When I started my online business primarily based on Etsy, I was met with skepticism from people in my life and online. Namely, people were dubious if Etsy was really the right platform, claiming it was way too over-saturated with too many products. “How will your product even be found!?” I was asked.
I am so glad I didn’t listen to those voices and forged ahead steadfastly with my product. I believed in it, but it wasn’t just on a whim. I did one of the most important things: market research—and a lot of it!
Saturation exists anywhere. Think about how many successful social media stars there are who focus on wellness and lifestyle. Or how many late-night talk show hosts there are. Or, how many podcasts exist about true crime? The thing that matters is how you make your product stand out and how you differentiate yourself. Some categories on Etsy are more saturated than others, and others have different niches within them.
I wrote this blog to help motivate anyone curious about Etsy and be the cheerleader I had to be for myself just a few years ago for you!
The Truth Behind Saturation
What does it mean for Etsy to be “saturated”? Well, it comes down to supply and demand.
What I mean is it is fine (and oftentimes good) to have competition on Etsy, so long there are enough people buying and needing your digital product. So, you could have a lot of direct competition, but you’ll still make a killing and many sales because there’s a lot of demand.
It works oppositely too. If there is simply no one searching for the product you are offering, you could have a mere 2 other competitors, for example, but your area would still be considered “over-saturated” due to the lack of demand.
You can also do many things to make your product stand out even in an area that is considered saturated with:
- Excellent, clear photographs
- A very detailed description of your product
- Being niche and offering something that stands out among the crowd
- Including strong keywords that are being searched for on Etsy
- Professional languaging and consistency
- Making the storefront appealing
- Increase marketing with a social media presence (optional, but can work well!)
How To Determine If A Product Is Too Saturated On Etsy
It all comes down to one major element: market research.
What you don’t want to do is get ahead of yourself, and forge ahead with a digital product before doing adequate research. Market research should always be the first step. Your goal is to determine what is happening on Etsy, what products are selling, performing well, and what is missing!
One cool thing about Etsy is that they make it pretty accessible to see how your competitors are performing, as they make a page’s number of sales, how long they’ve been in business, and reviews completely public.
If your market research determines that your competitors are doing well, the market is probably under-saturated. If most of your competitors aren’t performing super well and struggling to get sales, it could be that this market is oversaturated.
Of course, market research is certainly more complicated than just looking at these details, and it is something I cover in my Digital Shop From Scratch. It is discussed in module 1, and you’ll quickly discover what you should consider selling to stand out in even a saturated market.
How to Stand Out On Etsy
Following significant market research, the next piece of advice I have is to create a digital product that sparks a passion in you! You honestly do not need to be an expert in the route you decide to take, but it should be something you are curious about, happy to continue to learn about and keen to focus on regularly! If you are stuck on what you could make, check out my free resource on 65 Digital Product Ideas.
The beginning of your Etsy and digital product journey will be creating the actual digital product which can be intimidating. The good news is you don’t need to be a world-class (or even a good) artist. Absolutely ANYONE is capable of harnessing the power of the internet and running a profitable business online.
One way to shoot for success is by standing out. How? I’ll tell you!
- Discover a niche
The more focused and specific your digital products are, the better! With a strong niche, you create value and uniqueness. It will allow you to stand out and be able to craft a stronger brand behind the digital product, allowing you to grow a base of customers.
- Be consistent
This may seem like a detailed afterthought, but it’s not! When you start your shop, create a vision board using something free such as Canva that includes the font, color scheme and images that you will always use for your business. When you update anything on your storefront, you have a reference page to follow. People notice this.
- Update regularly
Normal stores update their window display regularly, so why should your Etsy storefront be any different? Change your images, banners and featured listings every season (at least).
- Be professional
Grammar matters. Be sure you are double checking every single thing you put on your store for consistent branding and for zero spelling issues.
- Run a sale
Who doesn’t love a sale? Thanks to Etsy’s algorithm, running a sale can drive additional traffic to your page.
- Optimize SEO and Etsy tagging
Tip 6 is a big one. Whenever a potential buyer goes on Etsy, they will likely search keywords. The better your keywords, the more likely they are to land on your page. You need strong keywords, tags, titles, listing descriptions, and categories to make sales. I’ll be honest: SEO is complicated but if you are ready to learn, check out my Digital Shop From Scratch course, where this is discussed in module 3!
Etsy Is A Winner If You’re Willing To Do The Work!
Many of my clients ask me: how long until my product performs like yours!? When will I start making big bucks!?
If you want my honest answer (which is always what I give!) it depends. It depends on your product, your competition and also on yourself! If you are willing to put in the effort and time to make your digital product a winner, then nothing can hold you back. What digital product will you make a new hit on Etsy?