It would be nice if a small business could create an online store and the sales would automatically start coming in. The problem is, your audience wouldn't know how to find you. Even if your business were utilizing the right SEO strategies and your store was showing up in search results, online businesses are so competitive you can't guarantee your business would show up in the top of search results. It could take months to tweak your site so that it's easy to find. Thankfully, for small businesses, there are already online stores, such as Etsy, that provide millions of shoppers who can easily find your products. Here are six ways Etsy can give your business the boost it needs.
Target a Niche Audience
Etsy has its own keyword system built into the platform. By using keywords and item descriptors, Etsy allows your audience to easily locate your Etsy store. If you customize a cotton tote bag with artwork depicting race horses, then someone who collects horse racing memorabilia would be able to see your canvas tote bag and likely not anyone else's who didn't feature the same type of work.
That's because the person who collects race horse memorabilia may have only used one search term, which was "horse racing." Providing a niche service can actually be an advantage on sites like Etsy.
Have Sales While You Build
Etsy allows you to have an income as you build your business. When you put an item for sale on Etsy, until that item sales, your work there is done. That gives you time to work on other aspects of your business, such as building your website and landing pages, developing your marketing plan, and tweaking your SEO strategy.
You don't even have to quit your day job when you sell on Etsy. If you aren't ready to dive into full-time self employment with your online store, Etsy gives you time to test the waters and make sure having a small online business is what you really want to do.
Build Your Email List
Having an email list from the start of your business can be advantageous. Once you have the email address of shoppers you already know are interested in what your store offers, you can keep them updated when you add new items. You can also entice them with special offers.
Etsy won't automatically reveal your customer's email, but you can get it through the exchanges you have with your customer through Etsy. Ask for their email right away so you can keep them updated on the progress of their shipment.
Direct Clients to Your Online Store
You've set up your online store, and you're just waiting for sales to come your way. Every sale you make is your opportunity. The more sales you make, the more you can increase the number of people who visit your online store. Remember that email list? There's your best opportunity for directing traffic to your online store.
Increase Brand Awareness
Selling on Etsy is your opportunity to increase brand awareness. Having a brand is important, because when you sell an item to someone, one of their friends or family members may ask them where they got it. If they can recall the name of your online store, then they can share that name with the person asking and tell them to search for you on Etsy.
Even in the online world, word of mouth is still an important marketing strategy. Having a unique name that is easy to remember is to your advantage. A catchy logo can also increase the odds that someone will be able to recall your brand's name.
It's amazingly affordable to post your items for sale on Etsy, especially when you have bulk items, because you'll only pay one insertion fee for that item. Etsy's insertion fee is minimal, about 10 cents per item, and isn't based on the value of your item. You could sell an item for $500 and still pay the same low insertion fee as someone selling a $2 item.
Once you sell your item, Etsy does take a percentage of your sale, but you can prepare for this and price your item so that you still make a reasonable profit from the sale. When your sale is final and you've shipped your item, the only money you were out was the insertion fee, and it was so low it had no impact on your wallet.
Etsy is a great tool for building your business. Once your online store is attracting regular customers on its own, as a result of your savvy marketing plan, you may want to keep Etsy. Listing a limited inventory there will allow you to continue to drive customers to your online store. In that sense, as your business evolves, Etsy becomes a piece of your marketing strategy rather than the only driver of sales. That's not a bad deal. With Etsy, anyone can become a small business owner.