This week I’m deviating from my traditional style of blog posts. As I prepare to go on a week long business trip the topic of target markets is looming in my brain. My job as an Instructional Designer requires that I understand my target audience when developing interactive eLearning. It requires that I gather information about the people who will be taking the online course, when will they be most likely to take the course, learning objectives, desired learning outcomes, budgets, etc. I also have to take into consideration different learning styles. All in all I have to define my target market and learn more about them in order to deliver a product that will meet the desired outcomes.
The process is the same for small business owners, including Etsy Shop Owners. But, where to start? I usually like to start at the end, but it’s my personal preference. By starting at the end, I’m able to define my desired outcome first. My desired outcome can be something like:
1. Sell $5,00 in products during the month of November
2. Sell 100 mineral eye shadows in two months (November, December)
3. Close the year out with sales of over $150,000 for the year, etc, etc, etc.
Once you know what your outcome or goal is, you need to figure out how you will get there. You have to start by defining your “target market”. I think the best way to do this is answer the question, “Who Shops On Etsy?”
According to Quantcast.com, during the month of August 2010 Etsy.com had approximately 5 million (US) people visiting the site – that’s in one month!
So, if we looked at the demographics of those 5 million visitors, you may have already guessed that most are young females. In August 2010, about 35% of the visitors were male while the remaining 65% where female and almost half of the visitors were between the ages of 18 – 34. This information alone can help you begin to mold a picture of your target market. According to Quantcast.com, about 62% of Etsy.com’s visitors are college grads while about 48% of them earn under $60K a year and about 69% do not have children.
Now that’s a lot of information, all from one little site. You may have pictured Etsy shoppers differently. But what does it all mean? It means that we can define the “average” Etsy shopper as “Educated, eclectic, young females 18-34 years of age with a love of handmade items“. I used the term “average” because we know that this is not an accurate description of EVERY Etsy Shopper. Depending on your products, you may be attracting a whole different market.
Quantcast.com also shows that Etsy.com visits peak during the Christmas season – you still have time to jump on the bandwagon, it’s coming around the corner.
You can find out more about your market by figuring out what they are interested in and buy when they visit Etsy.com. Quantcast.com offers a lifestyle breakdowns that tracks the categories most visited on Etsy.com.
If your product offering falls within one or more of these categories, already and you aren’t getting the sales you expect, you may want to look at the way you are presenting, positioning and advertising your products.
“It takes money to make money” – I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you differently, the trick is in being smart with where you use your dollars. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on advertising but you should consider spending $7 on a showcase or finding new free or low cost marketing and advertising options.
With the information I’ve shared with you in this post and your own experience with your customers, you are now armed to define your target market and try to figure out ways to reach them more efficiently and effectively turning visitors into sales.
Now is the time to stop, evaluate and figure out if you are reaching your target market, what you can do to find new customers and increase your sales.
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