Archive | Selling Your Art

Building Websites with Etsy’s Pattern

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Etsy can be a great venue for beginner and veteran creatives alike to sell their work online for a lot of good reasons. Setting up a shop is fast and easy, listing and selling fees are reasonable, and for lovers of handmade items it’s the go-to website for artist made work.

As great as Etsy is, it also has its drawbacks. For one thing, all Etsy stores pretty much look alike. It can be difficult to completely express your brand on Etsy, even if you have a strong one. And having a strong brand is a necessity on Etsy, because it’s a pretty crowded venue. It’s very easy for a creative business to be lost among the thousands of other artists on Etsy.

Last year, Etsy made a big step towards tackling those drawbacks with the introduction its website building service, newest service, Pattern.

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If you’re an artist or creative that loves the ease of running your online store through Etsy, but also longs for more design flexibility and ability to stand out more, Pattern might be a game-changer for you.

What is Pattern?

Pattern is Etsy’s website building service that enables you to create a standalone website that’s powered and managed by your existing Etsy store. Using current listings and store information, you can set up a Pattern website with a customized theme, colors, and branding within minutes. And all without any extra technical expertise.

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Customizing Pattern

Pattern has ten distinct themes that you can apply to your standalone website. You can preview what each theme will look like on a full sized computer screen or on a mobile device using listings from your existing Etsy store.

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Once you choose a theme, you can customize it in the “Style” section. In the Style section you can choose fonts for your headlines and body copy, set the background color for your website, and select a color for buttons and various accents within your theme.

The branding section has options for displaying your brand elements on your Pattern website. You can choose to display your store icon, your store name and your icon, or simply display your store name.

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Next you can select how you want your Pattern shopping cart is displayed. It can slide out from the side of the screen, appear as a dropdown display from the top of the screen, or be displayed in the middle of the screen as an overlay.

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There are also two styles to choose from for your store listings. The first style is a photo gallery that visitors can scroll through photos of your listings one by one. In the second style, your listings are displayed as a vertically stacked column that visitors can view by scrolling down the page.

In the Content section, you can customize your website name, your About Page headline, and the text on your Story Page.

Unlike your normal Etsy store, there aren’t any links to other stores on your Pattern website other than a small link to Etsy on the very bottom of the page.

Custom Domain Names In Pattern

All Pattern websites come with a default website address:

yourstorename.patternbyetsy.com

You can further brand your Pattern website by using your own domain name instead of the default Pattern address.

Don’t have a domain name already? You can purchase one directly through the Pattern website for $13 per year. You can create your own domain name and see if it’s available or can use one of the suggested available domain names. If you purchase a domain name through Pattern, it’s yours to keep even if you stop using Pattern in the future. You can also use that domain name to create a custom email address for your Pattern website.

If you already have your own domain name you can connect it to your Pattern site, though it will take a bit of fiddling with your domain name settings. Pattern has a guide to help walk you through the changes. If you’re nervous about doing this by yourself, you can have your domain registrar support team help you out.

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Marketing Your Pattern Website

In the Marketing section, you’ll find a couple of tools to help you market your Pattern website. If you have a custom domain name, here’s where you can set up a custom email address.

You also have the option of setting up an announcement banner for your website. Similar to the Store Announcement feature on your Etsy store, you can use the banner to feature sales, offer promotions or to simply welcome people to your website.

When it comes to the typical Etsy store, one of my biggest pet peeves is the lack of email list building support. Since building an email list of interested buyers is an important part of building a customer base, this is a really big deal. That issue has been solved with Pattern’s integration with Mailchimp. All you need to start building and email list on your Pattern website is an account with Mailchimp (which is free up to your first 2,000 subscribers). Once you have that, you’ll be stepped through that process of connecting your Mailchimp account to your website. Don’t have a Mailchimp account? You can sign up for a free account here.

(Full disclosure, I am a happy user and affiliate of Mailchimp!)

You can also verify your Pattern website with Pinterest so that you’re able to track pins and other Pinterest statistics from your Pattern website. You can learn more about the ins and outs of verifying your website with Pinterest here.

