Oh, oh, oh so excited to write this post about how to do market research on Etsy! Etsy seller marketing is one of my new favorite things and this topic is just so wicked cool!
What Is Market Research
There are bunches of things you can figure out when you are doing market research, things like:
- What Customers In General Are Looking For
- What Your Top Competition Is Making AND Selling
- Your Top Selling Products
- What Your Customers Are Shopping For
- New Product Development
- What Marketing Is Working
By looking at the details of other shops AND your business, you can start to get a feeling for what you are good at producing, which marketing is working, AND what the what the general public wants overall.
Why You Should Do Market Research
As creators we only have so much time in the day. Whether we are making a digital product or a physical product, we are spending our time to produce and market that product to the detriment of all the other products that we COULD be making and selling.
At the core Market Research helps you find the low hanging fruit that people will want to buy and which you are going to be good at selling!
What Customers In General Are Looking For (CraftCount.com)
CraftCount.com has AWESOME data that you can use to figure out what is selling overall in Etsy and then it allows you to drill down to the top sellers in your category.
Top Selling Summary
This report is super interesting to look at to see what is selling the best overall in Etsy. You can check out supplies, handmades, etc. to see what is popular (great if you are thinking about opening a new shop).
How it helps: if you are in one of these popular categories you can use this data, but if you are selling something more specific you will probably want to use the more targeted data below.
Targeted Selling Data
All that top data is all well and good, but I need a little more information about something that I am selling! For this you will want to go to “Top Sellers By Category”. Here you will drill down to your category of products. For my Paperly People shop, this is Paper Goods, for my Work Necklaces shop this is jewelry.
For this example we will use a gal who does prints on canvas. Her category will be art. and then we want to drill down to her specific type…
The data there shows the shops ranked by number of sales for all time. Now we have to click around a bit to see which ones are selling an item like hers (a print on canvas)
Her top three competitors are:
Now, these seem like they are mostly prints on paper instead of canvas, but they will give us an idea of what is going on in the marketplace for art prints. You would want to check out all three, but we are going to drill down a bit on the top one, The Black Apple.
We are going to start by recording her numbers:
# of items
# of reviews
# of sales
# of admirers
this our new goal for our shop! While it may seem insurmountable now, she has done it so we know we can to!
Next we are going to look at her most recent sales (click the sales link) to see what people are buying now.
For the first one we see it was a print called In The Spring, She Married A Bear, Large Print 11X14 by Emily Winfield Martin. I would note down relevant things like it was a bear, large print and 11X14. To get a feel for the price we will have to look at the other like items that Etsy shows us at the top. All of her prints seem to be around $36. Now, they are printed on paper instead of canvas so we need to keep that in mind for our review.
I would do this for all three top shops, recording the three most recent sales and making notes like, “this is a know artist selling her own works”, and “she has a website and blog, she seems to be a noted artist and illustrator”.
How it helps: Seeing what the top shops in your marketplace are selling, you can find new product ideas and niches that you might be able to target with new products. Additionally you can get a feel for how she is marketing her products.
Your Top Selling Products – Sales
Okay, this one is a little more kerfuffly as no one is going to make a program to record your sales, BUT Etsy does give us that data, just not in a handy-dandy format. For this you are going to go to:
Your shop > orders > all > scroll down and click on “Download a CSV file with the details for each order.”
You can choose a month or the whole year. I like to use the year because I am a newer shop, but if you want less data you can choose the last previous full month.
The only thing that you are worried about for this exercise is the “Item Name” column. Sort your items by name and then Sum the totals to find out what you have sold the most of.
It is funny that you can “think” that one or the other of your products is a top seller but then find out that something else is really a best seller item!
How it helps: Tracking your own best sellers is super important for knowing what to make more of or variations of themes that work well for customers who find you!
What People Are Shopping For From You – Favorites
I feel like Favorites get a bad rap with Etsy sellers. They are so sad that someone favorited their item rather than buying it. But what they don’t realize is that those favorites are great market data to know what to make more of!
When someone favorites your item or shop, they are indicating an interest in you or your products. This is like going on a first date with you! They are not ready to commit to marrying you (buying something), but they are interested enough to not want to lose you for later.
