Conversion means converting your views into sales. The point is not necessarily more traffic – in fact, you can have less traffic but more sales if you have a high conversion rate. Conversion rate is the most powerful statistic you have in your shop because that’s where the rubber meets the road.
The formula for conversion rate is sales / views x 100.
It is a really good indication of the health of your business. More so than your overall views or traffic numbers. Because sales is what this is all coming down to. Etsy also suggests that you should be getting a 3% conversion rate and that’s because that number is the industry standard in retail e-commerce.
The average across Etsy is more like 1%. This is what we have seen in our Shop Fitness Calculator. Across all that data set of people who took the test, the average conversion rate for shops is almost exactly 1%.
Etsy knows what your conversion rate is. They don’t want you to be average. They want you to do better than that. Etsy wants to show and feature your listings more often than other listings especially the ones that have have a better conversion rate because that means more money for you and more money for them.
1. Improve your Photos
These are your photos in general. But also specifically, your non-featured photos. Improving your featured photo is going to increase your chance of someone clicking your listing in the search results and be counted as a view. But that’s not necessarily going to directly impact your conversion rate. You might get more people in the door because they see a cool featured photo but to improve your conversion rate, take a look at the other 4 photos that Etsy lets you put and make sure those too are top-notch.
The other 4 photo slots are not just slots to fill, they should have an actual purpose. Think about it, when you’re buying online; you don’t get the opportunity to pick it up, spin it around and see what the item looks like all around. So you have to do the best job you can and a very powerful way to do that is to use photos.
2. Pick More Niche Keywords
This one seems a little counterintuitive. If I’m picking more niche keywords, wouldn’t that mean I’m getting less views on my listings? Yes, it sure would. Basically, instead of covering more ground with your keywords and being very spread out, you would want to target keywords that are very specific. You’re not gonna get as much traffic with niche keywords but you’re gonna get more buyers. You are going to get more people with intent to actually buy. You’re going to get a higher conversion rate because people already have an idea of what they want.
3. Avoid Spammy Views
How do you avoid spammy views? First of all, don’t invite people into your shop with no interest in buying.
So let’s say you have a gym and you want people to sign up for a gym membership. You thought it’s a cool idea to offer a free pizza. A lot of people are probably going to show up but they are showing up only because of the free pizza and not because they are stoked about working out. If you’re doing team games where someone would view and favorite your listing and you reciprocate – then you’re kind of offering a pizza in a sense.
A real world of example of this too is Pokémon Go. It’s a game where it sets you on a quest to find Pokémons throughout the real world. This was causing people to go all over the place and sometimes it would bring them over to businesses. A lot of business owners got really upset about it. It’s pulling a bunch of people into their stores with zero intention of buying anything because they’re just there to find Pokémons. A lot of people got frustrated by it because it clogs up the stores and they’re only getting in the way of the real customers.
Etsy can see this spammy views too. They are seeing these extra amounts of views coming into your listing and people are not buying. That’s not going to bump you higher in search – you’re working against yourself at this point. People are visiting your listings and they should be interested in it, but instead they’re turning away from it. Something must be wrong. Really, you should be keeping an eye out for these kinds of stuff for yourself and keeping your numbers as true as possible because it’s also an indicator to you whether or not something is wrong.
4. Answer Customer Questions In Your Descriptions
Answer their questions before they even ask you. Answer as many of those common questions as you possibly can in your descriptions. If it’s something handmade – can I customize it? If it’s something vintage, did you clean this? or polish? did you do any restorations on this thing? Make sure you answer those kinds of questions because people are interested to know.
Even some of the texts you have in your Shop Policy or About Page are worth talking about. It might be worth pulling a portion of those details forward so you can talk about it in the individual descriptions. Newer shoppers on Etsy probably don’t know how to get to these sections of your shop themselves. Put together anything that you think is important especially if you have gotten these questions from many customers in the past. Other people probably have the same questions so that’s a good chance for when they have that question, you’re already answering it for them.
5. Tell The Customer To Buy. Tell Them The Next Steps.
Tell them to buy. Let them know how to buy too. I think something that a lot of people take for granted is that everyone must or should already know how these things work. There’s a lot of other steps going on. Once someone buys once, it becomes automatic and it’s easy. But keep in mind that a lot of people are finding out about Etsy every single day. Everyone doesn’t always start out online-savvy. They don’t exactly know what’s going on.