Blogging With Pattern

If you’ve been thinking about dipping your toe into the world of blogging, you can do so with Pattern’s fully integrated blog.

Once activated you can write and publish blog posts on your website. Visitors can leave comments on your blog posts, which are powered by Disqus.

Statistics on views for individual blog posts and overall traffic to your blog is included in Pattern’s website statistics feature.

Pattern Works Alongside Your Etsy Store

Once you’re all set up, Pattern will run in conjunction with your Etsy store. So in actuality you’ll have two websites that work side by side. Whenever you add a new listing to your Etsy store it will automatically appear on your Pattern website as well. There are no additional fees for your Pattern listings and all of your store data automatically syncs between your Pattern website and Etsy store. Etsy features like Guest Checkout will also work with your Pattern website.

You will still use your Etsy store to manage orders and shipping. Plus your Pattern website will have it’s own set of statistics to help you track traffic to your Pattern website.

Pattern Pros

Excited about Pattern yet? There are good reasons you should be:

1. Greater customization– If you’ve been itching to customize your Etsy store, Pattern will be just the ticket for you. With the option of ten themes, customized fonts and colors, and a customized shopping cart, you can make your Pattern website look pretty much the way you want it.

2. Ease of use– Setting up your Pattern website will be just as easy as it was to set up your Etsy store. No technical expertise required.

3. Email list building– If you’ve frustrated with not being able to contact your buyers after a sale or not being able to contact potential buyers at all, Pattern’s integration with Mailchimp will be just the answer for you.

4. No branding competition from Etsy– There’s a lot of competition on Etsy, both from other artists and from Etsy itself. With Pattern, the focus is all on you. Combined with a custom domain, it looks just like a regular website.

5. All of your store data is located in one place– Because Pattern is powered by your Etsy store, you have one single place to manage your listings, your orders, and your shipping.

6. Multiple locations without all the work– If you’ve been thinking about building a separate website in addition to your Etsy store, then Pattern may be a no brainer for you. You’ll have the benefit of another website presence without all the work of duplicating your listings or maintaining two websites.

Pattern Cons

A great as Pattern is, there are a few caveats to consider:

1. Customization options still somewhat limited– While Pattern gives you a wider range of design options, it’s still quite limited compared to using a service like Squarespace, WordPress, or Shopify. You’re also not able to customize which listings appear on your Pattern website. If a listing is on your Etsy store it will also appear on your Pattern website. If you’re hoping to put some listings on Etsy and some just on your Pattern store, it doesn’t look like there’s any support for that as of yet.

2. Additional cost– A Pattern website will add an additional $15 per month to your Etsy bill along with your normal listing and transaction fees. While the cost is fairly reasonable when compared to the technical aspects of hosting your own website or using a service like Shopify, you do need to budget the additional costs before you consider signing up.

3. No integration for an existing blog– Pattern’s blogging feature is great for artists who haven’t yet started a blog and wants to see what the fuss is about. It’s not so great if you already have an existing blog. At this time, there doesn’t seem to be a way to import your existing blog to your Pattern website, nor is there an easy way to link directly to it in your Pattern store navigation. The store announcement banner does allow one link, so that seems to be the easiest workaround at this time.

Conclusion

If Etsy is already a good fit for you but you want greater control over how your store looks, then adding a Pattern website may be a good choice for your creative business. You can test drive Pattern before you commit by signing up for the free 30-day trial here.

So what do you think? Have you tried Pattern yet? Do you have a site built with Pattern? If so, how has it been working for you? Share your thoughts and your Pattern website by adding a comment below.

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10 Ways Your Creative Business Can Beat the Summer Slump

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Does your creative business go into a slump when summer rolls around?

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. With the kids out of school, vacations planned, and more outdoor events and activities going on, your customers may be spending less time thinking about your creative business.

