etsy seller

How to Make the Most of the Slow Season by Optimising Your Etsy Shop and Rethinking Your Products:

Etsy makeover ideas for your shop during the slow season

The spring and summer months can be quite slow for views and sales on Etsy unless you market towards popular seasonal trends such as weddings or festivals, or you have a niche product, or a devoted following!

Don't put your feet up just yet though, there's still plenty of work to do! Then you can bask in your organisational aura while everyone else is running around juggling tasks in November!

Refresh & rethink your shop

  • Editors' Picks are your friend. Not solely beneficial for Etsy shoppers, these gems are a useful resource for merchandising your own products too. Find Editors' Picks sections on the Home page of your Etsy account. Are your products relevant to any of Etsy's merchandising themes? If yes, then make sure you're tagging your listings to suit.


  • Here's a super trick I figured out when working with merchandising at Etsy that takes it a step further. On your Etsy home page, pick a category from the Editors' Picks sections, preferably one that is relevant to your own items. For this example, choose 'Summer fashion accessories' as seen on the screenshot below.

This will take you to sub-categories such as the ones below:

If you then click on the 'Printed headwraps' section, you will see a page of printed headwraps as expected. Just above the first row of products (see screenshot below), you will notice that Etsy admin have filtered the listings that show under their category heading with the specific search term 'printed turban'.

See where it says "All categories > “printed turban" in the screenshot above?  This means that any listings with the title/tags 'printed turban' will show under that category list of Editors' Picks.

  • Tagging and titling your own relevant listings with those specific filtered terms brings those items of yours to the top of that search (if your listings & shop are up to par and you double tag/title listings). Do this for all relevant categories for your best chance of showing in Editors' Picks!Etsy promotes their handpicked collections in their other merchandising e.g. newsletters as well, so the top ranking listings in that search would gain even more exposure.


  • Go through your listings with a fine-tooth comb and weed out irrelevant titles, tags, and don't forget the bits about Easter or Mother's Day in your descriptions. For your shop to appear fresh and current, it needs to be well maintained (like a bricks and mortar shop!)
  • Is a fresh photoshoot needed? Either work on your own photographs or consider hiring a professional. The latter can be fantastic value, especially if you sell the same items again and again. I recommend Diana Stainton Photography. You can post items to her to be photographed, and she has already worked with many a maker, along with professionally photographing Etsy events. 

Depending on the type of products you make, mock-up designs like these can look amazing, without even having to pick up a camera! You can digitally add an image into a frame in an already-styled professional photograph.

Example of product mockup for your print design -  by White Hart Design Co.

Example of product mockup for your print design - by White Hart Design Co.

  • Branding can make or break your shop aesthetic. Have you uploaded a cover image? Check that it's not pixellated, stretched, or blurry, and looks professional. It needs to be consistent with your branding across all social media platforms, business cards, etc. If it doesn't look great, it's better to have none at all. The same goes for your About section.
Etsy cover photo branding
  • Is your shop title (the sentence under your shop username) packed with relevant keywords? This is important for SEO and shows up as a title in search engine listings, so make it flow like a sentence, not just a bunch of keywords.
What to write as your Etsy shop title - Etsy shop SEO
  • Same as above for your Shop Announcement. Important keywords in the first sentence, as this will show in search engine results as a shop description ("meta description").
Etsy SEO shop description in Google search results
  • Edit your Shop Section titles with strong keywords. These titles not only help shoppers navigate within your shop, but also boost SEO for search engines.
  • The first 160 characters of your item description contribute towards your product's meta description i.e. text that shows under your listing in search engine results. Use rich keywords in the first paragraph to describe your product. I think you get the idea - strong, relevant keywords all over your shop!
  • Link to your shop from everywhere: social media platforms, word of mouth, email signature, car bumper sticker, business cards, tote bag (nothing like a walking advertisement!)
  • Get all your admin out of the way. Don't leave all your tax return paperwork until January, this can be a busy time for sales - do what you can now, and get all the boring filing down while you're at it! (Then pat yourself on the back and have a nice cuppa.)


Refresh and rethink your Products

  • Could your products be adapted to fit a trending theme? If not - could you design something new that would? I'm not talking about jumping on the sloth/pug/beards bandwagon, more of the general themes such as boho chic or gifting for weddings, etc.
  • If your products do not, and will never be relevant to popular summer themes - could you still market them as such? E.g. if you sell zines about gothic architecture, could you photograph someone reading one while draped over a sun lounger by a swimming pool with a cocktail? Would using summer-themed props work for your photos?
  • Are your wares purely aesthetic? If you sell e.g. art prints - perhaps print the artwork onto functional *giftable* products such as notebooks and mugs as well.
  • Think ahead to later in the year and start creating designs and making stock in advance for the Christmas rush. Christmas items are often promoted to long-lead press as early as June or July! It pays to get in early, though don't turn your whole shop into Santa's grotto just yet - move your Christmas items to the bottom/last page of your shop, away from the sunglasses, mojitos and pineapples. Don't tag the tinsel out of them right this minute, just a few carefully considered festive tags should do the trick for now!

What do you do when sales are slow? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

Small Business Spotlight: Anita Ivancenko



Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Anita. I gained a BA Illustration degree in 2011 and since then try to find my way as a self employed artist. In this journey I learn something new every day. Now I live with my husband and daughter in the West Midlands. My everyday mostly balances between my daughter and my small business. In my spare time I love knitting, it also helps to free my mind from running business, as it might be quite overwhelming sometimes.

Describe your business

As I am not very good at picking names for business, I just named it as my name - Anita Ivancenko. I draw images and then reproduce them as phone cases, pocket mirrors, art prints and so on. 

What inspires you?

Most of my work is inspired by nature, but sometimes I just doodle random patterns, which are filling my head.

Why did you decide to start a business?

I have been working in a warehouse during uni and after graduation. Soon after graduation I opened my Etsy shop, and it just hung there for a while. Just after my daughter was born I realised that I don't want to go to work outside and would prefer to stay at home with her. I started to pay more attention to my Etsy shop. From there my business started to grow.

Has the direction of your business changed over time?

My business is based on my illustrations. At the moment I have a big accent on phone cases, but it might change with time. There is an endless list of products I might sell and I would prefer to experiment along the way instead of settling on one thing. I get bored very fast and that helps me to move on. I started with colourful works, and then came black and white, but now I feel it is time to change again.

What challenges have you faced as a small business owner?

The biggest challenge is - will the general public like it? I can create a product and be over-excited about it, but then almost no one would like it. Or it might be the opposite, something I am not very passionate about just hits the spot. It is very hard to find a balance between what sells and what you would like to sell. Another challenge is to get on with feedback, and if it's not as expected, to learn from it and use it to grow, instead of getting affected by negative feelings.

What’s the most rewarding aspect to running your own business?

The best reward is positive feedback. Some days I feel so down and think to stop everything, but then positive feedback keeps pulling me along the way. 

What advice would you give to new businesses that are just starting out?

Just do it. I suggest to enter with a blast. When I opened my shop, I had just some items in there. They didn't sell well as my shop looked very unprofessional. It is better to have variety in small quantities, rather than large quantities and small choice. Don't be shy to share your work on social media, but don't spam :)

Learn more about Anita Ivancenko and connect with her via social media using these links:

If you're a small business owner and would like to be considered for a future Small Business Spotlight feature, here's how to nominate your business.

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