Friday, May 15, 2009

Making your products worth finding on Etsy

I mentioned before that I mainly use the Etsy Pounce feature to scout for interesting finds. There are several things that will make me click on a shop and several things that will make me avoid visiting. I'd like to share these with you now. They are quite obvious, but from what I've seen while Pouncing, some people still don't know these tips!
  • It's all about the photographs. If it's dark or blurry or grainy or unclear, I will probably not bother clicking, because as far as I can tell, you're selling a mulberry coloured blob that fears sunlight. All you need for effective photo-taking is a camera, a source of light (the sun will do, the moon is not so good) and preferably photo-editing software on your computer. Here is a tutorial on food photography for bloggers that might give you some inspiration. You don't need to buy the expensive equipment, just put some thought and planning into your photography. After all, in an online shop, the only way for your customers to interact with your product is through photographs.
  • Have more than one product listed. Even if your lone listing is a thing of beauty, without other products to view, the customer can't tell whether your work is consistently excellent. I know it's unfair and it shouldn't matter, but when pouncing through galleries of product photographs, the shops that have some stock to speak of will attract more attention than the almost empty one with the single sad teddy bear. Your online shop is just like a real shop, with several listings it will look as though something is happening. One product is not enough to draw a crowd.
  • Show only the thing that is for sale. Often people will show several items in a photographs, setting a scene. It looks nice, but it's disappointing when I click to check out the floating candles in the bowl next to the flowers only to find out I'm buying the tablecloth. Use your main photo to cram in as much of the product you're selling and use the other photo slots to display your product in other settings.
  • Make your prices reasonable. If I arrive on your shop page to find that you're charging as much for prints of a painting as I would expect to pay for the original, know that I'm going to close the tab and not go back.
  • Finally, give the buyer as much detail as you can. Not only about your product, but about you, where you are, where the products are shipping from. Some people still find it scary to buy items over the internet, so don't make it worse by forcing them to buy from a nameless seller in an unknown location. I recently found a shop with some nice greeting cards, but they all ship with a "surprise" inside. For all I know, the seller could be a crazy person shipping kitten entrails as surprise gifts inside her cards. When it comes to online shopping, buyers prefer no surprises.
Happy crafting and selling!


Michelle at The Quarry said...

Awesome post and great tips! And that last tip made me laugh. You're right though. The word "surprise" is really a relative term. Thanks for the info!


Pixel Wild Child said...

Very good tips here! People always talk about the importance of photographs, which is true, but there are more things as you pointed: a well stocked shop, clear info about shipping etc...