That doesn’t mean that you should resign yourself to the slump. Summer can be a time to take…or more to the point, “make” some productive and profitable opportunities for yourself. If summer has been a slow time for you in the past, here are some ideas on how to make this summer one of your best ever:

1. “Summerize” your inventory and promotions– There are some things just that sell much better in the summer. Items like summer clothing; hats, swimwear, beachwear, and related accessories typically do really well at this time of year for obvious reasons. Kids are out of school…so anything that keeps them busy like toys, games, DIY kits…will also be quite popular. Things that support outdoor activities like cookouts, camping, picnics and days at the beach also tend to see a spike in sales when summer rolls around. Does any of your work fit in with some of the more popular summer items? Can you put a summer-like spin on some of your regular best sellers to make it more appealing for summer sales?

You may also consider creating seasonal products or items that you only bring out during the summer. I offer anklets and jewelry with a patriotic theme during the beginning of summer and then retire them for the rest of the year after Labor Day. Think about putting a summer-like theme on your promotions and product imagery. This will help your customers imagine enjoying your items now instead of waiting until after the summer. And if you sell on Etsy, don’t forget to adjust your listing tags so that people looking for summer related items can find you.

2. Plan a summer special– Last year Amazon boosted their sales by planning a monster special right in the middle of July (and Wal-Mart boosted theirs by following suit). Is there a summer promotion that you can plan to help boost your summer sales? Remember that a promotion doesn’t always have involve lowering prices. You can always offer free shipping, bundle discounts, or a free gift with purchase.

3. Forge new connections– If your customers are out and about during the summer, why don’t you do the same? While the Internet can be a good place to find customers, it certainly isn’t the only place. Get out of your studio and get yourself out there. Participate in some local craft shows, think about selling at your local farmer’s market, hold an open studio, teach a class, or find an outdoor location with a lot of foot traffic and demonstrate what you do. Getting out more not only opens up some more potential sales, but can also direct more people to your website as well.

4. Network– If you haven’t already done so, get out there to your local galleries and gift shops or pick up the phone and talk to gallery owners. A lot of gallery owners them do their buying in the summer in preparation for the holidays. So this would be a great time to introduce yourself. If you’re going on vacation, keep an eye out for some potential sales opportunities.

Make an effort to network with local artists as well. Find some local artist’s groups and met your fellow artists. You can exchange information about shows, marketing ideas, and opportunities from other artists. See if you can organize some group marketing or sales opportunities with other artists by doing some joint open studios or exhibitions or co-op advertising.

5. Try new things– Use the slower pace to try something new in your creative business. Quietly introduce a new product or a new line to your best customers and see how it does. Learn a new technique and apply it to your work. Research other potential customers and audiences for your work and come up with ways to connect with them. (The Ideal Customer video in the Creative Business Toolbox can show you how to identify potential new customers). Launch a contest or try doing a flash sale and see what happens. If your experiment doesn’t work out, the slower traffic makes it less of a risk…and you would have learned something in the process.

Holidays_and_Observances_Cover.jpg6. Start preparing for the holidays– If things are slow, why not start preparing for the busy holiday season now? Start building your holiday inventory. Begin building up an inventory of packing materials and gift wrap. A lot of packaging companies are already displaying their holiday lines so you order now to avoid the last minute ordering rush.

Begin planning your holiday promotions now. If some of your promotion plans involve things that has a long lead time like booking ads and ordering postcards, get that out of the way now so you’re not scrambling at the last minute. You can use the Holiday Marketing Planner in the Creative Business Toolbox to help you plan your holiday promotions.

7. Try a new marketing technique– Have you been meaning to start an email list, but hadn’t gotten a chance? Been wanting a chance to see what Instagram’s all about? Or maybe you’ve been thinking about giving Facebook ads a try. Why not try it now? Use the slower summer months to learn and experiment with a new marketing technique. If your experiments go well enough, you can put them to use during the holiday season.

8. Plan an “end of summer” special– Consider taking advantage of some marketing opportunities that comes towards the end of summer, like “back to school” specials, end of summer clearances, or early holiday shopping promotions.

