Monday, August 1, 2011

Etsy Merchandising Desk Highlights: August 2011

Every month, the Etsy blog features a gigantic post detailing what themes are going to be pushed in the next month. It's long-winded and dry as dirt. It's great information if you can sift through and process the recurring themes in their laundry list of words. You use these to tag your items and create treasuries that can go to the front page. Go ahead and spend your time on your dream treasury based on the episode of The Twilight Zone where it turns out the six strangers in the bottom of the well are actually toys in a Salvation Army Christmas present drive; it's probably not going to get to the front page in August.

Here are the highlights from the Etsy Merchandising Desk themes for August 2011.

Halloween and Fall are In

Forget what you were told last month about listing Halloween merchandise early. The Etsy Merchandising Desk post for August mentions Halloween 4 times. Autumn is mentioned an additional 4 times and Fall is mentioned 5 times.

Inevitably, they'll feature more treasuries dedicated to Halloween in September and October, but this month is when they'll start slipping them onto the front page a few times a week. Are you ready with your spooky merchandise?

Think of it this way: all the big box stores have their Halloween crafting and decorating supplies out. I guarantee you that the smaller party store chains and independent shops will have Halloween merchandise out within two weeks of this post. Marketing research maybe two years ago showed it was the second biggest spending holiday in the United States behind Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter gift-exchange holidays. Eagle-eyed home haunters like me pick up their store-bought supplies now because the shops do not expect to sell out until October. They will not order more merchandise.

Etsy also stresses other fall celebrations. Fall weddings, fall parties, harvest parties--anything covered in orange, red, and yellow, fake leaves, and creepy crawlies is fair game for treasury pimping. Don't forget topics that tie into summer trends like witches, wizards, and witchcraft (Harry Potter + Halloween = profit)

You, as an Etsy seller, can order more merchandise real easily. You just have to make it. Fire up those sewing machines and get your knitting needles clacking; it's going to be a creepy few months.

End of Summer/Last Minute Getaways

Much like the pre-Halloween theme, Etsy also likes to push the end of something. August is the last full month of summer. Expect a lot of beachy treasuries or destination treasuries--Paris, Rome, Saint-Tropez, etc--to get to the front page.

Do you have some fun merchandise that can be spun for a more summer crowd? Things like lightweight clothing, big hats, toys, craft kits, and outdoor decor all fit the bill for summer. Toss in a tag or two like "summer," "beach," or "vacation" to those listings (if you haven't already) and you'll be in the running to be featured in these "goodbye summer/last chance holiday" treasuries.

I would expect that items connected to luaus, barbecues, and picnics could also see a boost in front page visibility to this month. Do not be afraid to connect your items that fit this kind of outdoor event to those tags. It isn't tagging abuse if you include "beach" or "seaside" as a tag for a lightweight vintage beach-ready blanket.

Peridot and the Return of Color

Etsy makes it a point to mention that peridot is the birthstone for August. It is a brightly colored stone--mainly lime green--that can range in shades of yellow, green, and even brown. They also mention fluorescent as one of the key tags for the month. That means that the Etsy front page team might actually put a color besides oatmeal or Martha Blue on the front page this month.

How do you use this? Do you have an item that is in this color family? Tag it as "peridot green" or "peridot yellow." You aren't lying. If it is the color of peridot and you specify that in the tag, you are not abusing the tags. You are just encouraging the Etsy users who follow this guide as a set of strict design rules to use your product.

Treasury-wise, try spinning peridot into other bright colors. Maybe you can do a birthstone treasury. What about a treasury about super-saturated colors? Really bright fluorescent colors? Products that are practically day-glo? Tag those treasuries "peridot" and/or "fluorescent" and you're playing into what Etsy wants to promote this month.

Near as I can tell, those are the big trends for Etsy in August. Now go out there and take advantage of them.

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