Podcast Episode 83: Fall Trends and Etsy UpdatesJun 29, 2023
WATCH THIS EPISODE ON YOUTUBE: https://youtu.be/t0H4K9W8Gr8
Hey guys!!!! Happy Summer!!!! Welcome back to the show! I’m so glad to be with you today.
I’m recording this week from our summer home up in Northern Wisconsin where we are extremely grateful to be escaping the triple digit Texas heat. Are y’all having some crazy summer weather? It’s pretty normal for us up here--- except the mosquitos were extra heavy for our first few weeks until the dragonflies came. Now it’s starting to get better. Thank goodness! Because the baby and I have been practically trapped inside. Lolllll
Anyway--- if you want to follow along on our summer adventures, I post quite a bit on Instagram stories @HowToSellYourStuff --- and it would be super fun to connect with you there!
SO—how are things going with your Etsy shop? It’s the slower time of year for many shops depending on your niche—which can be a little discouraging—but it’s a great time to be optimizing everything for the fall which will be super busy and learning new skills to level up your game, and also adding a bunch of new listings! When I was making the physical signs the summer was actually a welcome break-- but I appreciate that we all experience these things differently.
If you’re needing some help, I am doing zoom coaching calls every week, so feel free to sign up for one of those and pop onto my calendar! I’d loveee to spend some time with you answering your questions and helping you develop a strategy. It’s just the best time-- I really love doing those with you guys. The link will be in the shownotes if you’d like to have a coaching call with me!
Today we’re going to have a quick chat about the fall trends that are predicted to be big--- and in August I’ll do my big fall/winter/holiday trend episode once Etsy releases their report—so be watching for that. And we’re also going to discuss today some of the Etsy Updates and changes we’ve seen happening so that you are “in the know.”
I’m going to start with Etsy’s trend expert, Dayna Isom Johnson’s, statement because I think it’s the perfect summary for the upcoming season: She says:
“While summer is just beginning in much of the world, it won’t be long until school children are returning to classrooms, shoppers are getting excited about Halloween, and hosts are planning autumnal gatherings. In keeping with 2023’s theme of duality, we’re expecting fall shoppers to mix it up, layering classic standby styles with bold fresh touches, and creating new eclectic aesthetics by borrowing from vintage-inspired styles. They could also embrace contrast in their approach to shopping. “While buyers may be extra thoughtful with their purchases, we anticipate they’ll also seek out joyfully expressive products for a bit of fun.”
Ok—sooo good! (And as always, I have the article linked for you in the shownotes if you want to get into the details!)
If you listened to the 2023 Trends episode in January, we are hearing some carry over in the themes of duality and layers and vintage. However--- this newest report did not mention the anticipated colors of the year which were indigo and honeycomb. And I found that really interesting. If you look at the product pictures they highlight, there are definitely whispers of these colors, but nothing like the intensity we were seeing at the beginning of the year.
IN FACT—there was a heavy emphasis on the color pink—and the report even said this is “the year of pink.” So there’s a big opportunity for us to lean into that and offer pink options when we can, and use different shades and hues of pink in our listing photos and marketing communications where appropriate.
Pink is associated with a bigger trend called “Lovecore”—and it’s translating into pink weddings, lots of floral accents, and heart shaped patterns. So we’re seeing pink in connecting with occasions and gifting in particular. I just found that so entertaining--- that the colors this year took such a turn! Maybe we’ll see more indigo and honeycomb as we go into the fall and winter months. Who knows?! I’ll keep you posted!
Ok so here are some other trend tidbits that I thought were important to share:
-Moon motifs are super popular—and that didn’t surprise me a bit! The celestial trend has been going strong for a few years now and we’re seeing an even more mainstream love of the moon phases.
-Throwback Halloween is expected to be huge from the sustainability and upcycling crowd, but also the vintage lovers, and since the 90s obsession seems to still be raging, it will be widespread this Halloween with a heavy emphasis on the 80s and 90s for costumes and décor OF COURSE. LOL!
