Tons of views to your Etsy shop…but no sales?


It is SO frustrating when you see that your Etsy listings are getting the views, and getting the favorites, but then you aren’t getting the sales to match. It makes you wonder, “What the heck is going on here?” Obviously, people like your stuff. So, why aren’t they buying?

Well, here’s the thing:

People rarely buy something the first time they see it – even if they like it. There is a term in advertising called “The Rule of Seven” which states that most people need to be exposed to something up to 7 times (7 times!) before they accept and trust enough to buy. There are many, many factors in people’s lives that can cause this to be true. They may not have the money at that moment, they may not need your product right then, they might be considering another purchase instead, or they simply just don’t trust you enough yet.

The bottom line? There is no way to know exactly what is going through every single person’s mind at the moment they have arrived at your product for the first time. What we do know is that the chance that they will buy it right away is slim. A lot of the time, they think they’ll remember to come back to it.

But, most of the time, they don’t come back.

Couple that with the fact that the internet is nothing but a giant web of distraction. There are constantly new emails to be read, catchy ads to be clicked on, and even ominous black holes disguised as little red numbers to be checked out. (No one can resist those!)

Guess what all of that means? It means that your product is usually forgotten the second your viewer’s eyes have left it. Even when they don’t mean to forget it.

Fortunately, there’s a way around this. You can capture your visitors, by getting their email address. Capturing the people who are interested in your product, but just not ready to buy right now, will allow you to continue to market to that person forevermore. And sometime during that forevermore, they probably will be ready to buy (because you will be continually reminding them of your existence).

So, how do you capture visitors to your Etsy shop?

1. First, you need to entice them.

These days, an email address is a seriously valuable commodity. A barrage of communications from people like Alena in Russia, who will be your happy wife forever if you’ll just send her the money for the plane ticket, makes people more and more protective over their email addresses. So, since you are hoping that your visitor will give up their precious email address, it’s only fair that you offer them something equally precious in return.

If you can come up with something to give your visitors… something that they would WANT… your visitors will be so much more willing to hand over their email address. In fact, the more awesome your offer, the more your visitor will actually feel compelled to hand it over to you.

So, what can you offer? Well, this is where you’ll really need to consider who your ideal customer is, and what they would find valuable. (Here are a few ideas to get your brain going.)

2. Next, you need an opt in.

Once you have something to offer your visitors in exchange for their email address, you’ll need to set up an opt in box where they can give it to you. This needs to be set up with an email service provider (like Aweber or Vertical Response), and then you can put a sign up box on your own website or blog.

(Don’t have a website or blog? Here’s why you should.)

Make sure that your offer is clearly spelled out. “Sign up for updates!” isn’t enough to do the trick. Your visitor sees no specific benefit to giving up the goods. Your goal is to let your visitor know that they will get an awesome deal by handing over their information to you. They’ll never feel that way without your spelling out exactly what they stand to gain from you.

You can set it up with your email service provider so that your offer is delivered right to your subscriber as soon as they’ve joined your list.

3. Last, you need to get your visitors from Etsy to your opt in box.

The final piece of the puzzle is to get those shop visitors to your site (and therefore to your opt in box). Don’t assume that your visitors are going to automatically find their way to your blog (or your Facebook page, or anywhere else you want them to go). They won’t.

A visitor will almost never go to the trouble of seeking you out, outside of your Etsy shop, all on their own. Why? Because they are not emotionally invested in your brand like you are. They simply won’t even think about it. This is why it’s so important that you spell out exactly where you want them to go, and what you want them to do when they get there. You need to entice them.

This is the easy part. Tell your visitor about your offer everywhere in your Etsy shop that you can. Add a little blurb about it in your product descriptions. Put it in your shop announcements and on your about page. And, don’t stop at your shop. Put it on all your social media pages, too.

Make it a primary goal in your marketing to capture as many of your visitors as you can. If you do this, you will be amazed at how your number of followers will grow, and in turn, your number of sales.

12 Responses
  • Sonya
    September 26, 2015

    A lot of good advice in this article. Seems like a separate website in conjunction with the Etsy website is the best solution for views to sales conversion.

    Thank you.

  • Tonya
    April 8, 2016

    I tried to subscribe to your email list but it gave me an error message. Is there another way to sign up?

    • Staci Ann Lowry
      May 2, 2016

      Hmm… not sure why that would be happening. Would you like me to try adding you manually from my end?

  • Tania MInnaar
    October 14, 2017

    Great article and very helpful. I have been struggling selling on etsy especially since I’m from South Africa and and as a south african seller there is no option for direct payment. Only paypal. I have optimised titles, tags and descriptions. I am using etsy rank and use social media. What Am i doing wrong?

  • Marie
    January 25, 2019

    Hi Staci, I recently setup an Etsy shop selling my designer crochet patterns. I am offering 2 and 3 pattern downloads for the price of one. Very reasonable pricing too. I linked my shop with Pinterest and have over 150k monthly views on Pinterest but very few views on Etsy. I don’t understand the great viewing on Pinterest yet very few visits to my Etsy shop. Why is that? And only 3 sales. Marie

  • Fizfy
    October 23, 2020

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  • Sonia
    September 1, 2021

    Hello Stacy, thanks for your article. This helped me a lot. Do you recommend a Shopify website next to our Etsy shop in order to drive more sales? I also recently read an ebook that helped me a lot and I managed to find a free access to it. I don’t know if I can share it but here is the link if you are interested:
    Hope this can help a lot of people too!

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