Ask the consultant: Is Etsy.com a good platform for my business?

  • Updated: March 24, 2013 - 1:56 PM

Question

I’ve been running my business for about five years, creating wedding invitations for customers all over the world. I was very profitable but I took a huge hit this year. My shop is run through Etsy.com and they have changed their website considerably. Also, there have been a lot more vendors on that website selling the same product as me. What would you suggest?

Teresa Setterlund, Owner / Designer, Appleberry Ink, www.appleberryink.com

 

Answer

You need to decide if Etsy.com is a platform from which to market your products or a platform to sell your products.

If your goal is to market through Etsy.com, you want to be on the first page of search listings. According to marketmyshop.com, the Etsy search algorithm (the formula used to determine relevancy) functions something like this:

First, Etsy looks for EXACT word/phrase matches and lists those items as most relevant. Then it looks for exact word phrases in the tags section and lists those matches. You may notice that most of the listings in a relevant search don’t exactly represent keyword phrase matches in the title or even the tags. That’s because Etsy also uses user input to determine relevancy. Showing up on everyone’s first search page is very tough.

If your intention is to sell via Etsy.com, you need to drive traffic yourself. The site offers the following link for general search engine optimization suggestions directly related to Etsy landing pages: www.etsy.com/help/article/247.

Using other marketing channels may be prudent. For you, this might mean spending ad dollars on sites that have a great deal of traffic associated with the newly engaged. It might also be valuable to cultivate your own voice within that social media space as an authority on issues associated with invitation etiquette or other related topics. While this is not a cash outlay necessarily, it will represent an opportunity cost, as you will have to spend time and energy building your presence.

About the author: Mike Porter, Ed. D., Director, Master of Business Communication Program, University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business.

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