The Jam

10 Things You NEED to Be Doing When Your Etsy SALES ARE SLOW

Just like all retail, every year you’re bound to have a slow season for sales. Rather than sitting on your products, find out what you should be doing when your Etsy sales are slow, on this episode of The Jam!

When Etsy sales are slow as molasses

Today we’re going to be talking about the slow season for your shop and some things you could do during that slow season to be productive and better establish and prepare yourself for your busy season.

#1. Prepare Inventory

Etsy sales are slow - prepare your inventory for next season

What should I be doing with my time when my sales reach a seasonal standstill?

The first thing is you can create more products and bulk up inventory for the busy season.

If you have a season that’s slow and then you have a season that’s crazy it’s a great idea to start planning for your crazy season during your slow season.  

During your crazy season, it can be hard to keep up with making your products and getting all those orders prepared to go out. Not to mention, all the other administrative tasks in front of you. Your slow season is a great time to get ahead where possible and bulk up the inventory when you can.

Give this a shot:

  • Prepare custom orders ahead of time (at least to the furthest point you can get them) before actually customizing.
  • Get packaging ready to the point where you only need to add in your product, personalized note, etc.

Tackling all those different tasks and doing them before the busy season hits is going to help you a ton! 

Prepare inventory by forecasting expectations when Etsy sales are slow

Etsy sales are slow - person checks inventory on laptop

We’ve talked to sellers in the past who will forecast out what they expect to do sales-wise during the busy season, and then do all of their inventory production ahead of time. Then during the busy season, they can attend to all those things that take up so much time. Things like messages, fulfillment, personalization of products, etc. They have all their inventory ready and then once they’ve sold out of that inventory, they’re done. 

This helps them achieve a very low-stress holiday season because they’re not scrambling to keep making and doing all the other things that have to happen with customers during this crazy season as well.

#2. Discounts & Sales

Another thing you can do during the busy season is to offer large discounts and some seasonal sales on the current products that you have in your shop.

This is a good time to play around with pricing and sales numbers and see what seems to work for your market and when to apply those things to pull customers in.

It’s no secret that lots of furniture stores have 4th of July sales. This is because it’s a slow time of the year for them. There are a lot of people doing tons of other things than thinking about furniture. So, to pull people back in the door during this slow time they get some sales going in their stores.

#3. Etsy Shop Audit

When your Etsy sales are slow audit your shop

Something else you can do is audit your shop and find out what’s working and what isn’t working in your shop.

Things such as tightening up your keywords with Marmalead. And tightening up all your SEO so your tags, titles, and descriptions. Revitalizing those listings and photos in time for your busy season.

If any of this stuff strikes a chord and you’re like, “Oh, you know, I do need to do some keyword stuff, but when I’m busy, I don’t have a lot of time to dig in and really, really tighten them up the way I should,” well, now’s your time.  

It’s kinda crazy when Etsy sales are slow

Etsy sales are slow - notebook with notes

It’s funny how once we literally don’t have time for certain things it’s then that we remember all the other stuff that we should have been doing. And then when things are slow, you’re like, “I don’t know what to work on,” so, these are some suggestions.

Make a list during the busy season when you’re thinking of all the things that you could have done but didn’t. Then, go back to this list when you’re in your slow season.  

#4. Invest in Growth

Etsy sales are slow - computer with analytics

Your slow season is a good time for personal growth.

Educate yourself on helpful things that are going to matter for your business. Even seasoned veterans on Etsy can take advantage of some of the advice in our Etsy 101 Series. That’s just one example of places you can go to brush up on things and make sure you’re up to date on the most relevant information on Etsy.
Browse our blog. Hit up our YouTube channel. There are a bunch of things out there for you. There are obviously other places to go to for information, but we try to do a good job of highlighting the things that matter and covering the things that can really help out Etsy sellers. So it’s a great place to start!

Just 10-minutes a day

woman using computer in coffee shop

Brian Tracy talks about how if you spent 10 minutes a day studying a topic in your industry then within a short amount of time (a few years) you would be at the absolute top of your industry knowledge-wise.

This is because there are not a lot of people who spend a lot of time continuing to learn their craft. They get proficient in something and then they stop there. It makes a huge difference if you actually take time to educate yourself further on what you’re chosen craft is. 

#5. Take An Etsy Coaching Workshop

two people looking at laptop in coffee shop

Something else you can do is take part in an Etsy coaching workshop for an area that you are struggling with.

First, identify some areas you don’t know a lot about and that you think would be helpful for your business. Then, jump in, get uncomfortable, and learn those things. Again, that’s how you’re going to float to the top and end up being one of the leaders in your industry.

#6. Create Personal Templates

Etsy sales slow - woman writing down templates

Spend some time creating templates.

Expense report templates or any other kind of templates will help you in managing your Etsy shop. A lot of times sellers will even create templates for responses to customer messages.

If you get repeat messages over and over, it helps to have some kind of a preset template so you don’t have to sit down and write a response completely from scratch. During the slow season is a good time to look back through your conversations. Take a look at what you can streamline so that when things get busy, you can be even more efficient in those areas.

#7. Research Supplies & Expenses

Researching your supplies and other expenses to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck is also something you can do. 

Kind of like insurance, you want to shop around every year just to make sure that you’re still getting the best rate. 

Maybe your supplier has raised prices or just hasn’t kept prices the same, while others have actually come down in price. It’s good to keep that in mind. And if you’ve been working with someone for a long time, you can always reach out and see if you can get a little better deal.

#8. Research Ways To Innovate Your Products

what do grades really mean marmalead

Spend some time researching and innovating the ways to create your product.

So either being able to create your product at the same quality level, but faster, or by making improvements to your product.

Look back and see what kind of feedback you’ve gotten from customers and things that you might be able to tweak and improve on your products. Do this now so that you can launch a new and improved line of products in your shop by the time the next busy season starts.

#9. Expand Product Offerings

Something else you might want to do is research similar products to what you’re currently making and offer a new line of products to sell alongside the signature products you’ve always had.

Expanding your shop in what you carry is another great way of getting a bigger shopping cart from shoppers. If they’re coming to you for one thing, what else might you be able to make that shoppers are going to be getting from someone else if they’re not getting them from you?

#10. Research New Market Trends

The final thing you can do when your Etsy sales are slow is research what markets might fit the season that you experience a slow down in sales.

If you’re sick of the roller coaster of sales on Etsy and how you have one part of the year where you’re mad busy and then dead the next, offer a new product that’s popular during the season you experience slow sales with your existing product. Do this so that you can have consistent sales year-round. It’s no secret that markets have different seasonality trends for each one of them.  
Obviously, there are holiday trends that are going to be the same every year. But markets themselves have their own seasonality trends. Jump into Marmalead and you can explore this. We’ll show our seasonality chart and you can see how things have trended over the course of the year. Find something that’s busy during your slow time and slow during your current busy time. Now you’ve found something that can keep you busy throughout the entire year!

Innovate your business while you Etsy sales are slow

You want to constantly be reinventing and have products that people are going to want year-round so that you can keep up a good momentum and do it year-round. Unless you’re aiming to be a seasonal shop only. But it tends to be much easier to keep things rolling so that you’re not opening here, shutting down there, dusting your shop off, reopening, shutting it down, even if you’re someone that wants to have a steady, low-level, part-time side hustle. Just keeping it going.

Final thoughts when your Etsy sales are slow

So there you guys go! There’s a handful of tips for things to keep you busy during the slow season of your shop. Let us know what you choose to do with your time during your slow season, whether it’s to work on your own personal development or experiment with your shop, or just take some time for yourself. 

Happy selling, everyone!  

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