Confession: I made over 1,000 sales in my first year on Etsy but I also spent hundreds of dollars on inventory that didn’t sell (I run a fashion craft supply shop).

My mistake?

I didn’t do any market research to see what actually sells! 😱

Market research is an important part of running an Etsy shop. It can help you learn more about your target customer, and sell more of what they want!

Definition: “Market research consists of systematically gathering data about people or companies – a market – and then analyzing it to better understand what that group of people needs. The results of market research, which are usually summarized in a report, are then used to help business owners make more informed decisions about the company’s strategies, operations, and potential customer base” –Shopify

Knowing what I know now, here are six ways to do market research for your Etsy shop:

 
 

1. Research Top Competition (free)

Take a look at the top 10 shops that sell items similar to yours and analyze it all: their photography, graphics, product descriptions, shop policies, prices, and everything else in between. These shops are top sellers for a reason, so take the time to see what has worked for them! ⚡

HOW TO DO IT:

⭐ Create a free eRank account

⭐ Head to “Competition” in the top menu bar and choose “Top Sellers by Category”

Analyze the top 10!

Top 10 sellers in the “Handmade” category.

 

2. Google (free)

Google Trends is a great tool to use to get a sense of trends in and outside of Etsy. Choose a word/phrase and see how it has performed over any given period. Here you can see the popularity of “coffee mug” over a one year span:

As you can see, coffee mug searches are highest in November and December: due to the colder weather and due to holiday gift giving. Keep seasonal trends in mind when adding items to your shop!

Related Queries on the same page helps you find similar items or creative variations of things you can sell. As you can see, Baby Yoda is hugely popular at the moment. If you sell coffee mugs (or pretty much anything else), consider listing a “Baby Yoda” version!

Also consider trendy phrases like, “My house, my rules!”

 

3. Three Words: Etsy Trend Report (free)

Did you know? Etsy releases a seasonal trend report.

Etsy has a huge collection of educational materials but their trend report shows you what is trending in each category, what holidays to prepare for and how, as well as a seasonal shop checklist ✔️

If you missed it in your Inbox, here’s Etsy’s latest trend report for spring and summer 2021:

Maybe you’re in a niche that isn’t popular on Etsy. That’s okay! Incorporate seasonal trends into your products, with variations like: patterns, designs, shapes and colours! 🎨

 

4. Etsy Favourites (free)

When someone favourites your item on Etsy, head to their profile to see what other things they have favourited.

This buyer clearly likes Lion King!

This is great insight into what your prospective customers like so you can start selling more items like it!

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This next tip will be useful to you if you’ve had your shop for at least a month and have stats to work with:

 

5. Etsy Analytics (free)

Etsy has a built-in tool you can use to see what prospective customers search for when they come across your items.

Head to your Shop Manager>Marketing>Search Analytics to see what keywords customers are searching for:

Sell more of what is popular and improve listings with low conversion rates (high impressions/views but low sales).

 

If you want to start treating your Etsy shop like a business, you need to invest in one of these Etsy SEO tools:

 

6. eRank/Marmalead (paid)

Either of these tools will help you immensely with: pricing your items competitively, using your tags effectively, writing titles and descriptions that are SEO-friendly, “grading” your listings, seeing how you fare against your competition…and so much more!

Do your research and choose the one that is right for you (you don’t need both). eRank Pro is less expensive but Marmalead has more functions and is better (in my opinion).

eRank Pro: $9 USD/month*

Marmalead: $19 USD/month

*eRank does have a free version but you get what you pay for!

Check out these Marmalead search results for the phrase “coffee mug” and compare them to the limited stats you get with Google Trends:

Free tools can be useful, but eRank and Marmalead are absolute game changers!

 

Hope these 6 tools have piqued your interest in the world of Etsy market research! If they seem intimidating, choose one of these to start, and start making those game-changing improvements to your Etsy shop! ⭐

Comment below: have you done any market research for your Etsy business and if so: what kind?