67% YoY increase in searches on Etsy containing “vintage halloween decoration”
-Barnyard imagery is really big (I mean, and actually, animals generally have been such a thing this year from bugs, to frogs, to dinosaurs, to cats--- it seems like every month there’s a new trending animal) But the farm related products and animals have been consistently going strong.
709% YoY increase in searches on Etsy containing “chicken sweatshirt”
And, I mean, the homesteader in me is just loving this. I’m not mad about it. LOL
50% YoY increase in searches on Etsy containing “artichoke art”
Touching on Fashion— nostalgia, 90s, Y2K fashion are all still on trend. Lots of vintage as well.
We’re seeing Punk meets prep, dark boudoir vibes—with the lingerie everyday concept, refined minimalism, patchwork, inner child jewelry
-New Boho deserves a special mention--
99,050% YoY increase in searches on Etsy containing “charm bracelet opal”
Make a note of that if you’re in the jewelry niche! That’s a crazyyyyy jump! We don’t usually see it go up that dramatically.
In Décor Trends--- I liked how the Etsy report phrased this: Shoppers continue to see the home as a sanctuary, place of inspiration, and grounding force in their lives, all while looking to update it for a new season.
-Shoppers are looking for pieces that inspire—so statement pieces that are very personal to them
-Comfort is key
-New Cottagecore is a trending aesthetic with modern interpretations of the traditional countryside style
-Statement rugs continue to be in demand with pops of personality, bright colors, intricate designs, and of course, a nod to the vintage
-Novel glassware and enamelware—shoppers want colorful and textured glassware
581% YoY increase in searches on Etsy containing “ribbed glassware”
-Mermaidcore is a more playful coastal grandma trend—think irridescents, scalloped patterns, pearly terrazzo touches, and bubble motifs
-Dark wood tones are in
-Vintage patterns---this is a nod to the grandmillienial style which is a trending aesthetic that puts a modern spin on homey and traditional elements
-Earthy ceramics—The report reads: Pieces spotlighting terracotta, speckled textures, and uneven glazes that reveal the natural components and handwork are growing in popularity.
Ok so how do we apply these? Even though they were broken down into somewhat niche related trends like events and gifting, fashion, and décor--- you can pull pieces from this and apply them to your own niche or better yet--- micro niche.
I would suggest that you start looking at the best sellers in your niche and the first page of search results for your top keywords to see what’s already catching on and use that to inspire your own versions. But you can also search your keywords on Pinterest and Google Trends to see how these fall trends are hitting your niche at large—because what you see in those places almost always appear on the Etsy scene—and even better if you’re ahead of that curve.
Here are a few examples:
If I were in the jewelry niche, I’d see what I could do with that “charm bracelet opal” phrase – or at least “opal” if I wasn’t using it already. But I’d also see how I could use vintage and 90s jewelry to inspire my pieces.
If I were in digital products, I’d make sure I had pink options of my products, I’d be looking into the crescent moon and maybe add some celestial features to appropriate products, and I’d probably see if there was somewhere to incorporate “artichoke art.”
If I made children’s toys, I’d be looking at farm and barnyard themes, I’d look to vintage toys for inspiration—and see if using dark woods make sense. Or I might try to add some patchwork related products or at the very least—cozy!
If I sold vintage items—I’d be on the hunt for 80s and 90s Halloween costumes and decorations to sell. I’d be hunting for awesome vintage glassware. I would look for thanksgiving and Christmas vintage figures to sell. And anything that could speak to the grandmillenial trend.
And for print on demand, I think offering some pink options could be good, you might see how you can take more old-timey popular phrases to incorporate on your items (make sure you check for copyrights and trademarks), I think there’s opportunity with the barnyard animals and farm trend, you could definitely design for Y2K Halloween just get on it now, and maybe a line of sweatshirts that speak to the cozy season.
Hopefully that gets your wheels turning! And just FYI--- I put no research into these ideas. They’re totally off the cuff because I wanted to demonstrate how these trends could be applied to different niches to help you connect the dots for how you might personally apply the trends that Etsy puts out or that you find on social to your own niche.
