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How to boost sales on Etsy: 24 actionable tips

Alexis Damen
Alexis DamenJune 4, 2024
How to boost sales on Etsy: 24 actionable tips

Are you ready to turn your passion into profit on Etsy? Whether you're just starting out or looking to boost your existing shop's performance, understanding how to effectively boost sales on Etsy is crucial. 

But standing out among millions of sellers can feel daunting. It requires more than just great products. You need smart sales and marketing strategies, proactive engagement, and high-quality product photos, among many other things.

In this article, you’ll learn 24 proven ways to improve your visibility, connect with more customers, and ultimately increase your sales on Etsy. From crafting compelling product descriptions to leveraging the power of social media, each tip is actionable. So, whether you're crafting handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, or unique home decor, these strategies will help you attract more shoppers and grow your business. 

Ready to take your Etsy shop to the next level? 

24 ways to increase your sales on Etsy

Feel free to go through this list of tips to improve your Etsy sales one by one or jump around to the ones that make the most sense for your store today. 

  1. Embrace Etsy SEO

  2. Create high-quality product photos

  3. Write compelling product descriptions

  4. Offer free and international shipping

  5. Run Etsy ads

  6. Use social media to tell your story 

  7. Implement email marketing

  8. Run promotions and sales (but not too often)

  9. Bundle products

  10. Encourage customer reviews

  11. Offer customization

  12. Engage with your Etsy community

  13. Update your inventory regularly

  14. Create a memorable branding experience

  15. Get involved in Etsy shop updates

  16. Participate in Etsy sales events

  17. Offer gift wrapping

  18. Collaborate with other sellers

  19. Use Etsy shop sections

  20. Create thorough shop policies

  21. Price your products competitively 

  22. Aim to earn an Etsy "Star Seller" badge

  23. Leverage user-generated content

  24. Monitor your analytics and celebrate your wins 

1. Embrace Etsy SEO 

Improving your Etsy search engine optimization (SEO) means using the right keywords that buyers might type into the search bar when looking for products like yours. Put these keywords in your product titles, descriptions, and tags. For example, if you’re selling handmade candles, you might use keywords like “natural soy candle” or “handmade vanilla candle.” This can help your products show up higher in search results, making it easier for shoppers to find you.

"Stay updated on SEO—change keywords and long tail keywords when needed," says Kari, owner of KariCeramics. "Updating descriptions or shipping times also seems worthwhile as Etsy loves to see their listings clean and fresh. Remove listings that are not performing well and most important, keep the pictures updated. We add new or edited pictures when listings are not performing well, or when a product has changed."

How to find the right keywords 

With any SEO strategy, whether it’s for Etsy or search engines, it’s vital to do keyword research to figure out the search terms your customers are typing into the search bar. You can find popular keywords that are relevant to your products by using the autocomplete feature on Etsy. 

Here are some examples of what comes up when I type in “handmade candles”. 

Find long-tail keywords (3-5 words) that relate to your product offering and use them in the title and tags of your Etsy listings. 

Etsy SEO and keyword best practices: 

  • You can use up to 13 tags in your product listings—use all of them to increase your search results. 

  • Use the exact keyword phrase in the title and tag. 

  • Focus on long-tail keywords, they are easier to rank for due to less competition. 

📚Further reading: What to sell on Etsy: Popular items & best practices to make money

2. Create high-quality product photos

According to an Etsy survey, 90% of shoppers said the quality of the photos was “extremely important” or “very important” to a purchase decision. Even more important than the retail price, shipping costs, and reviews. 

High-quality photos show off your products in the best light and attract more buyers. Make sure your photos are clear and well-lit, and try to take pictures from multiple angles. For example, if you’re selling clothing, show how it looks when worn (ghost mannequin photography is an affordable option for this), as well as close-up shots of the fabric and patterns. Good photos can make a big difference in convincing customers to buy.

“I've had my Etsy store for four years. I have learned so much! And Photoroom has been a phenomenal help!,” says Amy, owner of Ames Avenue Boutique. “Just last week I was dinking around in my shop and I ran across this pair of earrings that I have always thought were ADORABLE, but have hardly any views. I was complaining to my husband about these poor little earrings that I thought would be such great sellers, so I re-made some of my pictures, changed my thumbnail, and they sold a couple of days later! That, I swear, was all Photoroom! My Etsy shop and Photoroom are two of my very favorite things in life (after the grandkids!).”  

