The RIGHT way to use PRODUCT LISTING VARIATIONS to make MORE SALES from your handmade shop

There’s this one mistake so many handmade
sellers make in the way they organize their product listings when offering
different variations of the same product – like color options for example, or personalization – that’s costing
them – and maybe you – a lot of sales. So if you’re trying to get more of your
shop views to turn into actual sales, this is going to be a really helpful
video as I’m going to explain to you what the problem is, walk you
through an example of it, offer you a super effective solution
for it and an added bonus boost for your shop that will come from implementing
this solution. Let’s dive in. Bonjour! My name is Deb and
I’m the founder of, a membership community for
makers and handmade shop owners. Today I want to talk to
you about simplifying your
listings so that you can make more sales from them. This is helpful if you’re selling
on your own website or on Etsy. It’s something that I see everywhere
and that comes up quite often when I do Etsy shop reviews or handmade shop reviews
within the Tizzit HQ community so I thought it was time to record a video
about it in hopes that it will help the community at large and help more of you
turn more views into sales more often than not while still offering people
different variations of your products and also options for personalization of
those products. So here’s the problem: your product listings are too complex. You’re giving people too many options. I know this comes from a place of service, like “I want people to be happy and I
want them to have exactly what they want. I want them to be able to get
their perfect pillow”, for example. And then there’s this other
part as well that’s like, “well I can make this in
blue or in yellow or in red. I know how to make it and I
have the supplies for it”. So naturally you’re
thinking, why not offer it? The overall idea is that the
more options you give them, the more likely they are to find exactly
what they need and so you’re more likely to make more sales. Sadly, that’s
not how the human brain works. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Without
getting into the details of it, Barry Schwartz in his book,
“The paradox of choice. Why more is less” (and I think there’s
actually a great Ted talk on this too if you don’t want to read the book,
but you do want to learn more. It’s actually quite an entertaining
Ted talk) has done a lot of research on consumer behavior, psychology studies, happiness surveys around the decisions
that we as consumers have to make and the choices that we’re being
offered when shopping. And it turns out that more is less. The more decisions someone has
to make to finalize a purchase, the more stressed out
and unhappy they feel, the more likely they are to freeze and
to get into analysis paralysis and to make no decision at all, meaning
that you’re not getting a sale. So you really want to reduce the amount
of options that you’re giving people when ordering your products. It
might feel counterintuitive at first, but I promise you this is how you finally
start making sales or more sales from those listings. Let’s take a pillow listing as an
example to illustrate my point, but of course this applies to you
even if you don’t sell pillows. As long as you offer variations and
personalization options for your products, this still applies. So we have a pillow. The first thing you might want to offer
is different sizes: length, width, square shape, rectangles, circular, extra
large… Then maybe a choice of color: is the pillow going to be red, blue,
orange, burnt orange, turquoise, ivory, black? You get my point. Then you might want to offer an option
for the pillow and an insert or the pillow cover only. If your
design allows for a second color, you might want to ask for
that second color as well. And often a font choice is also offered, so what font do they want for the
text on the pillow? And finally, what should that text actually say? What’s the custom or personalized message
that they want written on that pillow? See, that’s really starting to be a lot. And of course I exaggerate here and it’s
rare to see that many options offered, but you’d really be surprised because
often it’s not far at all with listings commonly offering four options
like color, size, insert or not, and then a custom message. And then comes a second
layer of indecision because
within each option there are too many sub options, so 15 colors
to choose from, 12 font options… That’s way too many decisions that your
customer has to make and what you’re really doing here is asking them
to design their own custom pillow. That’s cool, but that’s not a
listing. That’s a custom order. And you can mention it in your listing
that if they want more options, they can contact you for a
custom order, that’s cool. But you don’t want to make them design a
pillow if they don’t necessarily want a custom order because what you’re asking
them to do then is to be a designer and they don’t want that. That’s
why they’re paying you for. They’re paying you to pick the best fonts, they’re paying you to pick the best
colors that are on trend at the moment. It’s your job as the designer to make
those decisions and to offer a very curated list of options for them. So
what’s the solution here? Well, as a rule, you don’t want to give
people more than two options. And I know that on Etsy you’re
theoretically not able to, but many sellers do a little work around
where they use one drop down for two options like this, where
effectively it’s only one drop down, but you’re really asking two things: what size and do you
want an insert or not. So when I’m saying two options, I mean two decisions not to drop downs. So for example, it could be color and size
or size and insert or not. That’s rule number one. Rule number
two is that within those two options, you don’t want to give them
six different sizes of pillows. Don’t give them 15 different color choices
or 10 different fonts to choose from. Less truly, truly is
more. And to be honest, to someone that is not a graphic
designer or designer at all, looking at all these fonts, they all kind of look the same after
five or six options. And again, they just want you to pick what font is
best so that it’s easy to read and it’s on trend. Now, the bonus boost you’ll get from using
this strategy that I mentioned at the beginning of this video is that you will
now have more listings in your shop. Because I’m not telling you not to offer
all of these colors or all of these options. I’m just saying to make
them into separate listings. So you want to ask yourself,
what’s most important here? Are people mostly interested in the
color, the size, or something else? If it’s the color, for example, and you have five different
color variations at the moment, then create five separate
listings: one for the blue pillow, one for the gray pillow, one
for the black pillow, et cetera. And why is it great to have more
listings? Three things. One, your shop looks more full. Two,
when someone searches for, say, a blue pillow, they will see
in your featured thumbnail, that little image that shows up, that is the blue pillow and so they’re
much more likely to click on it that if the thumbnail showed a gray pillow, even though you had a variation for
a blue option within that listing. So really better click through
rate is what we’re going for here. And then finally, if you sell on Etsy, more listings also means
more opportunities to show
up in search results as you get to use and experiment with different
keywords and titles for your SEO. So it’s a win all around. Next up, I’d love to recommend you watch a video
I created about the seven Etsy mistakes I see a lot of sellers make,
because if you enjoyed this video, you’re going to love that one too.
Thanks for watching. And until next time, au revoir!

Daniel Ostrander

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