Etsy  (NASDAQ: ETSY) has been one of the most popular online platforms for handmade and vintage sellers for more than a decade. With nearly 2 million business owners and hobbyists selling their wares, the company is constantly evolving and releasing new tools to support the ecommerce community.
How to Be Successful on Etsy
Small Business Trends recently spoke with Kruti Patel Goyal, who is the General Manager of Seller Services for Etsy about what sellers can do to grow their businesses on the platform  and some of the new features that can help them do just that.
Read the Seller Guidelines Carefully
If you’re just getting started on Etsy, the first step that Patel Goyal recommends is doing some reading. Etsy has always offered guides like its Seller Handbook to help business owners make the most of the platform. And those materials are updated constantly so you’ll always have the most recent information.
Patel Goyal said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Etsy’s Seller Handbook is also an essential resource for sellers just getting started. For instance, our Ultimate Guides to product photography and marketing cover everything you need to know to present your products professionally and get the word out about your new business.”
Schedule Special Promotions
As with any type of ecommerce business, a special sale or discount code can help you incentivize new purchases. And Etsy offers a feature that lets you choose which type of promotion to offer so you can schedule it for your shop.
Patel Goyal explains, “Special offers can help sellers capture the attention of shoppers and create a loyal following. With Etsy’s tools, sellers can schedule and run “percentage off” or “free shipping” sales that encourage shoppers to add more to their carts.”
Automatically Share Updates on Social Media
From there, you can set your shop to automatically send out updates about promotions to your social media channels. This lets you save time while still getting the word out about your special offers.
Patel Goyal says, “Sellers can also share these offers across their social networks through our tools. Last year, we launched a new social media tool that makes it easy for sellers to share their listings, sales and promotions, and celebrate shop milestones across social media directly from within their Etsy Shop Manager  and the Sell on Etsy app. We know Etsy sellers are busy and the Sell on Etsy app can help them stay on top of their businesses, from answering questions from buyers to paying bills on the go.”
Come Up with a Unique Photo Style
Photography is an essential part of any successful Etsy shop. The site’s seller guides and handbook offer some basic tips for brushing up on your photography skills. But you also have to come up with a specific and recognizable style that works for your specific product line. You might consider adding some props that show scale and fit with your branding. Or you could come up with a unique background that makes your images stand out without distracting from the actual product.
Optimize Your Shop for SEO
SEO is also a big part of growing an Etsy shop, since most shoppers use the search or browse functions on the site to find product options. The exact SEO guidelines might change periodically. But you can’t go wrong by sticking to the basic concepts  of mentioning the most relevant keywords as early and as often as possible within your titles, description, tags, and images.
Join an Etsy Team
To continue learning and growing along with the Etsy community, Patel Goyal also recommends connecting with other sellers. The platform’s Teams feature gives you an easy and fun way to do just that.
Patel Goyal says, “There are so many ways to find support on Etsy, particularly for sellers who are just getting started. For example, Etsy Teams are self-organized groups of sellers who share tips, run local events, and organize grassroots campaigns. Joining an Etsy Team gives sellers instant access to a community of other entrepreneurs who’ve been in their shoes.”
Try Promoted Listings
For a quick sales boost, Etsy also offers paid advertising options where you can boost the visibility of a particular product or products. This can be a worthwhile exercise at least to see what type of sales increase it leads to and use it to supplement your other marketing efforts as you grow your shop.
Get into Google Shopping
Outside of Etsy, there are also some worthwhile marketing and advertising tools you can make use of. For instance, you can set your products to show up in Google Shopping searches. Then you can pay for Google ads to boost the visibility of those products when people enter relevant search terms into Google.
Sell Your Products at Local Craft Fairs and Events
Etsy sellers can also boost sales by expanding where they sell products. If you sell items at craft fairs or retail shops, you can even use a Square card reader to easily connect those in-person purchases to your shop.
Patel Goyal says, “We also know that many Etsy sellers want to connect with buyers in person, and build their brands on their own websites as they grow. We recently launched a partnership with Square so that Etsy shop owners have a solution for accepting payments wherever they’re selling.”
Launch Your Own Dedicated Website
Once you’ve grown your shop on Etsy, you might also consider adding your own website so you can personalize and control more of the shopping experience. In fact, Etsy also offers a tool for helping shop owners in this area.
Patel Goyal adds, “For sellers ready to launch their own website, we offer Pattern, our suite of website building tools. Sellers can choose from beautiful, customizable templates and sync their Etsy inventory so they can grow their brand while managing all their orders in the same place.”
Photo via Shutterstock