As a new seller on Etsy (less than one month), most of my traffic on is coming from search, not from people deliberately seeking out my shop. For one reason or another, they're choosing to click on a photo of mine. Once I realized this, I invented a fun game I'm calling, "Who are the people in my neighborhood?" (Feel free to hum the Sesame Street tune while reading the next section.)
To play, I do a search for my item and look at it alongside the current listings. Does my item stand out? In a good way? Is it the first item I see or does another grab my attention? Does it look like it fits in? What can I learn from the other items that come up? This isn't about copying someone else's style nor is it a case of right vs. wrong. It's just a way of learning what my strengths and weaknesses are so that I can grow my business.
Here are three examples from my shop:
|Search for: Purple Hoop Earrings
My hoop earrings are laying flat. While this normally might be okay, in this category it seems like a disadvantage, since you can't as easily see the "hoop" shape that customers are seeking. This is a photo I'll probably retake.
|Search for: Halloween Jewelry
I like my owl earrings on black paper since it gives the photo the creepy look of the night sky. But I'm still debating whether it would be easier to see them on a white background. This is one of those wait-and-see situations where I'll check back later, since it's still fairly early for Halloween-related searches. If the number of views and hearts is low when Halloween searches are in full swing, then I'll change the photo to see if it makes a difference.
Search for: Autumn Leaves Earrings
These fall-inspired earrings are one of my "superstar" pieces, one of the most hearted pieces in my shop. I honestly don't know what I could do to make this photo any better. I feel confident that these will eventually find a home.
Beyond the Photos
For now, I'm concentrating on photos, but I could go into individual listings to better understand the choices my customers face and figure out why they might choose one item over another. It's not that one is necessarily better than another, just more in line with their personal taste, budget, lifestyle, etc. I'd never copy someone's description (Hello, I write for a living!), but I've learned a lot reading them. If I read a description that has a cute story about the inspiration behind a design, it makes me think about whether I have a cute story of my own to share.
As a result of my little game, I've retaken some photos and found that often the item will receive a "heart" soon after the change. So I'm feeling confident that this activity is worth the time.
If you're selling your work online, I'd love to know what you think. Who are the people in your neighborhood?