Next, I would love to spend a few minutes on some of the changes we’ve been seeing on Etsy both new—and a few that have been around for a while but bear repeating.
If you’ve been here for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about the Etsy Facebook groups and how they are generally super negative and often just scare new or potential sellers away. And I get that--- we all need a place to vent.
But in business, I personally think WHO you listen to and WHAT voices you allow to speak into your business are SO IMPORTANT.
Just to have a mindset moment with you guys—there’s a famous quote that says, “you become like the 5 people you spend the most time around.” And while we can’t necessarily change our immediate inner circle (nor do we want to), when it comes to business—what you can control are the voices you listen to who gets to influence your entrepreneurial journey.
This is why I take it sooooo seriously that you choose to be here and I do my best to make it worth your while. Because your time is valuable and I’m honored you choose to spend it with me. I’m also extremely thoughtful about my words and the energy I bring you, because I realize it has the potential to help or harm your business efforts.
So I for one, don’t recommend that people spend time in the Facebook groups. And the only reason I am there is to take the temperature from one angle of the industry so I can help y’all better. AND from time to time offer a lifeline to people who really need some help with their shops.
I’ve actually thought about starting my own if you guys would be interested in having that space to connect as a community, but I don’t want a big gripe session—I want it to be constructive—so I’d run a pretty tight ship and I’d need some help from some of you to manage it. So drop me an email or DM if you think we should start a group and definitely let me know if you’d be interested in helping me admin it.
But all that to say--- one discussion in one of the groups caught my attention the past few weeks and I wanted to mention it to y’all.
As we know, Etsy has several AI bots that scan the platform looking for fraudulent accounts, trademark violations, terms of service violations, etc. Well recently, it seems like some new phrases were added to the bots making it a bit more stringent in hunting for listings that may involve drug paraphernalia.
There were literally tons of posts about this where people were having their listings disabled for this reason so I wanted to give you a heads up and also suggest how to handle it.
So when this happens, Etsy deactivates your listing and sends you an email to let you know and it will read something like:
“This is an automated notice from Etsy’s Content Moderation team. Our system has deactivated one or more of your listings as potential drug paraphernalia, which is prohibited on Etsy under our Prohibited Items Policy.”
BUT they don’t tell you what words tipped them off. Some of the phrases referenced on Facebook were: “bath salts” “glitter” “plastic cases” “clips” “resin” “embroidery” “neoprene icee pop holders”, “bead scoop”— there were a whole bunch and NOT drug related items.
It sounds like in most cases you can submit a ticket and a real human will review it and put your listing back up with an apology. So that’s great—but if possible, I would try to figure out what term caused the issue on your listing and switch it out for something different because I have seen cases where it gets deactivated again and then not reactivated. So better safe than sorry. The other thing I’ll add is a lot of times listings are getting deactivated right after a purchase happens—so perhaps the sale pings the system? We don’t know for sure.
But it does appear their list of flagged words has expanded.
The other big changes that we have seen—and you’ll most likely be aware if you’re active on the platform—is that Etsy changed their listing format. So the place where we create a new listing or edit one is laid out differently.
It’s a bit trippy at first—and for those of you awaiting my Etsy course overhaul—it has set me back a bit because I need to re-record certain parts. LOLLLL But I haven’t found it difficult to get used to.
According to Etsy, the reason for the change was to create a faster, more streamlined process, and also to implement seller suggested changes. For now, you can switch back to the old way if you prefer it, but eventually they’ll move all of us to the new listing form.
So now, there’s a menu across the top of the listing form where you can click on the section you want to jump to. That’s actually kind of nice!
There’s a “performance” tab on that menu where you can look at the stats and reviews for a listing when you go in to edit it—and I love that they’ve put that all in one place and really let us see how a particular listing is doing for us.
And then there’s also an update summary in the footer of the listing form so you can see the changes that you’ve made to the listing. I think that will prove to be helpful as well--- I like that they’re keeping tabs for us so we don’t have to remember every tweak we’ve made. This will make it easier to assess if our changes were productive ones.
