Like all retail, your Etsy sales will slow down for one season or another. But rather than crossing your fingers and hoping for more sales, here’s what you should do before things pick up.
When Etsy sales are slow as molasses
When your Etsy sales slow down, it’s the best time to prepare yourself for when things inevitably get busy again. But, of course, every market has a slow season… so if you’re feeling the molasses right now, here’s what you should do.
Follow these tips to prepare your handmade business for incoming orders this holiday season.
#1. Prepare new product inventory now
The first thing is you can create more products and bulk up inventory for the busy season.
If you have a slow season and then you have a season that’s crazy, it’s a great idea to start planning for your crazy season while your plate isn’t too full.
During your crazy season, it can be hard to keep up with making your products and preparing all those orders 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 while you still 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 your product, personalized notes, 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.
We’ve talked to sellers who forecast what they expect to do sales-wise during the busy season and then do all of their inventory production beforehand.
Then when they are busy, 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 they’re done once they’ve sold out of that inventory.
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 must happen with customers during this crazy season.
#2. Offer 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 an excellent time to play around with pricing and sales numbers, see what seems to work for your market, and when to apply those things to pull customers in.
It’s no secret that many 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, they get some sales going in their stores to pull people back in the door during this slow time.
#3. Audit your Etsy shop
Something else you can do is audit your Etsy shop to find out what’s working and what isn’t.
Things such as tightening up your keywords with Marmalead. And tighten 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.
Slows Etsy sales doesn’t mean you should stop everything.
It’s funny how once we don’t have time for certain things, we remember all the other stuff 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.
#4. Invest in growth
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 ensure 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 highlight the things that matter and cover the things that can really help out Etsy sellers. So it’s a great place to start!
Give it just 10 minutes a day.
Brian Tracy talks about how if you spent 10 minutes a day studying a topic in your industry within a short time (a few years), you would be at the absolute top of your industry knowledge-wise.
Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy! Plan, Plan, Plan!— Brian Tracy (@BrianTracy) October 11, 2020
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 massive difference if you actually take the time to educate yourself further on what you’re chosen craft is.
#5. Take an Etsy coaching workshop
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 much about and 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 become one of your industry’s leaders.
#6. Create personal templates
Spend some time creating templates.
Expense report templates or any other templates will help you manage your Etsy shop. Sometimes sellers will even create templates for responses to customer messages.
If you get repeated messages, it helps to have some kind of a preset template so you don’t have to sit down and write a response entirely from scratch. The slow season is a good time to look back on your conversations. 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 to ensure you’re still getting the best rate.
Maybe your supplier has raised prices or hasn’t kept prices the same, while others have come down in price. So 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 better deal.
#8. Research ways to innovate your products
Spend some time researching and innovating the ways you create your Etsy products.
So either create your product at the same quality level but faster or improve.
Look back and see what kind of feedback you’ve gotten from customers and things you might be able to tweak and improve your products. Do this now to launch a new and improved line of products in your shop by the time the next busy season starts.
#9. Expand your 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 Etsy shop in what you carry is another excellent way of getting a more extensive shopping cart from shoppers. If they’re coming to you for one thing, what else might you be able to make that shoppers will be getting from someone else if they’re not getting them from you?
#10. Research new Etsy 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 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.
Obviously, there are holiday trends that will 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, showing how things have trended over the year. Find something busy during your slow time and slow during your current busy time. Now you’ve found something that can keep you engaged throughout the year!
Innovate your business while your Etsy sales are slow.
You want to constantly reinvent and have products that people will want year-round so that you can keep up a good momentum in your shop.
That is 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 for when your Etsy sales are slow
So there you guys go! There are a handful of tips 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 to work on your own personal development, experiment with your shop, or just take some time for yourself.
Happy selling, everyone!
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