Maintenance_Checklist_cover.jpg9. Freshen up your branding– Does your logo need some updating? Are your business cards out of date? Perhaps it’s time to freshen up your Etsy store or website. Use the slower summer months to reevaluate and improve your branding materials. In addition to freshening up your website, consider catching up on some basic maintenance as well. The Maintenance Checklist for Websites, Blogs, and Etsy stores in the Creative Business Toolbox can give you a rundown of common maintenance tasks for your website, blog or Easy store.

10. Do a mid-year review– Summer-time marks the mid-point of the year. So it’s a good time to take a look at what you’ve been doing in your business in the past six months and making plans for the next six. Take a day (or two) to sit down, look over your accomplishments of the previous six months, see what you can improve, and then make a plan for the rest of the year. Click here to get a full rundown on how to do a mid-year review for your creative business.

Conclusion

If your summer months tend to be slower for your business it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to hustle. The sales and opportunities that you build for yourself during the “slow” season can benefit you for the rest of the rest year and for a long time to come.

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Online Ways to Get More People to Your Art Show Booth

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Are art fairs and craft shows a significant part of your sales strategy? If so, you know that getting people to come to your booth and buy is absolutely critical, which means that it’s important to pick shows that are a good fit for your work and that are well advertised and well attended.

But just picking the right show isn’t the only thing you can do to help ensure that you have good sales at a show. There are some things that you can do beforehand that can help point potential show goers to attend and to visit your booth. And much of this can be done online. Here are some tips to help you build your show following.

Use your website and/or blog

If you have a website or a blog or both, this should be a central place to help you promote the shows that you will be participating in.

1. Provide a detailed show schedule on your website– Posting your upcoming show schedule on your blog or website is starting off in the right direction. But simply providing a date, location, and time does nothing to actually encourage people to show up. Think of your show schedule as an online invitation to come see you in person. Provide details such as:

  • your booth number (don’t make people search all over the show to find you)

  • a map of the show with your booth highlighted

  • directions to the show

  • parking information (if they need to pay and where to park)

  • information about special events (kid’s activities, entertainment, etc)

  • a link to the show website (if available)

  • information on any demonstrations, show specials, or exclusive lines you’ll be offering at the show

  • insider information (if you’ve done this show before, provide some useful tips like the best place to park, restaurant recommendations, the best time to arrive, etc)

Yes, people can get all of this information directly from the show website, but they’re already on your website. Use the opportunity to give them what they need and to persuade them to visit you at the show.

2. Offer downloadable show coupons on your website– Show exclusives, whether it’s special items, a free gift with purchase, a discount, or some additional service with purchase are one way to get people who may have been planning to attend the show to specifically seek you out. One way to track this is by providing something tangible to remind them to visit you, like a downloadable coupon. It can be a PDF download or a web page that visitors can print out and bring to the show to receive your special offer.

3. Blog about your shows– Blogging about your shows is great way to build anticipation about the show. Plus it’s also just great content for your blog. Some good show related topics can include:

  • Show schedule announcements- write a blog post on your upcoming shows

  • New work and show exclusives- write about any show exclusives or new work you’re planning to debut

  • Pre-show preparations- highlight some of the behind the scenes prep work you’re doing for your show

  • Show set up- let customers peek behind the curtain to see how you set up

  • Local color- blog about interesting facts about where the show is being held, interesting artists you meet, work you admire, local points of interests, great places to eat, etc

  • Triumphs and fails- you most definitely want to highlight any awards or compliments you get about your work or if you’re being nominated for an award or some other type of recognition. And don’t be afraid to relay stories of when things don’t go so well…like getting a flat tire or getting lost or bad weather. It’s all part of making you and the show experience real.

Use your mailing list

You email list can be a valuable tool in promoting the shows you will be participating in. So what if you don’t have an email list? Here’s how you can use your next show to remedy that:

1. Collect email addresses at your shows– Ask visitors to your booth to sign up to your email list. It can be as low tech as subscribers filling out a paper sign up sheet or guest book or you can use a tablet and an app like Mailchimp Subscribe to gather sign ups electronically. Don’t forget to ask for email addresses from the people that purchase from you as well. If you’re using a card reader like Square or the Sell on Etsy app, gathering email addresses from the people who buy from you is
a breeze.