If you’d like to read a bit more about it, I’ve linked the Etsy article in the shownotes for you!
Etsy also migrated all sellers to a new Seller app that was built based on feedback from sellers of features they wanted on the go. Overall, I haven’t noticed a whole lot of big differences or issues. I submitted one suggestion asking for them to make the tracking number on shipped orders copy-able or so that if we click it we’re directed straight to the tracking page.
And like everything else lots of people are frustrated with the change and some kinks are being worked out, but I don’t personally think it’s been that big of a hassle. Let me know, though, if you’ve noticed other issues. I definitely want to catalog them.
Something I’ve been hearing about more lately is Etsy shops being placed on reserve--- and if you listened to my print on demand shop update which was episode #79--you already know that my shop was one of them.
A payment reserve is when, for a period of time, Etsy holds back part of the sales price from each sale until the item has shipped with tracking. So they only pay out to the seller a portion of their proceeds.
There are many reasons this happens—and there’s an article published about it by Etsy I have linked in the shownotes which you can read if you want to see the list—but most frequently it’s because a shop is brand new to the platform OR you’ve had a bunch of extra sales come in and Etsy wants to make sure the customers get their product and have a way to reimburse them if they don’t.
Remember—Etsy has 5.9 million active Etsy sellers, about 90 million customers, and somewhere around 2000 employees. There’s no way they could keep up with all of it without a lot of systems and automation in place. And they deal with a ton of fraudulent and spammy activity and a tonnnn of customer service inquiries.
So while it’s not fun—and when I was running my sign shop it was especially hard to manage with it (I was put on reserve at one point back then too—but it was worse because they also forced my shop on vacation mode until I got all my orders out!)—I get why they choose to do it as a business. Ultimately, with the customer, the buck stops with Etsy. And they can’t just guarantee 5.9 million seller’s worth of transactions.
If you don’t have extra funds to help fulfill your orders until the payout is available or you don’t want to draw from personal finances, I recommend a business credit card. I’m not a huge fan of credit in my personal life, but the reality is you will be hard-pressed to find a business who does not operate with out. For exactly this reason. So I use a Chase card that I almost always pay off completely every month to avoid any interest charges—and that’s how I fulfill my Printify orders and pay other business expenses until I get the payouts—and then the first thing I do is pay the card. And I rack up A TONNNN of points along the way which I think is an added bonus.
I’ll link the card I use in the shownotes if you need something like that for your business. If you’ve listened to my POD episodes with @Jennyfromtheshopp--- it’s the same one she uses too. She strongly recommended it and I’ve loved it too. It just takes all the concern out of it. To reference another POD expert we love--- Brittany Lewis from BeawolfBiz who was here on Episode 77 has told stories of several of her students who had months with breakout products where they sold like $30k in a shirt or something. Crazy numbers. And there’s no way most of us could fulfill that without having something on hand to leverage the funds to get them out the door. Lollll
And finally--- I want to address the question that I’ve been seeing for a few months of folks asking are sales slower on Etsy this year? And—is Etsy dying?
Some of this is coming from click-bait-y content on the internet and negativity in the Facebook groups—and some of it is a really important and interesting conversation for us to have together.
The great thing about this is that it’s pretty black and white. It’s really a data question more than a perspective question. And when you’re running a business, there is a place where you need to put how things “feel” aside and look at the numbers to gauge the true performance of something.
So here’s what you need to know.
Etsy has seen tremendous growth since 2020. I experienced it first-hand with my sign shop. The platform went absolutely bananas in about April of 2020 once we all got settling in our homes and people were looking for something to do—and in my shop’s case--- pieces to freshen up their home space since they were stuck there.
And the year 2020 as a whole skyrocketed Etsy and they broke every record.
GMS (gross merch sales) $10.3 Billion
Revenue $1.7 Billion
Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) $549 million
That year was an anomaly and we haven’t seen anything quite like it since. BUT ecommerce on the whole is still much bigger than it was in 2019 because people simply became more comfortable making their purchases online.
