Friday, July 5, 2013

My Top 5 Shop Critique Items

So as I wrote last week I started a shop critique team for etsy shop owners to get feedback and personal tips for improvement. It's been going great! But I do see myself giving the same feedback to lots of shops, so here are the top five things that a lot of new shops can do for improvement:

1) Use all five photos If you were selling your item in a store, customers would be able to pick it up, turn it over, feel it in their hands... but you're selling online. So try to replicate that in-store experience as much as possible. Show every angle, the inside, even the bottom! Convey a sense of size. Show different settings the item would work in - especially if you're selling fashion or accessories. What would you wear with it?

2) Have great product thumbnails When you view your shop, can you see the most important parts of each item without clicking the listing? Or are you cutting parts off that run off the edges of those thumbnail view photos? That's like fingernails on a chalkboard! I wrote a whole post on this last spring: How to think inside the Etsy thumbnail.

3) Start every title with a search term The first three words of your title are the most important, and you want them to look like something that a shopper would be looking for. "Blue wool hat" is very specific. "Set of three" is not, neither is "special occasion gift" or worse, the abstract titles ("the cloudless sky")... if it's a shoe say it's a shoe. If it's a scarf say it's a scarf. Then add the other fluffy words.

4) Have a real shop title Under your shop's "info & appearance" you can enter a shop name (mine is Spacefem) and a shop title (mine is "Specialty fabric and hand-sewn items from Kansas"). Make sure they're different - the title can help people find your shop through searches, so it should describe your product line, not just be a copy of your name.

5) Even out your sections Shop sections are wonderful, but make sure you're using them to keep things nicely oraganized. Never make a section if you won't have at least 8-10 items in it, and after that keep them even, don't have one huge section and then leave hardly anything for the other sections. And for heaven's sake use a search-friendly word for your section title, I keep seeing people add extra spaces in between letters to make them pretty, but no one ever searches for F A B R I C. They search for fabric!

That's my list for today, I'd love to hear what anyone else thinks though, we've all got our shop pet peeves. And that's why I love our team - you never know who will give you the tip to make your shop a winner on etsy. Every bit of feedback is a gift!

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