How To Increase Etsy Sales In Your Shop (5 Tips)

By Scott Voelker •  Updated: 02/12/23 •  15 min read

As someone who is an active Etsy seller, I can safely say the only thing more frustrating than waiting for a product to get its first sale is waiting for it to get a second or third.

Although there are a huge number of factors, including waiting long enough for someone to see your product for the first time, I wanted to put together a list of the five most common reasons why your product isn't selling and how to fix it.

Let's jump into it.

Not Doing Proper Product Validation

One of the most common reasons I see products not getting any sales is because Etsy sellers are taking the Field Of Dreams “If You Launch It They Will Come Approach to Sales”.

Although there are many products you can launch successfully, even if they don’t have existing demand on Etsy, if your products aren’t selling, this is the first thing you should take a look at.

After all, if no one is looking for your product….no one will ever find your product to buy!

How To Know If This Is Your Problem

To figure out if the reason your product isn't selling is that you haven't done proper product validation, we need to go back to the beginning.

The very first thing we need to know is whether people searching for this product and trying to buy it.

To validate demand for a specific product, I like to use a tool from our friends over at EverBee.

Their product analytics tool allows us to very quickly understand how many people are actually buying the product you are trying to sell.

 To use this tool, the first thing you'll need to do is log into your Etsy account and type in the main keyword for your problematic listing.

For this example, let's take a look at” bass fishing hats”.

Once we've typed bass fishing hats into the search bar, you'll want to run EverBee's product analytics tool.

This is done by simply clicking on the product analytics portion of the EverBee overlay.

(Sidenote: If you don't currently have an EverBee account, you can use this link to sign up for their free version which allows you to analyze 10 product listings per month).

From here, we are going to sort them by Estimated Revenue In The Last Month.

If you are on one of the paid EverBee Plans, you can do this from inside of the EverBee overlay by clicking on the Estimated Revenue In The Last Month column.

If you’re on the free plan, you can still sort the data, but you’d need to click the “export as CSV” option and sort inside your favorite spreadsheet program.

Once you have your data sorted, you can take a look at how many units (and how much revenue) are being generated by the top-ranking products.

The number you are looking for here will truly depend on your goals (you may want to watch this video if you need some help there), but the general rule of thumb is that you’ll want to see at least 1 sale per day happening across the top 5 products (150 sales or more per month for the top 5).

That should be enough to show you that people are not only looking for the product you have to offer, but also buying it.

Pro Tip: If you have EverBee Pro, you can also take a look at two of the newer analytics that they’ve added to their Product Analytics tool, Views, and Product Conversion Rate. These two numbers will give you a much more in-depth understanding of how much volume potential is in the market.

How To Fix It

Unfortunately, although this is one of the most common issues with Etsy products that are not selling, there's not much we can do to fix it.

Although we do have the ability to generate demand from outside of Etsy using things like our email list, we can't force people to start looking for a product on Etsy if they are not already.

If a product listing is suffering from a lack of demand, the best thing you can do is do either repurpose that design for a product people are looking for or return to the niche validation and product research stage of this process to come up with new products that people are already searching for.

Targeting The Wrong Keyword/Search Term

If your product is not selling and you've already validated that there's enough demand on Etsy, there's a good chance that your listing may be targeting the wrong keyword or a search term.

How To Know If This Is Your Problem

Although we could use a quick look at some of the keyword volume tools that exist for Etsy, like the volume tool built into EverBee, Knowing the estimated volume doesn't tell us the whole story.

After all, just because someone is searching a specific keyword, it doesn't mean they are buying when they search using that keyword.

To get a better understanding of which keywords are leading to sales, you'll want to take a look at a few different things.

The first thing you'll want to do is take a look at your top five competitors (You can use the same EverBee report from when you verified the demand).

Rather than looking at search results, we're going to be looking at the individual listings.

What we're going to be looking for here are the keywords that are used in the title and description, as well as their order.

If we are trying to sell a bass, fishing, hat, and all of our competitor's titles say “hat for bass fishing” rather than “Bass fishing hat”, That's a pretty good indicator We are using the wrong keyword or search term.

