Seller Handbook

Advice and inspiration for successfully running your Etsy shop

Seller Handbook

Creating Listings That Convert

Increasing your conversion rate may improve where your listings rank in Etsy search. Check out these tips for increasing your views.

By Etsy Staff 01 Jul, 2019
Photo by Cody James

When a shopper searches on Etsy, our goal is to help them find items they want to purchase. To do this, Etsy Search looks at clues from shoppers to determine whether a listing is appealing and will meet their expectations once they click. We look at how well a listing converts - how many people view it and then take an action such as favouriting or purchasing - to determine whether shoppers are interested in it. This boosts the listing’s quality score, a metric that measures a listing’s popularity with buyers, and placement in search results.

To put it simply: When shoppers click on and purchase a listing from search, that listing may rank higher in search results for that query.

How do we determine listing quality?

New shops and listings start with a neutral quality score. When a new listing is created, it gets a small, temporary boost in search results so Etsy search can quickly learn more about how shoppers interact with it. To determine a listing’s quality score, we look at things like clicks, favourites and purchases. Etsy search looks at things like past shopper behaviour to predict how likely shoppers are to purchase listings from your shop in the future. So if you sell vintage or one-of-a-kind items and are frequently creating new listings, Etsy search looks at how popular listings from your shop have been in the past to predict how popular they might be with buyers in the future.

Optimising your listings with conversion in mind is one step you can take to improve your search ranking and your shop’s visibility. Read on for tips.

Getting clicks from search

The first step in increasing your conversion rate: getting shoppers to click on your listings in search results. Before a buyer can make a purchase, they need to see your item in search results and be motivated to take a closer look. Here are some key areas to think about when optimising for clicks:

1. First listing photo

Your listing’s first photo, the image displayed in search results, is crucial when it comes to inspiring shoppers to click and increasing your conversion rate.The first photo should clearly show the item that’s for sale and be eye catching enough that buyers want to take a closer look.

We’ll discuss photos in more detail in the next section, but if you want some quick tips on taking clear, attractive photos, watch this video on the Etsy Success YouTube channel.

2. Listing title

Your titles can also play a role in getting shoppers to click on your listing. Your title should make it easy for shoppers to quickly see what you’re selling and what makes it unique. Shoppers only see the first few words of your title when they’re looking at search results, so make sure you’re using that space to describe what your item is. Although it’s important to be descriptive and use relevant words and phrases, your titles should be short and easy to read.

3. Price

Shoppers also compare prices when looking at search results, so your listing price can also affect whether or not a buyer clicks on your listing. Shoppers may have a specific price point in mind before they even start their search. As you expand your inventory over time, be sure to list items across price points to reach shoppers no matter their budget.There are many ways to think about pricing, and this formula is a good example you could use when pricing your items.

One basic formula for calculating price is:

(hourly overhead + production cost + profit) x 4

Your hourly overhead is your business expenses over the past 12 months, including things like Etsy fees, rent on your studio space, and postage expenses, divided by the number of hours you work on your shop in a year (so if you work on your shop 10 hours a week, that’d be 520 hours a year).

Your production cost is how much it costs to create or curate your items, including your own hourly wage and any material costs.

Profit is the markup you build into so you have money to grow your business.

Learn more about pricing your items in the Seller Handbook.

4. Special offers

Running a sale or offering free delivery can also make your listings stand out from the competition in search results. You can offer free delivery by running a free delivery sale using Etsy’s sales and coupons tool. Shoppers will see your free delivery offer on the listing in search results and your listings will be included if a shopper uses the free delivery search filter. If you see an increase in orders coming from your free delivery sale, you can create a free delivery profile to make it part of your long-term marketing strategy.

You can also offer discounts by running a sale. If a listing is included your sale, shoppers will see the original price, the discounted price, and the percentage off you’re offering on your listing in search results. Those listings will also be included in the “On sale” search filter.

5. Reviews

Shoppers can also see your shop’s review star average when browsing search results. A high average will help to build trust, and could encourage some buyers to take a closer look at your item.

For tips on encouraging and receiving positive reviews read 5 Ways to Get Great Reviews on the Seller Handbook.

Increasing your conversion rate

Once a shopper has clicked on your listing from search you have a chance to make a sale and an opportunity to increase your conversion rate and listing quality score. To create a great listing, think about all the information you look for and consider when making a purchase. Say you’re buying a jumper. You’d want to know how much it costs, what kind of material it’s made out of, and how it fits. Below are a few tips to help you give shoppers the information they need to make a purchasing decision:

1. Listing photos

Your first listing image gets you the click, but those that follow help get you the sale.

You can add up to 10 photos to a listing. The number of photos you upload doesn’t directly impact your item’s search placement, but using all 10 listing photos may increase your conversion rate. That’s because each additional image you add gives shoppers more information about your product, how big it is, and how it’s used. For example, if you’re selling art, buyers may want to see a photo of it styled in a room to get a sense of the size and style, while customers shopping for a statement ring may want to see it on a model.

For more tips on images to include in each listing read our Ultimate Guide to Product Photography and make sure to include the 7 Essential Types of Product Photos in your listings.

2. Listing description

Your listing descriptions can also help convert views to sales. We suggest keeping your descriptions short and informative, but still engaging. For example, put essential information at the top, such as sizes, dimensions, colours, or ordering directions, and end on a note that best tells your product’s story, with your brand in mind.

Etsy Search does not scan descriptions for search ranking purposes, but search engines like Google will sometimes look at them. The first 160 to 500 characters tend to be the most important to external search engines, so it doesn’t hurt to have some relevant keywords mixed in!

Read How to Write Enticing Item Descriptions for more tips.

3. Processing time

Shoppers on Etsy are often looking for gifts, or may need something for a special event by a certain date, so your processing times may influence a buyer’s purchase decision. Keep shoppers’ expectations in mind when setting your processing time—especially when you have ready-to-ship items in stock—and try to avoid unnecessary padding of your processing time.

You can also offer delivery upgrades so shoppers know they have options if they really need an item urgently. Learn how to set up delivery upgrades.

4. Delivery

In addition to your item price, shoppers may factor in what you charge for postage when deciding whether to make a purchase. A shopper who loved your listing when they clicked on it from search could be turned off by expensive postage costs.

In fact, in a 2018 survey, some Etsy shoppers said that they were 50% less likely to buy an item if they thought the price of postage was even a little bit more expensive than they were used to. Consider adding some of your postage costs into the item price so you can lower what you charge for postage and see what your customers respond to.

Postage price is also a factor in Etsy Search ranking. Listings that are delivered for free and shops that offer a United States free delivery guarantee get priority US search placement in the Etsy app where millions of Etsy’s most active shoppers are searching. Plus: We prioritise these items wherever Etsy advertises in the US—in email marketing, social media, and television ads. Digital download items are also eligible for priority search placement in the Etsy app because they don't have any postage costs.

If you don’t offer a US free delivery guarantee or free delivery to US shoppers, offering free delivery or lowering your postage costs for shoppers in your country can improve your search ranking. Read How to Create a Competitive Delivery Strategy for more tips.

Return to the Ultimate Guide to Etsy Search

Return to the Ultimate Guide to Selling on Etsy

Note: Etsy search is always changing and every shop is different. These are some of the current best practices we recommend and we’ll regularly update this content to keep you informed*.

*As of July 2019

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