How to Do Market Research on Etsy

Let’s be honest here for a moment. Not everything can sell on Etsy.


First, there is the potential of your particular customer base not being on Etsy. Second, there might not be a big market for that particular product.

If you’re not sure who your ideal customer is, Check out our ideal customer guide here.

That’s why you need to research before investing many late nights toiling away on a product that will sit in your store for months on end. You don’t have time for things like that.


So how do you do market research on Etsy?


Luckily, Etsy helps you out big time! Start in the search bar. Etsy will automatically list some of the top related searches as you type in your query.


Etsy search screenshot


Pretty nifty right?


So when I type “Wedding” in, you can see that it auto populates with a variety of different categories that you can break wedding into. Even wedding hangers has its own category. If I hadn’t gone through my own wedding and several friends in the last few years, I wouldn’t have been able to believe it. Being on the other side, it makes perfect sense that Etsy has a category for hangers.


Depending on the volume of items in that category, Etsy may even direct you to another page listing off the top categories within that keyword. Why thank you, I’ll just jot down those keywords while I am at it.


how to sell on etsy

Move into your targeted niche area and review products similar to your new line of products.


I’m going to explore “wedding shoes.”


Now to dig into specific products. Click on a product you like. While the product page is great for inspiration on how to word your description, you’re headed to the shop page.


There are two main pieces of information you want to gather:

  1. How long their store has been open;
  2. How many items they have sold.


Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 10.58.20 AM

If the shop has been open for seven year and sold two items, you’re not going to gather a lot from the store information. If they have sold over 100 items in less than a year, you’re going to find some good tidbits here. This shop, open since 2015 and having an approaching 2,000 sales, is doing something right.


If the shop falls into the second category (that successful category), there are two other numbers you are interested in:

  1. Number of products in the store;
  2. Number of reviews.


Unfortunately Etsy doesn’t break down the number of sales per product. I guess that would make it too easy. If you click on sales, it will give you pages of what they sold. In the instance of this store, the shoe decals are killing it!

Etsy product search screenshot

That goes on for a bit. If wedding shoes decals are on my list of products, I am feeling pretty good right now. This store also does a good job of keywords.


There’s one other gem in the store description: reviews. Even better, reviews are directly linked to the product they purchased. Scrolling through the reviews gives you a good insight to what is selling, and what might not be worth your time.


It’s also great to take note of the different price ranges products are selling in. Many store owners struggle when it comes to pricing. Here someone has already started to solve that problem for you. You can add prices to your growing notes.


You’ll want to repeat this for several shops. It is also a good idea to explore similar products to see if there is a better niche out there. You might also notice that a similar product does better in one shop, where as not as well in another. If that’s the case pay close attention to the descriptions!


Etsy product search screenshot

[Store: DinkiDs]


The more research you can do up front, the better you can successfully launch new products.


Curious what successful Etsy stores do? Check out this profile on one of Etsy’s TOP sellers. 


I like to start building in my research in an excel spreadsheet, especially with keywords that I can use to search as well.


It’s important to know that not everything has a strong enough market to thrive on Etsy. If you’re aiming for turning your store into more of a business than a side hobby, ensure you invest your time and energy into products that have a better likelihood of selling.


While you are doing this research, take note of ways that you can improve the product.

Etsy product search screenshot

[Store: Vinyl Decal Shoppe]


With the shoe decals, there were some shops that were starting to have cute phrases, names and more. I think this is a great supplementary product. Perhaps exploring a few Pinterest engagement photo or wedding photo boards can give you inspiration of options that you can explore.


Also analyze the way that other store’s photos are done. Photography and descriptions are essential on Etsy. You want to ensure you put your best foot forward when building your store.

You’ll never believe what happened when this store owner hired a professional for photography help. 


Just one more way that you can line the path for success when selling on Etsy.


What has been you experience doing research on Etsy? Any tips I missed? Let me know in the comments!