Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Challenge: The What Is It

Getting buyers into our shops is our number one priority. But as each Etsy category becomes overly saturated, it becomes more difficult to be found. It is a given that good photos entice buyers, but that is not enough. Good products and product photos abound - the competition is tough - so how do we get buyers into OUR shops as opposed to the competition's?

1) Every shop needs a What Is It

What IS a What Is It? When I first opened shop, getting views was difficult. After all, buyers had seen it all before; there were sooooo many shops filled with the same type items. And of course, the more items in a shop, the more views. At the time, I had about 10 items and was getting no views.  So, I added a What Is It, and the views started coming. They were curiosity views, but they accomplished their mission. Buyers were seeing my shop. And as a matter of fact, the first thing I sold was my What Is It? (thank you, Michele)

Here is my What Is It, in all its sad little glory:

My listing read:

What Is It?
In a nutshell, its a nutshell! These are black walnut shell halves. If you're not familiar with the walnut, it is almost impossible to crack the shell without running over the nuts with a car! But the squirrels crack them into perfect halves, remove the nut, and discard the shells. Look closely and you will see they have a perfect little heart shape in the middle. They also look like little owl faces to me. My son thinks they look like nostrils!!!
I pick these up from under the walnut trees and have used them for glass vase fillers, and have also put them in terrariums. I have about a dozen left.

Anyhoot, If you have some creative idea on how to use them, they are yours! This is probably the last of the walnuts until Fall.

And.... I will relist these again in the Fall!

So, I'm challenging you to create (or pick up out of the yard) a What Is It and list it in your shop. It should be something unique. Something that will arouse the buyer's interest and make them do a doubletake. Something that will get buyers into YOUR shop and not the competition's! While there, they will see the beautiful handmades you carry.

2) Cross Over Into Another Category

You make bags. All your listings go into the Bags category. So, only buyers searching for Bags will see your bags. Imagine if you could get all the buyers searching for jewelry to also see your Bags? And the buyers searching for bath items, baby goods, art? Because even though they are NOT specifically searching for bags doesn't mean they wouldn't buy a bag. Right?

So how do you do this?  Your interest and expertise lies in making bags - you don't do bath, baby, jewelry or art.  Ahhhh..... but maybe you do!  You could create a bath-related bag, a baby bag, an artsy bag, a jewelry bag. Then you have the benefit of listing in a different category. And all the buyers searching for bath, baby, jewelry and art WILL see your bags. By crossing over into another category, you increase your chances for views and finding new customers!

3) Be On-Trend

I don't know about you, but I am not one to follow trends. I don't care if something is trendy or not and trendiness does not influence my buying habits. But, a lot of people are trend-followers. And trend-followers spend a lot of money shopping. They have to  - to keep up with the latest got-to-have-it!

As much as it would pain some of us (me) to create something just because it is trendy, it could have a positive effect on shop views. We do not have to fill our shops with trendy items. We don't even have to sell the trendy item we create. But having a trendy item listed might bring in customers who would not otherwise shop with us.  Then, they would be introduced to our made-with-love items!

So, if you haven't already, add a chevron or feather (if these are still trendy) to your next bag. Next necklace. To your glass art or woodwork. Who knows? The trend-following crowd may bombard your shop with sales.

No offense meant to any trend-setter or trend-follower:)

Summing it up, our challenge for the week is to experiment with ways to increase shop views. I have presented you with my ideas, let's hear yours! Comments and discussion in this thread.

 Cap'n Kathi


  1. Great article!!! Now I have to figure out what I have for a 'what is it'? :)

  2. I'm late to the 'game' here, but this post has my head whirling with trendy & what is it? ideas! AND laughing at the thought that those pesky walnuts all over my yard could actually have promoted my little business if I'd have thought of it first!!

    Great observations, Kathi!