How To Stand Out on Etsy

Alex Galindo

8 mins read

Despite all the rising platforms and marketplaces in the world of e-commerce, Etsy remains to be a favorite among many creators and their customers. This 17-year-old marketplace has become a haven for handmade and vintage items, from jewelry and clothing to furniture and art. And with gross merchandise sales (GMS) amounting to $136 for every active shopper, there’s no doubt that there’s money to be made.

But standing out on Etsy can be a daunting task, especially with the sheer number of sellers that are active on the platform. And since almost every shop can offer something unique and special to niche-specific consumers, making sure your brand gets exposed to the right audience can be quite tricky.

Thus, in this guide, we’ll explore some of the best practices to help you stand out on Etsy and make sure your shop gets noticed. Let’s dive right in.

Optimize Your Listing

When users shop on Etsy, there’s a good chance that they’ll be looking for something specific. This is why it pays to be as descriptive and detailed in your product pages as possible.

Start by optimizing your item titles and descriptions so that they’re SEO-friendly; this means using keywords and relevant phrases so that your listings appear in the top search results. Additionally, make sure to provide dimensions, materials used, and other pertinent details about the item. When a shopper sees all the info they’re looking for with just one glance, there’s a bigger chance they’ll hit the “check out” button without any hesitation.

Crafting a Compelling Title and Description

Now, optimization does not necessarily mean solely focusing on SEO and foregoing creativity. After all, a title and description should also be able to grab the attention of your buyers.

When writing your titles and descriptions, focus on utilizing language that your target audience can easily relate to. Also, don’t be afraid to showcase your personality and inject a little bit of humor in your descriptions. This will help you create a unique voice for your brand and make it more memorable to shoppers.

You can also make brand-specific names and novel titles for your products, as this will make them stand out from the competition. For example, if you’re selling custom tote bags to artsy college students, try giving them cute names like “Cosmic Canvas” or “Starry-Eyed Satchel.”

Using Keywords Effectively

Achieving the perfect balance between using relevant keywords and making your titles and descriptions captivating is key. Dabbling too much in the technical aspects of keyword-stuffed titles can make them sound robotic and not very attractive.

To effectively use keywords, you can use Etsy keyword tools like KeySearch. Pick one focus keyword and sprinkle it throughout your product description—just make sure that it is found in the first 40 characters of the text. You can also get some related long-tail keywords to get even more precise about the target market for your product.

Understanding The Importance of High-quality Photos

high resolution mockups on Etsy, print on demand mockups for Etsy

Above mockup sold by RattyTank on Etsy

Nobody would look at a blurry, low-resolution photo and think, “I’ll take it.” This is why having high-quality images in your shop is crucial.

Investing in a good camera or smartphone with a high-resolution lens is essential for capturing detailed and vivid product shots. If you don’t have the time for a pictorial session and your business is selling custom merch items, you can use design tools like Canva’s Smartmockup or Awkward Styles’ free mockup generator for your print on demand products.

Using Tags and Categories

Etsy allows you to use up to 13 tags per product listing, so be sure to fill it up with relevant keywords that can help shoppers find your products. Don’t be afraid to use specific, long-tail phrases to increase your chances of appearing on search results.

You should also make sure that you select the right categories for your items; this will help buyers narrow down their search results when they’re looking for something specific.

Build a Strong Brand

Etsy branding example, example of branded shop on Etsy

Shoppers don’t just look at the items they’re buying; they also take into consideration the brand behind them. After all, the credibility of the seller is just as important, if not more, than the product itself.

However, establishing your branding isn’t a one-time thing. You have to build it, nurture it, and make it stronger by making sure that everything that you put out there reflects your business’ identity, core values, and product offerings.

Creating a Consistent Look and Feel for Your Shop

One of the most obvious ways to strengthen your brand and create a great shopping experience for buyers is by making sure that all the elements in your shop have a consistent look and feel.

While Etsy’s store customization is limited, you can still add some extra touches to your shop by including a cover photo, logo, and banner that reflects your branding well. Pick a color palette that you can use for all your product photos, as well as for the backgrounds of your shop page. This color palette, along with the fonts or typography styles that you use, should be consistent throughout all your shop elements and social media campaigns.

The Importance of Having a Unique Selling Proposition

If there’s one thing in business 101 that you should remember, it’s the importance of having a unique selling proposition.

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what sets your shop and products apart from the competition. It’s the feature that makes your shop and items stand out in a crowded marketplace. For instance, if you plan on selling shirts and accessories with silly and quirky designs, you can focus on being the go-to shop for humorous apparel and accessories personally curated by you!

Building a Strong Social Media Presence

Standing out on Etsy doesn’t stop at establishing your brand within the confines of the platform. It also helps to bring your brand out of Etsy and onto social media channels like Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter in order to reach a wider audience.

You don’t need to have a strong presence in every channel; pick and choose the ones that make sense for your business. For example, if the majority of your target market is on Pinterest and Instagram, then focus your efforts there first before moving on to other platforms.

Additionally, don’t forget to make sure that you’re utilizing all the features available for your social media channels. Use the stories feature on Instagram, run promotions or giveaways for your followers, and add tags to all your posts so that more people can find your shop. You may even work with influencers to get the word out about your business and grow your following. Nowadays, more and more shoppers trust transparent reviews from their favorite social media figures than those salesy ads they often see.

