1. Decide what product to sell
Deciding what to sell on Etsy is the first major step you need to take before opening your Etsy store. From our experience, and that of many other sellers we have worked with, selling on Etsy is a long-term commitment. That is why, in order to make sure that you’ll remain on your path to success, you should opt for a product you are passionate about!
It’s passion that ultimately drives entrepreneurs to create and develop their businesses, and not to give up on their motivation. Despite any challenges you may face, you need to find the drive to push past them, if you want your business to succeed. So, ask yourself, what would you like to sell most? What is your passion, what is something that you’d like to wake up every day to, and start working on?
Some other questions that might help you get a clearer picture are: what are your skills? What do you like to collect? What do you know how to create that is unique, or different? Remember, Etsy is a marketplace where you are allowed to sell things handmade, vintage, or personalized. Don’t choose a product that doesn’t meet these guidelines.
If you’re not 100% sure about your choice, write down a list of 3-5 products you’d like to work on. And use the next steps to make your final decision.
2. Research your competition
Now that you have your list of selected products before your eyes, it’s time to research your competition. How? It’s simple. Use the search tool on Etsy.com to look for similar products.
For example, if you decide to make handmade candles, search for “handmade candles” on Etsy and see what comes up. That is your competition. Do this for your all of your product ideas, and browse through the Etsy shops and listings.
This way you can determine how competitive your niche is. You can see what sells better, what kind of shops are successful. And you can work on more specific ideas on how to develop your product. For instance, maybe you’d like to create something organic, or environmentally-friendly.
3. Think about shipping & packaging
This is a major step that many new Etsy sellers overlook! Shipping is a big deal. It will affect the pricing of your products, your profit margins, the shopping experience of your customers, and their reviews.
For example, if you want to sell vintage furniture, the shipping costs are bound to be high. And it might be logistically very difficult to sell internationally, or over seas.
Do a thorough research of your local shipping providers. Write down some numbers. And take the decision: will you ship locally, internationally, or worldwide? It’s very important to look at shipping options that offer a tracked location for your packages. This way, your customers may have an easier, more reliable shopping experience.
Packaging is also something you should look into. For instance, if you decide to sell jewelry, you might want to invest in a tiny box for your timepieces. Shipping and packaging need a bit of planning so that you can correctly price your products to have the profit margins you hope for. So make a general plan, just to have something clear in mind, that you can later develop according to the needs of your Etsy shop.
4. Choose the perfect store name
Choosing the perfect store name can be a challenge. Think of something that would reflect your vision for the business. Something memorable, that customers will easily remember.
Useful SEO tip: If you don’t mind using keywords in your store name, that would be a great advance in terms of SEO optimization. That means, if you plan to open a candle store, for example, you can include the keywords such as “candles”, “soy”, “organic” or “handmade” in the name of your store. In this way, your Etsy store will be favored by the algorithm in search results related to these keywords.
5. Create a product photography plan
Product photography is a major game-changer for any online store. Thankfully, our phones are taking amazing pictures in 2021, so there’s no need for major investments to create great product photography.
Choose a spot that has great lighting, create a beautiful background, and get creative with your photos. We often use props around the house to create a vivid setting for our product photos. Here is an example where we have used flowers and a book to create a vintage background for our product:
If you’re selling art pieces, postcards, or even T-shirts, you can find free or paid mock-ups that you can use to showcase your products. Read more about what mock-ups are here.
Useful tip: A video feature is now available on Etsy! This is a great feature to show your prospective customers what the product looks like from all sides. And it’s a great tool that you can use to display your product in a beautiful setting. We definitely recommend you use this feature if you’re able to create some short attractive product videos.
6. Build branding elements
We had to include a few tips about branding in our top 7 things to do before opening an Etsy store. Why is branding important? Because it increases customer’s trust, as well as their reasons to become repeat buyers, or to recommend your store to their friends and relatives.
Branding is about creating a story for your Etsy store. Why should a prospective customer choose your Etsy shop over others? How would your customers recognize your shop? Choose a color palette for your visuals, and stick with it. Create a logo for your store. Picture some materials you can use for packaging later on.
Useful tip: A great app that can help you create all of your visuals without having editing skills in Canva. It’s an app that you can download on your phone, or use on your desktop. It will help you to easily design a logo, social media covers, Pinterest pins, etc.
7. Create social media accounts
And now we move on the social media, which is a major step that can help you be successful on Etsy. What we recommend is to integrate the social media platforms that you use most often at first. For example, you can create a Facebook Page for your Etsy shop, and an Instagram account. Invite your friends to like your page, to get some visibility.
As soon as you open your Etsy store, make sure to link it on the Facebook Page you’ve created and on your Instagram account. If you’re familiar with Pinterest, we highly recommend using it as a source to drive traffic and sales to your Etsy store. We’re working to create a full series on how to use Pinterest marketing for your business. So make sure to keep an eye out on the blog.
Finally, remember that there is a vivid Etsy community out there. Use it to engage with other sellers, and to invite people to your Etsy shop. Etsy Facebook groups can come in handy for this.
Ticked off the 7 things to do before opening your Etsy store? What next?
Now, it’s time to jumpstart your little business! Gather your notes and let’s start to work on your Etsy creative corner!
Do you already have an Etsy shop? Or have you just started selling on Etsy? Comment below with a link to your shop so that people can have a look at the unique things you sell!