Monday, October 20, 2014

Lots of views, no sales: what's a normal ratio?

We get a lot of new members to the Shop Critiques team who tell us they have tons of views and favorites, but no sales. They're asking us what the problem is.

The first question I ask is just how many views and favorites they're talking about here, because they may feel like 50 views is a lot but it isn't. The vast majority of Etsy shoppers look around at tons of listings before making a buying decision. It's a sad truth, but most of the time your item is viewed, it will not be bought.

To quantify this I asked some fellow shop owners for their stats to find out just what a normal views/sales ratio is... in other words, how many views does the average item get before it sells? They told me their sales, views, and favorites over the past few months and I did the math to make those into ratios so we could find out just how many people favorite an item before it sells. Here's what I found:

Etsy ShopViews per saleFavorites per sale

Thank you to all these shops for providing these sample numbers :)

The average views per sale number was 183. But as you can see there was a wide range: 76-282.

The average favorites per sale number was 46. The range was even wider: 7-276. So one could argue that favorites are not as good an indicator of an items' sales performance - the people who click the hearts may not have anything in common with the people who actually spend the money.

Here's what I take away from the data: It can easily take 200-300 views to make a sale - and that's organic views, from people finding it on Etsy's search. That's not you posting it in teams and telling people to view it, because most of those people are not on Etsy to shop today. In fact, I say it's a bad idea to clutter your statistics with those sorts of promotional activities, because then you don't know if you're being found in the search or not.

You've got four months to sell an item before it expires on Etsy. That's 121 days. If an item isn't getting at least 2-3 search views per day, it's not likely to sell.

I may sound like a broken record, but I still say the secret to getting more views is shop critiques. Ask another set of eyes: do your thumbnail photos look like something someone will want to click? Are your titles clear and well-worded for search? Do your tags contain phrases that people are searching for?

I also recommend joining a trade team to figure out if you're offering things that people need. And if you're wondering about your prices, start up a clearance section.

If your ratios are way off, you may need a different set of questions. Say your item has had 500 views but not a single sale. Then you might want to ask if the views are coming from a "clutter source" - like teams, promotion games, social media, or other places that drive gawkers but not shoppers. If the views are coming from Etsy's search, are your prices too high? Shipping out of whack? Does your description leave out some pressing information that people are wondering about? Do you have weird or non-existent shop policies that make people worried about buying? Hate to say it, but customers who read will not buy from a shop that says "I don't take returns and if it gets lost in the mail it's all your fault."

The shop statistics page can get addicting, when I started my Etsy shop I just wanted to stare at it all day. Then I'd rearrange my shop, post in a team, and stare at it again. None of that did me a bit of good. What made the difference was getting off the darn internet, making something to list, posting it up and drawing customers in with new items. So when you feel yourself staring at your view count, break away! Go get back to work crafting and let the items sell themselves!


  1. I think it never applied to my stats:) I try to figure it out but in reality of selling now over the two years it is not so true! But I hope it is works for others! As shop statistics can be addicting, you totally right! Happy Sales to everyone!

  2. Interesting article and very helpful. I have been with Etsy for a long time and I still haven't figured things out!

  3. Great to know. I only see the renew data.

  4. Interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you, very helpful article.