Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Renewal Experiment - A Follow-Up

Growing your brand - stitch by stitch
Works in progress by nerd JERK

If you've read my last blog post about using free tools to increase traffic to your Etsy shop and increasing your brand's visibility, you've probably asking yourself: Did increased traffic translate into sales?

I forgot to add this incredibly helpful tidbit of quantifiable information to my analysis. Doh! In my defense, I was putting together this information late-night until 5:30 this morning.

Here are the results I saw from my Renewal Experiment:

As of the time of this writing, I currently have 82 sales.

From when I started nerd JERK on Etsy on 12 Oct, 2009 to the day before I started this experiment 8 months later (16 June 2010), I had 28 sales, averging about 4 sales per month without spending much money on relisting (just a few non-sale-generating Etsy Showcases).

From when I started my experiment on 17 June, 2010 up until yesterday (23 November 2010), I have made an additional 54 sales within 6 months (almost doubling my sales for the previous 8 months that I was open). This means I averaged 9 sales per month - a 125% increase in sales! 

It should also be said that 32 of these sales happened in the last 4 weeks, corresponding with the method of renewing in 20 minute intervals during my two highest traffic hours (6 & 7 PM, varying which week I was observing my traffic for).

When I started making sales, I would relist a bit at a time. It took a while (roughly 4 months) to look at the numbers both on Google Analytics & Craftopolis to really see that informed renewing was working out the way I wanted it to. Basically, I didn't want to spend money if I didn't think it would work - so I started by spending a little (only renewing 3 times a day in my top 3 peak hours = $0.60/day or $18/month), which is about the cost of 2 Etsy Category Showcases.

But one day, I asked myself if I could justify reinvesting my assets and diversifying my Peak Hour Renewals. And I decided that it was worth a try. I did 5 renewals a day from mid-September to mid-October (Let's call this Period #1). Then during the last couple of weeks of October until mid-November (Period #2), I decided to try doing 8-10 renewals per day at Peak Hours. My sales jumped from 6 during Period #1 to 32 sales in Period #2! That's a jump of over 500%!

Renewing 5-10 times/day = $1/$2/day or $30 to $60/month, which is about the cost of a blog ad or a craft fair table fee. And sometimes, I don't even make 9 sales during a show. *laughs* So I consider this to be pretty awesome.

I know there's a lot of information here and it may sound REALLY GREAT! And it is!!! But please understand that there are a lot of variables that added to my Renewal Experiment that helped build my brand (i.e. volunteering a ton of my time to Etsy Teams and craft shows) and play a role in the growth of nerd JERK

Also, it didn't happen overnight. It took me over 6 months of renewing, but 14 months in total to figue out how I was going to get people in my shop!

You may not see results like mine right away (it was slower starting for me as well), but I promise that putting forth the effort to promote a brand that you truly believe in will result in shop visibility.

Do your own Renewal Experiment!
Start off small, like I suggested in my initial post. :) Try renewing during your top 3 Peak Hours only 2 days a week (an investment of $1.20 - the price of a cup of coffee). Compare your traffic those days to the other days you go without renewing any listings. What difference do you see?

I'd love to hear your stories! Feel free to share you own experiences and experiments here. As micro-business owners, we can all benefit from expanding our brands during this Handmade Movement. It's always great to hear that little things like this can make a difference in people's lives.

This post was originally posted on my blog, nerd JERK: Inspire Your Inner Geek on Wednesday, 24 November, 2010. It was also featured on and has been widely well-received. So much so that we wanted to share it with our SF Etsy members!

Steph Cort├ęs from nerd JERK is the Roving Reporter, one of the members of the SF Etsy Blog Team. She enjoys going out to new crafting events and supporting the Handmade Movement, along with helping her fellow Etsy Sellers with tips & tricks to assist in making their business awesome. Look forward to more reports on her artsy shenanigans in weeks to come. Feel free to email her comments & tips anytime.

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!

1 comment:

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

Steph, this is such great info to share! Thanks again for taking the time to write it up and post it for us all to think about.

I confess I'm extremely excited about all this info, and very intrigued, but intimidated to start. I have had a Google analytics account for years but looked at it for the first time in months today. And taking that look is the first step in figuring it all out, right? Wish me luck!

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