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Blog / Ecommerce platform guide / How to Sell Hoodies on Etsy in 6 Steps

Ecommerce platform guide

How to Sell Hoodies on Etsy in 6 Steps

How to Sell Hoodies on Etsy in 6 Steps
Lilija Karpjaka

By Lilija Karpjaka

15 min read

The humble hoodie has changed. What started as athletic gear is now a versatile fashion staple, blending couch comfort with street chic. Etsy’s vibrant marketplace showcases this shift with an array of styles, from bold prints to pastel hues and minimalist embroidery. Here, your designs can captivate a vast audience eager for that perfect blend of comfort and style.

The beauty of print-on-demand (POD) lies in its simplicity. It allows you to focus on what you do best—designing. The digital age has redefined what it means to be a creator, and your creativity is your currency.

And on Etsy, your creativity isn’t just seen—it sells. With 2M+ custom hoodie listings and some boasting 20K+ sales, the spotlight awaits.

Your key to unlocking this door? This little guide. To chart your course through this promising landscape, we’ve crafted a comprehensive six-step guide on how to sell hoodies on Etsy.

As you navigate this journey, remember—your designs are powered by innovation and a keen understanding of your audience. They embody the essence of modern creativity. Mastering this platform will pave a new way for you to bring your designs to life and rake in some $ along the way. 

Let’s just get the essentials out of the way first so you can get to creating.

A successful Etsy shop owner will rely on two critical decisions—defining a niche and understanding their target audiences. 

A niche is a specialized area of the market that’s aimed at a particular group of people with specific interests, needs, or preferences. 

It’s like finding a specific corner in a large room where certain individuals gather because they share a common passion or requirement that you can fulfill with your products or services.

Finding a niche is about spotting a gap in the sea of hoodies and claiming it as your own. Are you drawn to quirky, humorous designs or lean toward eco-friendly materials that speak to the environmentally conscious shopper? Do you want to offer custom designs? Maybe your strength is creating eye-catching designs that resonate with specific communities or fandoms. Identifying your niche is the first step in making your mark. It’s not just about what you love to design; it’s about finding where your passion meets customer demand.

Read more: 15 Print-on-Demand Niches to Watch in 2024

Who will you sell to?

Once you’ve pinpointed your niche, it’s time to dive deep into the world of your target audience. 

This isn’t just about knowing who might like your hoodies; it’s about understanding who needs them, who craves them, and who will rave about them to others. 

a group of people standing around a motorcycleSource: Pexels

Who are they? What do they value? Where do they spend their time online? Understanding your audience goes beyond demographics. It’s about getting into the mindset of your potential buyers, discovering what drives their purchasing decisions, and how your designs can become a part of their identity.

Who are they? Start with age, location, gender, and income level. But don’t stop there. Your audience also has hobbies, values, and lifestyles that align with your niche. Are they college students who love indie music, sustainability enthusiasts, or Pinterest natives who love the beauty of organized living?

What do they value? Understanding their values helps tailor your products and marketing messages. If they prioritize sustainability, highlight the eco-friendly aspects of your hoodies. If they value exclusivity, emphasize the uniqueness of your designs.

Why do they buy? Dive into the motivations behind their purchasing decisions. Is it for the style, the statement, or the comfort? Understanding the ‘why’ lets you craft compelling product descriptions and marketing messages that resonate deeply.

How do they communicate? Pay attention to the language and tone that your audience uses. Adopting a similar style in your communication can make your brand more relatable.

This dual approach of defining your niche and knowing your audience lays the groundwork for everything that follows. It informs your design choices, marketing strategies, and even how you tell your brand’s story. Armed with this knowledge, you’re not just throwing designs into the void but creating with purpose, precision, and passion.

Remember, in the crowded Etsy marketplace, originality sells. By carving out your niche and speaking directly to your core market, you’re not just selling hoodies; you’re offering a piece of identity, a slice of a community, and a dash of exclusivity. That’s the key to turning casual browsers into loyal customers.

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What’s your design theme?

With your niche clearly defined and your audience in mind, it's time to focus on what sets your brand apart: your design theme.