2. Offer an incentive for signing up for your list– Most people will sign up for your list if you simply ask them to. Offering an incentive or a thank you gift upon sign up can help tip the scales for those folks are are a bit reluctant to sign up for yet another mailing list. A sign up gift could be a coupon, a free gift with a first or next purchase, or access to exclusive offers. Think about what your customers find valuable and create a gift that captures that value.

3. Send a welcome email– One mistake that a lot of artists make when gathering email addresses at shows is getting the emails, and then failing to actually use them until much later. Your show subscribers aren’t likely to remember who you are and why you’re sending them email if your very first communication is weeks or even months after the event.

Solve that problem by sending a welcome email immediately or within a day or two after sign up. If you’re using an electronic sign up app like Mailchimp Subscribe, you can create a “Welcome” email that automatically greets new subscribers to your list. If you’re gathering email addresses through a paper sign up sheet, you’ll need to add all of your email addresses to your email list provider as soon as possible after then show…definitely within a day or two. Once you get them into your system, send each of your new subscribers a welcome email reminding them that they signed up for your list at the show.

Also, don’t use Outlook or Gmail to handle this process. Use an email list management service like Mailchimp (it’s free up to 2,000 subscribers) to handle your subscribers and to manage your emails.

If you do have a current email list, here’s a couple of things you can do to encourage more visitors and more sales:

1. Send a special show mailing– Send out a special show centered mailing to your list a few weeks before the show. Provide the details of the show, a link to the detailed show schedule you have on your website and/or blog, and links to any relevant stories you may have written about the show on your blog in the email. Don’t forget to include information about any incentives or show specials you’ll be offering and provide a link to any if you have a downloadable coupons you’re offering as well. You may even wish to drop a quick reminder email a day or two before the show.

2. Follow up after the show– Sometimes the best sales come after the show is over. You may have someone who meant to come back to your booth but didn’t get the chance. Or perhaps someone is better able to buy something a couple weeks after the show. One way to encourage after show sales is by sending a follow up email to new show subscribers a couple days to a week or so after the show. Specifically target people that signed up for your list during the show, but didn’t purchase anything yet. You can offer an extension of your show special, or you can offer a time limited after show special specifically to your new subscribers.

And don’t neglect to send a mailing to all of the people who did purchase from you as well. It can be a simple note to thank them for their purchase. Or you can provide an offer on their next purchase, or you can encourage them to follow you on your blog or on social media. Use the after show mailing to deepen your new relationship with your customers.

Use social media

Social media is a very valuable tool when it comes to promoting the events that you’ll be participating in:

1. Piggyback off of the event’s social media– Most shows will be doing their own social media promotion, so be sure to join in. See if the show is using a hashtag to tag their updates. Use it in your own show related updates to get yourself in front of the people following that tag. Reshare and repost official updates in your own social media channels.

2. Find influencers associated with the show– One cool thing about social media is that it’s much easier to come in contact with some of the movers and shakers associated with the show, like the show promoters, other artists, and art collectors that attend the show every year. Visit the social media pages of the show you’re participating in and see who’s following the show. Find out who’s actively promoting the show and follow them. Find some of the other artists who will be participating in the show and start networking before the show. See if there are local journalists that will be covering this show and follow them on social media. Local gallery owners, gift shop owners, and other small businesses often visit shows to find potential artists for their shops. Do a little research and see if you can find some of these folks on social media as well.

3. Create a social media strategy– The idea of using social media is to build excitement around the show. From a few weeks before the show until the day of you should have constant updates about the upcoming event in social media. Sending out one or two tweets the day before the show isn’t going to cut it.