2021 and 2022 saw gradually decreasing sales on Etsy and ecom generally as our society has gone more and more back to normal. And people are choosing to go to brick and mortar stores for some of their purchases.
BUT—Etsy is still doing AMAZING. It’s not dying AT ALL. In fact, I’d actually say some of the biggest complaints we hear about things like payment reserves and bots and shop suspensions are much more consistent with growing pains than evidence that the platform is floundering.
Compared to 2019, which is our best baseline for sales outside of the pandemic marketplace, the platform is significantly more profitable. And when we look at quarter 1 of 2023, Etsy did $3.1 billion in sales.
So—yes we have ongoing to changes to adapt to – which is the nature of business. They can be annoying at times.
And yes--- there aren’t as many sales as 2020 and 2021 FOR SURE. But business experts didn’t expect them.
But we’re in a good spot with Etsy.
I will also add for folks who are newer or still working on getting started—that January to August are historically the slowest for sales. ESPECIALLY May-Aug (and this is true for most industries).
You should expect it to be slower and use the time to optimize, learn, add new listings, develop social media and/or an email list.
If you’d like some suggestions--- you can always visit the Resources page on my website for places to learn and study. It’s organized by product type as well—so you can look at the POD suggestions or filter to the Digital Product Suggestions, etc. The site is HowtoSellYourStuff.com and I’ll link straight to the Recommended Resources page here in the shownotes.
And that’s what I’ve got for you today my friends! I hope this was such a helpful little update—and that you are kicking back and enjoying your summer a bit.
As always it was a joy to be with you and I’ll be back at the same place, same time next week! So for now, go make something awesome—and I’ll talk to you soon. Bye y’all!
On this week’s podcast we’re talking about the fall trends that are predicted for the later part of this year so you can find ways to implement them in your Etsy shops. We will also discuss the latest Etsy updates and what they mean for your business.
**“How to Sell Your Stuff on Etsy” is not affiliated with or endorsed by Etsy.com
STUFF I MENTIONED:
Book a coaching session with Lizzie: https://www.howtosellyourstuff.com/coaching
Fall 2023 Trend Insights Report from Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/1148199715118?ref=handbook
Save time with the updated listing form: https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/1128070425806?ref=handbook
Etsy Accounts in Reserve: https://help.etsy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360058722214-What-is-a-Payment-Account-Reserve-?segment=selling
The Credit Card I use for Business: https://www.referyourchasecard.com/6j/WMPN3JSNCE
Etsy’s Financials: https://investors.etsy.com/financials/quarterly-results/default.aspx
Recommended Resources page: https://www.howtosellyourstuff.com/resources
FREE ETSY MASTERCLASS: https://www.howtosellyourstuff.com/masterclass
FREE PDF DOWNLOAD: “4 Strategies I Used to Grow My Etsy Shop from $25 to $6000k/month”: https://www.howtosellyourstuff.com/site/4-strategies-opt-in
Grab my Course “Etsy Listings that Sell” and learn how to skyrocket your Etsy business:
Find me on Instagram and TikTok @HowtoSellYourStuff
HOW TO SELL YOUR STUFF WEBSITE: https://www.howtosellyourstuff.com/
HOW TO SELL YOUR STUFF INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/howtosellyourstuff/
HOW TO SELL YOUR STUFF SHOWNOTES: https://www.howtosellyourstuff.com/blog/fall-trends-2023
THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY:
Everbee is a FREE tool that can help you find trends, products, and niches that are hot sellers on Etsy right now. I use it to learn everything about best-sellers and high performing listings. It shows me how many sales a shop makes from each listing, how much money an individual listing is earning them, how old the listing is, what their tags are and how competitive they are. It gives me an at a glance view of all the shop data and competitor listing data I need to help my students and myself find ways to penetrate the market.
Here is a quick Youtube tutorial showing you how I use it: https://youtu.be/4SUdnatddMU
And here is a link to get started with a FREE account: https://www.everbee.io/?via=lizzie
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