A while back, a friend asked me how hard it is to open an Etsy shop. I told her it was quite easy to open a shop, but it takes real work to make it successful.
I am a leader on an Etsy promotional team and I act as contact for new members. Often, these people are very new to Etsy and the concept of selling online. They get easily discouraged if their new shop and new listings don’t start immediately selling. The best advice I can give is – patience.
Well, patience and promoting. In an online only environment, the customer never actually gets to see and touch what they are buying. They have to trust you and hope you will actually send them what you say you will. Good photos and detailed product descriptions certainly go a long way. (I need more work in those areas myself.) But the best thing to give a customer confidence is having outstanding customer reviews. The more you sell, the more reviews you get – if they are good reviews – the more you will sell.
I never ask my customers for reviews. Personally, I tend to get annoyed by people asking me to review their products. Sort of reminds me of a used car salesman begging for praise. So, I don’t ever want to annoy my customers like that. I try to go above and beyond for my customers. I do a lot of little things most of them don’t even notice. Every order receives a hand-written ‘thank you’ note using the same image as whatever they purchased. Anything pet-related is placed in a felted paw print gauze bag inside the gift box. Flower-related items have a white bag with butterflies. Still, some customers will just never give 5-stars. They think that means perfection and there is no such thing.
Even waiting for customers to give a review takes – patience.
Next week, I’ll talk about promoting…stay tuned.