If selling handmade, creative or vintage products is part of your small business, you may already have yourself an Etsy shop… but have you considered using your WordPress website or blog to promote that side of your business?
Part of the global move back toward supporting small-scale, local and people-focused businesses, Etsy was established in 2005 and since then has grown to include a network of more than 25 million members and 850,000 active shops. It’s estimated that there are in excess of 18 million items listed on Etsy – which generated just over $895 million in total merchandise sales in 2012.
Etsy is proving that small business is big business – so it’s little wonder then that more and more entrepreneurs and online businesses are turning to the ecommerce site to flog their wares. Being listed on Etsy is one thing, but that’s only half the battle. You also need to actively promote your shop and your listings, and reaching out to your existing audience via WordPress is an effective means of doing just that.
Showcase or Products Page
A great way to promote your Etsy shop and items via your website or blog is to create a dedicated Showcase or Products page, where information about your shop and your products is included along with photographs and links. This is a great option if you sell many of the same product, but may be a time consuming option in terms of maintenance if your items tend to be one-offs.
Consider posting a Product of the Week special feature, or an Etsy Roundup once each month to remind your readers about your products, offer them an inside look into the creation process, and encourage them to click through to your shop.
The team at Etsy seem to be fairly well attuned to the needs of their sellers, and understand promotion around other web spaces is an important part of the sales process. As a result, they’ve developed the Etsy Mini tool, to allow users to quickly and easily whip up the code they need to display a snapshot-selection of their products, or items added to their favourites, on their websites and blogs.
Setting up your Etsy Mini is super easy – you can see how the setup of an Etsy Mini for my favourites would look in the image above (no ‘items from shop’ option is available because I don’t have an Etsy shop).
To set up your own Etsy Mini, simply go to the Etsy Mini section of the site, select whether you would like to showcase items from your shop or items from your favourites, and then customise your layout by choosing a thumbnail or gallery layout, and how many columns and rows you would like displayed (up to a maximum of five of each). Once you’re satisfied with the look of your Etsy Mini, copy the code and paste it into the HTML of your blog or website.
There are three dedicated Etsy shop plugins for WordPress that have had good user reviews, and may be worth including on your site to automate your Etsy shop promotion processes.
- Advanced Etsy Widget – This is the latest Etsy WordPress plugin around. Easy to install and configure, this widget is a great alternative to Etsy Mini.
- Etsy Shop is a plugin allowing users to insert Etsy Shop sections in pages or posts using the bracket/shortcode method. It has a 3.7/5-star user rating.
- Treasuries are a powerful and expressive way to showcase Etsy items, and the Etsy Treasury Posting Tool enables users to add treasuries to their posts, while customising aspects such as the image sizes, columns and display layout. It has a 5/5-star user rating.
- The Customizable Etsy Widget gives users the opportunity to display Etsy items from their favourites or a store in a sidebar widget, without requiring iframe or Flash. It has a 3.6/5-star user rating.
Alternatively, if you’re already promoting your Etsy items on Pinterest, you may decide to use one of the Pinterest plugins available for WordPress to showcase your latest pins on your blog or website.
This gives you the added advantage of being featured across all three successful platforms (Etsy, WordPress and Pinterest) while also maintaining only one plugin. Good examples include the Pinterest RSS Widget (4/5), the Alpine PhotoTile for Pinterest (5/5) and the Pinterest Pinboard Widget (4.4/5).
Don’t forget to follow @Etsy on Twitter for their latest updates.