Problem: I’ve been getting lots of views but no sales on Etsy

Since our first three sales we made a few weeks ago, we haven’t been able to make another sale. I’ve got to admit – it sucks. You can have an amazing week one week where stuff is flying off the shelves, and the next week it’s dead silent.

Here’s our problem: our Boldlie & Co stats are growing day by day. We ARE getting traffic. Not only that, but people are also adding our products to their Favorites. We’re seeing this happen a few times, everyday.

We ARE doing something right.

Our keywords are working and people are finding our products in search. These people like our products but something is getting in the way of purchasing.

So, what are we doing wrong?

Some possibilities…

  • The price is too expensive. Our customers can’t afford the cost of the prints.
  • We’re not selling to the right customer. We’ve been labelling a few of our prints as “nursery prints” and using a kids bedroom as a backdrop for our photos. Maybe our customers don’t have children. Seeing our prints presented this way can detract from imagining the print in a different environment. We could also be missing out on potential tags and keywords that other shoppers use to discover products like ours.
  • The shipping takes too long. So far, all our customers hail from a country that’s 10,000 miles away. The shipping time can take up to 2 weeks after we drop our packages off at the post office. Are the majority of our shoppers turned off by our long shipping times for physical prints?

The bottom line? We have no idea what is going through every person’s mind when they see our listings. All we can do now is assume that at least one of these factors are screwing up our sales potential.

So let’s throw our current strategy up in the air and mix things up…


How popular Etsy shops do well

We fired up Etsy and took a look at shops that made a lot of sales.

Here’s what we found:

  • They have A LOT of listings published. Some of them have listing numbers in the hundreds. The more listings you have, the more tags, titles, keywords and the more likely that your products will show up in search.
  • They appeal to a single audience. Most products are targeting one specific niche with multiple products. For example, a vendor selling personalized illustrations of couples also sells wedding invitations and paper goods.

So, here’s the big ticket questions…
How do you increase the number of listings without creating new products?
How do you know who the right audience is if you haven’t made many sales yet?


Duplicate and group your listings

We want at least 50 listings on Etsy to increase the chances of our prints being found. We started by duplicating our current listings. Then, we tweaked them with different images and descriptions to target different audiences.

For each design we have 3 different offerings…


Group 1: The versatile product targeting broader customers

We grouped our fine art prints that will be physically shipped in this category. This group let’s us experiment with targeting our prints to a broader audience. We used lifestyle backdrops instead of just nursery scenes.


Group 2: The “add-on” product targeting niche customers

We grouped our kids focused prints in this category. We made the prints customizable to appeal to parents and nursery decorators. Customers can “add-on” personalizations, like adding a name or changing the background color.


Group 3: The “no frills” product suitable for price and time sensitive customers

We published a new group of listings that allow customers to purchase and instantly download their print of choice. They print the items themselves and they don’t need to pay for shipping and wait weeks for the art to arrive.


How to segment your listings

The more options you have available on your shop, the more likely sales will come by.

  1. Write down specific audience and price profiles that apply to your products. Think about how you can “add on” to your product or simplify it.
  2. If your product has variations you can create new listings highlighting each variation. Perhaps you sell a particular style of headband in 3 different colors – try creating a new listing for each color. You can be more specific with your SEO by targeting color related keywords.


Finding your right audience

By creating our three product groups, we can start to segment our customer base and target each one better.

We can find out if:

  • Our core audience (parents to be) are actually our customers. Before, our listings didn’t differentiate between personalized and non-personalized products. In fact, 2 out of 3 of our customers we’re dog lovers, not young families. By making a personalized prints segment, we can better serve our intended audience.
  • A broader audience is actually a better customer profile to target. With our non-personalized listings, we can try different tags to target other audiences like dog lovers or a more general audience. Perhaps our customers are simply people who just want to jazz up their living rooms, bedrooms or kitchens with our art.

Once we see which listings appeal, we can double down on our audience niche.

Now it’s your turn…


How can you find your right audience by segmenting your products?

Think about how you can segment your products based on a niche customer and a broader customer profile. If you sell soap to earth conscious buyers, can you open your line up to gift shoppers? If you sell dog collars, can you customize the dimensions a little to sell cat collars, too? By creating a few segmented listings every month, you could be hitting a market no one else is thinking of.


Offering a cost competitive “no frills” product

We’re sure our costs and shipping products make our products unattractive to some. Of course, from the very beginning we wanted to create a product that was a little special and a little premium.

But, we realize there’s two types of people who buy art prints online:

  1. The ones that appreciate the art of the print as a whole. The paper, the frame, the unboxing experience and the packaging itself  – these all make a beautiful shopping experience. Customers can hang their art on the wall as soon as it arrives.
  2. The ones that appreciate the art on the print. These are people who want to access art by spending as little as they can. They still appreciate buying directly from an artist instead of investing in mass produced art. This customer understands that there’s a bit more effort required to get the final stage of a framed print hanging in their home.

We don’t offer a framing service (the shipping costs would be off the charts!). We’re based in Australia and most of our customers (and Etsy shoppers) are based in the USA which makes it worse.

So, we’re going to try and target a different kind of customer. They are the ones who appreciates the most basic offering of our product: the artwork and not all the extras.

Our no-frills product is an instant download version of the print.

It’s perfect, because:

  • Without the need for printing with our production partner, we’re able to cut down prices by more than half. Customers can print it themselves with their own printer or go to their local stationery shop to print it for a few dollars.
  • It’s instantly delivered via a downloadable link. We don’t have to spend money on shipping and the customers don’t have to wait up to weeks.
  • It’s simpler for us to produce. It’s a one off upload and we can sell it over and over again.


What products can I sell as “no frill” alternatives?

Think about a low cost alternative that you can offer to your customers who don’t want or need a premium experience. Can you simplify your product, or the experience, somehow?
Say you knit beautiful scarves. Can you create a DIY box that includes yarn, a pair of knitting needles and printed instructions?
Or are you a whiz at embroidery? Can you offer digital patterns that your customers can download, as well?