Tracking your conversion rate may be low down on your priority list when you first start a new online business. In fact, you may be like me and not even know what a conversion rate is! But boy since finding out about it, I have discovered this is such an invaluable tool.
It is now my go-to statistic (stat) to tell me where I should be spending my efforts.
At the start of your business journey, you are trying to get sales and views by whatever means you can. And that is a good thing. Working on your products and listings are top of your to-do list.
But there comes the point where you need to take stock. You need to find out what is working and what isn’t. You need to know where your efforts are best spent to have the best return.
And it is at this point that the conversion rate comes in handy.
What is the conversion rate?
The conversion rate is a calculation that tells you what proportion of people buy from you after seeing your product. It is the percentage of your shop visitors who purchase something from you.
What is significant is that it is a figure you can use in any circumstance to find out what is working and what isn’t.
If you don’t know your conversion rate, it’s like driving to your friend’s new house without knowing where she lives. You might eventually get there. Maybe you have a few stopping points to call your friend and ask for her guidance to get you there. But how much easier and quicker would it be if you knew where you were going in the first place.
If you don’t check your conversion rate, then you won’t know the best way to reach your goals, or what has the highest return from your effort.
How do you calculate the conversion rate?
We are lucky these days, Etsy now does the basic calculation for us on your Stats page.
Make sure you use at least 30 days to calculate your conversion rate. Anything smaller and small fluctuations will have a more significant impact. This will distract you from your real performance.
The conversion rate that Etsy calculates is for your whole shop.
The metric is calculated by taking the number of orders divided by the number of visits. Multiply this by 100 to get the percentage.
So in this example (59/1742) x 100 = 3.39%.
What is a good conversion rate?
The average conversion rate for online shops ranges from 1-3%, with successful shops coming in a higher.
The reliability of Etsy statistics is a bit of a grey area. If you compare your Etsy visits to the number of users on Google analytics (which is the comparable figure), you will find that the numbers vary enormously.
For some reason, Etsy always seems to have more Visits than Google Users. So, where possible, always use your Google analytics figures. These are more accurate and give a better reflection of your business.
If you haven’t yet connected your Etsy shop to Google Analytics, here is a good article from Etsy that tells you how.
The difference in the statistics, of course, then plays an import role in what can be classed as a ‘GOOD’ conversion rate.
If you use the Etsy statistics, then a reasonable conversion rate is 1.1%. Whereas if you use Google Analytics figures, then a fair target value to aim for is 3%.
Be aware, there is no need to track both rates. Choose one and stick with that as consistency in your stats is essential too.
If your figures are lower than either of these two conversion rates, you need to get working on your shop.
Anything higher then you are doing OK.
Bear in mind that these figures are for your whole shop. Looking at the conversion rate for individual listings can also be useful. It is helpful to see whether there are any that are pulling your overall percentage down.
Our Etsy profit planner will take both your Etsy and Google figures and will calculate your conversion rate. From there, the summary page flags to you what you should be working on.
How do you improve your conversion rate in your Etsy shop?
If your conversion rate is below average, you need to work on getting more sales from the people that DO see your items. This means improving the specifics of the listing, such as photos, descriptions, etc..
Here are some ideas to help you push your visitors across the line:
- Always make sure your images are the best they can be. Remember they need to beat your competition.
- Write better descriptions. Focus on the emotions and benefits the customer will get from your product.
- Price your items to reflect the value of your item. Interestingly, reducing your price doesn’t always increase your sales. A lower price sometimes makes the customer think it is of a lower quality, which in turn can be off-putting.
- Answer any potential issues that could stop your customer from buying. Give them reassurance that what they are buying is worth the money. Offering returns, guarantees, etc. can often help push them over the line. Too strict shop policies can sometimes be all it takes to turn off a customer. If you have a more relaxed approach you may find that very few customers actually take advantage of them.
- Make sure your processing times and shipping costs are appropriate. Etsy knows that customers are more likely to buy if free shipping is included (even if that ‘free’ shipping is included in the cost of the product). Try and make your shipping and delivery as simple and as quick as possible.
- Make sure your shop categories are clear and straightforward so that your customer can easily find what they are looking for. You don’t want to confuse them before they even get to your product.
- If you have a few poor reviews make sure you are working hard to improve your customer service. Don’t respond to any poor reviews aggressively or rudely. Instead, write your response as if you are explaining the issue to future customers. Always be polite, no matter how much you may think differently.
- Make sure you don’t direct people to your products who have no intention of buying them. This will definitely skew your conversion rate. So stay away from the Etsy Teams games of favouriting each other’s shops.
What should I do if my conversion rate is OK
Doing OK means your products are selling reasonably well when they are seen. So if you want more sales, then the simple answer is to try and get more traffic to your products. This could mean improving your SEO (yes that old chestnut!), or maybe up your marketing game.
Here are some things you could work on to get your items in front of more people:
- Can you improve your titles and tags to get more visibility? Check out this SEO post to find out how.
- Create and publish more pins on Pinterest. Highlight your products’ benefits, etc… Build this into your regular weekly or monthly routine. Pins stay around for ages and can still be promoting for you years after you first created them, and all for FREE.
- Send a promotional email to your mailing list. What you haven’t got one yet? Then it is time to start.
- Create videos of you making your products and start publishing them on Youtube. People always love to see the creator in action. If you can build a following here, this can often lead to people buying the product they have just seen made. Again this is FREE promotion.
- If you are not already on social media (I don’t consider Pinterest as social media), then pick the one you enjoy using and have a go. Please be aware that if you are short on time, this USUALLY takes more time than the return you get back.
Etsy search cares about your Conversion Rates
In case you haven’t realised, your Etsy search results and your conversion rate are intertwined.
Your SEO enables your listing to be included in the search results. But Etsy’s uses their perceived quality of your shop to determine where you rank. The conversion rate is built into this quality rating, as Etsy only wants to display products that sell. So you can’t have good search results without a good conversion rate.
Individual listings conversion rates
Everything above relates to your shop as a whole.
Now we know what to do for your shop, let’s unleash the power on individual listings.
Working out the conversion rate on your listings can really dig deep into which products are working for you and which need more work.
You can find individual listing stats on your Etsy statistics page.
Look at the most visited listings for your 30 day period and work out the conversion rate for the top 10. You can do as many as you like, but start with the first few as this can get time-consuming.
Once you know which of your “most viewed” listings have the lowest conversion rates, these are the ones you need to start improving.
The goal here is to capitalise on your traffic. You are already getting people visiting the item, but there is something about it that is stopping them buying it. Work out what it is, and this could massively increase your sales.
Next, look at the bottom 10 visited listings and again work out the conversion rate.
Which of your “least viewed” listings have the highest conversion rates?
What this means is that these products are selling well even though they don’t get many visitors. This is an excellent indicator of where to put your greatest SEO efforts. If you get more traffic to these listings, you have the potential to make more sales.
Make sure you review your shop and listing conversion rates regularly. Doing this every 1 to 2 months makes sure you are on top of your game and making the most of your items and visitors.
Why not use our Etsy Statistics Tracker to take the pain out of this process.
If you are interested in finding out about other useful statistics, take a look at this post.