“In my opinion, what works best is the ‘clean’ photo and the set photo, showing how the object can fit into a house,” says Laura, owner of Etna Lava Rock Shop. “Thanks to Photoroom, I can create realistic lifestyle photos for my shop.” 

 “I have had an Etsy store since 2017 and Photoroom has been a game changer for me, says Rachel,” owner of Rachel Green Crafts. “Before, I had to use a fabric backdrop which didn’t look good. Over the years I’ve been switching over all the photos to Photoroom ones. Being able to completely white out the background means I can pretty much take photos anywhere now. I use Instagram and Facebook too, so I like the option to choose the photo size for the platform as I sell on several.” 

📌 Get started now with Photoroom’s AI photo editing tools. Whether you sell clothing, ceramics, beauty products, or jewelry use Photoroom’s Web and mobile app (Google or Apple) to elevate your product photos. Choose from a range of AI photo editing tools or upgrade to Photoroom Pro to access useful features like Batch Editor, HD quality, Smart Resize, and more.

3. Write compelling product descriptions 

Compelling and clear product descriptions can help you convert visitors into buyers. 

"Product descriptions need to be concise yet answer all customers' questions," says Kari. "Since there is a lot of competition on Etsy, you also want to write something memorable—your unique selling point." 

Each description should accurately detail what the product is, how it's used, and why it's special. Make sure to include any important features like size, materials, and care instructions. 

For example, if you're selling a handcrafted ceramic bowl, mention the type of clay used, the glazing process, its diameter, and whether it's dishwasher safe. Use bullet points for easy reading and include keywords that help your SEO. 

This product description from Etsy seller, KariCeramics is a great example: 

A good product description not only informs potential buyers but also helps them imagine how the product can fit into their lives, increasing the likelihood of a purchase. Remember to keep the tone friendly and approachable, as if you're talking directly to the customer, and invite them to reach out with any questions they might have. This approach helps clarify product details and builds a rapport with your audience, enhancing their shopping experience.

4. Offer free and international shipping

Free shipping 

According to Etsy, shoppers are 20% more likely to complete their purchase when the item is marked as shipping for free.

Offering free shipping can make your products more attractive to buyers, as many prefer not to pay extra for shipping. It can also increase your store's visibility. 

As of July 30, 2019, Etsy items that ship for free and shops that guarantee free shipping to buyers in the US on orders $35 and above have priority placement in US search results. Etsy also prioritizes these items wherever it advertises in the US—in email marketing, social media, and television ads.

📌 Pro Tip: You can include shipping costs in your product price if needed. For instance, if a necklace costs $10 to make and $3 to ship, you could list it for $13 with free shipping. This often encourages more sales because customers feel like they’re getting a better deal.

International shipping

Expanding your shipping options to include international destinations can significantly broaden your customer base and open your shop to buyers around the world, potentially increasing your sales. 

Make sure to communicate shipping costs and delivery times for different regions, and consider using Etsy’s shipping labels for accurate rates and customs information. This can help prevent any surprises for you or your customers and ensure a smooth transaction. 

5. Run Etsy ads

Etsy ads can help your products get more visibility so you can reach more potential customers. 

It can help your listings appear at the top of search results or on other relevant product pages. Start with a small budget, like $5 a day, and see how much more traffic and sales it brings to your shop. 

Here are some best practices for Etsy ads: 

  • Start with your bestsellers. You’ll have a better chance of driving ad traffic and boosting sales on products that you already know customers like. 

  • Test mid-range products. These products don’t get as many organic sales, but with more traffic, you might bump them up to best-seller status. 

  • Check performance (regularly). In the beginning, keep a very close watch on your ads to see which ones are working. If you notice ads with high views and no sales, consider turning them off. 

  • Evaluate your return on investment (ROI). What are your ads costing you? Are you still making a profit? 

"We carefully place money in Etsy Ads," says Kari. "It's important to monitor well what works and what does not. Moving around your budget can make a lot of difference."

6. Use social media to tell your story 

Use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest to promote your Etsy products. Share photos, behind-the-scenes videos, and special offers. For example, let’s say you have a handmade jewelry brand. You could post a picture or short video of you creating a piece of jewelry and share the story behind it. This not only markets your product but also helps you connect with potential customers on a personal level.

Laura from Etna Lava Rock uses Instagram to show a behind the scenes look at how she creates her ceramicized lava stone artwork. 

📌 GET STARTED: Create engaging, social media-ready product photos in seconds with Photoroom’s AI photo editing tools. Use the Web and mobile app (Google or Apple) to remove and replace backgrounds, add text, enhance your original images, and more.    

