How to increase your Etsy sales - Understand what you're *actually* selling
Are you focusing your Etsy shop on a vibe or a product?
This one question could change the direction of your entire business. No, really. In this episode, we share about our recent brand "glow up" and how we did a self audit of our business, and this one question helped us gain perspective on how to steer our business in the direction we want it to go in for years to come.
Before we get into it though...you might want to take our FREE training on how to grow your handmade business using Etsy, where we share our 6 figure etsy strategy!
Listen to the episode here, or keep reading below:
At the beginning of 2022, we gave our brand a glow up. We’ve changed our photography style, added a new logo and a new font, launched a collection with more than 50 new products in our Etsy shop, and gave our brand a complete update.
We did a self-audit of our shop and our brand, which we recommend that everyone does at least once a year. We really asked ourselves some important questions about what was working well for our shop, what we could do better, and what we personally wanted to change.
One of the areas of our audit that we struggled with was "where do we want to go in the future?"
Do we sell only stickers and make any kinds of stickers that anyone wants us to make such as custom business stickers, different styles, etc? Or, do we sell products, primarily stickers, that fit a certain aesthetic? AKA what’s our niche and what do we really do.
Then, Taylor asked the absolute best question for us, and this one question put our entire brand update into perspective, which is why we’re sharing this podcast episode about it.
She asked, “are we a vibe shop or a product shop?”
This was like such a mind-blowing moment for me, Katie, because I quickly said, “we’re a vibe shop,” without hesitation. I want to create and sell products for our dream customer that gives them a specific feeling.
So what does this question mean? I really want to break this down, because it might be the most important question we’ve ever asked ourselves in our business so it could be extremely helpful for you to.
Are you focusing your Etsy shop on a vibe or a product?
A vibe shop: you’re selling an experience, a feeling, an aesthetic.
This means you have a niche and while you may sell a few different kinds of products, they’re all targeted for the same dream customer. All of your products have the same vibe, they are consistent and they have a meaningful feeling to your target customer.
Here’s an example: you sell boho “moon child” style t shirts, tote bags, and embroidered hats. You envision your dream customer is a Gen Z or millennial woman who’s wearing your products hiking in the desert and posting her photos on instagram. Your customer is crystal clear to you and you connect to her emotionally. You totally understand the vibe she’s going for.
A product shop: you sell products for their function.
You also have a niche, but the niche is based on the product itself, not the experience. You likely have multiple target customers and your shop is far more general.
Here’s an example: you’re a t shirt screen printer. You also have a clear niche, you sell custom and funny t shirts. You’re totally willing to print t shirts for every occasion from dad’s birthday, to family Christmas shirts, kids sports teams, to business custom logo t shirts. You keep all of your styles and options in pretty general, basic colors and options because it’s the most likely to appeal to everyone. You have a clear niche, but your target customer is less specific, just anyone who needs t shirts.
Neither one of these are bad or the wrong way, but they’re two very different types of businesses.
If you are a product-focused shop, your goal is simply to get as many orders as you can hold all of the time and fill any type of customer requests that come your way.
There’s going to be an average price point for general products and because you’re selling general products, you’re only going to be able to price so high so you have to sell as many products as you can.
On the other hand...
If you are a vibe-based shop, your goal is to create products that fit the needs of a specific target customer and to develop a relationship with them.
You are creating something truly unique so you have much more flexibility to price higher, and as a result, you don’t need to chase as many sales.
For us, it was a really clear choice. We’re a vibe shop. We create experience-based products for creatives & weekend wanderers. We make products for women who like to explore, learn about themselves, and make art.
If you’re not sure what your focus is: products or vibes, here are a couple of questions that could help you find the answer to this.
1. When you picture who you sell to - is it a general audience or a specific one? Do you have a dream customer that you feel connected to?
2. Do you like doing primarily custom work or creating your own designs?
3. If you were shopping your own store, would you buy more than one item with a similar vibe, or are you only interested in that one type of product?
We’d love to know what your thoughts are on this - if your focus is on a vibe or a product, so if you want to talk about this topic directly with us, you can DM us on instagram.
Here at Studio Sisters, one of the single most important ways we’ve been able to grow our business is with mindset work and getting complete clarity on every single detail in our business just like this one. When you know where you want to go in the future, it becomes so much easier to reverse engineer that and work backwards, step by step to where you are right now.
Ready for the next step?