Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Traffic? Is it always good for an Etsy Shop?

Some of you may be shocked by the title of this post.  Allison? really?  Of course traffic is good for an Etsy shop! Well, to answer that, let me tell you this- No traffic is flat out bad traffic for an Etsy store, but some traffic is better than others. 

Going back to the ideals of the how-to package your Etsy products effectively and efficiently post I did the other day, time is money in a business and not everything you hear about how to make your Etsy store successful is as effective and efficient as the rest.  That means not every way that you bring traffic to your store is going to be as effective as other options.

So there are about a billion ways to bring people to your shop, but for the purpose of keeping this post [relatively] short, I am going to boil those down to two different ways:

1) Blind Dates: People see your link somewhere like the Etsy forums, teams, blog links, etc and click on it just because they are generally curious and/or click happy. They know nothing about your shop except the name, possibly website address, and possibly avatar.  (Clever name right?!)

2) Intentional Views: People see a photo of a product that your sell and click on it to find out more.

Now that you know my categories, which one do you think will be more effective?  In one scenario, the blind date, the potential customer, if you can even call him/her that, doesn't know a thing about your shop.  S/he's not interested in purchasing anything from your shop because s/he doesn't even know what's there.  In the second scenario, the intentional views, the potential customer sees your product, therefore knows what you offer, and chooses to check it out further.  This person is not just a happy link clicker, this person really wants to know about your product.

Wedding Favor Tin
So.... that second scenario, the traffic from intentional views, is by far going to be more effective.  These customers have seen your product, like it, and at least follow the link to buy it or find out more.  These traffic sources are more effective.

There are lots of ways to make that happen.  The My Etsy button for instance (see my how-to here) allows customers to see your shop without counting it as "views" on your Etsy shop stats.  If they click on a product (thus actually counting as a view in Etsy shop stats), it's because they liked what they see and are legitimately interested in it.  AKA More likely to purchase it.  So, to increase more legitimate views, get your products out there!  Add the My Etsy button to your Facebook page.  Add the Etsy Mini to your blog.  Be sure to put pictures of your products on your blog and be sure to link them up!   You are your own best advocate! Get a Pinterest, a flickr, court blogs to feature you.  There are lots of ways and if you check back later today, I will give you an in-depth tutorial on how to grow your business using Pinterest.  It's easy (aka fast) and effective. Lots of people say sign up for it to grow your Etsy business- I'll tell you how to use it after you sign up to get your products out there.

In closing, blind dates don't always turn out badly, wasting your time.  You may find the love of your life.  AKA- someone who randomly clicks on your link somewhere may end up purchasing 5 items from your shop and come back for more later so don't stop commenting on team forums, blogs (especially not blogs), and such "Blind Date" tactics.  They are valuable.  But remember the chances for this true love is much slimmer than the intentional viewer.  Be sure to get those product photos out there!

Lucy Blair, in her How-To-Quit-Your-Day-Job post on Etsy, made a great point that Etsy shop owners and current buyers already know about Etsy and how to use it to find their perfect products so she insists on focusing a good chunk of time on bringing non-Etsians to your shop.  (Side note: This article is a must read.  It is filled with tons of nuggets of wisdom! see it here)  Those teams forums... those people know about Etsy.  They know how to find your shop.  That blog about weddings that features products every day... those readers might not. 

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