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Understanding Your Etsy Target Audience & How to Sell Them

You can speak to your buyers much more effectively when you understand your Etsy target audience. Alternatively, if you don’t know who you’re selling to, you won’t know how to speak to them. Follow these tips to understand your buyer demographic on Etsy.

You can speak much more effectively when you know who you’re talking to and, therefore, who your customer is. Ultimately, this enables you to sell more Etsy products to your target audience with less chance of your customers churning and buying from a competitor. 

But there’s more to knowing your target audience than simply stating in your listing descriptions that your product is perfect for “stay-at-home moms” or “20-something men.” 

But even before you can define who your product is perfect for, figuring out who that group is is a lengthy process. Not to mention, understanding how to talk to them is even more complicated.

If you’re not sure who in the world you’re selling to, keep reading. 

Group of people negotiating over a contract.

This article will walk you through the basics of understanding your target audience for Etsy and set you on the path to communicating with them most effectively. 

What is a “target audience”?

A target audience is a defined group of people you market your products to. 

In defining these people, you can identify a range of triggers and motivators that push them to take action. These triggers and motivators also impact and influence their purchasing decisions. 

In defining that audience and establishing a set method of talking to them, you increase the likelihood of them buying and converting in your online store. 

Have a niche and know it well

Etsy Target Audience - Man shopping from a crate for graphic novels at a local flea market

If you’ve ever gone to a flea market, you’ve undoubtedly seen the old boy selling everything from farming equipment to a kitchen sink and woodworking tools to plumbing supplies. This guy will sell a lot, but only because he’s got a wide variety of stuff to sell. 

And then there’s the lady in the corner selling only tropical indoor plants. Or the guy who’s selling only Pokemon cards. And even the lady that’s selling just kid’s clothing. 

When customers walk by, they know exactly what’s on sale, so they spend the time looking through what’s on offer. As a result, those customers are more likely to buy something as well. 

This is a very rough example of being a niche seller. Rather than selling everything, you’re selling one thing. As a result, the potential customers you attract are more likely to buy from you because they’ve come looking for something you’re specifically selling. 

Get obsessive about your Etsy target audience

Now it’s time to think about the nitty-gritty. 

If you’ve never created a target audience or buyer persona in the past, you might find this next step a little weird, perhaps uncomfortable, and maybe even irrelevant. 

But the truth is that if you try and appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one. By getting obsessive and granular about your target audience, you’ll narrow down to whom you’re speaking and appeal to that audience significantly better than if you were to try to appeal to everyone. 

Understanding Your Etsy Target Audience

A diverse group of people in an Etsy target audience, standing arm in arm against a chalk board.

No matter who your target audience on Etsy is, they’re sure to fit into a handful of categories. And each category will undoubtedly have its own sub-categories that you can niche down into. Once you figure this out, you’ll know exactly who your target audience is.

Age

There’s no need to be laser-specific and say “28-35”. However, knowing the decade in which your ideal customer was born or the generation they belong to is a good start. 

Gender

Bringing gender into your target audience can be tricky because you can alienate a more significant percentage of people if you focus too hard on appealing to one gender. 

Male, female, or others should be your go-to options. However, remember that each one may have a different reason for buying your product. 

Products that are unisex gifts should appeal to all genders, whereas products commonly gifted to the opposite sex should try and appeal to the gift giver and talk about how the product is such a good gift. 

Location

Floating globe in the palm of person's hands against the backdrop of a cliff and sea.

A handmade linen summer shirt will appeal to someone in Tuscon much more than it will appeal to someone in Ottowa. 

Such arguments can influence how you present your product to audiences and try to appeal to them. For example, if you were targeting said customers in Tuscon, it would be more “everyday” wear, and talking to the audience in Ottowa, it would be marketed as more summer or holiday wear. 

Spending power

How much disposable income does your audience have? Is this the only purchase they will make on Etsy for this season, or are they regularly browsing Etsy to find “nice” things to purchase for themselves or others?

If your target audience has a lot of disposable income, you’ll benefit by marketing your product as a luxury item. On the other hand, if your audience’s budget is tight, try and add value to the product in quality and reliability.

Whichever camp your target audience fits into, it’s important to know how to price your products to appeal to your demographic.

Interests

What do your customers do in their downtime? Are they the kind to obsess over today’s trends, or are they more likely to stick to what they know they like? How easily do social media and pop culture influence them? This helps you get an idea of whether your product and brand should focus on adapting to those trends or creating a sense of timelessness.

Problems

Person analyzing a wall of problems.

What impacts their decision-making process? Are they scared of change, or do they thrive on the unknown? Do they rely on Amazon Prime’s next-day delivery, or are they happy to wait several weeks for a personalized product? Are they sick of low-quality products and willing to spend more on higher-quality products? Or are they starting to care for the environment, or is a low carbon footprint non-negotiable for them?

