description anyway. Photos, on the other hand, should be more personal, they should call buyers to purchase. Until buyers got a package with their purchase all they have is a picture. And so it should be very attractive picture! If you can get modeled picture it would be great. If you're not sure what would be an attractive picture for your product try to check Etsy search for similar products and see what kind of pictures are on the first few pages.
Your products description is not clear
Your product description is very important as well. Even though Etsy states descriptions doesn't have anything to do with their search results, it is still have to be interesting to read, clear and cover all required information about the product. I would recommend to visually divide your description in blocks with paragraphs and use each of them for specific purpose. For example, first will go your description of the product itself, maybe where the inspiration came from, etc. Then you can specify dimensions of the product. In next block you could also mention materials you used, especially if they have some specific properties or might cause allergy. And of course you should also mention care instructions for your product. When you have this scheme for a description try to write all your description in this same way so your customers would know where to look for each detail.
You don't have enough items in the shop
If your titles, tags, photos and descriptions are fine but you still have low sales it might be because you don't have a lot of products in your shop. Wide variety of products is good not only so customers would have choice, but it also increases your chances to be found in search and throughout Etsy. The more items you have in the shop the better! A lot of sellers believe that +100 items is the spot where you begin to get regular sales. I would say 100 is first major point, but if you can get to 200 or 300 - it would be even better!
You just opened your shop a few months ago
Sometimes it takes awhile to get your first sale. And actually it is so most of the time. Very rarely first sales happens in first week or two. You need to be patient! Remember that it needs time for your items to take their position in search, to spread on Etsy through teams etc. Use that time to improve your descriptions, photos, to create more products. When sales start to grow you might not have time to create new products regularly.
You don't have any reviews or you have a bad review rate
If your shop is new the reason you don't get sales might be because you don't have reviews yet. That's a problem and you can't really do anything about it. Buyers just don't feel safe to order from shops without reviews. But someone will trust to order from a shop without reviews at some point, you just need to wait. Then just make sure to point out to your first customers that your shop is new and their reviews are crucial for your business.
Also if your shop rating is bad (you've had a few * or ** stars reviews) this will also affect your sales. One thing that buyers wouldn't trust to buy from you if you have bad reviews. Another thing that Etsy lowers stores with poor rating in search results so less customers visit your shop which result in less sales. If you happen to have bad reviews try very hard to either fix that reviews with customers, or if it's not possible try to get as many reviews as you can on top of that bad reviews so they would "hide" them on your shop page. Of course it will still affect the rating of the shop, but keep in mind that Etsy takes into account only feedbacks left over the past year so at some point it won't matter anyway.
You don't promote outside of Etsy
If you don't promote yourself outside Etsy (blog, social pages, local fairs) all your shop visits would be only from Etsy and this is just not enough for a steady sales. You should promote your products everywhere you can online and offline. Regular blog posts and social shares and posts will bring visitors to your shop online. Also always have your business card with you to give it out at fairs and other events. Potential customers who have already seen the product with their eyes are more likely to come back online and buy that product.
You don't ship your products internationally
If you don't ship internationally this would also affect your sales number. Just think of all the customers outside your country that can't get your products. To see it in number check your Etsy stats for a wide range of time and switch to "Map" to see all visits from other countries. If you don't ship abroad and your sales are low consider adding international shipping to your shop. It won't cost you much trouble but the number of your potential buyers will grow drastically.
Your prices are too high or too low
This might seem ridiculous but both of these statements could be the reason for low sales. Low prices can scare away customers - that's a known fact. If your prices are too low for your category customers might be afraid to buy from you, as your prices just don't seem appropriate for the product. They will expect that there will be something wrong with the item or that you will ship not from your stated shipping address, etc. So if this applies to you try to increase your prices a little and see how this will impact your sales. And usually that helps.
On the other hand too high prices can reduce sales too. It's hard to say when your prices really are too high, it's more like trial and error method. But keep in mind that if you increase and increase your prices comparing to other shops at some point your products might become more of a luxury products. Which means your targeted audience will probably change and you would need to rethink your promotion tactics, your photos, packaging, etc accordingly.
You haven't filled up your shop policies
Filled up shop policies are crucial for your shop for a few reasons. Potential customers often check the policies to know what to expect from the seller, how seller handles specific situations (refunds, returns etc.). This is very important to build trust worthy relations between buyer and a seller. Besides, filled up policies is a good safety net for seller as well in case of any trouble with shipping or damaged goods. And another very good point why you should have your policies filled up is because it affects your placement in search results. Moreover, using Etsy's policies template will also slightly improve your search placement.
You don't have a wide variety of products in the shop
Having a lot of items in the shop as we said before is good and having a wide variety of products is quite different but also very good for your shop. As a seller you should consider different products (though products in the same niche would be better). This way customers visiting your shop wouldn't get boring with similar or just slightly different products and will visit more pages, therefore you will have a higher chances to get a sale.
You don't check your stats regularly
I know a lot of sellers who don't pay attention to their Etsy stats at all and check it occasionally just out of curiosity. But Etsy Stats (and even better Google Analytics) is a very powerful tool. Start the habit of checking the store statistics for at least couple of times a day. This will help you understand where your main audience comes from so you would know what sources you should pay attention to. Also by analyzing your statistics you will see which tags work better for you and which don't work at all, which is very important for SEO. You can also see when specific products start to be popular (seasonal products or gifts for instance) so you can adjust your available quantities and prepare for high season.
You don't post cross links in your descriptions
When customers visit your shop from search results, category pages or from Etsy home page they usually get to one product page. You can increase views number for your shop by adding links to your items description that will invite customers to either visit your shop page, or specific section, or even specific item or your shop search result. So with these increased views you will also increase your sale chances. This could be very useful if you sell products in different listings that could be paired and sold together.
Your customer service isn't the best
You should always treat your customers nicely. The power of mouth is huge and if you are not polite or not really trying to satisfy your customers that might have a bad impact on your sales. This also can result in bad reviews which will worsen situation too. Just remember that good customer service always pays back!
You don't prepare your products in advance
As they say, a spoon is dear when lunchtime is near. You should always keep in mind that customers often buy products for specific occasions way in advance. So basically you need to prepare your Christmas products starting summer and your Valentine products starting autumn. That's normal and if you sell on Etsy for awhile already you might have noticed that some Christmas themed products start to appear as soon as in July. It might help to create a calendar for most popular occasions and mark dates when you should start working on them and dates when you should start listing them on Etsy.
Of course it is also necessary to take into account the quality of the goods, speed of work, if your products are widely present on market, products demand, etc. But these are 15 major reasons why you might not have a lot of sales on Etsy... yet. Check all of them, work on some points if they apply and soon you should have steady sales.
This is a great article! I am pretty new to Etsy and I have recently started to list my acrylic paintings so all of this info is very interesting! Thank you!