Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Etsy Shop Branding Tips


Etsy Shop Branding

Having my own Etsy shop has been both fun and rewarding. I first opened in October of 2012 and so far have made 16 sales. Considering it's only been three months I'm actually quite thrilled!

Just recently though have I realized the importance of branding. I go from shop to shop and ask myself, "why does this person have twice as many sales - even with similar items and prices?" Then I finally answered my own question, "Because their shop looks nicer." 

When you first click on an Etsy shop you're (hopefully) greeted with a banner. Next thing you're most likely to look at is their items, which means their pictures. If your banner is lacking, or not very pretty, it's already disappointing. If their item pictures are blurry, too busy, not well lit or overall just not appealing to look at, there's another disappointment. 

People are more likely to purchase something from a shop that looks clean, organized, professional and pretty. 

But it takes a lot more than a good banner and pictures to have successfully branded your shop. You need to ask yourself some important questions. 

1. What are you selling?

This is probably one of the most important factors. If you're selling mid-century vintage items you need to reflect that in everything from your banner, business cards, avatar, and even your descriptions. You wouldn't want a dark, gothic banner if you sell handmade baby clothes, unless you sell gothic baby clothes.

2. Who is your target audience?

An important factor for every business. If you sell baby clothes, your target audience is going to be parents. If you sell dog collars, you want to appeal to dog owners. Take a look at what you are selling and try to think of who would buy it. Even make a quick survey to find out if you want to. 

3. Who are your competitors?

It's a good idea to check out shops similar to yours to find out what works and what doesn't. Like I mentioned above, I would find shops that had thousands of sales and some that had less than a hundred and I would compare them. Etsy is a community based site though, so while we want to learn from the Etsy-greats, we don't want to just copy them or try to sabotage them. 

4. What personality or emotion do you want your shop to have?

I sell mostly 1960's and 70's housewares. It's colourful, fun and pretty groovy. I want to show that more in everything I do. If you sell eco-friendly vegan soy candles, you might want to mention that and try to evoke a very relaxed, earthy feel to your store.

5. What makes your Etsy shop different from others?

You sell knitted hats, and so do a bazillion others on Etsy. So why should I buy your hat over that other sellers? What makes it special? If you use organic cotton yarn, that would make it different than the person who only uses sheep wool. 

Compare my items to my shop banner:

My Etsy Shop Banner

Hopefully I have portrayed my items well.

A few more tips:

Another thing you really want to consider is your brand's colours! Mine are green and yellow. Why? Because those were very popular colours from the decades my items were made. I wouldn't have a baby pink banner if I were selling leather biker jackets. 

Send out the right message! Don't have a super busy pattern with rainbow colours on your banner if all of your items are very neutral and plain. 

Don't forget to be original! The best way to become successful is to just be you. Don't bother with trying to copy other people or act like something you're not because it will show through and you will look like a phony. 

And finally - incorporate your branding in everything that you do! Your banner, avatar, shop description, business cards, logo, packaging, tagline, pictures and profile. 

I hope this was at least a little helpful! 


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