Hey gang! I spent all Friday watching the Etsy Online Symposium. They speakers ranged from informing about basic Etsy seller info to the more detailed regarding how to get your products seen. If you go to the Etsy online labs you may be able to watch some of the segments. Keep in mind there was 7 hours of info and I am just touching on the highlights, so if you are interested in a topic, post to the thread and I will elaborate. I have broken the topics down to 3 major items (Shopping Experience, Getting Found and Getting out There) which in order to keep the topics separate, I will write as different posts.
Since Etsy is an online shop we have to go an extra step further to create a shopping “experience” for the customer. We do not have the luxury of them seeing the physical product so pictures are key for our success. Here are some tips I picked up from the symposium!
Try to photograph in good light. If you have a bad picture that is dark or not appealing, odds are it will make the shopper pass you buy. They recommend natural light on a consistent back ground. You want to avoid flash glare as much as possible and they same neutral background will give the feeling of continuity with your shop. Good cropping is essential. Etsy has some great info regarding this in the Seller’s Handbook.
Shop design is also important. Make sure your banner reflects what’s going on in the shop. Branding is so important. You want people to begin to recognize your logo, products and photography. Try photographing from the same angle if possible, so all your items look consistent. Make sure the thumbnail image isn’t cut off; if it is re-crop for better viewing. Put your best selling objects in the “highlight” area of your shop. Use your shop sections wisely. We only have 10 sections to work with so be creative!
To further help with the “online” shopping experience they recommend great story telling behind you and your product. Though you should never lie about the product’s provenance, they recommend some great writing to help the shopper connect with your work. Behind every project is a back story! Think of the show Pawn Stars…a good story sells! Also remember your biography is important to help the shopper get to know you. Let them know where you started out, your triumphs and set- backs, and what got you to the point you are today. Look at the J Peterman Catalog for some ideas on fun writing!
5 sources of a product story:
1.Origin- History. What research did you do to come up with this project? Where did your skills come from, etc.
2. Ingredients- What went into it?
3. Formulation- How it was made.
4. Experience- What does it “feel” like? When they open it? Is it specially wrapped or packaged? What will their experience be like if they bought your product?
5. Identify- How does this product tell about a lifestyle? How will it fit into their personality?
Remember “Who, What, Where, Why and How” from English class? Use those questions while creating your writing. Also, find out the meanings behind your products, materials or themes. EXAMPLE: I have painted a dahlia…what is the meaning of the dahlia flower? Maybe you create jewelry. What is the meaning behind the stones you use? Do you define your stuff as whimsical? Explain why whimsy is so important to you and perhaps the customer.
I hope this info gets your wheels turning. It did mine! I realized that my writing was kind of basic. I was just describing the work; after all they have the picture of it, they either like it or not. Right?! Wrong! You are the cruise director of your Etsy Shop, it’s up to your to direct your shoppers’ experience. Please let us know of any tips, hints or responses you have to this info!
My next post will be about getting found and things you can do to get the shoppers in your store.