I've heard it time and time again since Etsy went public, shops that were once super busy had suddenly hit the skids with no hope of revival in site. They've done everything they did in the beginning to ramp up business again and nothing was working. I know because I was one of them. A 6 figure a year shop, suddenly halted.
Etsy wanted to give every seller a piece of the pie, regardless of effort, rather than keeping those shops that had put their dues in, where they rightfully deserved to be. People who spent 12-16 hours a day on their shop, studying SEO until their eyes bled, bringing new products to the platform everyday, and social media-ing the hell out of their shops had been stopped dead in their tracks.
Instead of being a person to Etsy, like it used to be before they became a publicly traded company, you are now just a hiccup in their algorithm. So, then the question becomes, "How do I fix this and work with the algorithm now that it is working against me?" Have no fear, I have implemented the following strategies and tested these theories to prove their accuracy and they work.
#1. Use shop updates. I have no idea what the relevancy is to shop updates. Honestly, I find them quite silly, but the more I update, the more sales come flooding in. Then, I share them to my business Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts tag @Etsy and #Etsy in each post.
I would think that shop updates would be photo's of you making your product or new releases you are working on that you haven't listed yet that you want to give people a sneak peak at, but you have to tag a photo from your shop, which leaves you limited on what type of updates you can actually post. Either way- use them.
#2. Get your orders out before their ship by date.
This may seem like a no - brainer, but to some, it is totally a thing. They ship their item's out way past their ship by date or wait right up to the ship by date to ship their orders. Not only does this hurt your ranking in a major way, Etsy can, and most likely, eventually will, put your shop on suspend should you become a repeat offender of shipping your orders out on or past your stated turnaround time. See, now you are just part of an algorithm, so it doesn't matter if you're a busy shop or not. If your orders ship late and the algorithm picks up on it, you're getting bumped down in relevancy. Even though I have a 1 -2 week turnaround on my personalized birthday outfit sets, I start noticing my shop dip after orders for them were open past a week. Sad to say, since my items are handmade, and it should be understood that they'll take time, the absolute fastest you can get your orders out, the better. It's like Etsy is trying to compete with Amazon and eBay now, except their uniqueness came from the fact that the site is supposed to be all handmade.
#3. Respond to your messages within 24 hours, 48 hours - max. I have tested this theory on purpose and by accident. I do not work weekends - I have business hours, just as every other reputable business does. I also have a family, therefore, I do not respond to messages on the weekends and that hasn't proven to be an issue with ranking. During the week, I make sure to respond to messages in 1-2 business days. Being that I like to have a focus on manufacturing my products and getting them out quickly, I tend to put the messages that ask questions that are already answered in my FAQ and my listing descriptions, on the back burner. However, if I let them go too long, I notice a dip in sales. 48 hours seems to be the magic number.
#4. Make sure you do not have any listings in your shop that violate copyright or trademark laws. Not just a scare tactic, it's actually true. If you're a shop that is flagged for infringement, you're going to take a hit in ranking. If you get flagged too many times, you'll eventually get shut down. Don't ever make the assumption that you're too small to be found out, either. There are all kinds of trademarks that people wouldn't expect, and with the Silhouette Cameo and Cricut SVG. files on the rise, people have been selling copied designs for some time now and the original owner's are really starting to crack down. Research your designs and products to make sure there isn't anything else out there like it and any sayings you use, run them through the TESS trademark database HERE. And for the love, if you are still using the term "onesies" or selling knockoff Disney products - just STOP. Because of the power of the Internet and Facebook groups, you should probably know by now that those are 2 of the biggest infringements reported on Etsy and if you take your business seriously, you don't need to be selling other's intellectual property anyway.
#6. Renew your listings. Anything and everything to stay relevant works and that includes renewing your listings. I have almost 300 items in my shop. Obviously, some of them are going to get lost in the pool of baby bodysuits and tee shirts and this should be considered in every product category. Just because you list an item once, doesn't mean it is going to take off, and the longer it sits there stagnant, the more it loses it's position in rank. Renewing the item brings life to it again, in a way. It puts it back in front of more viewers that have yet to see it. If an item sits from the time you list it for 4 months until it expires without being sold one time in between, how do you think anyone else has seen it if you aren't renewing it or advertising it? If you are one of those people that say you shouldn't have to renew your listings or, my personal faves, that you shouldn't have to pay for advertising, A.) It's $0.20 for crying out loud. You can renew 5 listings a day for $1. I hope you have a $1 a day to invest in your business, otherwise, running a business may not be right for you and B.) It takes money to make money. You need to either renew it, revise the listing, take better pictures, or evaluate the product's likability altogether.
#7. Avoid having cases opened against your shop. I think we can all agree that we don't want any cases opened against our shops. Things happen and customers don't always come to us first with their issues, which sucks, but it happens. Stay proactive. I am human and have had cases opened against me. The longer a case stays open, the more I notice my shop dipping in relevancy, which can be quite discouraging in cases that you literally cannot do anything about. One time, I had someone open a case against me claiming her baby bodysuit arrived and that it wasn't boy colors. The listing photo was literally a purple and green design. She even included a photo of the bodysuit in her case and it was side by side with my listing photo, looking identical. She never responded to the case and it took some time for it to close. In the event that a case should be opened against your shop, resolve it quickly and professionally.
There are my 7 tips to revive your existing Etsy shop or jump start your new one. Did this post help you? Let me know what you think or any tips you've implemented since the new algorithm in the comments below! If you haven't yet opened an Etsy shop yet and you'd like to try it out for free, use my link HERE to get us both 40 free listings.
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