7. Implement email marketing

Collect emails from your customers at checkout or through a sign-up form on your blog or website. Send them updates about new products, exclusive discounts, or interesting content about how you make your items. For example, if you’re releasing a new line of pottery, you could send an email to your subscribers previewing the pieces, encouraging them to visit your shop. 

Etsy email marketing best practices: 

  • Set up an automated welcome email that new subscribers receive immediately after they sign up. Say thank you and let them know what to expect.  

  • Offer a discount (like 10% off your next order) in exchange for signing up. 

  • Use email to ask for post-purchase reviews. Depending on your email provider, you can automate these messages. 

  • Send regular emails without overwhelming or spamming your customers. The right number of emails depends on your business, but you could start with one email per week including new product updates, special offers, and behind-the-scenes content. 

8. Run promotions and sales (but not too often) 

Temporary promotions or sales can drive quick increases in traffic and purchases. You could offer a “buy one, get one 50% off” deal or a 20% discount on all orders over $50 for a limited time. This creates urgency and encourages buyers to take action before the deal ends.

Disclaimer. Make sure you don’t make the mistake of offering discounts too often. Doing this encourages your customers to wait for a deal rather than buying products at full price. 

9. Bundle products

Create product bundles that offer a slight discount when items are purchased together. For example, if you sell skincare products, offer a bundle that includes a face wash, toner, and moisturizer at a lower price than if bought separately. Bundles (like this mystery beauty box) can make customers feel like they’re getting more value for their money.

You might be interested in: Add a grey background to your pictures

10. Encourage customer reviews

Positive reviews build trust and credibility for your shop, and can greatly influence potential buyers. After a purchase, follow up with customers via email asking them to leave a review if they’re happy with their purchase. You could even offer a small discount on their next purchase as a thank you. 

"Outstanding customer service is one of my core company values, says Kari. "I put a lot of my time and effort into keeping customers satisfied. This ranges from frequent communication about order status and shipping to providing pictures on demand. For example, when a customer is interested in a unique colour combination, I gladly demonstrate how the pottery will look together."

11. Offer customization

Offering custom options lets customers feel like they’re getting a unique product. If it makes sense for your products, for example, let’s say you sell notebooks, you could offer to print the buyer’s name or a personal message inside (like this Etsy seller). Customization can often be a deciding factor for shoppers choosing between similar products.

12. Engage with your Etsy community

Join Etsy teams or participate in community forums and groups. This helps you connect with other sellers and learn from their experiences. You could also plan or participate in community events or challenges, like an “Etsy craft night,” where sellers and buyers meet to share their creations.

13. Update your inventory regularly

Keep adding new items to your shop regularly to keep it fresh and engaging. For example, if you make hand-painted glasses, try introducing new designs or color options every few months. Regular updates can bring back previous customers and attract new ones who see that your shop is active and updated. Publishing new listings can also help boost your Etsy SEO. 

"When I add new products varies over time, says Kari. "If a colour or a new piece is added to the collection then I have weeks where new listings are added each day. But when I have no new additions to the collection I will only add unique pieces and seconds (pieces with minor aesthetic imperfections) each month."

Etsy inventory best practices: 

  • Look for a common trend or pattern in your best sellers. How can you recreate this success with a new product? 

  • Identify a gap in your niche by looking at negative reviews on Etsy or other marketplaces including Amazon and eBay to see if there are opportunities to create better products. 

  • Offer seasonal items based on key holidays, dates, or trends in your region. 

📌 Pro Tip: Keep things interesting by expanding your product lines. For example, if you started with handmade scarves, consider introducing hats or gloves that match. Developing your product range can attract different types of customers and encourage previous customers to come back.

14. Create a memorable branding experience

Branding is about more than just a logo; it includes your shop’s overall look and feel. Use consistent colors and fonts, and develop a unique style that reflects your personality and products. For example, if you sell eco-friendly products, you could use green color themes and nature-inspired designs in your shop’s branding.

15. Get involved in Etsy shop updates

Use Etsy shop updates to post about what’s new or what you’re working on. This feature allows you to share photos and updates that appear on your shop’s homepage and in the feeds of people who have favorited your shop. For instance, if you’re an artist, post a photo of a new painting in progress, with a note about when it will be available for sale.