This visual and conceptual thread runs through each of your products, tying your collection together with a cohesive story. Your design theme is not just about aesthetics; it’s the soul of your brand, reflecting your vision, values, and the authentic appeal of your custom hoodies and other custom products.

a painting of different colors Source: Pexels

Discovering your theme

A design theme is the visual and conceptual coherence of your product designs. It’s the recurring style, motifs, and ideas that unify your products, making them instantly recognizable as belonging to your brand.

Developing a design theme involves selecting colors, patterns, styles, and other design elements that reflect your brand’s identity and appeal to your niche customer taste.

In short, it’s about creating a consistent look and feel that resonates with your brand identity and connects emotionally with your Etsy customers.

Your design theme could be anything from vintage nostalgia to modern minimalism or center around specific motifs like nature, urban landscapes, or abstract art. The key is finding a theme that resonates with you and your target market. What visuals do they gravitate toward? What story do you want your brand to tell?

Consistency is key

Once you’ve identified your theme, consistency becomes your best friend. This doesn’t mean every design looks the same, but each should be recognizably part of your brand family. Consistency in style, color schemes, and quality ensures that your customers know what to expect from your brand, building trust and recognition.

Every design tells a story

Whether a single image or a series of patterns, your theme should weave a narrative that speaks to your audience. Think about the emotions and messages your designs convey. Are they meant to inspire, provoke thought, or simply bring joy?

In essence, while your niche determines the specific market segment you aim to serve, your design theme is how you visually and conceptually present your products to that niche. 

2. Pick the best hoodies for printing or embroidery

Having defined your niche and honed in on your design theme, the next critical step in your journey is selecting the right hoodies to bring your designs to life and turn them into trending products.

Choosing high-quality hoodies that serve as the canvas for your designs and align with your brand’s values and customers’ expectations is crucial. The hoodie you select is more than just apparel. It’s a statement about your brand’s commitment to bringing the best to your customers.

Quality

High-quality hoodies look good and provide a superior feel, ensuring your designs are presented in the best possible light. Consider factors like fabric weight, material composition, and construction. A hoodie that feels good and holds up well over time will keep your customers returning.

Fit and comfort

Your hoodie’s fit and comfort level are crucial. Different styles appeal to diverse audiences. Do your customers prefer a classic fit, a more fitted silhouette, or an oversized look? Understanding your target audience’s preferences will guide you in selecting a style that meets their comfort and fashion needs.

Sustainability concerns

With consumers increasingly prioritizing sustainability, consider the environmental impact of the hoodies you select. Options like organic cotton, recycled materials, and eco-friendly manufacturing processes can resonate with eco-conscious customers and differentiate your brand in a crowded market.

Color and style options

The color and style of the hoodies you choose should complement your design theme and appeal to your intended audience. A versatile selection that ranges from classic neutrals to vibrant hues allows for creative expression and meets a broader array of customer preferences.

a screenshot of a person's body

Supplier selection

Partnering with the right supplier is critical. Look for suppliers that offer quality products, reliable service, and ethical manufacturing practices. Print-on-demand services like Printful take on the inventory and fulfillment process and provide a range of quality hoodie options that can be customized to fit your brand.

This careful consideration in selecting your hoodies will ensure that each piece you create captivates your audience and builds loyalty and trust in your brand.

Now, with your canvas selected and your vision clear, it’s time to bring your ideas to life. 

Embrace the freedom to experiment, innovate, and express your authentic style. Whether you’re drawing from personal inspirations, trending themes, or the most popular Pinterest pins, each design is a step toward defining your brand’s legacy. And you’re not alone on this journey.

New to designing? Try Printful’s Design Maker. This intuitive tool empowers you to craft, tweak, and perfect your designs, ensuring they are as compelling on fabric as they are in your imagination.

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Visit Etsy.com/sell, and click Get started. Then, follow the prompts to set up your shop preferences, including your Etsy shop name, country, currency, and payment setup. Choose a shop name that reflects your brand​​.

Create your brand and logo

Your brand and logo represent your shop’s identity. Use tools like Canva Pro or Printful Logo Maker to design a professional-looking logo and establish a cohesive brand theme that resonates with your target audience​​.

