When I opened my first Etsy chop circa 2011 I was obsessed with stats. Seriously—I would find myself popping into my Etsy shop 8-10x/day just to see how many views I had, if I was getting favorites, and all that jazz.
And it didn’t stop at just my Etsy shop—I quickly became obsessed with checking in on my social media—tapping into the app every 5 minutes to see if I had gained another follower, or logging onto Pinterest to see how my repins were going.
And while it’s not bad in and of itself to check in on your stats (and if you aren’t currently doing it, you should be!), it can become a really unhealthy cycle when you start obsessing over ALL the numbers instead of focusing on the ones that really matter—the ones that bring you sales.
Yes, that’s right—not all views and favorites and likes are created equal. In fact, at the end of the day, if they aren’t earning you more sales, then all you’ve got going on are “vanity numbers,” and they're basically irrelevant.
For a while, I was a slave to those vanity numbers. I focused so much of my attention on growing my social media and growing my shop favorites that I forgot to focus on the most important aspect of all—growing my sales.
Now I’m not going to call you out on it if that story sounds anything like yours (if anything, I want you to know that you're in good company!!), but I am going to suggest that today you take a step back, read the post below, and figure out what stats ACTUALLY MATTER in your Etsy shop—what stats to pay attention to, what to look for, and how to work with those stats to bring in even more sales.
Below I’m going to be sharing the top 3 stats for your Etsy shop that you should be focused on. These aren’t just “vanity numbers”—they’re numbers that can actually help you improve your shop conversions (aka: the numbers that actually matter!).
Statistic #1 | Shop views
Why your shop views matter:
This one is almost a no-brainer, but I still want to explain the details of it so that we’re all on the same page :)
Your shop views matter, obviously, because without shop views, you’re never going to make sales. So shop views = the first step to a profitable Etsy shop.
On Etsy, when you view your shop stats, you’re taken to a cute little stats graphic like this:
That first tab—the shop views—is where we want to focus our attention.
That number shows the number of views your shop got for that day (or for whatever time-frame you’ve set the parameters to), but take note—this is the number of views in your shop for the day—NOT the number of unique visitors.
Basically, that means that while I got 905 views in that time period, there weren’t 905 different people in my shop (although that would be awesome!)—there were probably around 200-300 people who popped in and browsed through a few listings in my shop, enough to total that 905.
So while views are definitely helpful, it’s important to realize that they’re not the holy grail of Etsy statistics—you’d do much better to set up Google Analytics for your Etsy shop, as they’ll give you your unique visitor count + an insanely in-depth breakdown of everything that’s going down in your Etsy shop :) If you've never used Google Analytics before, Etsy has a great tutorial on how to set that up here:)
(Also, please don’t get discouraged if you’re just realizing that this means views, not unique visitors—it’s definitely a GOOD thing if people are browsing multiple pages in your shop—it means that you’ve got something good going on and that they’re seeing something that they like. If your views and unique visitors are pretty close to the same number, you’ve got a major problem—because that means people aren’t liking what they see when they click into your shop)
What you should be looking for:
So shop views matter. Awesome. But what should you be looking for in terms of shop views? How many is enough?
While every Etsy shop is different (#noduh), there are a few baseline numbers that I recommend:
Aim for a couple hundred views/day. I average around 1,000 – 1,500 on an average day (with overall less views on the weekends), with those numbers going significantly up during the holidays (I usually average around 2,000 views/day during Nov/Dec)
As a point of reference (because I feel like it really helps when you can see where someone is coming from), I started to notice consistent sales when my views got around 200/day, and things started to become routine and expected around 500 views/day. This is not gospel truth—it’s just what has worked for me in my experience + what I’ve found from talking with other successful Etsy sellers.
Try to get your views from as wide a variety of sources as possible. This will not only help your piece of mind, but it will give your shop a well-rounded approach and help to raise your views significantly.
When to issue a red flag:
If your views and your unique visitor (again, found through Google Analytics) totals are really similar. This usually means there's a disconnect somewhere in your shop-- people are clicking into it, but immediately clicking out without browsing around. You want people to stay around for as long as possible.
Take note of any sudden drops in your views. A sudden drop in views is an immediate cause for a red flag. Yes, there is an ebb and a flow to selling online (and especially seasonal on Etsy!), but if you’re at an average of 700 views/day for a few weeks and they suddenly drop down to 300, you need to take action—and fast.
There are a couple of things that can cause these drops in views, so use the following suggestions to troubleshoot:
An Etsy search algorithm change | Oh the constantly changing search algorithm. Etsy usually announces these changes on the forums or via email, so keep a lookout for that. The most recent one actually took place on 3/22 – attributes are now a factor in search criteria, fyi ;)
One of your main traffic drivers isn’t performing well | It’s always a good idea to keep tabs on where you traffic is coming from. If you notice a sudden drop in any one traffic driver, do a little digging and see if you can figure out why. This does not mean that you should abandon that platform-- it just means that you may need to tweak your strategy a little bit.
A technical glitch. While I'd love to say Etsy is perfect (ha ha ha!), this is actually a true story and has happened to me--I went from 1,700 views/day to less than 800—literally—overnight. To say I was in a mad panic would be the understatement of the year. I actually ended up hiring SEO help to pinpoint the problem and we discovered a glitch in the system :)
Statistic #2 | Sales to views ratio
Why your sales/views ratio matters:
Your sales/views ratio is actually where selling becomes fun on Etsy (Yes, that’s right, I just said math was fun. Oy vey.). As unpredictable as selling online can be, there are also some mathematical numbers that can help you predict with ridiculously on-target accuracy how many sales you can make under any given situation. Cool, huh?!
