10 Reasons Why Your Print on Demand Products Aren't Selling on Etsy

Are you feeling frustrated because your Etsy store isn't seeing the sales you hoped for? Don't worry; you're not alone. Many entrepreneurs dive into the world of Print on Demand with high hopes, only to find themselves scratching their heads when sales don't materialize as expected. If this sounds like you, fear not! In this post, we'll explore 10 common reasons why your Etsy shop might not be hitting the sales numbers you desire. Let's dive in and see how we can turn things around!


1. Lack of Niche Focus

 One of the most common pitfalls for Etsy sellers is failing to target a specific niche. While it's tempting to offer a wide variety of products to appeal to a broad audience, this approach can actually work against you. Customers are more likely to trust and buy from sellers who specialize in a particular niche. Take some time to research and identify a niche that aligns with your interests and expertise. By focusing your efforts on a specific niche, you'll attract a more targeted audience and increase your chances of making sales.

TAKE ACTION: Start by researching current market trends and identifying potential niches with high demand and low competition. Look for niches that align with your interests, passions, or expertise, as this will make the process more enjoyable and sustainable. Then remove all the products from your shop that doesn’t align with your niches. Some tools that help researching trends include:

  • Google Trends - you can use it to identify rising trends, seasonal patterns, and geographic variations related to your niche
  • SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest – for keyword reaseach
  • Mention, Brandwatch, and Hootsuite Insights – these are social media listening tools that will help you identify what people are talking about on social media
  • SpyFu, SimilarWeb, and Alexa – competitor analysis tools
  • SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, and Typeform – these tools make it easy to create and distribute surveys to collect valuable feedback directly from your niche audience.


2. Poor Product Quality

In the world of eCommerce, quality is key. If your print on demand products is of poor quality, customers will quickly lose interest and look elsewhere. Take a critical look at the products you're offering and ensure that they meet high standards of quality. This includes using high-resolution graphics, selecting premium materials, and partnering with a reputable POD provider. Remember, happy customers are repeat customers, so investing in quality now will pay off in the long run.

TAKE ACTION: We’re obviously biased on this point, but at Backstory Prints, we know that product and print quality can ultimately make or break your store. Since we’re a smaller supplier, we’re only ever as good as our last order. Give us a try! Get a free sample and only pay for shipping so we can show you what we can do! Contact us now to arrange your sample.


3. Ineffective Product Descriptions

Your product descriptions play a crucial role in convincing potential buyers to make a purchase. If your descriptions are bland or lackluster, customers won't feel inspired to buy. Instead, take the time to craft compelling descriptions that highlight the unique features and benefits of each product. Use descriptive language, highlight key selling points, and don't forget to include relevant keywords to improve your visibility in search results. 

TAKE ACTION: Go through all your listings and ensure that you haven’t copied and pasted generic descriptions for your listings. Really try to connect with your niche with each description. Also ensure that you’ve mentioned all relevant details – dimensions, colors, etc. This won’t only help you minimize customer questions (and complaints after a sale has been completed) but will also instill a sense of trust in potential customers.


4. Subpar Product Mockups

Using good product mockups on Etsy is essential for presenting your print-on-demand products in the best possible light and capturing the attention of potential buyers. High-quality mockups provide a realistic representation of your products, allowing customers to visualize how they will look in real life. By showcasing your designs on professionally crafted mockups, you can convey a sense of professionalism, credibility, and attention to detail, which are crucial factors in building trust and attracting sales. Good product mockups also help differentiate your listings from competitors and create a memorable impression that encourages browsing and engagement. Additionally, mockups allow you to experiment with different product variations, colors, and designs without the need for costly photo shoots, saving you time and resources. Overall, investing in good product mockups is an investment in the visual appeal and perceived value of your print-on-demand products on Etsy, ultimately leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

Product videos are also an excellent way to show your products off to customers. You can include production videos (as in, how your products are made) or general marketing videos – showing off your design on the physical product. PLUS videos help with Etsy SEO. 

TAKE ACTION: If you’re using generic mockups that you see everywhere, change it up. It’s generally not too expensive to purchase mockups from sellers on Etsy – like these from KindredMockupStudio. (Use coupon code ‘backstory’ for 20% on Kelley’s awesome mockups!). We also have a range of mockups available on Backstory Prints – which are free to download and use as you need.  Check them out here.

We understand that it’s difficult to get production or product videos as a POD seller – so at Backstory Prints, we will create the videos for you FREE OF COST for all our merchants! You can use them on your listings or in other marketing initiatives – the possibilities are endless. Contact us to find out how we can help you!


5. Lack of Marketing Efforts

Building a successful Etsy shop requires more than just listing products and hoping for the best. You need to actively promote your shop and drive traffic to your listings. Whether it's through social media marketing, email campaigns, or paid advertising, finding ways to get your products in front of potential customers is essential. Take the time to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy and don't be afraid to experiment with different tactics to see what works best for your shop.