Take quality product photos

High-quality images are crucial for attracting customers. Ensure your photos are clear, well-lit, and showcase your products from multiple angles. Etsy allows up to ten photos per listing, so take advantage of this to provide a thorough visual description of your items​​. 

If you’re using Printful, you can create and download high-resolution mockups for free.

List your products for sale

Craft detailed and persuasive product descriptions that highlight the benefits and features of your items. Use relevant keywords to improve your visibility in Etsy searches and set realistic prices that cover your costs while being competitive​​. We’ll cover more on this in the next chapter.

Learn more: How to write product descriptions that sell

Fulfill orders and ship

a screen shot of a box

Prepare your products for shipping promptly after receiving orders. Utilize Etsy’s shipping labels feature for convenience, and consider offering various shipping options to meet customer needs​​.

Note that if you work with a POD provider like Printful, your orders will be fulfilled automatically unless you state otherwise. 

Customize your Etsy storefront

In the Shop Manager, scroll down to Sales channels and click on your new store. 

Add personal touches to your shop with a banner, shop icon, and about section. Tell your story and connect with customers by sharing the inspiration behind your products and any unique processes involved in creating them​​.

a screenshot of a video

Make sales and get paid

Promote your shop through social media, word of mouth, and Etsy advertising options. Ensure your payment preferences are set up correctly to receive funds from your sales smoothly and securely​​.

If you’re more of a visual learner, here’s our YouTube guide.

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Creating listings on your Etsy shop is more than just uploading products; it’s about crafting an experience that invites engagement, trust, and sales. Here are some best practices to ensure your listings not only stand out but also convert browsers into buyers.

High-quality photos

Visual appeal can’t be overstated on Etsy. Include clear, well-lit photos from multiple angles to showcase the details and quality of your products. Utilizing all available photo slots can significantly increase buyer confidence​​.

Effective titles and tags

Your title and tags should be both descriptive and keyword-rich. This doesn’t mean stuffing them with irrelevant keywords but thoughtfully incorporating terms potential buyers might use to find products like yours. Prioritize keywords based on relevance and search volume, and use Etsy’s search bar suggestions to guide your choices​​.

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Detailed descriptions

Your product descriptions should answer all potential questions a buyer might have. Edit product descriptions to include details about materials, size, care instructions, and unique features. Crafting descriptions that tell a story or share the inspiration behind the item can also forge an emotional connection with customers.

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Here’s a description example of one of the top hoodie sellers, quartzdesignstudio

a screenshot of a phone

It’s both inviting and descriptive! Plus, the Etsy seller uses emojis, making the copy both fun and eye-catching for the reader.

Competitive pricing

Do some market research for similar products on Etsy to understand the average price range. Your pricing should cover your costs and provide a fair profit margin while remaining attractive to your target audience. Consider the perceived value of your product and how enhancements or unique selling points might allow for a higher price point​​​​.

Clear shipping information

Ensure transparency regarding shipping costs, processing times, and any potential delays. Being clear about shipping fees builds trust and enhances your item's attractiveness. If possible, consider offering free shipping; this strategy can notably boost your product’s appeal, as Etsy prominently features items with free shipping options or no shipping fees.

Leverage Etsy SEO

Understanding and implementing Etsy search engine optimization (SEO) best practices can dramatically improve your shop’s visibility. This includes using all 13 tags, engaging titles, and ensuring your shop sections are keyword-optimized. Remember, relevancy is key, so keep your keywords focused and aligned with buyer intent​​.

Learn more: Etsy SEO

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Encourage reviews

Positive reviews build trust and credibility. Encourage satisfied customers to leave feedback by providing exceptional products and customer service. Consider including a polite request for a review, but avoid pressuring buyers​​.

Go to your Etsy account > Shop Settings > Info & Appearance and change the default message under Message to Buyers.

a screenshot of a computer

Update listings regularly

This platform favors active Etsy shops, so regularly updating your listings can boost visibility. This could be as simple as tweaking a title, updating photos, or adjusting your tags based on seasonality or trending searches​​.

By adhering to these best practices, you’re not just listing products; you’re building a brand that resonates with your audience and stands out in Etsy’s competitive marketplace. Remember, success on Etsy is a marathon, not a sprint. Continuous optimization, learning from customer feedback, and adapting to trends are your keys to long-term growth and success.

