|My bright and shiny shop for 2013|
Did you put your shop on vacation mode after the holidays? I did. Even if your vacation wasn't official, you may have some cleaning up to do for the new year.
This checklist is Etsy-specific, but you can adapt and apply the tips to fit any online shop venue (or your own site!).
Set aside an hour or two to study your shop and tidy it up where it needs it.
Ready? Here we go!
You may have changed your banner and/or avatar to be seasonal during the holidays or announce a holiday sale; alternatively, maybe it's featuring last year's new product(s). Give your shop a new banner and avatar, reflecting all the good items you have in stock for this year.
Check your shop announcement
Remove any text alluding to the holidays, out-dated sales, old specials or news from 2012. Announce what's to come for 2013; leave a link to your newsletter sign-up, or state current shipping times, or direct them to your shop policies for more information.
Check your stock
Make sure the quantities listed for each item is up-to-date. Remove old products that didn't sell in 2012, or that feel out of place with your 2013 product lines.
Edit and update tags
Go through each listing and remove any seasonal tags such as "holidays", "Christmas", "Autumn", "Black Friday", etc. Add new, relevant tags to help you get found for upcoming seasons, such as "Winter", "Spring", "Valentine", or "Easter" where they apply. Make sure to tag your colors, too - pink and red will be hot through February 14th, and Emerald is Pantone's color of the year for 2013.
Edit and re-arrange shop sections
Get rid of the "Christmas" or "Winter Holidays" section in your shop, if you made one. Check to see if they could be better-organized. Delete un-used sections. Re-arrange the sections in order of importance, or alphabetize them for easier browsing. Create new sections for seasonal items, like Valentine's Day or New Arrivals. Try re-naming shop sections if sales have been slow - name them by product type, color, size, price, occasion, recipient, etc.
Browse through your listings and check for:
- outdated titles - get rid of seasonal words like "Christmas", "Snow", or "Black Friday Sale"
- old, stale descriptions alluding to past sales or related products that no longer exist
- dark and out-of-focus photos, or photos that don't match. Consider re-taking your photos for a cohesive look
Check to make sure your turnaround times, shipping schedules, and pricing are accurate. Apply updated shipping profiles to everything in your shop, and note made-to-order items in your product descriptions.
Try refreshing your "About" page for the new year. Your old "About" might be just fine as-is, but Google loves fresh, updated content. Tell us what's new, change your rotating photos to new products, and update your head shot.
Make sure all information is accurate and up-to-date. Make sure to link to any other Etsy shops or accounts you might have, per Etsy's policies. Add or remove widgets on your profile if you'd like, by making your favorites, treasuries, or teams public or private.
Update shop policies
New year, new language. Policies are the not-so-fun part of your shop, so make sure it is as easy to read and understand as possible. Be friendly, but firm in your policies - they should be strong enough to protect you, but not so rigid that you'll scare potential customers away. Try adding a FAQ section, and spell out your return/exchange policy. Tell us about how you package and ship your items, and the shipping speeds you offer.
Update Message From Seller
Your customers get an automatic response from you with every purchase - that is, if you've filled out your "message from seller" box in the Info and Appearance section. Delete old or outdated text; make sure any information you are giving your customers there is current. Make it friendly, and provide alternative ways for them to get in touch with you - email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Rearrange your items
I have "Rearrange Shop" turned on. I like to group my listings by product type, so it seems less cluttered and random when browsing. Arrange products by color; by product type; by room of the house; by age or gender. This is your chance to curate your shop.
Try refreshing your top 4 featured items. Out with the old, in with the new! The top 4 featured items are the first products customers see in your shop. Let customers see what's new, or what's popular in your shop right now. Choose your 4 most-favorite products, your 4 top-sellers, or 1 product from each shop category. It's really up to you. For maximum shop browsing, make sure to re-arrange your shop so that none of the 4 featured items are repeated below on the first page.
List new items
Update Coupon Codes
Delete or deactivate old or off-season coupon codes. Create new ones for special up-coming events, or return customers.
So: this is what I've been up to since I re-opened my shop two days ago. There's so much to take care of, and not enough hours in the day. I'm still not completely done yet, so if you stop by, don't expect perfection!
Is there anything I missed? I'd love to add your tips to this list!