Hey! And welcome to another episode of Simplify Your Sales podcast! Today is ALLLLLLL about revving up your revenue using the traffic you already have!
Yep, we’re diving DEEP into your conversion rate, what it is, why it matters, and then I’m going to give you 3 things that YOU can do –TODAY– to boost it up and make more sales with the traffic you already have!
Today is a VERY take-action sort of day so have your note-taking gear ready because this episode is going to be jam-packed full of strategy and advice that will give you all sorts of “quick-win” results in your Etsy shop– you know– the kind of results that keep you motivated because you’re actually seeing increased sales from them 😉
Let’s dive right in!
So regardless of where you are in your Etsy journey, whether you’re brand-spankin’ new (congratulations, by the way!) or if you’ve been around for a while, chances are that when you think about what you need to do to increase your sales and revenue, your thoughts IMMEDIATELY turn to TRAFFIC. As in, you need to drive MORE of it.
But when you jump right into focusing on traffic, you’re actually skipping over a MAJOR piece of the puzzle…and it’s costing you sales.
Now, in super-simple terms, your conversion rate simply answers the question: out of all the people who have visited my shop, how many of them actually made a purchase?
Now, this is something that Etsy will calculate for you in your shop stats, but if you’re wanting to understand it better for yourself– which I HIGHLY recommend you do because knowledge is power–, it’s really a simple formula:
When manually calculating your conversion rate, make sure that you are using the correct numbers from your Etsy order history and stats pages:
By # OF MONTHLY SALES, I mean the number of ORDERS you have received – NOT the number of individual items you have sold. We want to determine how many PEOPLE have purchased from you, regardless of how many items they ordered at a time.
By # OF MONTHLY VISITS, I do mean “VISITS,” NOT “views.” (Which are listed separately on your stats page.) Again, we want to determine how many people have visited your shop, regardless of how many listings they have viewed.
While 2-3% is pretty standard for the e-commerce industry, as a boutique shopping experience (meaning you’re not trying to sell #allthethings like Target or Walmart– you’re a niched shop with a flagship product line), the ideal Etsy shop should have a conversion rate of AT LEAST 5%, which we’ll talk more about on how to achieve that in a minute.
But first, now that you’ve calculated your conversion rate– or just pulled it directly from your stats if you’re all about shortcuts– you’re probably left with a BIG question: Why does it even matter? And– assuming it does matter–what on earth are you supposed to do with that number?
Let’s tackle that first question first: Why does your conversion rate even matter?
It matters because it is THE most CRUCIAL part of your marketing strategy.
Because no matter how much traffic you drive or how clever your marketing promotions are, if your shop has a LOW conversion rate, you will NEVER be able to turn that traffic that visits your shop into actual paying customers.
And at the end of the day, high traffic numbers are nice, but that’s all they are: they’re just nice– they’re a vanity metric. They don’t actually do a dang thing for you unless they are turning into sales. “Favorites” and “likes” don’t pay the mortgage.
When you have a high conversion rate, however, it means that people are coming into your shop and actually purchasing your products.
And the higher you can boost that conversion rate, the more sales you will make WITH THE SAME EXACT TRAFFIC.
Think of it like this:
Let’s say you have a 1% conversion rate. That simply means for every 100 customers you have visit your shop, 1 total person will purchase.
But imagine if you have a 5% conversion rate. That means for those SAME EXACT 100 CUSTOMERS that visit your shop, 5 of them will purchase.
Do you see how incredible that is?!
For no additional ongoing work on your end– because boosting your conversion rate is something you only have to implement once– you are getting 5x the amount of sales.
No additional marketing required 🙂
And if you’re thinking that 5% is not possible for YOUR shop, let me be the first to tell you: It IS. You are NOT the exception to success, and when you implement conversion rate boosting strategies in your shop, it not only becomes POSSIBLE to hit that 5% conversion rate, but it becomes PROBABLE and very, very doable.
I am SO passionate about the power of a conversion rate that I have my students inside Mastermind Your Marketing (Join the waitlist here!) focus 100% on boosting it the first few weeks of the program and the sales impact is INCREDIBLE– so much so that a lot of times they have to take a break from the course and *just* focus on fulfilling orders because a boosted conversion rate turns your shop into cha-ching city. There are–literally–students inside MYM right now that have followed our conversion rate curriculum and are currently sitting at conversion rates of 6-8%– some as high as 12% during the holidays which is UNHEARD OF.
So trust me– boosting your conversion rate is NOT something you should skip over.
What do I do with that number?
Alright, so now that I’ve sang the praises of a higher conversion rate and you’re sitting pretty with YOUR conversion rate– whether it’s 1%, 3%, whatever– and you’re probably wondering what to actually DO with it.
Right now, if that number is under 5%, you need to be working to IMPROVE IT. That should be your priority focus for your shop– improving that conversion rate.
That way, when you DO begin to drive more targeted traffic through your marketing system, your shop is actually DESIGNED to make you sales instead of just sitting there as a money pit.
So what can you do to actually improve your conversion rate?