16. Participate in Etsy sales events

Join in on Etsy’s site-wide promotions like holiday sales or special event days. These are often advertised by Etsy, giving your shop greater exposure. Plan ahead to have items on sale that might attract buyers looking for deals during these times. 

📌 Pro Tip: Bookmark this community forum post to stay in the loop on upcoming sales events. 

17. Offer gift wrapping

Providing a gift-wrapping service can attract customers who are purchasing gifts. You can charge a small extra fee for this service or offer it as a free perk during holidays. Include a picture of your gift-wrapping options in your listing so buyers know what to expect.

📌 Pro Tip: Consider partnering with an Etsy seller that stocks gift wrap. If it’s a good fit, you could discuss cross-promoting each other via social media too. Which brings me to my next point. 

18. Collaborate with other sellers

Partnering with other Etsy sellers can help you reach a wider audience. You could collaborate on a product line or promote each other’s goods. For instance, if you sell handmade candles, you could partner with someone who sells handmade throw blankets for a special (cozy) promotion.

19. Use Etsy shop sections

Organize your listings into sections to make it easier for shoppers to navigate your shop. For example, if you sell accessories, you could create sections for jewelry, bags, and gifts, like Amy from Ames Avenue Boutique. Clear organization helps customers find what they’re looking for more easily, which can lead to more sales.

20. Create thorough shop policies

Make sure your Etsy shop policies are clear and concise. Cover returns, exchanges, shipping times, and other important details. A clear policy builds customer trust and can reduce confusion and disputes. For instance, clearly state your return policy duration and any conditions that apply.

21. Price your products competitively 

Ensure your products are priced competitively to attract buyers without undervaluing your work. Research prices for similar items on Etsy and consider factors like material costs, time, labor, and shipping. For example, if you sell handmade wooden toys, look at what others are charging for similar quality and complexity, then set your prices accordingly. You might also include a pricing range that reflects different options or sizes to cater to a broader audience.

22. Aim to earn an Etsy "Star Seller" badge

The Etsy "Star Seller" badge is awarded to shops that meet high standards for response time, shipping, and positive reviews. Striving for this badge can enhance your shop’s credibility and attractiveness. To earn it, make sure you respond quickly to messages, ship on time, and maintain high customer satisfaction. For instance, if a customer asks a question about a custom necklace, reply promptly and helpfully to enhance their buying experience, increasing the chances of a good review.

"The Star Seller badge comes naturally to me, as earning it is a direct result of keeping customers happy, says Kari. "My daughter Lin helps me with swift replies—she is more capable of responding quickly to customers as my hands are often covered in clay. I frequently update the estimated delivery dates, according to my processing times and the ever-changing carrier transit times. Communication, transparency, going the extra mile and utter careful packaging together with a unique and high quality product resulted in all those 5-star reviews which I am so humbled by and grateful for!"

23. Leverage user-generated content 

User-generated content (UGC), such as customer photos or testimonials, can be a powerful marketing tool. Encourage your customers to share photos of themselves using your products and tag your shop. You can feature these photos on your Etsy page and social media. For example, if someone buys a custom t-shirt from you, ask them to share a photo wearing it and use it in your listings or social posts. This not only shows potential customers how your products look in real life but also builds community and trust around your brand.

📌 Pro Tip: Curate more UGC by encouraging your customers to include a photo in their reviews like this Etsy seller

24. Monitor your analytics and celebrate your wins

Etsy provides analytics tools to help you understand where your traffic and sales are coming from. Check these regularly to see what’s working and what’s not. For example, if you notice that a lot of traffic comes from Pinterest, you might decide to focus more of your marketing efforts there.

Regardless of how many sales you have today, don’t forget to celebrate the small wins. Building an online business takes consistency and patience. 

Your creative partner in boosting Etsy sales 

Now that you have all these great tips to increase sales on Etsy, it’s time to put them to the test. Bookmark this blog article and try one to two strategies at a time. Your Etsy shop is as unique as the products you sell, so find what works best for your business and then double down on that. 

📸 Photoroom is here to help you create beautiful product photography regardless of what you sell online. Whether you sell clothing, ceramics, beauty products, jewelry, or something else, use Photoroom’s Web and mobile app (Google, or Apple) to elevate your product photos. Choose from a range of AI photo editing tools and upgrade to Photoroom Pro to access useful features like Batch Editor, HD quality, Smart Resize, and more.

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Alexis Damen
Alexis DamenI’m an amateur photographer curious about generative AI tools that boost productivity and creativity. Here at Photoroom, I write about visual GenAI and how it relates to growing your business.