Note: The term ‘Etsy’ is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. This application uses the Etsy API but is not endorsed or certified by Etsy, Inc.
Welcome to the crafter’s paradise, we’ve just launched our direct integration with Etsy!
Etsy opens doors for existing stores who want to reach a new audience, and it’s also great for all you ecommerce newbies who want to open shop in an established marketplace full of potential buyers. Or maybe you already have an Etsy shop and want to expand your offering with print products. Whatever the reason, it’s possible to make it happen with Printful.
This blog post covers the basics of how to integrate Etsy and Printful. We’ll give you some ideas to figure out whether Etsy is the right platform for you, and go over some tips on how to make sales and get your products into the hands of Etsy shoppers.
An Introduction to Etsy
Etsy connects artists with customers around the world. The focus of this platform is selling handmade goods, vintage stuff, and craft supplies. So it’s a great place for consumers looking for unique products that aren’t available in big-name retail stores.
Etsy has grown astronomically since it was founded in 2005. Statista reports that more than 1.75 million sellers sold goods through Etsy last year, and 28.6 million buyers had bought something.
In 2013, Etsy expanded its definition of “handmade” and started allowing sellers to offer products made by outside manufacturers, but there are a couple of caveats:
- The outside manufacturer must meet Etsy’s standards
- Sellers must create the designs for their products
- Sellers need to prove their involvement in the creative process
- Sellers must be transparent about their products and how they’re made
So, products that are printed by Printful can be sold on Etsy as handmade items.
Is Etsy right for you?
Selling on Etsy gives you access to a new audience of people looking for unique, custom products. However, you need to consider whether the extra effort and fees are worth your time.
Your products and price
Would your products stand out on Etsy? Competition is stiff – there are a ton of other sellers that could be offering similar items as you. If your designs stand out and are unique from what’s already there, then great. If not, what makes you different? What’s your value proposition and why should customers choose you over the competition?
Also take a look at the average price of products that are similar to yours. What are they selling at? Can your prices compete? This is Etsy’s guide to pricing strategy, which goes over their recommendations.
Tip: You can sometimes get away with selling at a higher price point on Etsy, as customers can reasonably expect to pay more for a handmade item.
Who are your customers? Is your target audience likely to shop on Etsy? Identify your niche and who you sell to, and figure out if Etsy is a good place to reach them.
Setting up your store on Etsy is free and there are no monthly or membership costs, but there are still some fees to running the store. Sellers need to pay fees for creating and updating their listings, for checkout, etc. Take a look here for Etsy’s pricing structure.
Note: As of July 16th, Etsy’s transaction fee increased from 3.5% to 5%. This change also applies to the cost of shipping. All other fees, including listing fees, remain the same.
Setting Up Your Etsy Shop
The first thing you need to do is register an Etsy account, which is free. Once your account is set up, you can click Sell on Etsy to open your shop. Etsy walks you through the process here. The steps are as follows:
- Set up the preferences of your Etsy store – language, country, currency.
- Name your store – it’s possible to change this later.
- Connect to Printful – check out instructions here.
- Add and sync products – our product generator automatically creates products and their mockups when you upload your design. Choose your prices, edit the description texts, and publish your products.
- Set up billing, shipping, and taxes – enter your credit card information and billing address, create shipping prices and apply tax for your orders.
- That’s it! You are now an Etsy store owner. Congrats!
How to get sales on Etsy
If you do go the Etsy route and open your shop, you’ll have to work hard to get sales going and build a brand on this platform. These are some tips to help you get started.
Product photos and descriptions
We’ve written about this before. Regardless of your platform, you need professional photos that clearly show your products and descriptions that creatively and accurately describe what your customers need to know.
When people search for products on Etsy, the product photos are what they notice first. So it’s key to use photos that stand out. Use a photo that’s visually striking, with your product and design at the focus.
Write product descriptions with keywords in mind. Think of which words your customers are most likely going to use when searching for products like yours. And come up with a list of keywords you want to be associated with.
Make your products searchable
Make your products easily found on Etsy. As mentioned above, using keywords in your description is a good place to start, but there’s more you can do to get your products in front of potential buyers.
Tags help people discover your products in search. You have 13 tags to use per product, so think carefully. What are the main aspects of your products that customers should know about, and what are they most likely going to use to search for you? You also have 13 tags to use for the material of your products, so it’s another chance for buyers to find you.
2. Product titles
Add keywords in your product titles as well as the descriptions – this helps customers see specifically what you have to offer. Keep the more important words near the beginning of your title, as longer titles get cut off.
3. Product categories
Choosing your product categories helps your products pop up on broader searches, so narrow down all applicable categories.
The bottom line is to always keep your customers in mind. Which keywords would they most likely use? What information is most helpful for them? And be creative – use different keywords for different products. This both attracts people in different audiences, and it helps you identify what works and what doesn’t.
Monitor your Etsy stats
The Etsy Stats Tool is an excellent resource to see where your traffic is coming from and the top keywords you’re being searched for across different platforms. Use this information to better understand what’s working, where you need to improve, and how to do it.
Interact with your fans and customers
The great thing about Etsy is the opportunity to connect and interact with your customers. Be personal, reply to messages, and show your personality. When possible, ask for your fans to leave reviews of your store. This goes a long way to build your store’s credibility and show other potential customers that you already have fans that like what you do.
Sell the right amount of products
Not only does it make your store look more thorough and professional, but having a lot of products also helps your store in terms of search. The more products (with keywords and categories) you have listed, the more likely you are to be found.
Plus, the more products a potential customer has to browse, the more likely they are to find something they love and want to buy.
There isn’t a specific number to aim for. It depends on how many products you have and want to sell. And you don’t have to add your products all at once. Start with what you have, and build your selections as you go.
The Etsy Verdict
Selling your products on Etsy can be a profitable way to get your products to more people who are looking to buy unique items. You just have to consider the extra time and expenses it takes to open an Etsy shop.
And remember to keep experimenting with keywords and marketing tactics. Don’t be discouraged if your sales start out low, it could just be that you haven’t found the ideal sales strategy.
Have you opened a shop on Etsy? Share your experiences in the comments!