Thanks to online platforms like Etsy, we’re seeing a whole new generation of self-made entrepreneurs. To help make sure your Etsy journey is a successful one, we’ve used our years of working with businesses of all kinds to put together some essential tips.
Top tips for making your Etsy store standout
First, let’s take a look at what you can do to skyrocket your Etsy store to success and stay ten steps ahead of your competition.
Build yourself a personal brand
With so many products on the market, and so many brands competing for customers’ attention, you want to make sure people remember you. An effective way to do this is by creating a brand identity. This should include:
A memorable name.
A unique logo.
A recurring style of design across your products.
Specific fonts and colours that you stick to across your online store and marketing.
A tone of voice across your product copy, marketing and customer communications – which should also reflect the nature of what you offer.
The key point in all of these is consistency! Having a consistent brand in place exudes a sense of professionalism, instilling trust and loyalty in your audience. It also helps them recognise your business more easily.
Ensure your customer experience is second to none
When it comes to e-commerce platforms like Etsy, customer feedback in the form of reviews and ratings can be a huge part of your success.
Customer reviews signal to other buyers what they can expect from shopping from you, so give people something great to shout about. As well as high quality products, the way that you interact with customers is also crucial, including:
Being as responsive as possible to enquiries, and marking your shop as closed when you’re going to be unavailable.
Timely shipping and delivery, and keeping customers informed of each stage so they know where their order is up to.
Protective packaging so their purchases arrive safely.
Etsy shoppers are also accustomed to finishing touches such as a branded sticker, some colourful tissue paper, a small freebie (where possible) and most popular of all, a personalised thank you note.
This is another point at which brand consistency is key. Once customers associate you with good service and quality, they’ll know to expect this when buying other products from you, too.
Make sure your content is crystal clear
Content refers to the media that you put online, such as images, articles, or ads. In terms of promoting and selling on Etsy your content should include:
Well-lit, high quality photos that showcase your products clearly and in detail.
Concise, well-considered product descriptions that leave no questions unanswered.
In short – what would inspire you to buy? When writing your product information it’s also important to consider the keywords that your target audience might be searching for. This helps them find your products more easily when shopping.
For example, if you sell customised humorous gift cards, include phrases in your product description like: ‘funny customised birthday card’ and ‘cards to make someone laugh’. You might have a product name in your head, but unless your audience is also searching for that particular word, they won’t find you. So cover your angles!
Review your products on a regular basis
For some people this might be every week, for others every month. It might even be every three months or six months, depending on the nature of your product and the demands on your time and creative output.
Review your existing products to see what’s popular, and make changes such as launching new ones as regularly as you can. It will help keep new and existing customers excited and engaged with your brand.
Use social media marketing to your advantage
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and even LinkedIn are all great ways to spread the word about your brand and your products.
You might rely on likes and shares from followers to spread the word, perhaps sponsor some posts, or even set up targeted ads. The beauty of advertising on social is cost: it’s much cheaper than the old days of paying for ad space in print publications, which means it’s far more accessible. You can also turn it on and off as you need or want to.
Do I need to tell HMRC if I’m selling on Etsy?
Unfortunately, there comes a point where being a superstar seller means you’re then obliged to start paying tax on your earnings. But when do you need to start paying tax when selling on Etsy? And what about National Insurance?
Tax for teenage Etsy sellers
UK taxpayers have a tax-free Personal Allowance, which is how much they can earn before they have to start paying income tax. In the 2021-22 tax year (which starts 6th April 2021 and ends 5th April 2022) the Personal Allowance tax threshold is £12,570.
So, you can earn up to that amount before you need to pay income tax, and will only have to pay tax on the money you earn which is over that threshold. This allowance applies whether Etsy is your only source of income, or something that you do alongside other work.
There’s also a type of tax relief called the Trading Allowance. This allows you to earn up to £1,000 from your own business in a tax year, in addition to the Personal Allowance. Anything over that amount is eligible for Income Tax.
If you’re a sole trader and your business income is less than £1,000 a year, you don’t have to register for Self Assessment or pay tax on this income. You will have to register with HMRC if your self-employed income goes over the £1,000 threshold in a tax year.
In the UK we also pay National Insurance (NI for short), in order to qualify for a pension and some types of benefit. You won’t pay NI until you turn 16, at which point you’ll pay it if your earnings are above the NI payment threshold.
There are different types of NI, known as classes. You’ll pay Class 1 NI on money you earn from an employer, and might pay Class 2 or Class 4 (or both) on money you earn from your own business.
You’ll usually pay any NI that’s due on your self-employed income yourself, as part of your Self Assessment. Your employer will deduct employee’s NI from your salary, and pay it to HMRC on your behalf.
National Insurance Rates and Bands
NI Threshold Limits 2021/22
No NI incurred on self-employed income in this bracket, but you can make voluntary contributions to fill any gaps in your NI record.
£0 – £6,514
Small Profits Threshold (SPT): You’ll pay Class 2 NI at a rate of £3.05 per week on any self-employed income above this threshold, up to the Lower Profits Limit (LPL).
Lower Profits Limit (LPL): Self-employed income above this threshold and up to the Upper Profits Limit incurs Class 4 NI at a rate of 9%
Upper Profits Limit (UPL): Self-employed income above this threshold incurs Class 4 NI at a rate of 2%
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like some more info about our e-commerce accountancy services, starting from less than £25 per month. Call the team on 020 3355 4047 or use the Live Chat to get in touch now.
About The Author
Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.