Optimize for Etsy search

Begin with the basics—ensure your shop and listings are optimized for Etsy’s search engine. Use relevant keywords in your titles, tags, and descriptions. High-quality photos and detailed product descriptions also improve visibility​​ on Etsy search results.

Leverage social media

Social media platforms are invaluable for promoting your Etsy shop. Share your products, behind-the-scenes content, and customer reviews on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Each platform has its own strengths, so tailor your content accordingly. For instance, Pinterest is great for lifestyle shots, while Instagram Stories can be used for limited-time offers or behind-the-scenes peeks​​​​.

Email marketing

Build a mailing list and keep your subscribers engaged with updates, exclusive offers, and insider insights into your creative process. Email marketing allows for direct communication with your audience, fostering a stronger connection with your brand​​.

Run Etsy ads

Invest in Etsy ads to increase the visibility of your listings. Etsy’s advertising platform allows you to target potential customers already searching for products like yours. Start with a small budget and adjust based on the performance of your ads​​.

  1. On Etsy.com, select Shop Manager.

  2. Choose Marketing.

  3. Select Etsy Ads.

  4. Set your daily budget. This should be the maximum amount you’re willing to spend to advertise your items per day. The default minimum daily budget is $1.00. You can change your budget at any time.

  5. Select Start advertising.

These ads may show your items throughout Etsy. This includes Etsy Search, Category Pages, and Market Pages on both Etsy.com and the Etsy app.

Collaborate with influencers

Partner with influencers and bloggers who resonate with your brand and target audience. They can introduce your products to a broader community through sponsored posts, reviews, or giveaways​​.

Participate in Etsy Teams and Forums

Engaging with the Etsy community can increase your shop’s visibility and provide valuable insights from fellow Etsy sellers. Etsy Teams offer support, collaboration, and promotional opportunities​​.

Offer promotions and discounts

Entice new customers and reward loyal ones with discounts, sales, and coupons. Limited-time offers can create urgency and boost sales. Consider offering free shipping, which is a powerful incentive for Etsy buyers​​.

Implementing a multifaceted marketing strategy can significantly increase your Etsy store’s reach and revenue. Remember, effective marketing is about consistency and engagement, so keep your efforts sustained and focused on building relationships with your audience.

Is it worth selling hoodies on Etsy?

There are benefits to Etsy dropshipping. Selling custom hoodies on Etsy can be profitable due to its large customer base of 92M+ active buyers. The platform’s growing popularity and increased marketing efforts offer significant opportunities for sellers​​. Print-on-demand particularly benefits new sellers, allowing for low startup costs and risk-free inventory management​​. 

Etsy makes it more difficult for sellers to use dropshipping (compared to most other platforms), so there aren’t that many POD sellers on the site. This means there’s little competition, which gives new dropshippers on Etsy an easy advantage.

If your business or product concept aligns with what Etsy is looking for, leveraging the platform for your niche product could be a lucrative venture. Etsy is known for supporting niche markets, providing a platform where unique categories thrive. The site’s organization into specific merchant categories makes it simpler for potential customers to stumble upon your business while navigating through related categories and search results.

However, challenges include competition with non-handmade goods, frequent platform changes, increasing seller fees, and the need for effective marketing and SEO strategies to stand out​​. Success on Etsy requires time, effort, and a strategic approach to navigate these challenges and capitalize on the platform’s potential.

Ready to sell some hoodies?

Embrace the rewarding process of starting a clothing brand, celebrate your milestones, and keep the dialogue with your audience open and vibrant. The path to success on Etsy is paved with persistence, creativity, and a genuine passion for sharing your craft. As you continue to grow and refine your approach, you’ll find that your Etsy store is not just a shop; it’s a destination for those who seek the joy and beauty in original works of art.

Here’s to your success on Etsy—may your online store flourish and your creations inspire.

author

By Lilija Karpjaka on Feb 28, 2024

Lilija Karpjaka

SEO Content Writer

Lilija is an SEO content writer at Printful. She's passionate about ecommerce, and in her spare time, she's an avid reader of various book genres.

Lilija is an SEO content writer at Printful. She's passionate about ecommerce, and in her spare time, she's an avid reader of various book genres.