Our Founder, Jessica Rose, has sold jewellery for many years in boutiques and galleries, but recently set up her first Etsy Shop and started selling online in the name of research. And today she shares with you everything she has learned about successfully selling on Etsy!
Having sold my jewellery on and off for the past 9 years, alongside setting up the London Jewellery School, Jewellery School Online and various other, yes you guessed it, jewellery related ventures! I decided to have a go at setting up my own Etsy shop. One thing I love about running a jewellery business is there are always new things to try, new things to learn about and new mini-adventures to go on. Here is what I have learnt so far from my mini-Etsy adventure. To anyone who has an Etsy shop or is considering starting one – I highly recommend it, there is so much opportunity there, once you know how to access it…
I started out by quizzing everyone I know at the jewellery school about the pros and cons of selling on Etsy and learnt that it is really important to have a strong and extensive collection…
Tip 1: Aim for 100 items!
Ok, maybe not all in one go, but a few colleagues mentioned that their shop really increased in activity once they had passed this magic 100 mark. I would not have guessed that. Traditionally when selling jewellery, less is more and we don’t want to over-crowd our stalls or fill our collections up with ‘jumble-sale approach’ pieces. However it does make sense that more-is-more from a ‘being seen’ point-of-view in the Etsy Search Engine. The more items we have, the more pages we have and the more chance of showing up in the Etsy search results. So build your collections as you go.
The next lesson shared with me, which is one I’m always banging on about anyway, is of course, the importance of killer images.
Tip 2: Images that make customers fall in love!
Photo credit: Karen Young Jewellery
If you want some examples of this, look no further than our very own Karen Young’s lovely etsy page. It is not enough anymore to just have beautiful jewellery on a white background (although of course that is nice). We need ‘lifestyle’ pictures, showing customers how the jewellery looks in relation to other things, be it a nice piece of wood, shells, teacups, vintage books, a pretty flower, some gemstones – the world is your oyster. The important thing is to show different angles and, through your images, speak to the customer about how this jewellery will make them feel inside.
What about the process of setting up an Etsy shop? – Well its pretty straight forward but I would dedicate some time to it. A day or two for photography and writing descriptions and a day or two to upload everything, depending on how large your collection is. Make sure you have at least one item, photographed and ready to go as you are creating your shop. You can’t activate your shop without an active listing.
And Etsy offer a lot of help! They are actually running a special email series to help you get your shop up and running called the Etsy Resolution which starts on 27th Jan – you can find out more here.
That brings us on to product descriptions…
Tip 3: Informative, engaging and compelling product descriptions
Whether you are new to Etsy/ selling online or have done it for many years, we can always do with improving our descriptions. Of course they need to be informative – to include all the info a customer needs to buy, exact materials, lengths, any variations such as different gemstones, gold or silver, is it plated, filled or solid? The more you can say the better. Alongside the information don’t forget your brands tone-of-voice. Let your personality come across.
Tip 4: The people want to know about YOU ☺ – Yup, it took me a while when starting my business to work this one out, that anyone buying handmade wants to know about the designer behind the work, the entrepreneur behind the business. And why not? You are awesome after all….
Jokes aside, it is important to fill out all of the sections in your etsy shop with a little about you, your values, why you are selling your jewellery, your process, what materials you work with etc…
All of that is well and good but what about some practical action we can take to improve sales in our etsy shop today?
Tip 5: Be sure to post regularly;
- On Facebook, and it may be a good idea to ‘boost’ posts relating to selling your jewellery on Etsy so that a wider audience can see it. Or set up a Facebook ad for yourself in Ads Manager.
- Post on Etsy itself in the ‘Updates section’ it helps communicate with your customers and helps your shop to look up-to-date and active.
- Also you can post on your blog if you have one, start one if you don’t; or select your favourite social platforms, such as instagram, twitter, pinterest… the list goes on.
And another practical tip for those more technically minded…
Tip 6: Match your Tags, Titles and Materials
SEO, search engine optimisation, is key on Etsy to get your items seen. We can help that along a bit by;
- Listing items regularly (each time you list an item it goes towards the top of the results)
- Using all the characters in your product titles, include keywords in there
- Match your tags to the titles, include all those words in the ‘tag’ section too
- And be as detailed as you can on the ‘materials’ section. List every material used to make that piece
Phew! That’s quite a lot to get through. Like anything that is worthwhile, in business (and in life) building a strong sales base and following on Etsy takes time. And effort. No uploading a bunch of items and then leaving it and hoping for the best (that is how we get disheartened!). But what Etsy has shown to me over the past few weeks of experimenting, is that it can work, and it can work really well. If you are prepared to put the time and effort in. Which of course we are ☺
On to my final tip (for now)
Tip 7: Quality is essential
It goes without saying, but building your skills as a jeweller and business owner so that you are confident in the quality of your work, your processes and your business knowledge is essential. None of us are perfect but we usually want our jewellery to be, so investing in your training and your skills, in my opinion, is always a worthwhile investment. Make sure each piece you send out is of the highest quality and is something you would love to receive.
If you would like to learn more about setting up and running your own successful, profitable and sustainable jewellery business then it’s not too late to join me for our brand new comprehensive 8-week online intensive course: The Jewellery Business Bootcamp, find out more and enrol for a spot here > (http://learn.jewelleryschoolonline.com/p/the-jewellery-business-bootcamp)
We start this Friday 27th January and I would love to have you join me and our lovely community of budding and growing jewellers. Everyone is welcome.
All that is left to say is best of luck for anyone trying out Etsy for the first time, I’m with ya! And for all the Etsy old-timers, we would love to hear more of your knowledge and wisdom, so do share a comment or two below about what works for you.
Until next time, Happy Making
Author: Jessica Rose
Special Business Week offers
Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales. Grab your spot on the webinar here.
And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701. This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place. This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.