Lessons from the Homemade. Etsy’s Shops and teaching Social Media metrics.

Michelle    February 29, 2016

On Etsy, any of us can become a business owner. Have a unique homemade idea? Are you a knitting expert? Perfect. Time to start selling. Etsy has created a straightforward, simple platform to allow any individual a store front to sell their unique and homemade products. For the user, they have also created a simplified ability to track and monitor the traffic of the site and relate that back to social media practices and success.

Fundamentally, the same practices that exist for multi-million dollar corporations are relevant to small business owners, including those who are making their own wares in their kitchen while the kids play outside. Compiling and observing social media metrics is one thing. Using that information to influence action (drive sales), or improve marketing decisions is another.

Because the very basis of Etsy is for an individual to have a virtual store front and sell, the success of the individual shops is deeply interwined with the success of Etsy. As a result, part of the earliest steps and communication is a new ‘shop’ owner is teaching beginner metrics. Etsy offers tools to support the shop owners highlighting various metrics and guiding promotional steps and recommendations. 

For the owner (beyond the product), learning how to market themselves, especially on social media becomes crucial to the success of the shop. Who is your audience? Where are they coming from? How did they find you? After answering those questions, a shop owner looks to generate more traffic, from the right people, to increase sales.

Etsy gives shop owners a dashboard and stats, listing traffic, geographical location of visits, including keywords and traffic sources. Much of the internal dashboard promotes integration with other social media sites, with additional blogs training shop owners how to utilize the metrics and drive additional traffic to their pages.  One shop owner who makes nearly a million dollars a year on the site credits much of the success to traffic driven from Pinterest. One article written by Etsy coaches shop owners on how to present themselves and how to utilize not only their tools, but other 3rd party metric tools like Facebook Insights, bit.ly and Iconosquare.

I had the opportunity to ask Megan Campbell, an Etsy seller, how the metrics on Etsy helped her promote her store front. For Megan, she uses the dashboard regularly.

“I would say at least 3 times a week if not more. It allows for me to see what is expiring soon and make sure my funds get deposited into and see where my sales are at compared to the previous year.”

Regarding the data provided, Megan went on to say that she has,  “used it in the past to find out what social media platform is getting me the most traffic-so that I could concentrate my efforts on that. One of the more recent metrics Etsy has given is in the Listings Manger, it shows how many sales of a specific item you’ve had, how many times you’ve renewed said item and the revenue made by it. This is a very useful tool for me as I can see what items are losing popularity or aren’t making me money and act accordingly.”

Lessons for Others

Just like it’s very premise of being unique and homemade, Etsy uniquely embraces the challenges many face in measuring social media metrics and trains their users how to take that information and turn it into marketable action.

Considering the challenges so many business face in utilizing social media, Etsy and it’s army of home grown business owners offer an interesting insight into understanding and applying social media metrics to benefit the bottom line. Perhaps social media marketing 101 for business professionals should be open a shop on Etsy.

Organization: Etsy
Industry: Online Retail
Name of Organization Contact: David Morgan, Social Media Coordinator

Authored by: Michelle P

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


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