Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Art Show Season Starts Soon

Spring is in the air in many parts of the US. That means the craft/art shows will be starting soon. My season starts tomorrow with the Fayetteville First Thursday Art Walk. Art walks and craft shows are an excellent way to expand your business. The booth fees are usually very low which is always good.

Many towns have several shows a year, many of which are sponsored by the town's tourism department. Call your local city hall for information. If they don't know, chances are they know someone who does. In addition to art shows and craft fairs many towns have multiple Farmer's Markets. That is another great opportunity to make new contacts and possibly even a few sales!

I started doing art shows with my family when I was very young. I later went on to owning booths at several Renaissance Faires all across the US. I am pretty much retired from doing shows full time. With my brick and mortar I only have time for a few local shows. I will be working on some "How To's" regarding doing art or craft shows in the near future. If you set up at a show or 12 I would love to hear about your How To's and tips.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

7 Tips To Spice Up Your Etsy Shop

I know today was supposed to be my First Tuesday Shop Review but time got the better of me and I am not prepared to publish that post until next week. So, here are some tips on how to spice up your Etsy shop. Enjoy!

1. Run A Sale - Running a sale can provide a quick boost to your views and even your sales. Unusual sales seem to catch people's attention better. Try having a Summer Blowout sale in the middle of winter or a Christmas in July sale. Make it outrageous!

2. Change Your Photo Order -  Hopefully by now you have all five of your photos looking great! Rotate them around so that your first photo doesn't get stale. This will also help you find out what type of photo works best for your products.

3. Renew Your Items - Don't just renew your best selling items. Renew some of the items that aren't selling. Bring those items to the front of your shop and mix them into your best sellers! This works wonders if you have a lot of items for sale!

4. Change Your Banner - I am not saying go out and buy a new banner design every week. I am just saying change it up a little! Add hears to it for Valentines Day, a 4 leaf clover for St Patrick's Day, etc. Keep your theme but make it reflect seasonal changes and Holidays and special events.

5. Change Up Your Shop Announcement - Don't let your shop announcement get stale. I am not suggesting using it for a blog. Changing your shop announcement also gives the search engines an indication that your page is active.

6. Rearrange Your Shop - Make sure you set your shop so that it defaults to your rearranged view. Try to put a representation of all that you do on page one of your shop. You can then set up the other pages how ever you like. I suggest a mixture of items with similar themes such as colors or shapes. There is no need to put all of the like items together on the same page, that is what your sections are for.

7. Don't Be Afraid To Try New Things - If something doesn't seem to be working, try something else! I usually try something for 3 days to a week to give it a fair chance. Photos are a good example. Every item does not need to be photographed from the same angle! Try strange angles that make people want to look closer.

That is all for today. If you have some ideas you'd like to add to this list please feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Etsy Customer Service Stats

You may or may not have noticed a new feature from Etsy: Customer Service Stats. It can be found by hovering your mouse over your shop in your tool bar across the top or in the menu to your left as shown in the above picture. This will show your Customer Service Stats from the last 60 days. It also gives suggestions on how to improve your customer service.

It shows the following areas:

Response Time to Buyer Convos - This is the average of how long it takes to respond to a convo sent to you. It is shown in days at the moment. A one day response time is suggested. Don't dilly dally! If you need time to figure out a proper answer  send a convo that you have received their message and you will get back to them soon. At least you are acknowledging that you received their message.

Providing Processing Times - This is a relatively new feature with Etsy. It can be set up in your shipping profiles or in each individual post right before adding the shipping info. It is the amount of time the customer can expect before their item is processed and shipped. It is measured in Business Days. When an item is sold the invoice says "Expected to ship by (date)"

Meeting Your Processing Times - This is how well you made the deadline for processing that you set. If you set your processing time to two business days and ship an item out on the third business day that is not good. Customers like a quick shipping time. With the new processing times a tentative date for shipping is listed in the invoice you and your customer get when an item is sold.

Marking Items as Shipped - Pretty self explanatory. Did you mark the item as shipped? If you use Etsy shipping this happens automatically. If you use PayPal or another means of shipping this needs to be entered manually. Be sure to add your tracking info when you mark as shipped because you do not always remember to go back and add the tracking info.

Providing Tracking Info (US Only) - I use either Etsy shipping or PayPal shipping so I always have a tracking number. However, I don't always remember to add it when I use PayPal. Sometimes I am in a hurry to get to the post office.

That is about a simple as I can make it. This section on Etsy is for you only. Your buyers never see anything to do with this. It does not affect your rank or your feedback or anything but your own peace of mind. It is valuable information for you to allow your buyers the very best experience when they buy.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!