Use Etsy Analytics to Your Advantage

The platform itself already offers a wide range of data tracking and analytics tools, so use these to your advantage. And if you want to step up your data tracking game, there are plenty of third-party tools that you can use to get more insights from your online store. These include Marmalead, Putler, Sale Samurai, and more.

The key is to be able to assess how customers interact with your shop, which products they’re buying and why, what campaigns drive more sales or traffic to your shop, what kind of language resonates with your customers, and so on. By understanding these metrics, you’ll be able to fine-tune your shop and tailor it to be more effective.

Tracking Your Sales and Customer Engagement

Tracking your sales is the most straightforward way to assess how well your shop is performing. You can monitor your sales daily, weekly, or monthly depending on what works best for you and your business. Your Etsy account’s built-in search analytics gives you access to the following data that you can use to measure your sales performance:

  • Total Earnings: The total earnings refer to the total amount of money you made from all your sales within a specified period.
  • Revenue: The revenue per search query tracks sales by individual search terms.
  • Orders: Similar to the revenue statistic, the orders statistic tracks the number of orders attributed to each individual search term.
  • Average Order Value (AOV): This statistic helps you understand how much buyers are spending on each individual order on average.
  • Conversions: The conversion rate measures the number of shoppers that placed an order after clicking on a search result or listing.

There are also KPIs in the search analytics that specifically measure customer engagement. These include:

  • Shop Visits: The number of visitors to your shop or listings.
  • Favorites: The number of times a product is added to a shopper’s favorites list.
  • Visits Converted to Sales: The percentage of shop visits that resulted in a sale.
  • Visits per Impression: The number of visits your shop received for every instance it was listed and viewed on the search results.

Using Data to Improve Your Etsy Shop and Listings

By tracking the KPIs mentioned above and trying to see how they work as a whole, you can start to get a clearer picture of what works in your shop and what doesn’t. Once you understand your customers better, you can make the necessary changes to your shop and listings to better serve their needs.

For instance, if you find that shoppers aren’t converting as well as you’d like them to, then it might be time to change up your listing descriptions or photos. Or, if you find that certain search terms don’t yield as many orders or favorited items, then it might be time to change the way you’re optimizing your titles and tags.

Tracking these KPIs is also a great way to measure the success of any promotional campaigns you might be running. If a certain promotion isn’t driving the desired results, then it may be time to try something different. Try to A/B test different methods to determine what would actually resonate with your target shoppers.

Engage With Your Community

One of the things that set Etsy apart from other e-commerce marketplaces is its strong sense of community. Engaging with this vibrant community is an important part of running a successful Etsy shop. Plus, if you’re catering to a very specific niche, chances are there’s a whole community of shoppers who are interested in what you’re selling.

What you need to do is to take the time to participate in conversations and connect with people who share the same interests as you. You can also explore social networking platforms like Reddit and Twitter to find organic conversations that you can join in on. These conversations will help you gain insight into what shoppers are looking for and how to better serve them.

The Power of Responsive and Reliable Customer Support

Apart from building relationships and finding people who are part of your target niche, you can engage with the community you already have on the platform by foolproofing your customer support. As customers are the lifeblood of any successful business, providing them with responsive and reliable customer service is paramount to keeping them satisfied, and in turn, encouraging them to return and purchase from you again.

Make sure that your customers’ queries are addressed promptly and that you’re ready to provide responses that are as detailed and helpful as possible. The more effort you put into helping your customers, the better their experience will be, which could lead to positive reviews and more referrals for your shop.

Speaking of reviews, make sure to also monitor and respond to reviews left by customers. Not only will this help you better understand your customers’ needs, but it also shows that you care about their opinion and are willing to take action on their feedback.

Building Relationships With Other Etsy Sellers

The Etsy community, after all, is made up of more than just shoppers. It also consists of other Etsy sellers who have been in the same situation as you, and could be a valuable resource for both advice and support. Just look at how influencers and vloggers do collabs and shoutouts to boost their numbers too. While technically you’re in competition, it doesn’t mean you can’t join forces and help each other out.

Reach out to other shop owners who are in the same niche or are offering products that complement the ones in your shop. Don’t be afraid to ask them for tips or advice, as well as offer yours in return. You can even do joint campaigns on social media or host giveaways to get people talking about both of your shops. Not only can this help increase sales for you, but it also creates a sense of camaraderie and community.


With its wealth of user-friendly features and vibrant community, Etsy is the perfect platform for small businesses to jumpstart their e-commerce efforts. However, succeeding on the platform isn’t a matter of simply setting up your shop and waiting for orders to come in. Instead, you have to be willing to put in the effort to engage with shoppers and other Etsy sellers in order to maximize your success.

With constantly improving strategies and a print on demand partner you can trust (like Awkward Styles!), you can get started on selling your very own unique home decor, jewelry, or clothing pieces on Etsy without any worry. So take the leap and be one of the many successful shop owners on Etsy today!

*Etsy is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. This content is not created or endorsed by Etsy, Inc.

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