Products That Stand Out in a Crowd

This post is about products that stand out in a crowd of similar products, and I couldn’t think of a better real life example than the wine section of the grocery store.

First a little background. I like red wine. The end… just kidding. The truth is we appreciate red wine, and also not enough to actually learn anything about it. That second part is very important. Many of your customers will appreciate what you sell, and also not know exactly what they’re looking at. I say this because product experts can look at something and either A) know all the key players in the industry to everything is recognizable or B) they know what they’re looking at and can spot subtle queues of quality (or in this case they can make sense of a wine label).

So what ridiculous method of selection would barbarians like us employ ?

Ready for it?

1) Price

2)  Interesting labels.

Like I said, I’m far from a wine expert. Want to know if it’s red or white? I’ve got your answer. Beyond that, I’m clueless. So this means pricey wine is out of the question. It also means that I can’t spot a bargain either. For me that means cheap wine = bad time. So I look at the middle shelf. As I’ve said before so many times, price is part of your product.

Once I have my selection area squared off the fun begins. I’m looking for interesting labels. Remember, I can’t understand what gibberish they’re pitching on the labels so this is the best I can do.

Here they are again, the seven bottles I collected just for this post.

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By wine bottle standards, these stand out on the shelf and for different reasons I chose each of them. I’ll explain one by one. Let me also make the blanket statement that all of these did actually taste good. This system may have it’s flaws, but we’re happy with the results.

Educated Guess

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How often do you see a blackboard with interesting science formulas on a wine label? It’s a first for me. The name sealed the deal, Educated Guess. I’m a big fan of making and testing guesses. I had to drink this wine. Most of the neighboring labels were boring fonts on off white labels. This one stood out with white writing on a black background AND orange name. It’s that simple, and they wouldn’t have won my business if they hadn’t grabbed my attention first.

Paso Creek

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Off white label? Check. Basic font? Check. That tree though… and wait, look closely, there’s something in the tree looking at you. There’s something intriguing and calming about this tree. Even as I write this, I can’t stop looking at it.

Dark Horse

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The silver label is a bit different. It’s somewhat shiny and stands out from the bottom that’s darker filled with wine (I could have photographed prior to consumption. whoops. 20/20 hindsight). Check out that negative space though. The horse head is left aligned with the text. I can’t help noticing this label. Then comes the name. Dark Horse. Wikipedia defines this as, “A dark horse is a little-known person or thing that emerges to prominence, especially in a competition of some sort or a contestant that seems unlikely to succeed.”. Ever feel that way? Me too. Again, had to drink this wine.

Layer Cake

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Okay, this one will be really really short. The label has cake on it! Do I have to explain what’s going on in my head when shown a photo of cake? I didn’t think so. Wait, are you still reading or have you already left to get yourself some cake too?

Decoy

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This one feels the fanciest of the flock. I think it’s the duck. It has a majestic look to it. It’s maybe a little smug too. I didn’t notice it the first time around. That duck doesn’t even care I’m here. The name is large and all caps, DECOY. The font below is cursive (fancy) and there’s a lot of white space on that label. Overall it says very little. I must know more, and so I did.

19 Crimes

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You may be thinking what I was when I first saw this. What are these people thinking with a label talking about crime and a grungy old picture as the label!?! Well it worked. I had to know what this was about.

It’s an interesting story…

“Nineteen crimes turned criminals into colonists. Upon conviction British rogues guilty of a least one of the 19 crimes were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than death. This punishment by “transportation” began in 1783 and many of the lawless died at sea. For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it to shore, a new world awaited.

As pioneers in a frontier penal colony, they forged a new country and new lives, brick by brick.

This wine celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built.”

After this bottle taught me so much and I spent a few moments of thought holding it, I would have felt silly not buying it. Another victory for the brave wine label.

The Show

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Arguably this one stands out the most. It looks like they literally shrunk down a rodeo poster and slapped it on a bottle. Red letters, huge yellow sun with black rider and horse over top. Need I read anymore? Nope. It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the two red wines you’ll see me with. The other is Merlot by the way. If this is the show they have for me on the outside, I can’t wait to try what’s inside.

Commonalities

Every one of these bottles grabbed my attention in some way. Maybe I like bold marketing. Things that stand out and break convention. Some of these may not be ones you’d personally choose. That’s okay because you can’t appeal to everyone.

I imagine these wineries realize shoppers like me are intimidated by the wine aisle. We don’t know what we’re looking for, not a clue in fact. We’re looking for a beacon of hope, something to save us from the awkwardness that comes from feeling horribly uninformed. These rebels looked at the crowd and chose to be remarkably different. They lit their torch and guided me out of the unknown and into something I could feel good about. The label is cool.