So a couple of months before the show, sit down and create a social media strategy. Decide which channels you’re going to promote on. Figure out what hashtags the show promoters will be using and incorporate that into your plans. Decide what kind of show related updates you’ll be sharing and when. This could include things like:

  • Sharing photos of the new items you’ll be offering on Instagram
  • Creating a show pinboard on Pinterest and post pins of recommended restaurants, points of interest, and other show related information
  • Sending updates about pre-show preparations on Twitter
  • Doing a Q&A session about the show on Periscope
  • Writing a show announcement on your Facebook page and pinning it to the top of the page

Use a social media management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to help you preschedule and manage these updates so that you’re not spending all of your time on social media. And don’t forget to include your booth number and location in some of your updates so that people can find you.

4. Photos…share lots of photos– Take advantage of the visual nature of Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter and include plenty of images with your updates. These images can include:

  • Finished work you’re exhibiting at the show
  • Works in progress
  • Images of you
  • Images of your booth
  • Images of your studio
  • Images of any exclusive work or show specials you’re offering

5. Don’t forget to be social– Unlike your website and your mailing list where the focus is pretty much all on you, remember that social media is…well social. Have a good mix of promoting the show as a whole along with promoting yourself as a show participant. Join in on discussions about the show where you can. Like and comment on updates from other show participants. Reshare and repost other people’s updates about the show. Remember, you also want to help create excitement about the show in general so that more people will attend. You can do that by participating in the community and helping to create the buzz.

Conclusion

Often success at an art or craft show can seem to be somewhat out of your hands. In truth, there is a lot that’s out of your control. What is in your control is the shows you choose to participate in and the promotion that you do on your own behalf. Take advantage of the tools you have, and with a bit of planning and effort, you can help make your next show the best one ever.

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How well is your Etsy store doing?

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How well is your Etsy store or your online shop doing?

If you’re starting out there’s really not an easy way to answer that question. If you’re making some sales…then that’s good…right?

If you’ve been selling online for a while you may have a general feel of what number of sales is “normal”.

But is normal is good as it could be? Is there an objective, measurable way to tell if your website or Etsy store is doing well or needs some work?

The answer is yes. It just involves a bit of simple math that you can use to figure out if your Etsy store, online store, or individual listings are doing well or you need to improve a few things.

How well are you converting?

Big retailers use sales numbers all the time not only to tell them how forecast how much inventory they will need for the Christmas rush, when to start stocking certain merchandise, and how much they need to spend on advertising and marketing. There’s one statistic in particular that you should pay attention to when you’re selling online. It’s called a conversion rate.

Most people don’t simply arrive at an online store and just buy something. Only a fraction of the people that visit your Etsy store or online shop will become a customer. The percentage of people that are converted from being a visitor to a buyer is called a conversion rate.

Figuring out conversion rates involves some really simple math. Take the number of sales you’ve gotten during a particular time period and divide it by the number of visits you got to your website during the same time period. If you’re on Etsy you’re going to divide the number of sales by the number of views you got to your store. Then take that number and multiply it by 100. That will give you your conversion rate.

# of sales / # of views x 100 = conversion rate (%)

So, if for example you got 100 views to your Etsy store last month and you got 4 sales, your conversion rate would be 4%.

4 sales / 100 views x 100 = 4%

An average online conversion rate for the entire retail industry is approximately 2 – 3% (thanks to Lisa Jacobs for that stat!). That is, if you get 100 visitors to your website, on average 2 to 3 people out that 100 will buy something. Try running this formula for last month’s sales and see what figure you come up with.

Okay…so what does this number mean?

Did you figure out last month’s conversion rate for your store? If it’s higher than 3% percent, then it’s likely that you’re doing fairly well. If it’s below 2%, then this can be an indication that there’s some work that needs to be done on your store, whether it’s improving your product photos, your listing copy, or your pricing.

It’s important to remember that this number is just an indicator. When you’re looking at your conversion rate you also have to consider other factors as well. If you’re selling higher priced items, then your conversion rate will likely be a bit lower because a high ticket item can be harder to sell. Seasonality may be a factor.

