As Etsy sellers, small business creatives, crafters, and makers, we know you’re familiar with the spring/summer slump. You probably see it coming from a mile away. It’s probably the slow down you knew was up ahead and have dreaded for months. As we’ve mentioned before, we want to keep our customers positive when the tendency would be to slip into negativity. At Marmalead, we understand the ebb and flow of Etsy sales because we experience this right along with you. The thoughts creep in when you wonder if things will EVER pick back up again. Social media forums are suddenly filled with words and comments that are anything but encouraging.
So, how do you stay motivated during this particularly uncomfortable time of year? Do you have a game plan in place to keep you positive and moving towards the health of your shop? Today, we’d like to tackle a few things that can help you during this (or any) slow like molasses time of year. Yes, we’ve talked about this topic before, but since it’s an annual occurrence we think it’s worth revisiting. Below is a list of five things to help you stay motivated and positive during the slump and those to come in the future. As we’ve said in previous blogs, there is a silver lining to things slowing down! Using these tips and others will help as you maximize your Etsy shop success, no matter the season.
1.) SEO is the way to go
There have been a lot of changes over the past few months, both with Etsy and Marmalead. As Etsy changed so did we, which means as a seller, you need to as well. If you’ve been able to keep up with the changes and your SEO is in a great spot, that’s awesome! However, if you’ve been selling products like crazy and haven’t really had time to work on your SEO, now is a great time to do it. Even if your SEO is in a great place, now is the time to fine tune. Go through and make sure you’re using all your tags, and that your titles are in top shape and on trend. Now is also the time to test out what works for you and what doesn’t. Go slowly through your listings, change maybe five or ten things at a time and see how those changes perform.
Remember, we NEVER recommend that you change all your listings at once. And also remember, if you have a listing that’s performing well (no matter what the grade is) let it keep performing. If you have a C grade listing that’s performing the way you want, don’t try and change it to reflect an A grade. Grades only account for one part of the whole sales process. Ultimately they are there to indicate where things have room to improve if needed. Use common sense where grades and listing performance are concerned (if the pot don’t stink, don’t stir it).
2.) What you give time to is what you become
From personal experience, this is 100% true. The more time we spend worrying and talking about the negative stuff, the more we become it. If you’re finding yourself sucked into negative threads and comments on forums, GET. OUT. It’s not worth your time. In a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I talked about how to stay positive through negative comments on your Etsy shop. These principles can also be applied to a sales slump or any other negative thing happening in your life. Give your time and energy to positive thoughts. Imagine the amount of product you’re going to sell when your busy season hits again! Envision all the awesome customers who will flood your shop, and dwell on that. Make the vision of what you want so clear that your fears are irrelevant.
3.) With positivity, reach out
Once you’ve got a vision of what your busy season will look like firmly in mind, begin to reach out to your past customers. When things are slammed in your shop, you hardly have time to fill orders, let alone writing your customers a personal note. This is what your customers are looking for on Etsy. If they’d wanted a cheap, cute mug, they could have gotten it at Target. What Etsy buyers are seeking out is high-quality customer service along with beautifully handcrafted products. This is you! This kind of personal touch is what breeds loyalty and motivates repeat buyers in your shop. Find out how your products have held up with your past customers and inquire if anything needs tweaking or changing altogether. Now is a fantastic time to not only do this but to let buyers know you appreciated their business now and will in the future as well.
4.) Make the change, be the change
Once you’ve reached out and connected with your customers, take their feedback and make it a reality. Now is the time to make those changes and tweaks to your products that need it. This is also a fantastic time to spruce up your shop! Maybe you’ve been meaning to give your shop a facelift by replacing your cover photo and shop icon. We have a great article about design and how it fits into your shop just in case you feel a little lost and don’t know where to start. Remember, your cover photo and icon are like the gateway to the rest of your shop. Making sure they’re professional as well as aesthetically pleasing is important. It communicates a sense of professionally when your customers can see you’ve put thought and effort into what you’re displaying in these areas.
Also, if your “About” section needs to be updated, do that now. Life changes and so should your bio. Keeping your shop up to date and your info current shows that you’re active and present in your shop. This only helps build confidence with your buyers and assures them you’re on top of all the details.
Another great thing to tackle would be to build up your inventory. At this point, you’ve reached out to your customers, you’ve taken their feedback, you’ve brainstormed what you need to do with your products, so now make it happen! If you’re proactive about this, when the busy season hits you’ll be less likely to scramble as you work to fulfill orders.
5.) All about those photos
Have you been frustrated by the quality of your listing images? Aren’t sure how to get consistent quality and lighting? What better time to educate yourself on this than now? Things are slow and while you have the time, make the most of it! There are TONS of blogs and posts written about taking great images for Etsy. Or, take it a step further and sign yourself up for a photography class. If you’ve got the whole image thing down, refresh your listing images. This shows movement and once again, will communicate that you’re on top of your stuff and care about all the details.
Moral of the story
Don’t get sucked into negativity when things are slow! These tips are just a few ways to stay busy and draw customers to your shop even when things have slowed down. Do your research and make sure your pricing is where it should be and that things are ready to go when your shop starts cranking again. Just like with any business, Etsy shops are not immune to slow seasons. But don’t let this discourage you. Instead, use the tips in this article and others to keep moving toward your goals. Before you know it, the slow season will be a distant thought.
Do you have your own tips to stay motivated and positive during a slump? Let us know about them in the comments below!
Happy selling, everyone!
3 replies on “5 Ways To Stay Motivated When Etsy Sales Are Slow”
Hi Dana! Thanks for reaching out and asking about this 🙂 It’s true that you can’t just blast out promotional emails to customers who have purchased from you across the board. But you are certainly allowed to contact buyers to follow up on an order and make sure everything is okay. You are also allowed to send them marketing emails IF the customers opt into them. This is where the confusion often comes into play and sellers end up thinking they can never reach out to customers. Hope that helps! Happy selling 🙂
but there isn’t a mechanism for customers to opt into marketing emails from individual shops on Etsy, is there?? I just want to be sure I’m not violating Etsy’s TOS.