Why This Matters to You

If you sell a product purchased as a gift, chances are they’re not comfortable with choosing a product the way an end user would be.

If you sell to someone that’s new to your category, they may not be comfortable with where to start.

If you sell to someone that’s been around a long time, they may want to see a fresh perspective.

In every case, bold moves that grab attention are winning moves. Attention is at a premium, and fitting in is like hiding out.

Where to go from here? Well we have two options that you should look at here https://marmalead.com/apps/

Rock Your Photos – How do your listing’s photos perform? Get a custom report from real shoppers that scores the quality, appeal and clickability of your photos as well as a slew of keyword suggestions for your listing!

Entrepreneur’s Library – Do you spend enough time learning? Top performers in every industry are constantly learning to stay ahead. The Entrepreneur’s Library is just what you need to go beyond SEO and into a master of eCommerce. Welcome to the club. This library is growing every month and next two courses are copywriting and photography so what are you waiting for?

Photo credits to Allie Peplin. Thank you Allie!

 

The Buckets Strategy

Yes, we’ve talked about it a lot. We mention it in different groups, in blogs, in our emails, and even in our webinars! What is this buckets strategy all about and how do you use it?

Think of keywords as markets. Every search is really a market. I like to take it a step further and think of markets as buckets. It has a specific set of listings that return and the shopper is somewhere in the Customer Journey.

It goes like this: Keywords are buckets. Listings go in these buckets. 

Here’s an example:

starfish jewelry

Pretend that I sell different kinds of starfish jewelry.

It’s going to take an awful lot of time and effort if I were to come up with a unique set of keywords for every listing I own. For Etsy sellers that sell hundreds of different items, this just isn’t feasible.

This is the type of scenario where the buckets strategy comes in handy.

I’m going to make several buckets for my listings.

  1. Starfish Necklace
  2. Starfish Bracelet
  3. Starfish Ring
  4. Starfish Earring
  5. Starfish Jewelry
  6. Silver Starfish
  7. Gold Starfish
  8. Gold Starfish Ring

buckets strategy

My first listing is a starfish bracelet.

starfish bracelet

It fits under the Starfish Bracelet bucket, but it’s also a Starfish Jewelry and a Silver Starfish so you can put them in there as well. It’s not a Gold Starfish or a Starfish Ring so save those buckets for later.

How do you title/tag this listing? [starfish bracelet] [starfish bangle] [silver starfish] [starfish jewelry] … [bridesmaid gift] [gift for her]

Note how I put my strongest keywords in the front for stronger relevancy in search.

Second one is a starfish ring.

starfish ring

It’s obviously not a Silver Starfish though, but it’s a Starfish Jewelry, a Gold Starfish, and a Starfish Ring. Those are the buckets where they would fit.

How do you title/tag this listing? [gold starfish ring] [starfish ring] [gold star ring] [starfish jewelry] [sea star ring] … [gold jewelry] [beach ring]

Note that I tend to put only 3 of my best targeted keywords per listing (3 buckets/listing). Since you have to have the keyword in your title, after 3 is probably too weak to target strongly. This is no reason not to use up all 13 of your tags though.

Third one is a starfish necklace.

starfish necklace

Same rules like last time. It does NOT fit under Gold Starfish, Gold Starfish Ring, Starfish Earring, Starfish Ring, and Starfish Bracelet. But it can fit under Starfish Necklace, Starfish Jewelry, and Silver Starfish.

How do you title/tag this listing? [starfish necklace] [starfish pendant] [silver starfish] [sea star necklace] [silver sea star] [starfish jewelry] [starfish charm] [seaside pendant] [sterling silver] [silver pendant] [sea star charm] [sea life jewelry] [sea star jewelry]

Note: Take a look at that example. Sometimes you have more than 3 targeted keywords for a listing. It’s a waste not to use them but it’s also a waste stuffing them in a single listing. One cool hack Richie discovered is to make a copy of your listing and put in your other best keywords to target a different market.

This ‘new’ listing is made specifically to spread out and target more keywords. Yes, you are allowed to do this as long as you have enough quantity to sell.

When I say ‘targeted keywords’ or ‘best keywords’; these are the strongest words that:

a. Best fits your listing; and

b. Keywords/markets you’re trying to target.

Essentially, I have covered 3 of my listings just by cleverly putting them in buckets. You can continue to do this with more keywords, starting from broad ones to super specific – that way you cover each stage of the customer journey.

It’s okay to repeat the same keyword (starfish in this case) multiple times in your listing. Not only you are reinforcing your relevancy in search, but you’re also covering multiple ways people might use to find your item.

And that’s the bucket strategy!

Over to you:

I’d love to keep the conversation flowing in the comments. What do you think of this strategy? Do you have your own techniques you are willing to share? Or maybe you’ve already seen improvements since you’ve used the system? Let us know!