Like I mentioned, we have a few weeks of lessons on ALL the things you can be doing to improve your conversion rate inside Mastermind Your Marketing, but I wanted to include 3 suggestions of strategies you can implement today– as in, this very afternoon– to get that conversion rate up to where it should– and deserves– to be.
The key idea you need to understand behind your conversion rate is–at the end of the day– the ONLY thing you need to worry about is making it an easy “yes” for your customers to purchase from you.
ANYTHING you can do to streamline your shoppers experience and make it VERY effortless to order from you will boost your conversion rate.
But when you’re stuck inside your business day in and day out, it can be *hard* to see what areas need to be fixed or what problem spots are causing your potential customers to click away from your shop and go get distracted by Youtube cat videos instead.
So strategy #1 to boost your shop’s conversion rate:
The idea here is that you’re going to have a “beta shopper” if you will go throughout your shop and make notes of areas that cause them concern and/or hesitation.
When picking your “guinea pig,” to “shop from you”, I want you to look for these criteria:
1- They’re willing to be HONEST with you and NOT sugarcoat things. It will do you no good whatsoever to have someone go through that just sings your praises. You need someone who is willing to offer good, solid constructive feedback. So probably not your mom 😉
2- They need to be emotionally unattached from your shop. There is nothing that clouds judgment so much as emotions, so pick someone who has no vested interest in the success of your shop. This means your spouse *probably* isn’t the best pick.
Once you’ve found someone to go through your shop, you’re going to pick (3) particular items for them to “purchase” and then hand over your main shop URL and have them go at it. If you have products with variations in sizing/color/etc., make sure you include at least one of those in your 3 hand-picked items with specifications on the color/size/etc. that they should select.
Have them make notes of the following:
What was their initial first impression of your shop?
Was it easy to find the items they were looking for?
Was it straightforward to add the item they were looking for to the cart?
Were there any unpleasant surprises when they went to checkout (things like shipping costs, shipping time frame, policies?)
What hesitations did they have about purchasing (if any)?
Now, this may seem like overkill and a lot of work for a “pretend” order, but it’s not because you are getting VALUABLE information on the customer shopping experience from a pair of outsider eyes– these “eyes” can show you EXACTLY where the problem areas are in your shop that you– as the shop owner– haven’t noticed.
And then– it should go without saying– you need to FIX those areas that they mentioned. Don’t just sit on the results of your informal shop “audit”– actually take action!
Now, if you’re one of those “extra credit” types like me, you can actually ask a *few* people to go through your shop and follow this process. More eyes = more perspective and will guarantee you’ve gotten a very thorough analysis of your shop.
Alright, thing #2 you can do right now to boost your conversion rate:
You should already have a flagship product line to bring cohesion to your shop (and if you don’t, be sure to check out episode 2 of this podcast– I’ll link to it in the show notes), but guess what? There’s still more you can do to create a very streamlined customer experience!
It’s time to make a concentrated effort on creating a cohesive and shoppable store-front and this is done in two parts: your products and your shop sections.
Let’s concentrate on your PRODUCTS first.
So the first step towards organizing your Etsy shop is to group similar items together.
This is a super easy buyer-psychology hack you can implement that IMMEDIATELY gets customers thinking about alllllllll the options you have in your shop and how they can mix + match together.
Think about it– if someone sees a pair of earrings that they absolutely love, chances are they’d probably love a matching necklace as well. However, if your earrings are on the first page of your shop, but your necklace is on the third page, then they’ll have to work hard to find that match– and online shopping + hard work = no sales. 🙁
Save your customers time by showing them what they’re already looking for, and making it an “easy yes!”
And if you’re looking for real-life examples of what this looks like, be sure to head on over to the show notes — morgannield.com/blog/episode15– where I’ll have screenshot examples of shops who have done this VERY well. I’ll also have a tutorial link on how to rearrange your shop if you didn’t know that was even possible and have no clue how to make that happen.
Along with arranging your shop, I’d also recommend rearranging (and possibly renaming!) your shop sections as well to make your items even EASIER for your customers to find (and for those who prefer to browse in a different way)
Use your freshly rearranged shop as a guide for what items to include in each section of your shop.
Here are a few additional, but super important, guidelines to follow as well:
List your best-selling item sections FIRST
Use simple high-quality keyword phrases when naming your sections (read: avoid overly cutesy or clever names) (bonus: this helps your google ranking as well!)
Make your section names easy to read (that means do NOT add “s p a c i n g” between letters– that is a MAJOR no-no for SEO purposes, as well as for readability)
Include at least 5 or more items within each section (we want to make sure your shop looks nice and full)
Limit yourself to 10 sections or less, unless absolutely necessary (too many options will overwhelm your customers; remember– we want to make it as easy as possible for them to say “yes!”)
Basically, whatever you can do to make navigating your shop as straightforward and streamlined for customers as possible is the ultimate goal here. If you’re stuck on where to start, use what your “beta shoppers” back in Tip #1 said to guide your shop arrangement 🙂
Alright, and tip #3 that you can implement TODAY:
It goes without saying (although I’ll say it anyways because that’s how I roll) that the longer a person stays in your shop, the more likely they are to purchase from you.
