This week on our podcast, we’re talking about product validation & how to know if the handmade item or art you have will sell on Etsy.
I’ve got 3 easy steps for validating a product to see how well it will sell on Etsy.
This topic is helpful for understanding your product and who the customers are who would want to buy it, understanding your competition, but also you don’t want to spend time making a product to sell if Etsy is not a good fit for it.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t make it if you love it...
And maybe it will be a good fit somewhere else, and you can also use these 3 steps to validate in other places like Instagram or Shopify.
Taking the time to understand if the kind of handmade items or art you sell will actually sell on Etsy is one of the best things you can do for your small business if you're thinking about starting an Etsy shop.
What you need to know about Selling on Etsy:
Etsy is a handmade and vintage platform. Here's what you can sell on Etsy:
vintage 20 yrs or older
handmade by you
cannot resale other people’s handmade items or wholesale goods
Etsy’s focus is on authentic goods. Personalized items are a best selling category, so are jewelry, wedding items, party items, and art/creative supplies.
Already selling on Etsy? Learn the basics of Etsy SEO in 15 minutes to get more sales traffic!
How to Validate Your Product for Etsy:
Step 1: Is the competition good?
Is there good competition for similar items on etsy?
Search for similar items on etsy. Make notes of styles, price points, and the number of sales that some of the most successful shops have.
*You can find a competitor's sales by clicking on their profile, and you’ll see it under their shop logo.
Second, take a look at the number of search results for the item you searched. For example, if I search “clay earrings,” there are over 300,000 items that come up. If I scroll through some of the listings on the first page, it’s easy to see that this is a popular item with good competition because many of the sellers have hundreds of reviews.
So, clay earrings would be a good product to sell because it is a popular item with good competition. Similar shops are having a lot of success, defined by the number of sales they have, with this type of product.
On the other hand, if you search a product and there are only a few people selling the item, and most of these sellers have less than 200 sales, this product doesn’t have good competition and probably doesn’t do very well on Etsy.
Step 2: Define your customer profile
Who is your ideal customer? Or customer avatar?
Write up an imaginary profile of your customer, including: Age, education, job, parent or not, where do they live, income level, hobbies, etc.
Defining this person will help you validate your product. You need to know who you are selling to. If your ideal customer is an American mom living in Utah in her 30s and you sell planner pages, you want to really understand that you’re not just selling planner pages. You’re selling a product that helps her reduce stress, stay organized, and have more time for herself and her family because she’s got a plan.
Step 3: Determine if your Ideal Customer is shopping on Etsy.
Dialing in your target customer will help you determine if that customer is on Etsy and whether or not it's the best platform for you to sell on.
You might be thinking, "How the heck do I do that?"
Look for similar products (step 1)
But also, what else would your dream customer typically buy?
Does she buy birthday gifts or party supplies for her kids on etsy? Does she buy handmade cards or journals?
The goal of defining your target customer and determining if they’re already hanging out on etsy & shopping there is important because you want to make sure your product is aligned with a portion of the 45 million buyers on etsy. You need to know if the person who will find your product perfect is part of etsy’s customer base.
Also in this step, determine who you know that fits that profile and engage with them about their buying habits to further understand your product’s best fit on Etsy. Interview them about their likes/dislikes and what's most important to them (is it shipping? material? style? price?).
By going through this process, you can stop worrying about that question, “what if no one buys my handmade item?”
You don’t have to feel like you’re headed into the great unknown. Instead, you can feel confident that you’ve done your research and you have determined that your product is a good fit for etsy.
This research you’ve done is your secret treasure, a fabulous tool for successful selling on Etsy.
If you’ve determined you have a product that’s a good fit for selling on Etsy, start producing. Save this research on your phone or computer and you can use this as a starting point for developing your keyword research and search engine optimization once you list your products on Etsy.
Once you’ve begun listing your products on Etsy, you need to optimize your search terms to get found by your ideal customers. Check out our podcast episode on SEO basics.
Also >>> we’ve created a FREE guide on how to learn the basics of Etsy SEO, what a long-tail keyword is, and some basic do’s/don’ts of Etsy search tags in just 15 minutes. Get it here.
Thanks for listening friends! If you have any questions about product validation and research, reach out to us on instagram @shopstudiosisters