The experience of having and maintaining an online shop can be described in many stages and feelings. The range can vary from the exciting, gratifying to stressful and downright scary. The beginning is marked by the focus on getting everything up and running and on increasing shop traffic and sometimes it is hard to enjoy, to pause and take it all in. It has been a little more than 6 months since we opened the shop and I have been constantly balancing the items, the profile information, the banner and the avatar, getting a Facebook page, a blog. And if all of these are new to you, as they were to me then well it is one busy ride, fun but busy. I think it is important to take a moment and look at some of the firsts, a good time for analysis and reflection.
First feature in a Treasury List.
I think it was relatively early in the life of the shop so I was happy to see something directly related in the Activity panel. I saw this list and the item in it and it seemed great that someone took the time to look at the shop and choose an item to display along others. I didn’t know anything about Treasury Lists so I didn’t even thank the Curator because I didn’t know how they are used. After a few months when it was my turn to discover the Treasury List concept, I went back and thanked the Curator for choosing our item. Better late than never.
Looking at other shops I noticed that the number of sales and the number items for Feedback is not the same. Usually the number of Feedbacks is higher. So where did the extras come from? Well once I looked at the Feedback tool I saw that there is two types of feedback one as a seller and one as a buyer. I figured until our first sale might as well get some nice positive feedback. On my trip to Leura, Australia in a beautiful shop I discovered the concept of ex-libris. I decided to hold of on purchasing them and look on Etsy. So my first buy was a set of personalized bookplates. When I received the lovely package I was very excited to use them and leave a nice positive feedback for the seller with an appreciation photo. In response I had my first feedback: “Great buyer”. My plan to grow from a “great buyer” to a “great seller” was in motion.
First Showcase Spot
After a few listings, I was getting more confident that we could increase traffic hence I started looking at the Showcase Spots. I figured we have to start somehow and the price seemed reasonable. I was tempted by the promise of people favoring the shop and even potentially getting a first sale. The first spot was in the Bags and Purses section since mom just finished knitting some beautiful items. I was addicted to checking the number of views growing. It brought a high number of views for the featured bag but not a sale and not a high number of people favoring the shop. I have since tried a spot in the Clothing and the Children section with the Children’s one being the most successful. We have had great items but average photos and now we have had the chance for better photo sessions which lead to better displayed items. I am curious to see if the results of the Showcase Spot are better now with the new photos in place. The new spot is in the Children’s section on June 2nd.
First Treasury List
I already wrote a post related to Discovering Treasury Lists so there is quite a bit of detail there. But I will have to say that my first lists were very successful with them reaching 100 views. Of course that is a relative number but compared to my later ones, they were more popular. I enjoyed making them and I liked thinking or having a spark of an idea and then looking for items to support that seed of inspiration. Plus you increase your network by supporting other stores. Not much can go wrong there.
Soon after I did my Treasury List dedicated to Eastern European Flavours, which of course included Romania, I received my first Conversation on Etsy. It was an invitation to join the team of Romanian artists in order to support each other from the Captain of Romania’s Artisans. I saw teams before and I think I looked at joining once or twice but I felt a little intimidated. A bit of fear of rejection stopped me to submit an application. But the invitation gave me more confidence to participate and to put in my application to join the Toronto Etsy Street Team and I was again excited to be accepted. I check them regularly and every time I create a new Treasury List I include my new Etsy family members.
This venture was started as a result of the appreciation of family and friends of the knitwear and/or tailoring mom/Pusha has done and as a result of their requests. Slowly this pool grew larger and larger so it was the natural next step to try to start growing from a passion to a sustainable activity. It was not a surprise that our first Etsy sale came from this supportive community of people. It actually was very lucky because I had to do some PayPal fine-tuning which was necessary in order for the payment to go through. It may have been inconvenient if the first customer would not be sympathetic to such a situation. Now the Good Vibrations Bag is happily owned and we are ready to welcome more buyers.
For each one of these firsts my heart jumped a bit and each one had a learning curve attached with it. Each one of them were important in feeling more confident and comfortable communicating the status of the shop and of our items. This of course is just the beginning and there will be more lessons to be learned but I will keep you posted ☺