A few weeks ago, I suggested to my friend that she list her beautiful photography on Etsy after she knocked it out of the park at a recent art show. Her response was, “Why shouldn’t I just list them on eBay?” That’s a legitimate concern, and a question that deserves to be demystified for all artists. There are some key advantages to participating in a socially-based e-commerce community website that only allows (or, is supposed to only allow) handmade arts and crafts that artists should consider once they decide that setting up an online storefront is right for them. First, your listing will stand out easier on Etsy than on a huge e-commerce site like eBay. Think of it as the difference between having a canoe on a small pond instead of a giant ocean. While eBay might draw from a larger pool of shoppers, Etsy hones in on just one type of shopper- the person who is specifically looking to buy handmade items (insert corny joke about sailing in the “Specific Ocean” here). It’s by no means an intimately-sized online marketplace, though: as of 2013, the Etsy community hit a cool 30 million members.
track your inventory
Most artists and craftspeople are constantly setting up at art shows and craft fairs, selling their work, packing it up, creating more inventory and preparing for the next endeavor. Like any business, you’ll need to keep track of what sells, what doesn’t, and how many items you have in stock for the next event. This is the #1 reason why the “Sell Now” feature on the Sell on Etsy App is going to be your best friend if you are an on-the-go artist or craftswoman with work listed on Etsy. Are you going to hand write each and every sale in a ledger book at your event or type it into an Excel document in between customers? Doubtful, and if you are, you’re wasting valuable face time with potential customers.
“Sell Now” Feature
Art shows can get hectic and it seems like everyone wants to buy something all at once. “Sell Now” through Sell on Etsy is awesome for this reason, because it allows you to track your inventory on a real-time basis as you complete the sale, whether cash or credit. Screen shots below illustrate the simple, beautiful and easy to navigate app:
Adding new sale items
If you’re on the road often or in between functioning computers, adding new sale items through the Sell on Etsy App is even faster and easier to use than listing through the website on a desktop computer. I often shoot photos of my work during the daytime, edit them later, and then can’t contain my excitement long enough to open my laptop…so I start adding my items on the phone app in between checking my Instagram and Pinterest feeds before I fall asleep.
It’s like Christmas morning when you can wake up and check your Sell on Etsy app for your website’s analytics. While you’ll need to check the website from a computer for detailed analytics such as breakdown of web traffic visitors and search terms that landed shoppers on your page, you can view daily, weekly, and monthly visits, listing and shop favorites, reviews, and sale information on the Sell on Etsy app.
Growth of Mobile App Usage amongst shoppers
One of the reasons it is so important to choose a social media-based e-commerce site that offers a great user experience with their mobile app is because the use of apps on smartphones and tablets is exploding. 80% of the time consumers spend visiting a retail site on mobile is through an app, according to ComScore’s Gian Fulgoni. A September 2013 study proves that Etsy is hanging with the big boys in this category, with 29% of its 20 million unique visits coming from the mobile app. Etsy does a great job of providing visitor origin information and includes the mobile app data as well. Screen shots from my shop highlighting traffic from the Etsy app:
Etsy isn’t for everybody, but it’s definitely right for me, my cousin, my aunt, and Snooki!
Want to set up your own Etsy shop? Here are 40 free product listings, from me to you!
If you’d hurt yourself with a glue gun but love to shop arts and crafts, here is $5 to spend on Etsy!