If they get 3 steps out of 5 on buying and something happens that they’re not expecting, there is a good chance that they’re going to bail and abandon the cart.
Etsy has told us in 2015 that their mobile sales were more than their desktop sales. I’ve also read an article the other day that was talking about mobile sales and it’s saying that 60% of people abandon their shopping carts before they finish the transaction. So do everything in your power to make sure that it is not going to happen to you. Try to make the buying experience as smooth as possible for your customers.
6. Have The Customer Make A Decision Before Buying
The idea here is you want to build some mental ownership. Just like if you’re trying to buy a car, the car dealership wants you to feel right at home in that car. They want to encourage you to even drive that car home. See what it looks like in your driveway. Have your neighbors see you driving that car and understand how it feels to be in that nice new car. Anyone who has bought a car understands that and it has probably happened to you.
But how do you get there? You would want to make a lot of little decisions along the way. For handmade, you make little decisions like sizes and color options. If you’re selling a T-shirt, the person would want to pick their size. Maybe they get to pick the color of the shirt too and the color of the print. The more you can customize these things, the more decisions you’re making about it and the more you are building this mental image of them with the product.
This is something too that you don’t have to tell them to do all the time. Look at Apple ads that have iPhones next to one another. They show all the different possible colors of iPhones. Apple does it all the time and it’s a subtle way of having the customer make a choice. When you see 4 or 5 iPhones next to one another with all the colors available, you are already subconsciously picking one.
Marmalead Copywriting Course
Extra bonus piece of information for you guys. If you sign up as an Entrepreneur for Marmalead, you have access to a bunch of courses that we put together for Entrepreneurs. One of those being Marmalead’s Copywriting Course. Few of these tips that we talked about dealt with descriptions and the copywriting course goes hand in hand with that. There is even more information in there about writing the perfect copy. So if you want to dive a little bit deeper, that’s definitely a resource that you guys can check out if you’re an Entrepreneur!
10 replies on “Etsy Jam Episode 40: 6 Tips to Boost YOUR Conversion Rate”
Why would the average etsy conversion rate be lower than the industry standard of 3%. Even if your measured 1% data is skewed it seems unlikely to be that far off from reality (meaning I believe your number is probably very close to being right).
Wish you had been more specific about the definition of Niche Keywords??? Have no idea what that is.
Hi Marina ~ this link to that part of the video where we talked about niche keywords might help! https://youtu.be/DX2VJLlE4vE?t=991
AWESOME!!! Loved this episode!! Conversion rates are the true focus for all etsy shop owners. . . after all, we are in it for the sales. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful tips too.
Keep up the awesome work Guys!
I’m not clear on formula for conversion rate. Is the sales the number of items sold per year or number of orders per year, or dollar amount per year? Do they mean shop views or item views per year?
Can anyone clarify?
Ellen ~ people usually want to calculate their conversion rates on a month by month basis. So it’s [sales that month] / [views] x 100 = [conversion rate]. Say you had 24 orders and had 1,243 views that month – you got about 1.9% conversion rate.
Thank you so much for the written version of this Etsy Jam. I am ADD and can’t seem to get through anything that requires more than a minute or two of listening!
These are great tips! I just have to say, regarding tips #4 “Answer Customer Questions In Your Descriptions” & #5 “Tell the customer to buy, tell them the next steps” I get very frustrated when it comes to customers asking questions that are already answered in the listing description, and or the additional photos. It’s become very clear to me that shoppers aren’t swiping through the photos or reading the listing descriptions and I blame this more on the Etsy app than the shoppers. It’s not obvious enough there are more photos and that there is more info if you click “info” to reveal the entire listing description. Since Mobile is such a huge part of the buying process I’m struggling to devise my own “work arounds” for this. I’ve tested putting a little more info (like “swipe for additional photos”, or “click info for more details”) in the “materials” description as those are featured more prominently in the mobile app. I really think Etsy needs to do a MUCH better job with the buying app…
In the conversion rate formula – sales / views x 100, are the views referring to ‘shop views’ or ‘listing views’?
Hey Elizabeth! The conversion rate is for listing views and listing sales.