Take a look through all of your competitor's listings, and make sure that your title and description include all of the same main keywords as those competitors.

Pro tip: If you have a paid plan with EverBee, you can also take a look at the tags being used by each of your competitors to make sure your keywords and tags match theirs as closely as possible.

How To Fix It

Unlike when a product does not have enough demand, the fix for using the wrong keyword search term is fairly straightforward.

First, make sure your titles and descriptions are using the same keywords and search terms as your competitors.

We don't want to copy their exact titles and descriptions, but it's okay to use them as inspiration.

Second, double-check your tags and make sure that they include as many relevant keywords as possible.

If you ran your competitor's listings through EverBee and saw their tag data, make sure to match their tags as closely as possible.

Lastly, one thing that is extremely underused by Etsy sellers is their pay-per-click data.

If you are running Etsy ads and have driven some traffic to that listing, even if it's never resulted in a sale, it will tell you the exact keyword that led to that visit.

This is HUGE and it allows us to stop playing a guessing game as to which keywords are driving the visits and sales to our competitor's listing.

Having Poor Quality or Unhelpful Images

If you double-checked demand and made sure that you have your title, description, and tags squared away, the third, most common reason why you're Etsy listing may not be getting sales is that you have poor quality or unhelpful images.

Having poor quality or incorrect images can be a problem in two different ways.

First, if your main image showing it as a search doesn't show the customer exactly what they're looking for, there's a much lower chance that will click into your listing to find out more.

Secondly, if they make it to your listing and don't see all of the different angles or details that they want to know about your product, they're likely to leave without buying.

How To Know If This Is Your Problem

Understanding whether your images are, what's causing the problem or not is a fairly simple two-step process.

First, take a look at your competitor's images and see what style of images they are choosing for their main image.

If your main image is very different from what they are doing, you may want to consider changing the style of your main image to attract the click.

The second step is to analyze your additional supporting images to ensure they're of the same quality and showcase the same or similar details as your competitors.

One of the most common mistakes I see sellers making is by uploading low-quality images or missing important details that customers want to know.

Take a look through the top three to five competitors' listings and jot down the different ways they are showing off the product.

If your images are of a lower quality or aren't showing the same types of details or uses of the products that your competitors are, this could be your problem.

If you have one of the paid versions of EverBee you can take a quick look at how well your competitor's listings are converting. Find the listings that are converting the best and use their images as a guide for what customers want to see.

How To Fix It

Thankfully, once we have an idea that this is our problem to fix is fairly straightforward.

To fix it, we simply need to populate our image spots with images that are similar to our top-performing competitors.

Ensure that these images show off as much detail of your product as possible.

Additionally, you'll want to make sure to use all of the image slots that Etsy gives you access to.

If you notice that many of your competitors are using the same mockups over and over again, consider purchasing a different type of digital mockup for your product and using it instead of using the same images your competitors are using.

You Don’t Have Any Reviews Or Have Poor Reviews

If you made it this far down the list without identifying your problem, chances are you're at least getting some traffic to your listing and it's just not converting into sales.

This tells me, that you have a conversion rate issue.

If you've already cleaned up your title, description, and images, the next thing you'll want to take a look at is whether or not you have any reviews.

Although reviews themselves (or the lack thereof) won't stop all buyers from purchasing your product, having high-quality reviews does massively increase your conversion rate.

How To Know If This Is Your Problem

The first thing you want to do to see if reviews may be your problem is to take a look at your listing.

If your product has a bunch of good reviews and nothing noticeably stands out as bad, it's likely not your problem.

However, if you notice that you only have a handful of reviews, none at all, or you've had a few customers with bad experiences, this could very easily be your problem.

Another approach that you can take to see if your views are what's stopping you from getting additional sales, is to take a look at the conversion rate calculations inside of EverBee.

This will allow you to quickly compare the conversion rate of your listing to that of your top competitors.

Since we've already taken a look at the other factors that play a role in conversion rate, if the conversion rate on your listing is lower than your competitors, reviews are likely the reason.

How To Fix It

Unlike many of the problems on this list, not having any reviews or having poor reviews is not as easily fixed.

