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Etsy Success Narrowing my shop focus - advice etc please

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Original Post

Maya says

Hi everyone!

I made a big decision yesterday - I would narrow my shop's focus in order to increase my chances of being seen/make sales.

I've been actively open for around nine months and as my natural urge is to make whatever I want/fancy, that is what I've been doing BUT this means that a) My stock is scattered all over the place and b) I'm constantly 'distracted' with thinking/planning on making new/different things

My plan is to from now on just make scarves. This will mean that I can (attempt to )keep myself on the first search page and will keep popping up in searches for scarves. I also think it would make my life easier as I won't have all kinds of different projects on the go all fighting for priority which I think sometimes drives me a bit crazy!

So my question is: What do I do with the rest of my stock????

Do I keep it at the back of my shop and renew when it expires?

Do I have a Sale on that stock? (Just thought of that one and right now it appeals to me)

Do I move it to my Luulla shop as that shop is almost empty?

If I moved it to my Luulla shop I might be tempted to keep making alternative stock which isn't scarves for my Luulla shop. Though, if I fancy a break from scarves I could make stock for Luulla????? Hmmmmm????

What do you think? Has anyone had to go through a similar process? Do you have any other suggestions??

Posted at 3:38 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

Responses

Hi,

I am pretty new still, but I took a look around your shop and personally I like that you offer more than just scarves. Love the hats and baby stuff too. You can maybe decide on your more popular items and narrow down a bit if you want. I just feel like you would be missing out on more sales if you limit your shop to one thing.

Posted at 3:49 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

Maya says

Thanks Lisa :)

Thing is I don't have a most popular item or many sales. One of the greatest obstacles to selling on etsy is being seen. Having variety in a shop is great but having listings all over the place does decrease your chance of being seen.

For example, if I made a scarf, a hat and a baby blanket and listed one of these things each day, by the time I'd listed my baby blanket my scarf would have disappeared under a load of other scarves and so on, making my shop practically invisible.

If I just make scarves and list or renew a scarf everyday then my shop would stay somewhere near the top of the pile (of scarves) all the time as long as I keep listing. Someone somewhere is always looking for a scarf and I'll become that shop that sell scarves rather than the shop that sell lots of great stuff but is almost invisible.

I'm also embarking on a joint business venture with my daughter which I need some headspace for. I figure if I stop flitting around from one thing to another I'll gain some! :)

Posted at 4:06 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

Maya says

I've decided to put my non scarf stock on sale. I'm being featured in a blog tomorrow so should be getting some traffic from it so a good time for a sale.

I'll see what happens to the stock, if it sells Yay! If it doesn't I'll need to do something else with it ...

Posted at 4:09 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

Maya says

Also, I could occasionally sell scarf/hat/glove sets. I'm liking my decision more and more :)

Posted at 4:19 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

Hi

Well it sounds like you have made your mind up on what you are going to do..... but here are my thoughts anyhow.....

I love the shop think its very cohesive and I agree with lisa that it is better to have a choice but still keep a theme. For me the bead boho rings and the bag charms are a bit off putting compared to the rest of your shop, they don't fit as well. So I would be inclined to loose those and build on the hats scarves gloves etc.

I like your pics and your tags and titles seemed ok at a glance. The big thing which I keep hearing is more items, 50-100 is a good benchmark. I'm not sure the strategy of just being found under scarves is such a good one, think about what people are searching for.

My shop for example bangles are the most popular but i find that if someone looks at a pair of earrings they go to my shop they will then look at the pdt and bangle.

Keeping on top of the tags and titles, keeping them slightly different, and listing just a couple of things at different times every day seems to be good for staying in searches.

I would also imagine if you concentrate on 'scarf' there is a lot of compettion so you may not stay at the top of the search for very long.

Lastly its also spreading the word elsewhere which you may already be doing, I haven't looked at your policy so make sure that is ok but you seem to do free P&P which is great. Being in the UK I think is harder as a lot of buyers are in the US but saying that there are a lot of sucessful uk etsy sellers too so no reason why you can't be one of those!!

well thats enough of my blabbing good luck with whatever you decide
Jessica

Posted at 5:35 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

Maya says

Thanks Jessica. Yeah I've pretty much made my mind up about the scarf thing I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of it. It's all on sale now so fingers crossed some of it will go though I've not had much joy from holding sales so far.

I think you're right about it being harder if you're not from the US though as you say there are some very successful UK sellers.

There's a lot of competetion in all categories I reckon. I've been working on my shop since it opened and made loads of improvements and promote outside etsy so in a way, narrowing my focus is just another technique I'm trying.
Also I think it will help me personally if I know I can only make scarves. There are so many things I can make and want to make that it gets a bit much for me to keep track of and I'm a full time mum to a two and a half year old too so time is limited so keeping things simple will be a benefit.

Also there's the other new business I'm starting with my daughter (never one to take things easy lol!). I'm going to be doing a lot of design work for that, way more than I do for this shop so...headspace and all that...

I think you're right about the jewellery and bag charms. That's just another example of me wanting to make all sorts of things. I started of as just knitting and crochet then decided 'why not incorporate sewn items too' but that just gives me more stuff to think about and make and as you say makes my shop look 'odd'

Posted at 6:06 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

Well I hope it works and helps with your work/home life balance it is all things you need to think about. Be great to come back to the team in say 6 months time and give us all an update on how you get on.

Best of luck
Jessica

Posted at 7:42 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

I guess my suggestion for moving your sale items would be to create a SALE section and put all of those items into it - customers are drawn to look at the SALE section of any store first:)

Have you ever tried rearranging your shop? I just did recently and love the look it gives my shop - all cards together, paper jewelry, etc. It actually gives your shop the "section" look without customers actually clicking onto a section.

Good luck with your new venture with your daughter and for your decision to slimline your shop!

Posted at 8:17 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

I love your shop! AND, I don't understand why having more items in it decreases your chances of being seen. Each item shows up in search by itself. The fact that your scarf listing gets buried has nothing to do with the fact that you listed a baby item. At least that's how I understand it. If I were you I would leave well enough alone -- maybe work on the organization with your categories and rearrange your shop into sections. Just my opinion. Good luck whatever you do. Love your items!!

Posted at 8:22 am Jun 21, 2012 EDT

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