Many “problems” like these can help you further fine-tune to whom you’re talking. 

Browsing habits

What time of day are your customers doing their shopping? Are they stay-at-home moms who buy in the middle of the day, or are they construction workers who typically do all their shopping in the evening? 

Furthermore, how do they use the internet to solve a problem? For example, are they going to go to Google and type “Personalized wallet,” or are they going to go directly to Etsy and search for it? Similarly, when they want to know the best gifts for a Sweet-16, will they go to Google or Etsy? Or maybe Reddit? Or Quora?

Values 

God, country, freedom, security, transparency, equality, tradition, and loyalty are just a few values that are core motivators for just about everyone on the planet. Use as many of these as you feel necessary to help narrate what your brand represents so you can speak directly to your Etsy target audience.

3 Steps to Reach Your Etsy Target Audience

Etsy target audience - Man attempting to reach a book on a tall bookshelf.

Now that you know which categories your target audience fits into, it’s time to apply it to Etsy and your products. Specifically, you can use this information to help determine your branding style, copywriting tone, product photography, and even your marketing style.

At the end of the day, you’ll have better luck selling to your target demographic by appealing to their interests and greater desires.

Here’s how to reach your target demographic:

01. Invent a person that fits your target demographic

Take everything you know about your target demographic and use it to create somewhat of an imaginary friend. One that fits into your Etsy target audience. This is called a buyer persona, and you’ll use it to help frame almost every decision you make for your business.

Think about how they spend their day when they’re not shopping online, build a lifestyle, and have a general idea of who this person is. 

Give this person a name, and devote your time and energy to selling to this person!

02. Apply your Etsy target audience to your shop

Take a look at how your shop looks now and ask if your new make-believe friend would be attracted to it.

Does your shop banner fit into the same space as your target audience’s ideal brands? Do your listing photos look like they would be pop-up in your target audience’s Pinterest or Instagram feed?

Does your shop look like the kind of store they’d buy from? Does your shop solve their problems?

Do your listing photos look like they would be pop-up in your target audience’s Pinterest or Instagram feed?

And most importantly, does your shop and its listings create a personality that your target audience would like to interact with?

03. Apply your Etsy target audience to your products

Man selling a variety of purses and wallets to his Etsy target audience.

This next step is usually the hardest for Etsy sellers and eCommerce store owners. 

Your store and your business might look good and align with your target audience, but do the products align similarly? Do your products match the lifestyle of the audience you’ve just outlined?

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s an idea of what’s currently selling on Etsy this year.

When your store is made to look super eco-friendly, and your handmade, eco-friendly soaps are listed in that store, you know that you’re headed down the right path if your target audience holds eco-friendly values in high regard.

Remember those values – someone who wants eco-friendly soap doesn’t necessarily want the cheapest soap, so don’t try to compete on price. Instead, draw attention to the ingredients of your product rather than the final price. 

This is just one example of using your target audience’s persona to discuss the correct values – ingredients over price. 

Repeat!

This process isn’t one that you do once and never change. Instead, it’s a process that’s regularly fine-tuned, modified, and updated as people’s sentiments change and the market changes. 

When you start to feel things click, it will also make it significantly easier to find new opportunities, new products, new ways to talk about your brand, and new ways to stand out. 

Conclusion

By now, you should have a better understanding of your target customer on Etsy and understand how to talk and communicate with them. 

Take the time to give your shop a bit of a makeover, and you should find that your listings will bring more traffic and convert that traffic into customers more often.


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5 replies on “Understanding Your Etsy Target Audience & How to Sell Them”

Hi Murray – thanks for reading! There are many ways to collect these attributes to build your buyer persona, all of which will require quite a bit of effort if you’re starting from a blank slate. Also, it’s essential to use multiple sources when compiling this information, that way, your results can be as close to accurate as possible. Google is your friend here, as there are various publications out there that will dive into more detail on these subjects, but try your hand at the following avenues: Market/Industry Research, Social Media Analytics, Google Analytics, Meta Pixel, Surveys, Consumer Stats from Transactions, etc.

Admittedly, if Etsy is your only source (as in, you do not have a standalone website, Pattern, Shopify, etc.), your options to collect this information from your current customers will be pretty limited. In this case, Google Analytics is where you may want to devote your time (we’ll be posting more on this subject soon). Still, you may be able to find a wealth of information for your particular market through reporting sources like Statista, GWI, and other consumer insights tools.

I hope this information can help point you in the right direction! This sounds like a good topic for us to dive further into in the future 🙂

I like this comment in the article.

“But the truth is that if you try and appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one”

It really hits the nail square on the head. Something to keep in mind when developing you audience profile.

Thank you Dylan, for adding helpful hints for developing a buyer persona profile.

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