TAKE ACTION: Taking your Etsy shop to new heights outside the platform is all about spreading the word in fun, engaging ways. Start by building a vibrant social media presence; let your personality shine through Instagram stories, Facebook posts, TikTok videos and Pinterest pins. Connect with influencers or bloggers who share your vibe to introduce your creations to their followers. And of course, sprinkle in some exclusive deals or behind-the-scenes peeks to keep your audience hooked. It's all about sharing the love beyond Etsy's borders!

Again, if you need help with video assets, reach out to us and we will create these for you FREE OF CHARGE. Check out one of our customer’s TikTok stores that we currently produce videos for: https://www.tiktok.com/@sadstreet


6. Ignoring SEO 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool for increasing visibility and driving organic traffic to your Etsy shop. If you're not optimizing your listings for relevant keywords, you're missing out on a valuable opportunity to attract customers. Take the time to research keywords related to your niche and incorporate them strategically into your product titles, descriptions, and tags. By optimizing your listings for SEO, you'll improve your chances of ranking higher in Etsy's search results and attracting more potential buyers.

TAKE ACTION: Start by researching relevant keywords using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Etsy's search bar. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your listing title, product description, and tags. In the title, prioritize the most important keywords and keep it concise. In the description, provide detailed information about your product while seamlessly integrating keywords. Utilize all available tag spaces and include variations of your keywords. Monitor your listings' performance and adjust keywords based on what's driving traffic. Consistent optimization will help your listings rank higher and attract more potential customers. REMEMBER don’t just add keywords because they are popular, be specific and target your niche. This way you have a better chance of being seen by people who will actually want to buy your products and increase your conversion rates at the same time.


 7. Pricing Issues

Pricing can make or break a sale, so it's essential to get it right. If your prices are too high, customers will be hesitant to make a purchase. On the other hand, pricing your products too low can undercut your profits and devalue your brand. Take some time to research the market and find a pricing strategy that strikes the right balance between affordability and profitability. Consider factors such as production costs, competitor pricing, and perceived value when setting your prices.

TAKE ACTION: Ensuring your pricing on Etsy is correct requires a strategic approach. Start by calculating all costs associated with your product, including printing, shipping, and Etsy fees. Next research competitors' pricing to understand the market landscape and determine where your product fits. Consider your unique value proposition and quality compared to competitors. Factor in your desired profit margin and pricing strategy (e.g., premium pricing, competitive pricing). Test different price points to gauge customer response and adjust accordingly. Regularly review and update your pricing to stay competitive and profitable. Additionally, monitor customer feedback and sales performance to ensure your pricing resonates with your target audience.


 8. Limited Product Range

Offering a limited selection of products can also hinder your sales potential on Etsy. Customers appreciate variety and choice, so make sure your shop offers a diverse range of products to cater to different tastes and preferences. Experiment with new designs, products, and variations to keep your shop fresh and exciting. By regularly updating your product offerings, you'll give customers a reason to keep coming back for more.

TAKE ACTION: Aim to add new listings regularly – in fact, add it to your calendar and stick to it. A quick way to add listings to your shop is to bundle existing listings together. This will not only increase your product range but also help increase your average order value.


 9. Lack of Customer Engagement

 Building strong relationships with your customers is crucial for long-term success on Etsy. If you're not actively engaging with your audience, you're missing out on valuable opportunities to build trust and loyalty. Take the time to respond to customer inquiries promptly, address any concerns or issues, and solicit feedback to improve your products and services continually. By fostering a sense of community and connection with your customers, you'll create brand advocates who are eager to support your shop.

TAKE ACTION: Start by using the "Thank You" message feature to express gratitude to customers after a purchase, inviting them to reach out with any questions or feedback. Encourage customers to leave reviews by providing exceptional service and following up after delivery. Utilize Etsy's messaging system to send updates about new products, promotions, or sales to past customers. Actively participate in Etsy's community forums or teams related to your niche to connect with potential customers and fellow sellers. Overall, genuine communication and attentiveness are key to customer engagement on Etsy.


10. Failure to Adapt

 The eCommerce landscape is constantly evolving, and what works today may not work tomorrow. If you're not willing to adapt and evolve with the times, you'll quickly find yourself falling behind the competition. Stay informed about industry trends, consumer preferences, and platform updates, and be prepared to pivot your strategy accordingly. Whether it's experimenting with new products, exploring different marketing channels, or embracing emerging technologies, staying agile and adaptable is key to staying ahead of the curve.


In Conclusion

While building a successful Etsy shop selling print on demand products can be challenging, it's certainly not impossible. By addressing these common pitfalls and implementing effective strategies, you can increase your chances of success and start seeing the sales numbers you desire. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, so be patient, stay persistent, and keep striving for excellence. With dedication, creativity, and a little bit of luck, you'll be well on your way to Etsy success in no time!

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