Thursday, October 1, 2020

Early statistics from my Etsy adventure

     Although I have a website that offers my own fragrances, and I sell my own books both at Amazon and my own bookstore, I have been experimenting -- "researching" -- other platforms, looking for additional possibilities. Thus far eBay hasn't rung any bells for me but Etsy shows promise and doesn't conflict with my other platforms.

    To learn about Etsy you really have to open and Etsy store. To open an Etsy store you must have at least one product to put up for sale in that store although Etsy recommends you list at least ten items when you open your store. (The cost is minimal.)

    The first point you want to take note of here is that you can't use Etsy unless you already have a product to sell. This may seem obvious but we don't want to put the cart before the horse. Developing your product -- a fragrance I'm presuming -- is your first step, although you can and should have, while developing your fragrance, begun to map out your marketing plan.

    Not knowing anything about Etsy and, therefore, not having planned a finished, fully decorated store in advance, I opened my Etsy store with just one item. This met Etsy's minimum requirement. Since then I have been adding items to my Unnatural Aromas Etsy store. This is easy to do as Etsy's template guides you through the process, gathering the essential information and giving you opportunities to add extra information if you see fit. For me, adding items was easy enough as I already had products, photography, and descriptions from my web pages and photo archives.

     I've added both fragrances and books to my store. The books are in the form of digital downloads and I've run into a problem here due to Etsy's 20 meg limit on file size. In one case a cover, which can be seen on Amazon, quickly overshot Etsy's file size limit and the cover photo had to be eliminated. The file size limit makes it challenging to use color illustrations in ebooks for the Etsy platform.

    A few statistics have been coming in for my Etsy store, Unnatural Aromas. What they show to date is about a 40/60 split between visitors who have come through Etsy searches and promotions and those who have come through sources outside the Etsy universe. This would include my own web pages, Facebook, and blogs. When I did a Google search today for "Unnatural Aromas," the first mention of my store came up on Google's page three.

    What is important to notice is that, should you offer your perfume on Etsy, it will be useful to promote it both through Etsy support and through your own social media activities. And, of course, you'll want to make your store itself as shopper friendly as possible.

    The "rules" for making sales on Etsy are no different than the rules for making sales through retail stores, local or national. Like Etsy, the stores may "take" your fragrance but don't expect them to sell it for you. If you want to make sales, be prepared to become a promoter. That's the only way.

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