So it makes sense that you would want to do everything in your power to keep people in your shop as long as possible, right?!
And that’s where the power of cross-promoting comes into play.
Not only is this a KILLER strategy to boost your conversion rate, it also helps boost your per-order sales total as well– so it’s a win win!
Cross-promotion sounds like some fancy, complicated marketing term, but it’s really quite simple. Basically, you’re suggesting to a potential buyer that you have more options he/she may be interested in– and you’re making it REALLY easy to show those options off.
So let me be the first to tell you that hyperlinks are going to be your new best friend– this is how you’re going to cross-promote your product given Etsy’s limited options.
A hyperlink is simply a link that you can click on, and you can use these WITHIN each product description to help customers browse other items in just one click! (Remember, it’s all about that EASY yes!)
There are TWO types of items that you’ll want to help your customer find:
An item in the same category, but with a different style (e.g. if they click on a dress, that means they probably do want to purchase a dress, but they might prefer a different fabric design)
An item in a different category, but with the same style (e.g. if they click on a necklace they love, they would probably love to add some matching earrings as well)
A bundled version of the item
As a general rule, I recommend adding 1-3 (and no more than 5) hyperlinks within each listing.
If you add any more, you run the risk of overwhelming your customer with too many choices (and overwhelmed customers will LEAVE and find another shop that makes their experience easier– so let’s make sure YOUR shop offers the best possible experience).
We go into this strategy more in-depth inside Mastermind Your Marketing as well as personalized guidance and help utilizing links for YOUR unique shop, but this should give you a basic foundation to begin with.
Now, those were 3 things you can do TODAY to boost your conversion rate, but there still *may* be one or more things holding your shop back from reaching it’s true conversion rate sales potential.
If your conversion rate is still sitting slow and low, take note of the following issues that may be causing some deeper-ingrained conversion rate issues.
Now, some of these may have come up when your “beta shopper” when through your store, but just in case, I wanted to talk about some of the most frequent hangups that can affect your conversion rate:)
Are your policies super strict and stingy? People might be hesitant to order from an unheard of shop on Etsy—especially if you don’t allow refunds or replacement orders to be sent out.
I’ve had over 23,000 sales on Etsy, and I’m here to tell you that by having overly-generous return/refund policies in place, I’ve had MAYBE 50-75 customers that have taken me up on the offers. So while it may seem like a hard pill to swallow, trust me when I say this: It doesn’t happen that often. People just like the reassurance—they’re not usually out there to rip you off (although there is the occasional jerk…)
Are you getting a few lackluster reviews? While 3 and 4 start reviews are fine enough, they can be hard on your overall star rating. You’ll want to make sure your customer service is top-notch and that you’re communicating with your customers every step of the way to ensure you get those 5-star reviews you’re craving.
On average, getting 1 review per 10 sales is pretty average on Etsy, so if you’re getting at least that, stop worrying 🙂
This is rare, but occasionally a shop can contain product that is too niche—and there just aren’t enough people searching for your items keywords (you can find out how many people search for keywords using a tool like Google Keyword Finder). This means you either need to a) educate your audience; or b) add another product line that appeals to a slightly larger target market (not too broad—but enough so that it’s getting a decent amount of views)
Like it or not, photography is HUGE when it comes to selling in e-commerce because people can’t actually feel or hold your product—so your photography needs to do the story-telling.
Let me guess: you’re probably not a natural photographer. That’s okay– I’m not either! But it doesn’t give you an excuse for poor photos. You either need to
a) learn how to take decent photos, or
b) hire it out.
A lot of Etsy sellers protest the latter due to budget constraints, but if professional photography is out of your budget, consider trading goods/services with a local photographer (or family friend!) in exchange for a few professional photos. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get decent photos– but you may have to be a bit scrappy if you’re trying to save your pennies.
This is a HUGE topic for another day, but the bottom line is that if your copy is currently either
A giant block of text; or
3 lines AT MOST
…you’re going to have a hard time convincing people to part with their hard-earned dollars.
Your copy needs to be easy-to-read online (so things like scannability, shorter text blocks, bullet points), include strategic keyword placement, and contain ALL the information a customer would need to know to feel confident purchasing your product.
No pressure, right!?
I’ve got a super in-depth blog post all about how to formulate your copy for conversions that I will link to in the show notes for this episode if you’re looking for more step-by-step instruction on how this is done: (http://www.morgannield.com/blog/2017/3/8/creating-copy-that-converts-like-crazy).
And whew– there you have it. 3 things you can do to boost your conversion rate THIS AFTERNOON as well as some more troubleshooting help if your conversion rate is REALLY stuck at rock bottom and not moving an inch.
Remember– boosting your conversion rate is the #1 thing you can do to EFFORTLESSLY increase your sales. It’s not an ongoing marketing process– you made the adjustments and tweaks ONCE and reap the rewards for months–YEARS– to come. It’s the ultimate marketing and sales hack that you should be taking advantage of and definitely one you should explore BEFORE you spend all your time + energy driving traffic. Let’s make sure your shop is an easy “yes” to potential customers and watch those sales come rolling in.
Thanks for joining me this week and I can’t wait to chat with you next!
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