You have a talent for making creative products or curating vintage goods. “You should think about opening your shop or selling it online,” you’ve been told over and over.
But where do you start? After all, it’s a wild, wild world on the world wide web. Well, you don’t have to look too far. This could be as simple as starting an online Etsy store.
For the uninitiated, Etsy is an online marketplace that allows you to sell handmade items and vintage goods. Etsy is a rapidly growing platform that saw over 45 million buyers only in 2019. That is a massive market for someone who is just starting.
You may be flooded with a lot of questions about:
- How to start an online Etsy store?
- How much does it cost to set up the store?
- Do you need a license?
- How do you start selling on Etsy successfully?
- Is it even worth it?
In this article, we’ve listed 9 steps to walk you through how to start an online Etsy store successfully:
Step 1: Know Your Niche
By knowing your niche, we mean deciding on the unique selling point or USP for your online Etsy store. It would be best if you choose a category that you want to sell under.
For example, you may sell under a specific category such as handmade origami greeting cards or self-curated vintage items for home decor. Ensure that it is your area of expertise and experience and that there is a demand for that product.
Step 2: Understand The Online Marketplace
Once you have decided on your niche, it is important to analyze some external factors around your online Etsy store. This could be your target market size, the segment of customers (based on age, gender, etc.) that you intend to market to, and also your competition online.
It is imperative to understand what your fellow Etsy sellers are putting up for sale, how they are selling, how they are branding it, and how much they are pricing these items at. This analysis can help you gain insights before you make some crucial decisions.
Step 3: Create An Account
Once you have analyzed your product and market, it is time to create your very own Etsy account. Etsy is free to sign up, but it does charge listing fees.
Apart from this, it charges transaction fees and also payment processing and shipping fees. It’s simple to start an online Etsy store, but make sure that you have certain things ready such as the budget to pay your transaction fees. More on this in the next steps.
Step 4: Brand Your Store
Once you are registered, it is time to christen your business. Give your Etsy store the name it deserves. Go ahead, be creative! Research the brand name to ensure that it is unique and has not been taken by anyone else.
Once you’ve named it, fill in your bio and add a personal photo. Writing a bio helps connect with your buyers because you are telling a story about your passion and where it all started. This will help you develop an instant connection with potential customers.
Search your .store domain NOW!
Step 5: Create Your Product Listings
The next step is to start listing your products with their listing fee in your store. Ensure that you create interesting Etsy listings with catchy product titles, brief but informative product descriptions, and professional-looking photos.
Ensure that product photos have alternate angles and make sure to show every unique detail of the product. Take as many pictures as required to give the customer a complete understanding of what to expect. You don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver.
An essential aspect of product descriptions is perhaps keywords and SEO. Use the right keywords and tags to your advantage by researching the words that are most commonly used to search products under your category.
Remember, when users search for anything on Etsy, the Etsy Search algorithm works to return the most relevant matches. A lot depends on your Etsy listings attributes along with good use of Etsy search.
Etsy comes with an option where you can also customize how your store looks for an additional fee.
Step 6: Stock Your Online Etsy Store
When it comes to stocking your Etsy store craft supplies, it is recommended that you have at least 20 products to start with.
While the process might be time-consuming, it is completely alright to have a few items, to begin with. You can always keep adding on-the-go. You can then choose to add new items monthly or weekly; however, you prefer.
Step 7: Determine Your Packing and Shipping Options
It is always wise to plan the packing shipping process in advance when you’re planning to start an online Etsy store. Do not wait until your first sale to decide on how you are going to ship the order.
Many buyers want expedited shipping. Keeping your customers waiting is one of the worst ways to do business.
Fortunately, to your relief, Etsy gives you options for printing shipping labels, calculating shipping charges, and even tracking the package, right from the store.
Consider adding a personalized note, given that you are selling items that are probably handcrafted or personally curated. This will help you establish a deeper connection with your customers and develop strong brand recall.
You may also include a small freebie or coupon that may drive the customer to return to your store, and thus, enhance customer loyalty.
You can read more about shipping here.
Step 8: Marketing Your Online Etsy Store
Now that you have gone through how you can go about selling items on Etsy, it is time to let others know that you are finally in business! How do we do that?
Social media is perhaps one of the best platforms to promote your store. You can share your store link and product details among your networks. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are all great choices for this.
Make clever use of hashtags to drive more traffic to your store. Ensure that you are consistent with your posts and also interact with potential customers on social media.
Step 9: The Business of It All
Now that you know how to start an online Esty store, the next step is building the business. After all, your Etsy store craft supplies is a business, and it must be treated like one. This implies that you will need to follow the same laws that apply to any other business in your region or state.
Firstly, you will need to choose what kind of business you want to own: whether it is a sole proprietorship or a partnership. After you select your business structure, you would have to file the necessary paperwork as required by your jurisdiction.
Also, check if you need to acquire a license or permit for selling items online. All this can understandably be intimidating; however, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the law. You can read more about policies on the Etsy website.
Knowing how to start an online Etsy store is not rocket science; so if you were afraid of it or simply procrastinating it, these 9 steps should help you gather enough confidence in starting an online store today. Whether you are a creative genius or someone with an eye for vintage, turn your craft into a lucrative business.