I LOVE seeing the data from my favorites! It lets me know the products that people are interested in at a much bigger scale than just measuring my sales. If you are not selling as much right now because you are a new Etsy seller or trying to figure out your product lines, watching your favorites like a hawk is a great idea idea for product development.
Looking at this report, I can see that potential buyers are interested in time management, printable planner pages and Realtor topics (a big part of my client base is in the real estate industry).
These are all things to note and to consider making additional products for!
What is interesting to note is that while my best seller (by far) is the SEO worksheet, it is #3 on the list for my favorites. I know that this sells from my website and an interview I did on the Etsy Conversations Podcast so those sellers are probably coming in ready to buy rather than just Favorite.
How it helps: it shows you the products and categories of products that you sell which people find interesting!
Views On Your Shop and Products – Views
Okay, now we are getting down to brass tacks. These are the items that thousands of people have looked at.
Given everything available on Etsy and the internet, over 1,000 people have looked at my Weekly Printables planner page. Now, the interesting for us to look at is where the number of views matches up with the favorites and sales.
If your top viewed product has the lowest sales or favorites then you might want to consider changing your description wording.
Obviously the Title and pictures were good enough to get them to take a peek at your item, but once they were there, there wasn’t enough interest in your product to convert them to a favorite or a buyer.
Don’t forget, an item can have higher views just because it is older than a brand new item in your shop!
How it helps: If a product is getting lots of views (compared to your other items) and no one is buying it or favoriting it, you will need to look at other factors for its failure like price or a poor description.
What Marketing Is Working – Your Traffic Sources
Whee…we are getting into hard core marketing now! By looking at your traffic sources you can see where your potential customers are coming from.
As you can see Etsy and the Etsy app do drive a ton of my traffic (6,773 views, 68%). But that means I have driven 3,151 hits to my store or products myself through other means like my websites, email and social media.
It is important to note where your views are coming from so you can spend your marketing time wisely. If you are spending an hour a day on Facebook and getting few hits, then you need to move that time over to something more productive.
Just remember that these are self fulfilling numbers. I am getting hits from my websites because I write blog posts that have a call to action to visit my Etsy store.
How it helps: I was paying a little bit of money to market on Twitter and found that there was no comparable bump in that as a source. Whether you are spending money or time, you need to make sure that your efforts are resulting in views.
Comparing Your Data To Get Insight
You need to get traffic from Esty by focusing on your Etsy SEO and also by sending people from your social media or websites.
This leads to views, sometimes favorites and ultimately sales.
To track this you will want to get your numbers in order. Find out how many views you have to get to generate favorites and how many favorites you need to get sales.
For example, I have 506 views on my Etsy SEO worksheet and 22 sales. To figure out the percentage of people who buy this after seeing it I divide 22 by 506 and can make a good guess that about 4% of the people who see this listing will buy it.
If I want to sell 100 of these I will have to have 4,000 views.
To do this I can:
- Promote my listings on Etsy
- Link it from other Etsy items in my store
- Write blog posts that send people to that item (I made a link to it right above here, that will work a little bit because the only people reading this post are probably Etsy sellers who might be interested in SEO)
- Share it on social media so people can see it
But you also want to see the ones that are not doing good.
I have 1,035 views on my weekly planner page and only 6 sales…ack! That means that only .05% of people who see that listing are buying it. That is really bad! So I have some options, I could:
- Take down that listing (but I won’t because it IS generating views which could lead to sales on my other products)
- Add a link to my other weekly planner spread that does sell better
- Fix my additional photos (obviously the first one is okay since people are looking at it, they just are not compelled to buy it)
- Re-write my description since it is obviously not doing a good job!
If you have a shop with hundreds of items, this may be hard to do for each of them, but in general, you should keep your eye on the top views, favorites and sales so you can see what your movers and shakers are doing!
Want More? – Get the goods!
I KNOW that this can all seem a little overwhelming so I made you a worksheet (of course I did, that is what I do!) This worksheet set is unlike anything else I offer. It is more of a mini course in how to do market research for your shop!
There is a copy of this post, 5 walkthrough videos and the worksheet page to help you through!