driveway

Etsy Jam Episode 38: Where the Driveway Ends

In this episode, we discuss how to know when you should close your Etsy shop. When is the best time to move on? What do you need to focus on when you do? And how much traffic drives past the end of your driveway? Find out next on Etsy Jam!

Why you should NOT close your Etsy shop

No matter how successful you get online, if your Etsy shop is working for you, why would you close it? Why would you close an avenue that’s working. Why stop what’s working? Do more of what’s working.

The way I see it, you’re gonna find shoppers that know what Etsy is, and if they know what Etsy is, they are probably looking for a particular thing that is on Etsy. Now, there is this chance that they are going to find YOU. But ask that same person if they remember your shop name, and chances are they have no clue what that is. In fact, a lot of people that buy on Etsy might not even remember the shop names. They just remember that they got it from Etsy. These are sales you wouldn’t otherwise get if you have a separate website.

“It would be like having a lemonade stand in a food court. And I decide that I don’t really want to be in the food court anymore and so I moved it to the end of my driveway.”

If you think you are someone that needs an off-Etsy shop, you should keep your Etsy shop assuming it’s going well for you. Don’t stop doing what’s working.

If things are going great for you and let’s say you want to move to Shopify or Amazon Handmade, you are closing your Etsy shop because you don’t want the extra business? Then the problem isn’t really Etsy, it’s that you can’t handle that much extra business. Solve that problem. Pull someone in. Pull a friend, or a family member in or pay someone to come help you out. Don’t solve the problem by cutting off the business!

But selling on Etsy is expensive!

I hear people telling that Etsy is expensive. Well, business is expensive! You might not realize how much things cost until you go out there and actually pay for all these individual services that you have to string together. It adds up!

If you’re going to have your own site I’m pretty sure you want to be taking peoples’ credit cards. There’s a fee associated with that. That’s just the way credit card transactions work. You are going to have to pay a fee to be able to process those credit cards. So just like you’re paying Etsy a certain amount for every listing that sold, part of that goes towards covering the fees that Etsy has to pay.

Their hosting is fast too. When you’re on Etsy, you have good and fast CDN networks meaning that all around the world, people are seeing your stuff fast. Shared hosting platforms like Bluehost and Hostgator are not as fast. Yes, they are cheap, but not as fast. Also, you want to be serving up things like videos and images for your external website and once you get into all these stuff – it gets expensive! Etsy handles a lot of that stuff for you.

Etsy is so restrictive about my customers!

The other valid reason we keep hearing is – who owns the customer? Etsy doesn’t want you to spam your customers and get all promotional and we get it. No one wants their inbox being blown full of promotions all the time. But it’s not that hard to just don’t be spammy. Don’t go messaging people or throw people in an email list they didn’t subscribe to. If you have your own website, would you do that otherwise? Would you want to spam people if you had your own site because Etsy won’t let you do it? I don’t think so. Right?

A great way to ask for feedback is to ask for it. Follow up with customers. If you want reviews – follow up with them. Ask them if they are satisfied or if you exceed their expectations.

Every time I buy on Amazon, they send me an email saying:

“Hey, I want to reach out and make sure that the product we sent you exceeded your expectations. And if it did, we really appreciate if you would leave us a review.”

Are they selling me anything? No. They’re just following up. Because when someone buys a product from you, and they didn’t have a good experience, don’t you wanna know that?

How to validate your idea before setting up an external shop

Another thing you could do too that involves a little bit of testing, is to set up your separate website. Set up this site but don’t set up processing payments yet, just make everything on that site link back to your Etsy shop. So if they see a product over there, you send them to the product page on Etsy. It’s an extra step but they are gonna recognize the fact that it is Etsy and they can make a purchase right from that page. Then, check your stats in your Etsy shop and see how many people are actually coming from your external site that you’ve put together. Compare that with the amount of traffic that you’re getting straight off of Etsy. If you’re really going to get rid of Etsy, you need to make sure that this other page you built is doing an insane amount of traffic.

I just don’t want to drive my traffic over to Etsy.

There’s one more thing about Etsy that people complain about too. They say “I don’t wanna drive my traffic over to Etsy. Because then, the customer might see other shops too!”. Well, last time I checked, the internet is an even bigger place than Etsy. So if you think there are lots of shops on Etsy, the internet is a superset of that place.

That would be like Etsy telling Google “We don’t want to be included in Google shopping results because there are other people selling there”. When in fact, they just championed their relationship with Google to make it so they show up more in those results.

While there are other shops out there selling the same thing, if you have a strong offering, then you’re gonna be okay.

What I’ve noticed is, there could be competing products of the same kind and if I don’t know which one to get, I always go with the one that seems most helpful. The one that seemed to help me the most along the journey – I tend to reward them with my purchase. So if you’re thinking that there are shops that make a product just like yours too, you can still differentiate by offering the equivalent of someone walking into a shop and the person is there to be very helpful to you.

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In this episode, we discuss how to know when you should close your Etsy shop. When is the best time to move on? What do you need to focus on when you do? And how much traffic drives past the end of your driveway? Find out next on Etsy Jam!

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