This is where your sales/views ratio comes into play. While I’ll always recommend you do a sales/unique visitors ratio, that information isn’t something that Etsy provides you with (but Google Analytics does), so if you don’t have that set up, you’ll just have to settle for second best—Etsy views.
What you should be looking for:
The easiest way to determine your ratio is the following equation:
Sales (or conversions)/views x100 = your conversion rate
Again, this is NOT a perfect formula, as your views are not as ideal as unique customer visits, but it is a start.
If you’re using unique customer visits data from your Google Analytics, you’ll want your conversion rate to fall around 3%. Less than 3 means that you’re performing below industry standard, and above 3%? Well, share your secrets—because you are doing AWESOME!
If you’re using the sales/views formula, however, look for a conversion rate of about 1% (Maramlead has stated that the average conversion rate for Etsy sellers using those stats is 1.11%). This is obviously lower than using Google Analytics, so don’t get hung up on that—just know that your conversion percentage would be much higher if you were focusing on unique customers instead of views.
After you’ve been open and maintaining a certain number of items in your shop for a period of at least 3 months, it's important to start tracking your shop conversions. This doesn’t have to be a complete time-suck—You can simply make a log 1x/month of your shop conversions for the month and then compare it as time goes on.
When to issue a red flag:
If you notice a sudden drop in your conversions, there are a few things that could be happening:
Your competition has increased. Boo. While competition is healthy, it doesn’t take long for a really awesome product idea to be surrounded by a sea of copycats. If this happens to you, it might be time to go back to the R&D phase and figure out a new way to stand out of the crowd.
Your SEO needs updating. As much as SEO is “set it and forget it,” you still need to check up on it from time to time to make sure that the terms that were working for you 6 months ago are still working for you.
An easy way to check this? Simply go to your shop stats and then scroll down to find your search terms. Compare those numbers to numbers you had 6 months ago. If they’ve gone up, then you are doing just fine—way to go! If they’ve gone down, however, it’s probably time to visit Marmalead (or whatever program you currently use) and update some of your search terms.
Your items are no longer relevant. This one is tricky to explain, but it’s best described by an example of trends. Do you remember a couple of years ago when chevron print was all the rage and you could find it absolutely EVERYWHERE? In fact, I had it in my home absolutely everywhere (flashback nightmares!). Seriously—I could not get enough of that trend and bought just about everything I could in a chevron pattern.
Nowadays, however, if I see a chevron pattern I immediately think “dated,” and that’s about as much thought as I give to things with that pattern on them.
So what changed? Is it because I’m just another fickle woman?
No, it’s because trends change, and with those trends, tastes change, too.
Humans are ridiculously susceptible to the power of suggestion, which is how we all jumped on board the chevron train (and if you avoided that particular trend, kudos to you!). But, when something newer and shinier comes along, we immediately jump ship and start focusing our attention on this new trend. And all that chevron inventory you had in stock? Well, it’s probably going to sit there for a while.
Whether you feel like your shop focuses on trends or not, chances are that the items that sold really well 2 years ago for you are probably not selling quite as strongly today. It’s not that there is anything wrong with these items—it just means that tastes are changing. And if you want your Etsy shop to remain relevant, you need to adapt. You CANNOT standstill and expect to stay flush with sales.
If you haven’t updated your shop with new items in the last 3 months, stop reading this article right now and ADD SOME NEW STUFF. I believe in this strategy so much that I actually have a full article on it here.
Statistic #3 | E-mail subscribers
Guys. Do you have an email list? Yes? No? If not, you absolutely should :) (and if trying to figure out the email list thing is enough to make you want to split your head open, then be sure to sign up to be a VIP for my Mastermind your Marketing e-course where I’ll walk you through it step-by-step so that you know what you’re doing ;)
Okay, so we’ve established that you need an email list. Good. I absolutely cannot recommend this enough. It’s one of the most effective and easiest ways to market your Etsy shop.
Why your email subscribers matter:
I feel like so many “experts” out there are telling you to focus solely on Instagram or Pinterest or collaborations. These are all strategies that I encourage and recommend, but they can’t be your entire focus.
Your email subscriber list is the only platform for fans that you have entire control over—no matter what social media platform goes under or what Etsy SEO algorithm change happens, you’ll always, always, always have your email subscribers.
Communicating with your fans via email is also a lot more personal than just social media. In email, you’re able to talk to them one-on-one and by giving you their email address, they’ve invited you into their lives—they’re eager to hear from you—so be sure to take advantage of that!
What you should be looking for:
An open rate of at least 12%. This is industry standard, so if you are hitting that number, then give a deep sigh of relief—you’re doing great!
That doesn’t mean that you should settle for that—obviously keep experimenting and tweaking and building relationships with your audience so that number goes up, but don’t panic in the beginning stages if you’re sitting around 12%. As a point of reference, I average around a 37-40% open rate for my emails, but I've also worked hard to get there :)
When to issue a red flag:
If your email open rate drops below 12%, there’s obviously a break in communication with your audience and it’s time to focus more on nurturing them—send more freebies, ask for their opinions, and practice with better headlines. Take note of what works and do more of that. If it isn’t working, don’t try to make it work—just ditch that particular strategy and focus on the beneficial ones.
Also, if your email subscriber growth comes to a stunting halt, it’s probably time to stop and see where the hang-up is. Something as simple as a technical glitch (like those are ever simple…) might be going on, but you also might have lost a huge traffic driver as well, so it’s important to stop and take notice if that’s something that has happened to you.
So there you have it- the top 3 stats that you should be focusing on for maximum growth in your Etsy shop. Do you have any other stats you enjoy looking at? Leave a comment below and let me know how they're helping your Etsy shop! xoxo