7 minute read

Five Shop Stats You Should Be Tracking

Don't let daily numbers distract you from your long-term business goals. Here are five key metrics that will help you stay focused.

Avatar image for Katie Noonan by Katie Noonan
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Are you addicted to your Shop Stats? Do you wait in anticipation for your daily views to climb? As a seller, I view my stats every day, multiple times a day. Some days, I dig into my keywords or look at my monthly numbers, but more often than not I simply check my daily stats. Checking daily numbers, though, can be a dangerous game. Even in the midst of a healthy, busy month, one day of low views or Favorites can feel defeating. Looking at your Shop Stats in new ways can alleviate daily anxiety and is also a welcome reminder of the time you’ve invested to grow your shop. The five stats described below are not meant to be an exhaustive list of numbers you should be tracking. But looking at them can help you step back from the day-to-day and refocus your attention on the long-term trends in your business.

1. Views to Sales Ratio

Your views to sales ratio, also called your conversion rate, is best measured over longer periods of time. Look at your views to sale ratio for January through June, for example, and measure it against the same six month period last year. Imagine you had 1,000 views and two sales last year but only 800 views and two sales this year. At first glance, you might think you’re not doing as well because your views decreased. In fact, those numbers mean that more of your items are selling per view.

Shift your focus from getting more views to turning more views into sales. How? First, use accurate and descriptive tags to ensure that your items are relevant to people who land on your listings. Periodically culling out unsuccessful keywords is another healthy shop habit. Second, increase the likelihood that shoppers will put your items in their carts by answering all of the questions that might have in your listings. If a buyer lands on your item and is not sure of its size, texture or weight, she is more likely to click away than to reach out to you and wait for an answer. Interested in improving your descriptions? Read 5 Tips for Writing Stellar Product Descriptions.

2. Traffic Sources on Etsy

Find out if people are staying around once they land in your shop by examining the Traffic Sources on Etsy section of your Shop Stats. If you have traffic from Your Listings or Your About Page, then you’ve caught someone’s eye. Views from these areas tell you that shoppers are traveling from one area of your shop to another. Increasing internal traffic from your listings is another good way to lower you views to sales ratio.

Do you prompt people to visit other areas of your shop from your listing description? If you’re like most sellers, you probably sell complementary items. Let your buyers know by linking to other items or shop sections from your listing descriptions.

3. External Referrers

All of this internal traffic is great, but you can also learn from the outside sources that bring buyers to your shop. Perhaps you put in the hours on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, or you comment on blogs, pitch to magazines and attend local events. Each time you represent your shop or brand online is an opportunity for someone to discover your shop.

Unknown external referrers — traffic you did nothing to generate — can be a source of untapped potential. If you see that an unknown blog or website drove traffic to your shop, research the site to see where they featured your items. Then, follow up. “If I see a referral link that stands out to me, I will normally follow the link and if it's a blogger, send them a quick thank you email or tweet,” says Danielle Spurge of The Merriweather Council in Norfolk, Virginia. Consider asking if the person would be interested in receiving your shop newsletter or periodic email updates about new products or lines.

You can also use external traffic sources to understand your online audience. If a blog caters to an audience that you haven’t considered before, for example, adjust how you describe your items to appeal to this group. If you’ve been planning to pitch to bloggers, keep that audience in mind. Ready to make your first pitch? Read How to Pitch to Bloggers for more tips.

Danielle Spurge of The Merriweather Council researches unknown traffic sources to see what kinds of blogs are featuring her hand-embroidered initial necklaces.

4. Offline Events

When Erin Flanagan of Harp and Thistle Stitchery in New York City noticed a dip in year-over-year traffic from 2012 to 2013, she thought about what she’d done differently. Her products, which include unique punch needle embroidery sachets and ornaments, were still fresh and her photographs strong. She’d refined keywords and added new listings. The only thing that had changed was the number of craft fairs and events she'd attended, which had decreased from years past.

Erin knew measuring all external event-related traffic wasn’t possible. Instead of ignoring her intuition, though, she decided to take pen to paper and calendar her events against her stats. She used an Excel spreadsheet to compare her sales for each month side-by-side for every year since she opened her shop and used a quick formula to determine the change. What those numbers couldn't represent were the events she had sold at, so she marked the months she had sold in-person. Erin noticed that, in the time following each event, she saw a significant spike in traffic and sales. In 2012 she attended significantly more fairs and markets than ever before, handing out business cards and promoting the events online. "Even after the markets where I didn't do as well as I had hoped, we had several customers come back and order," Erin says. In 2013, she took part in much fewer events, which could help explain the decrease in shop traffic. "Those cards people take at markets really do work!," she says, adding that she has made it a goal to increase her market presence in 2014.

Erin Flanagan of Harp and Thistle Stitchery made attending more markets a business goal for 2014 after seeing a dip in her sales in 2013.

5. Coupon Traction

A great way to increase sales is to encourage repeat business. Coupons and specials play a key role in rewarding your loyal customers and encouraging them to buy from your shop again. Although coupon performance is found in your Order Item CSV and not in Shop Stats, it's a useful metric to track. Monitor which types of coupons work best for your audience — flat rate discounts, percentage off deals or free shipping. For example, if your audience is international, they might respond better to an offer of free shipping over a flat rate discount.

Share coupons in your Message to Buyers, via a personal Convo or print them out and package them neatly with your order. By creating a unique code for each coupon, you can test which delivery method works best for your audience. Now is the perfect time to experiment with coupons. With the increase in sales around the holidays, you’ll have even more buyers to thank. Come the New Year, those who bought gifts in December might be looking to treat themselves. Learn more techniques in Mastering the Art of Discounts.

How do Shop Stats help you determine the direction of your shop? Share your tips in the comments below.

Avatar image for Katie Noonan Words by Katie Noonan

Katie Noonan is a Brooklyn-based pet portraitist. When she’s not working as a Seller Retention Program Specialist at Etsy, she’s drawing animals, cuddling with her rescue cats and working on her Etsy shop. Keep up with her latest doodles on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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