For our second shop critique of the month, I’ve picked Patties Pieces, owned by Pat Groeller. Pat has a lovely shop where she sells very unique hand created pieces of jewelry, besides some beautiful quilted items. Pat opened her shop Sept.15th 2010.
As far as how her shop looks there is little to improve on. Her photographs are great. They are clear and focused. My recommendations would be to do at least one close-up of each item, to reveal detail. It is not necessary for each picture to show the entire item, you can zoom in close on a portion of a necklace, for instance the pendant, so that it can be seen in greater detail.
Another photo suggestion is to use a stark white background on at least one photo. This will help to reveal truer colors. Be careful using color backgrounds they can distort the true colors, also don’t make your background too busy. I’ve looked at some pictures where I had to wonder which item in the picture was for sale. I call those artsy pics. They are very pretty and maybe they could win a photo contest but you are trying to sell your wares. You want to present your items in the best light and make sure your customers see what they are getting.
Titles and Tags
When I first started with Etsy I gave what I thought were great names to my jewelry creations. For quite awhile I stuck with that. Then I learned about Google searches, and how tags work. I came to understand that the title we give our items is our first line for the Google search. What does that mean? If you have not searched for anything on Google before it is time you try. Go to the Google search box on your browser page. For Pat’s shop she might start with Jewelry, then Necklace, then Handmade, and so it goes. I would suggest to Pat to do a search such as I’ve suggested, then add a few more words that might describe her personal jewelry. Sit back and see what happens. You need to think like a customer out there just looking for jewelry who has never heard of your shop. What words does it take to get Google to bring up your shop?
I spent a few minutes doing a Google search for Patties Pieces, I started off with Handmade Jewelry, that page did not bring up Pat’s shop although it did bring up Etsy’s ad. I clicked on the Etsy ad it took me to Etsy and showed me what jewelry they had, pages and pages of jewelry.
I decided to narrow my search; Handmade Jewelry Necklace, same result, Patties Pieces, a no show. So I added some of her other tags, alligator and then repurposed, even with these tags and looking through ten pages of Google search Patties Pieces did not come up.
So what happened? What was wrong? Her necklace was a repurposed or recycled alligator pendant that Pat made into a new necklace. She listed good tags in her tag area. It would seem her necklace would come up in such a narrowed search.Let’s consider the name of Pat’s necklace, “Alligator Necklace-Mr. Proud Gator”. Remember that Google is pulling from the title first. Alligator Necklace is good, unfortunately the title should have continued with more descriptive words to narrow it down. How about "Alligator Necklace Repurposed “. If there is a person looking for an alligator necklace that title will get you into the search pages for alligator necklaces.
As for the tags be sure to use all that are allowed. Tags are the additional words that Google can use to find your shop item. Make sure they are descriptive. Think like a customer, if you were looking for a specific type of jewelry what words would you use in the Google search box to find what you want. I reiterate, think like the customer.
One thing you might want to consider would be to add international shipping. This can double your prospective sales. If you are not sure how to figure the prices the post office offers lists and charts that will help you compute the cost. We also have a team here at Etsy called “International Shipping” anyone can join. They can help you and answer about any question you might have.
Another idea for you is perhaps controversial yet something to be seriously considered. I would suggest raising prices. This is Psychology 101. Your prices are very low. Now some might say, “Well, that’s a good thing.” Isn’t it? It is if it is a “Sale” price. People do not buy low quality. When we put prices on our things that are too low we ourselves are devaluing our own product. In essence we are saying that our product is only worth a few bucks.
I have never sold an item when I have had it on sale, and I have had on sale at one time or another everything in my shop. However, I have sold from every price range in my shop my highest prices to my lowest. If you are not sure of raising prices remember you can always put them on sale for the amount you feel that you really want to get. Please don’t cheapen your product by charging too little, your customers will think low prices equal low quality.
Views, Circles, and Favorites
Another area to look at is how many people are viewing your shop. These numbers need to be high. You cannot make sales if people are not visiting your shop. But how do we get people to come to our shops?
It’s not like our shop is on a mall with people walking by who can just wander in to look at our wares. We have to promote our shops and draw people in.
One of the easiest and best ways is by your activity. It’s the first button at the top of your shops home page. You will need to start first by visiting other’s shops and favoriting their items and their shops. Then click on your activities button and there will be a place for you to click where you can go and start adding people to your circle. When you add others to your circle people will reciprocate by adding your shop to their circle. This will put your shop items in their activity stream so that all of their circle shops will see your shop and items. Then those people might, probably, will also add you to their circle. Whenever someone adds you to their circle then you should add them to your circle. Continue doing this until Etsy says you have reached your limit. You should be in well over 1000 shop circles by that time. What that means is that thousands of people are able to see your items and visit your shop and all you had to do was to make favorites of some of the shops and items. I like to take a few minutes several times a week and devote this time to going through my activity stream favoriting items and adding new shops to my circle and visiting shops so that I can favorite more items from the shops that I can use for treasury making later on.
Making treasuries is another great way to get known and spread good tidings. Above I mentioned to favorite many items for treasury making. You can pull up your favorites at any time for treasury making. When you make a treasury it is true you don’t use one of your own items. However, you do some advertising for 16 other shops. When you do that you spread good will among your fellow Etsians and they will reciprocate by using your items in their treasuries. Treasuries are very good ways to get your items showcased, get views and often sales.
Another form of promoting is done by putting ads on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Flckr, to mention a few. Using these avenues has been a subject of a number of blog articles you can still look up and read right here. You will want to build up your Followers and Friends on these different social Medias so as many people as possible will see your ads.
Last but not least is promoting right amongst ourselves. I like to use my 4 Feature’s Positions at the top of our home page. I try to change these four items every day. Then I put them on sale for 25% off. I create an ad with all four items as a document in my Word program and then I copy it. I then take that same ad and I go to all 17 teams that I am on and I post it to the appropriate thread on those teams, on our team that would be the Promotions thread. When I have posted to the teams, tweeted and facebooked, posted to Pinterest and StumbleUpon I feel that I have done about all that I can. I may change the featureds again the same day if I have time and do it all again, it doesn’t take that much time. This is the way we get views. I’m afraid it does take work. but we have to let people know that we are out there.
I hope that these suggestions will be of help not just to Pat but to all that read this article. Thanks for reading.
Written by Marilyn Rush