Your sales conversion rate can indicate:

  • If your store is underperforming– A low conversion rate can mean that your product pages or your store overall isn’t doing a good job of convincing people to buy.
  • That you need more traffic– If you have a good conversion rate, but your total sales still seem low…then this can be an indication that you need to get more people to your store.
  • If a particular item is doing well or underperforming– You can calculate conversion rates for individual items to see what your real superstars are. It may seem like both items are performing the same, but you may find that one is converting better than the other. Or it may be an indication that a particular product listing or page converts better.
  • What your overall trends are throughout the year– You may find that your conversion rate dips to about 1.5% in the summer, climbs to about 4% during the holidays, and flattens out to about 2% during the months between. Tracking your conversion rate month by month will give you a clue as to when you need to increase your marketing efforts and when you’re likely to already have momentum.
  • Which venues are performing better– If you’re selling your items on multiple online venues…say your selling items on Etsy and on your own website…comparing the conversion rates of each venue can tell you where you should be spending most of your effort.

Forecasting with conversion rates

If you ever tried doing a business plan, there may have been one section that was probably the rear. The financial part where you had to predict how much money you were going to make in a year. Unless you have a track record of several years, that’s a hard one to forecast.

Fortunately you can use conversion rates to do just that. Simply divide your conversion rate by 100, then multiply that number by the number of your average views.

# of views x (conversion rate / 100)

Let’s go back to our first example where our conversion rate is 4%. Let’s say that you look over your Etsy stats and see that your store averages about 400 views per month.

400 views x 0.4 = 16 sales per month

Now, let’s say your typical order is about $25 per sale. You then use that number to forecast out your average monthly sales:

16 sales x $25 per sale = $400 per month

To get a rough estimate for the year, simply multiply that number by 12.

$400 x 12 = $4,800 for the year

Now of course this is a rough estimate. This isn’t a guarantee of what your sales will be…it’s only a forecast. Factors like spikes and dips in traffic or views will effect whether you met or exceed this number or not. If you know that your sales are seasonal, figuring out the highs and lows in your conversion rates can help you be more accurate.

Now what if you want to work towards making a certain amount of sales? Perhaps at the beginning of the year you resolved to make a certain dollar amount by the end of the year…or you resolve to increase your sales by 10%. What would that take really? If you want to take your yearly sales from $4,800 to $12,000 how can you do that? Your current conversion rate can give you a clue.

So, if your goal is to make $12,000 in one year, let’s figure out your sales amount for the month:

$12,000 x 12 = $1,000 per month

Again, assuming that your average sale is $25 per sale, divide that by your sales amount for the month:

$1,000 / $25 = 40 sales

Instead of 16 sales per month, you’ll need to make 40 sales per month to reach your goal of $12,000 in a year. Now how much traffic do you need to your Etsy store to make 40 sales a month? Assuming your current conversion rate of 4% (remember to take your conversion rate and divide it by 100), let’s figure it out using the conversion rate formula:

40 sales / .04 = 1,000 views per month

So order to increase your sales to $12,000, you need to increase your views from 400 to 1,000 views a month.

Remember…that this is a forecast. But it’s also a useful because it gives you a specific target to aim for other than just sales. It’s a little easier to aim for increasing your views or traffic than it is to aim for a specific number of sales. And breaking things down into a specific number can also help you figure out if your goal is realistic.

Great…but is there an easier way to do this?

Remember that this is all just simple arithmetic. But when math of any type is involved I like to make it as convenient as possible. One tool that I set up for myself is a conversion calculator in Excel (also works in Google Sheets). I simply plug in some numbers and the calculator automatically figures out the numbers for me. I included sections for the entire store and individual listings as well. I even included the traffic forecasting calculator as well.

I used this calculator to forecast how much inventory I needed for the holidays based on past traffic and I was surprised at how accurate it turned out to be. I shared this tool in my holiday giveaway 12 Days of Goodies. If you missed it you can still download the calculator here. Just add your name and email and you’ll get a download link to the calculator.

Download Your Conversion Calculator

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TLDR
Keeping an eye on your conversion rate can help you monitor the health of your Etsy store or your online shop. Take 15 minutes or so to calculate your current conversion rate and make it a point to check it once a month.

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