Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Friday's Thoughts....

Once again, it's been a while since my last blog entry. My recently crazy work schedule, craft fairs, servicing my consignment shops, and keeping my Etsy shop somewhat stocked, has left me with very little free time, and my blogs have suffered.

I have jotted down a number of subjects that I had hoped to blog about (and still may) but since my schedule book is still overflowing with need-to-do's, it may be a good idea to throw out some random thoughts on these subjects.... and call it a blog entry : )

The first subject is the pros & cons of promoting off of the Etsy site.
There is an obvious need for promoting. But when off-site promoting results in several hundred views, (in less than 48 hours) do Etsy shoppers begin to wonder why the item hasn't sold?

I've been using a few sites to help promote my new listings and I have found that either there are a lot of people on one particular site that like sea glass jewelry, or the members love to look at handmade items. Either way, I'm no longer stunned when one of my new items receives 500 views in less than 12 hours! Some of my items have 750+ views in the first 24 hours. But I wonder what Etsy shoppers think when they see a large number of views...and very few hearts. A perfect example is the last item I listed, earlier this week.

After listing the item, I had to run out to get my sons off their school buses and didn't have time to promote. Shortly after getting them settled into their homework mode, I promoted in the Etsy forums a little. In the first 90 minutes, the new listing had 11 views, and 2 item hearts (wow 2 hearts from 11 views...very cool!) So I promoted off the Etsy site... in the next 6 hours my item had been viewed over 600 times (and still only 2 hearts) and by the end of the night, the item had been viewed more than 800 times!

Perhaps because of listing the item (on Stumble Upon) several of my other items listed there also received views, with one item (now up over 1,100 views and just one lonely item heart) adding another 100 views for the day...and I haven't promoted that item on Etsy in several days.

Is it a good thing that my items are being viewed by so many? I'm not sure the number of views on some items is a good thing...and I wish the feature was hidden from buyers and only available to my eyes... but I also think that some of my sales can be contributed directly to promoting off-site. There have been days where I added an item, failed to do any promoting on Etsy, but did promote off-site and the item sells within a few days....and often to someone who just joined Etsy that very day! Still, I'm not sure what buyers make of a new item with hundreds of views, but no takers.

Another thought on promoting... My hubby uses traffic exchanges for his various "things" and he has promoted my shop on several of these exchanges recently...some with little to no success, but the results according to Google Analytics on a few others were quite startling!

On one particular exchange, out of 175+ visits, I had a bounce rate of 58%. But those that did look at my shop, really looked! My overall stats were more than 2.4 pages per visit and the time spent in my shop was over 90 seconds per visit...and more than half of those visits left those that stayed, really looked around! And what is best about this one particular site...the numbers have not dropped off terribly on subsequent campaigns.

I just asked hubby if he could please promote my shop a bit heavier this weekend and I might have to look into joining one of those free sites myself, just to promote my shop on a daily basis. The numbers matched up well to those from Stumble who knows, it may be worth the effort. (not the number of views, but the bounce rate, time on site and pages per visit.. hubby doesn't promote a particular item, only my store page, so views are not skewed)

My final thought for today's blog is ... the sea glass supply is slowly drying up. Yikes, I have a niche market and now no one is dumping their garbage in the ocean anymore... what is up with that! And worse yet, no one uses glass bottles anymore. Everything is now plastic.

My recent trips to the beach have been total busts. I've come away with very little sea glass and zero pieces that I would consider jewelry quality. And unfortunately, the conditions were perfect for sea glass hunting... no one on the beach, low tide, lots of shells...but sadly, very little sea glass.
We even had back to back to back weeks of tropical storms off the coast or strong winds from the east and still almost nothing.

I wonder if sea plastic is the next rage : (

'til next time...