July 15, 2017

How To Successfully Combat Slow Retail Seasons On Etsy

*photo byBeth Solano

Depending on your target market, you will always face a slow season (or seasons) while selling on Etsy. Personally, my slow seasons come and go but usually last from August until late October and then again in February until April. While I’m in a busy season I usually think “this will never end! business is amazing!” and I am not thinking ahead to what business will be like when the reality of slow sales hits. Here are a few ways I have learned to successfully combat slow retail seasons on Etsy.

First, realize this happens to everyone and your business isn’t failing. 
Markets fluctuate. That is the reality. People probably don’t need parkas during July as much as they do from November-February.
So take a deep breath, you are doing okay!

Use this time to prepare.
I know, I know, easier said than done. I am personally not the best at this step. With free time I shout for joy and go work on a DIY project, or catch up on all those naps I missed! Inevitably, Holiday orders are just around the corner (yep, I know it is only July but trust me on this one) and if you want to enjoy those Christmas parties you’ll be glad you made stock now.

Try new marketing tactics during this time.
Have you ever hosted a giveaway or given out a promotion code to say thanks to your customers? Now is the time to try it! I just completed a really fun giveaway with some friends and it was a great way to even test the market of a new product. I love that a slower season gave me the ability to test this out!

Take on custom orders or work on new products.
When it is traveling and holiday season, I can not take on custom orders because that takes a lot of time. I have more freedom to fulfill these orders during slow seasons and often times these can turn into new products that will eventually make it to the shop. So lean into these custom orders, especially if you see reoccurring requests come up…this could be your market telling you what they want.

When things are going 100mph, it is hard to change things that aren’t working. Now, with all the extra time on your hands you can put systems in to place that will increase your work flow once busy season is back up and running.

Now if you are in a slow season or not, I challenge you to take these things and really work on them! I bet you’ll see slow seasons differently afterwards. With whatever season you are in, I encourage you to enjoy it. I usually find myself wishing for another a slower season when things are fast paced and vice versa. Enjoy the ebb and flow of running your own Etsy shop! 

Have you had a difficult time with slower paced seasons on Etsy? Have you learned anything from it?

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