If you know someone who you think would benefit from this article, share it with them!

Etsy SEO Tip! How to maximize your best tags with the Buckets Strategy!

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4 Elements of an Excellent Product Photo

Product Photo

Selling online has become very popular as a way to market everything from yard sale treasures to family collections. There is nothing that will make or break a sale faster than the product photo you list with it. This is the only look your prospective customer will have at your product and an out of focus, blurred or badly lit picture is a good way to lose a sale. Don’t worry; we have some simple tips that will help you. It is all about making the product look appealing. A few easy steps can ensure you have a much better chance at selling your wares.

1. Lighting

It is important to have a lot of natural light if possible. Use your windows or white wall space to get a good shot. Pay attention to shadows. You do not want to place your product where the shadow is obvious. You may consider taking the picture outside if it is a nice day. Use the white balance on your camera and edit your picture before you post it.

(Pay attention to the shadows)
Shooting against the light underexposes your photo

2. Flash

Avoid using the flash on smaller items; especially if the item is something that sparkles, like jewelry. The flash will create a glare. If you have to, tape a bit of tissue over the flash. You may need the flash on larger items or items that are dark. Play with the lighting and backgrounds to get the best look. Using a box as a shadow box sometimes softens the picture.

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Do not overexpose your shots

Related: How to Write a Great Product Description

3. Background

One of the biggest mistakes people make when taking photographs of things they are listing, is not paying attention to the background. If your table is a mess, place a pretty cloth over it. Use simple backgrounds. Books, soft cloth, paper, lace and wood can make lovely backgrounds. Simply crop the picture to cut out any clutter around it. If you are selling something like a handbag, take a picture of it sitting on a table and also hanging from something like a purse hook, or even a door knob. People want to see how the bag will look on their arm. If you can take a picture with someone holding the bag, that is even better. Ask a cute friend to model a sweater or necklace and take several shots at different angles. Something like earrings may be too personal to photograph in someone else’s ears. In that case, a picture of the earrings on a black cloth or in the earring case is better.

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Pay attention to your background

4. Honesty

If there is a flaw in the item, make sure you list the flaw and do your best to show the flaw in at least one photograph. As long as you disclose the information in a clear and honest way so that the customer knows exactly what they are buying, you will still make the sale. The problem comes in when you do not explain the nick or scratch or show it in the photograph. Honesty is the best policy.

Point out the small details
Point out the small details
There is nothing that will make or break a sale faster than the product photo you list with it. This is the only look your prospective customer will have at your product and an out of focus, blurred or badly lit picture is a good way to lose a sale.

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The Quick and Dirty Guide to Finding Great Etsy Keywords with Marmalead

** This article doesn’t contain the most recent information about Etsy search. For the most relevant info, head over to our Marmalead Help site! **


etsyplusmml

We’ve been getting a bunch of questions from our users lately asking;

“How does someone incorporate the data given by Marmalead to their shops?”

AND

“How can I use Marmalead in finding great Etsy keywords?”

Well in this article, we show you how to make Marmalead work for you.

Let’s give you an example:

Coffee Mug

Suppose this mug is one of your items.

The first thing you would want to do is to brainstorm the keywords that you’ll use for this listing.

I would start off by typing in the keyword ‘coffee mug’ to see how popular this tag is.

With 50k results, I know that tag is going to be very competitive. Let’s now look at the two tools available for us to gather more keywords.

Tag Cloud

The Tag Cloud displays the relevant keywords that other sellers use. The larger the word, the more popular it is.

 

The Other Ideas, on the other hand: pulls out search terms that people type in Bing.

You can use both of these to help you build up keywords that you can then use for your listing.

I’ve picked the words ‘best coffee mug’, ‘big coffee mug’, ‘custom coffee mug’, and ‘personalized mug’.

I suggest you to build a list of 15-20 keywords, but for simplicity let’s use those words as an example.

 

 

 

Fire them up with the Keyword Comparison tool (this will save you a lot of time).

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Based on this data, I can safely say that it would be worthwhile to experiment with using these keywords as target or lead keywords.

I have just 4k and 2k listings to compete with. Along with a high number of views per week: 49 and 165 respectively.

For higher relevancy in search: I will put my best keywords in the front of my title and tags (hat tip to Michelle).

It should look like this:

Big coffee mug – best coffee mug – custom coffee mug – personalized mug – unique coffee mug – funny coffee mug – quote coffee mug – coffee cup – ceramic coffee mug – gift for him – gift for her – birthday gift

 

"How can I use Marmalead in finding great Etsy keywords?" We've been getting asked that question a lot. Well in this article, we will show you how to make Marmalead work for you.

Related: The Buckets Strategy

Remember, you don’t have to be the best – you only need to be better than your competitors.

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