Sunday, January 11, 2009

Finding your Target Audience and Making it Work for You

Spending a year on Etsy has provided me with alot of insight with selling online. I officially opened my shop Shannon Cintron Jewelry one year ago. Since then, I've had 76 sales on Etsy. Of those online sales I've never had a negative feedback or a private request for a refund or an exchange. Unfortunately, of those 76 customers, I have no idea of how any of them found my shop. Were they already members of Etsy and wanted to purchase from me? Did they see that I was mentioned in someones blog? Were they just randomly searching the web and found my shop? More importantly-Are these jewelry items for themselves or are they gifts? Why do they want my jewelry? These are questions that could have been easily answered if I'd have just taken a few extra steps to insure that I was familiar with the characteristics of my customer base.

With the arrival of Google Analytics for Etsy, I should be able to roughly tell where the traffic to my Etsy shops are coming from. I'm not very computer savvy so I've yet to implement this feature for my shops-I'm going to try to have it set up by the end of this week. 1000Markets carry in house stats that allow me to see how many visits total compared to how many unique visits which helps a little. Ecrater is also compatible with the GA system. However, all of this info does not "personalize" my visits. I still don't know why #412 visited my shop. Keywords from GA tells me what they searched under but it doesn't tell me if the "brown linen" that they were looking for was for a supply or for a component in one of my bracelets.

According to Wendy Rosen, once you've developed a customer profile it "should become a tool that you use daily". You should also try to expand your customer profile and try to find new directions for your work. Suggested reading: Crafting as a Business by Wendy Rosen pgs. 58-68

Because they are past customers,I would never spam them or send unsolicited material. I feel that opportunity to involve my old customers in that way has passed. Besides spam is yucky☺ However, I can do damage control. One great feature of Etsy is the ability to look through past customers profiles. There, you can find the person who purchased from you , their favorite materials(hint). On their min page you can look through their favorite(hint, hint) and even through all their past purchases(jackpot!) plus the feedback that they left for each purchase(bonus!!).

This information to me is gold-it gives me a detailed profile of my ideal customer. I can view their buying trends-the time of month or year when their purchases increase. I can get an age demographic as well as a demographic in location for my past customers to see in what area and which age group my items are most popular. From past purchases, I can come up with new creations based on a particular material or constant favorite color that is present in some of the items that they've already brought from other shops. No, I'm not talking about "copying" someones work-rather I'm suggesting an new interpretation based on popular material make-up, shape or composition. For example If I see that the majority of my customers tend to purchase items that have the color red in it then I would simply create an item of jewelry that has the color red in it. If the demand was high enough, I could even create an entire collection based around that color. I've come to realize that like my customers, I love natural materials, fabrics and beads so it isn't very hard to come up with items that are appealing to me and them.

With my soon to be new customers and repeat clients I have decided to send out either written or emailed option to receive announcements about my shops. With this option, I plan to send a quick survey to get the full picture about how they found me, what they were looking for and who they were shoping for. I may even offer a small incentive to get the ball rolling for this info.

Doing all of this research(and taking a lot of notes) is time consuming but I believe that it will pay off in the end.

This year I plan to dedicate a large portion of my time to reach out to both old and new customers. By immediately including the new customers and reaching out to past customers an ideal target audience can be established. If you have any other thoughts about this blogpost-please leave a comment below.


The Accessory Lady said...

Absolutely fantastic post! Thank you so much for sharing your insight and information.
Wish you a wonderful 2009 and many many sales!

Michelle Nocera said...

Great article. I just launched, so this is very helpful as I am gathering data for my business plan.
Thank you for the great advice and Happy 2010!