After all, to get reviews we need sales, and to get sales we need some reviews…right?

Yes and no.

Like I said above, the lack of reviews (or a few bad reviews) won’t stop ALL buyers from buying our products.

Our mission now is to find the people who are less “review sensitive” and to get a bunch of them to our product page and to buy our product, so we can get a review from them down the road!

There are a few different ways to do this.

If you've already started building your external email list, this is a great use of those people.

Generally speaking, these are going to be previous customers or highly engaged people interested in our niche who already trust us.

Sending an email to our list letting them know about our underperforming product is a great way to get a few sales from buyers who are less interested in the overall score of the product and more interested in the fact that it's our product.

Additionally, although it may sound counterintuitive, this is also a great use for Etsy ads.

At this stage of the game, we need to be focused on driving as much traffic as possible to this listing in order to get a sale and hopefully a review.

Etsy ads allow us to do this in just a few clicks on a very low budget.

Both of those tactics are great for helping you get additional reviews, but what if your problem is that you have a couple of bad reviews dragging everything down?

How to Fix Bad Reviews

Adding more reviews on top by getting more sales is great, but there’s an easier solution.

As Sellers, our first instinct is to comment on that review, but I'm going to ask you to hold off on that for just a bit.

Rather than commenting right away, reach out to that customer directly and see if there's a way to resolve their issue.

In most cases, people leave a negative review as a reflex when they had a bad experience.

If we're able to show even a little bit of quality customer service, chances are they may change their review.

This has happened to us several times and most of the time, it is simply a miscommunication or a simple customer service issue that can be resolved.

If you're able to resolve their question or concern, there's a high likelihood that they will change their review and specifically mention your attention to customer service detail.

It not only helps you resolve the negative review but also generates a net positive for people who are more review sensitive. 

If you comment on the review before you reach out to the customer to try and resolve their issue, the review becomes locked and they're unable to change it later.

Only comment on the review and explain the situation after you've communicated with the customer and tried to resolve it directly with them.

You Are Overly Reliant On SEO

You've done the full deep dive into your listings and don't have any of the problems mentioned above, the most likely culprit at this point is that you simply don't have enough traffic.

The number one reason for this is that too many Etsy sellers are completely reliant on a single traffic strategy, SEO.

How To Know If This Is Your Problem

The normal conversion rate for an Etsy store is between two and three percent.

This means, for every 100 people who come to your listing, only two to three of them will end up making a purchase.

If your listing isn't getting any sales and you've already checked the other common problems, chances are you're not getting enough traffic to result in the sales you're expecting.

If you've created your listing and are simply waiting for the traffic to come flooding in from Etsy search, there's a great chance that this is your problem.

Unfortunately, one of the best ways to rank highly in Etsy search is by getting traffic and/or sales from our listing, which leaves us with a bit of a chicken and egg issue.

How To Fix It

Thankfully, the solution here is fairly straightforward.

We need to start driving our traffic to that listing.

Previously, I talked a little bit about using your email list and Etsy ads to drive traffic.

These are great ways to start to drive additional traffic to our listing and overcome the chicken and egg problem of getting sales and traffic to the listing.

You may also want to consider running Facebook carousel ads or turning on Pinterest ads to drive some of the initial traffic to your listing.

Chris Shaffer and I did a deep dive into five additional ways that you can drive traffic without Etsy SEO. 

You may want to check that video out below:

Quick Recap

If you've been struggling to get sales on your Etsy listings, chances are one of these five reasons is why.

The biggest potential issues are:

It does take a little bit of work to figure out the root cause, but by starting at the beginning and working through each of the five steps laid out in this article, you should be able to easily identify your problem and fix it.

Scott Voelker

Over the years I’ve helped thousands of people TAKE ACTION to UNLOCK their true potential on building their ultimate freedom business, by developing the skills to make them resilient, confident and FUTURE PROOF. I’ve clocked my 10,000 hours over the years working in the trenches myself and helping others build and grow their brands. I know the power in TAKING ACTION better than anyone and I’ve seen people lives changed as a result of it...including my OWN!