Anna Joyce opened her eponymous Etsy shop in 2006 to sell the accessories she had been hand printing and sewing in her Portland, Oregon studio. She’s racked up nearly 2,500 sales on Etsy since then. In addition to managing orders for Etsy shop and Etsy Wholesale customers, Anna has spent the past year writing a do-it-yourself book slated to publish in fall 2015. That’s a lot to juggle, but, over the years, she’s learned to take advantage of her shop’s annual ebb and flow.
When you make your first sale on Etsy, worrying about having too many orders to fill might be the furthest thing from your mind. But for many sellers, keeping up with demand as sales ramp up is one of the trickiest parts of running a business. One way to make busy periods more manageable is by setting up inventory management systems and embracing advanced planning. Read on for tips from Etsy shop owners who have learned to do just that.
Stock Up on Popular Items
Anna Joyce opened her Etsy shop back in 2006. Over time, she came to realize that sales in her shop tend to slow down each July. So she started using that time productively. “The summer is a great time to stock up, since I know orders will start to increase for Back to School,” she says. “I’m focusing on creating items now so I’m not scrambling when the fall demand comes.”
Anna keeps ready-cut pieces of her signature fabric, which is printed by a local artisan, on hand in her studio. By keeping popular patterns, pre-cut pieces and complete pockets and labels consistently well-stocked, she’s able to respond quickly when there’s greater demand for a specific item. She also avoids overstocking items that aren’t currently in demand.
Anna is careful to let shoppers know when items are out of stock and keeps them listed as backordered. By adjusting listings to let shoppers know a popular item is out of stock, she manages her customers’ expectations while creating excitement and urgency around sought-after pieces. She also adds extra padding to delivery times for popular items. “It’s better to surprise someone with a delivery that’s even earlier than they expected,” she says.
Create a Smart Storage System
Alice Garrett founded Alice Caroline, an Etsy shop based in Cheltenham, England that sells fabric supplies, in 2009. Since then, she has made more than 10,000 sales to customers all over the world. Given her shop’s high volume of orders, many of which contain multiple items, maintaining an organized inventory system is key. Alice alphabetizes her collection of fabric prints by name for quick reference and easier order packing (the names appear on the edge of each bolt). When she’s packing orders, she also checks off each item on a printed receipt to ensure accuracy. ” You can do a lot with a little organization,” says Alice, who prefers her low-tech approach to fancy inventory management software.
Alice Garrett organizes Liberty fabrics for her shop, Alice Caroline, alphabetically by name to make packing orders easier.
Optimize Your Workspace
Originally trained as an architect, Holly Luttrell of Etsy shop Edward Owl creates exclusive jewelry pieces with an “all-about-the-rock” approach in her New York City studio. Offering made-to-order jewelry in her shop while building stock for local holiday markets keeps her especially busy during the holiday season. To stay organized, Holly keeps paper receipts posted on a bulletin board alongside a calendar so she always knows exactly where she stands and what’s coming down the pipeline.
Holly also keeps a close watch on her most vital supplies, maintaining drawers full of gemstones and a binder of important information about each one. “It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect,” Holly says. She suggests studying how you work and optimizing your space and supplies for efficiency, so creating becomes more intuitive. “I lean over and the basket of items I need is always right there,” she says.
After having two babies in two years, wardrobe stylist Cat Shanahan decided to find a new home for many of the vintage items in her closet. She founded her Toronto-based Etsy shop, Aiseirigh Vintage, in 2010 and quickly amassed a massive inventory of vintage items, which she managed using spreadsheets. But the system eventually stopped working, partially due to a lack of discipline on Cat’s part. “It’s the most terrible feeling to not know where things are,” she recalls.
That’s when Cat’s husband, Craig, created a software program that functions much like a SKU system and helps her keep track of inventory. The system has proven key as Cat continues to expand her inventory, which is now located in two warehouses. Her advice to fellow sellers: Don’t wait until your inventory gets out of control to set up a system for managing it. “Don’t start the bad habit,” says Cat, who has made more than 1,700 sales in the past four years. “Make a system that works for you; use labels or number all your items. Get creative!”
How do you organize your inventory? Share your favorite techniques in the comments.
Cheyne Little worked full-time on her accessory line and the leadership team of her local Etsy Team for two years. She left Texas and self-employment behind to work on the Seller Education team at Etsy in 2011.
Source: etsy blog
July 29, 2014 No Comments yet, your thoughts are welcome
A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed a colour workshop at Oriel Ynys Môn, with the artist Jan Gardner, who is currently exhibiting there. I really enjoyed the workshop and Jan’s personality is as colourful and exiting as her work. We we explored colour and mixed media which, I’m sure you’ll know, is a favourite with me. Jan’s current exhibition is called “Stories of Stillness” and runs until the 3rd of August. These are some of her wonderful creations.
My attempts – didn’t get anything finished, but I must say I came away inspired!
July 25, 2014 No Comments yet, your thoughts are welcome
Sue and I have always tried to apply SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to her Etsy listings, in particular using Keywords.
Well, a few of weeks ago I wrote a post entitled “If you run a blog to support your Etsy shop”, which received a comment from Mandi of DIYCraftPhotography. Visiting Mandi’s web site I came across a great article “ Get Discovered with Search Friendly Etsy Listing Titles”. In essence, the article describes using longer listing titles to draw more views. Not unlike using long tail keywords as part of your SEO strategy to draw more site visitors.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a word used to help search engines, including Etsy and Google, deliver appropriate pages when people conduct searches.
1. What Is a Long Tail Keyword?
Long-tail keywords are phrases rather than individual words; they have less search volume and less competition to rank for. Take a look at the following example “Assemblage Art Dress Little Women” This is a long tail keyword as opposed to the single keyword “Assemblage”
The difference between “Assemblage” and “Assemblage Art Dress Little Women” is this:
- When a person searches for “Assemblage” you’ve little idea what that person has in mind.
- When a person searches for “Assemblage Art Dress Little Women,” that person’s intent is much clearer.
Keyword searches with single words will always return many and varied results because a single word can cover such a broad spectrum of subjects – it is not accurately relevant.
Long-tail keywords are more targeted and the results are highly relevant. This means the people who click through are more likely to purchase your item.
Because there are a limited number of results on the first page of a search, competition for ranking with a single keywords is high. Because of their relevancy long tail keyword searches have less competition. But, as long tail keywords can often result in a higher conversion rate, it follows that it is more profitable to get ranked for long tail keywords than getting ranked for a difficult single keyword.
4. Long Tail Keywords Are Old Hat
Some people would say long tail keywords are and old method of SEO and no longer works. But, theses days more and more people are using long tail keywords when searching on line.
5. How so?
Both Apple and Google, leaders in mobile device operating systems, are moving forward with natural language technologies – iPhone’s Siri and Android’s Google Now.
More and more users are using a mobile device to surf the internet and, to search on Etsy! People pull out their mobiles and “talk” to their phone to get answers. Search is becoming more like a conversation with the search engine. And even when they can’t talk to their device, they are still typing out their search as a question.
Here are some samples:
- “Where’s the nearest Tesco store?”
- “How do I get rid of toothache fast?”
- “Which essential oils affect mood?”
Searches on Google, likewise Etsy, are now more of a long tail question than a single keyword. That means more than ever long tail keywords are important in good SEO.
6. So What Next
I read Mandi’s article and decided to give it a go. I changed the titles of Sue’s Etsy listings on 9th June. As you can see from the graph below, although listing views both before and after 9th June could exceed 50, overall they have seem to have exceeded 50 on more days after 9th June than before.
The change in listing title does seem to have an effect. I’ll continue to watch the listing views over the coming weeks and see if the numbers continue to increase. Of course I may need to improve my titles but hey, there’s nothing to lose. If you fancy having a go at this yourself why not pop over to Mandi’s site and read the full article, you can find it here “Get Discovered with Search Friendly Etsy Listing Titles” by Mandi Grant of DIYCraftPhotography.com .
July 22, 2014 No Comments yet, your thoughts are welcome
Seems that all we have time for these days is to post a new desktop wallpaper. Hopefully Sue will have some time later this week to post some photos of the completed Wedding Lilly and also about a masterclass she recently attended. Me? Of course I’ll find something. In fact its already 90% done; I still need to confirm some numbers but, if they’re good, I’ll be passing on some advice on another way to increase your Etsy views. Hold tight for that one!
Meanwhile, back to the here and now. Here is the July wallpaper
To make it your desktop wallpaper, left click the image to see a larger version, then right click that image and choose “SET AS DESKTOP BACKGROUND”.
If you would like to purchase any of Sue’s work, please visit Our Etsy Shop. Our Etsy shop also has several other art dress assemblages for sale, we hope you enjoy viewing them. If you have any queries about this piece or any of the other pieces in our Etsy shop or, would like further information about Messie Jessie, please feel free to contact us via a “convo” through our Etsy shop or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
July 8, 2014 1 Comment
Just updating you with a few more pics of my sisters wedding bouquet. It needs to be finished tonight as the wedding is on Saturday. Really looking forward to it. Will share with some photos later.
June 24, 2014 1 Comment
My sister is getting married in a couple of weeks, I’m really excited for her and, so looking forward to the wedding. Last year I made a bouquet for my friend’s daughter, so my sister wondered if I would do one for her. Of course I said yes and of course I’ve left it to the last moment.
It’s different to Cassie’s bouquet. This one is just going to be a couple of lilies. My sister lost her fifteen year old daughter Jade to cancer six years ago, and her favourite flowers were lilies, so these need to be special.
I’ve shaped them using wire, and I’m covering them with fabrics that belonged to Jade, emotional but, I’m glad I can do this for my sister.
Pop back soon to see how they come on.
June 17, 2014 No Comments yet, your thoughts are welcome