The Science Of Selling - 5 Powerful Psychological Principles You Can Use To Increase Your Etsy Sales

Last Updated:

July 9, 2024


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As an Etsy seller, you already know the importance of creativity, craftsmanship, and customer service.

However, to truly stand out in the competitive marketplace that is Etsy, understanding the psychological triggers that influence buyer behaviour can be your secret weapon.

In this article, let’s look at 5 high-impact psychological principles you can leverage to increase the conversion rate and sales of your Etsy shop.

Let’s get started.

Best Practices for Applying Psychological Principles

Before we dive into the 5 psychological principles, here are some best practices to keep in mind when using them:

  1. Be honest and use principles responsibly. Misleading customers will inevitably lead to negative reviews and loss of trust, which hurts your sales in the long run.
  2. Provide real value with your products. These principles are marketing tools, but your products should stand on their own.
  3. Tailor these principles to your niche. Not every strategy will work equally well for all types of Etsy shops.
  4. Test and refine your approach. Regularly monitor your shop's metrics to see what works best.
  5. Maintain consistency across all aspects of your shop, from product listings to customer service.

Now, let's explore these principles with strategies of how to implement them to boost your Etsy sales:

01 - Authority

Authority in Etsy marketing is about establishing yourself or your brand as an expert in your niche. When you're seen as knowledgeable and credible, potential customers are more likely to trust you and, consequently, buy from you. It's human nature to seek guidance from those we perceive as experts, and in the world of e-commerce, this translates into sales.

For Etsy sellers, leveraging authority can be a great strategy in the long-run for your business. Universally, customers feel more secure purchasing from someone they view as an authority in their craft, no matter the niche you’re in.

Filming your crafting process as a listing video can establish yourself as a skilful artist and establish trust and authority (example from ZowaPersonalized)

How To Establish Authority

If you have any relevant qualifications or training, stating that in the listing photo would help your conversion rate, like counsellorcronan in this example

02 - Urgency

Urgency uses time pressure to encourage immediate actions from people. It pushes shoppers to act quickly to avoid missing out. This sense of urgency lead to more impulse buys as shoppers make quick decision to avoid missing out.

By leveraging urgency in your marketing strategy, you are creating a compelling reason for potential customers to purchase now rather than later. This helps improve conversion rate and close more sales.

However, it's crucial to use urgency sparingly. Overusing this can lead to customer fatigue and skepticism, potentially making this marketing tactic useless, or even damaging your shop's reputation in the long run. The key is to create genuine time-sensitive offers and leverage it responsibly.

Etsy shows a countdown clock if your sale ends within 24 hours. You can take advantage of that by running shorter sales.

How To Apply Urgency

Most email marketing services nowadays have features like a countdown clock to leverage urgency like Mailerlite. If you haven't started growing your email list, click here for a free guide.

03 - Strategic Pricing Techniques

The Psychology of .99 Pricing

One common question on pricing is when to use round pricing (e.g. $10) and when to use just-below pricing (e.g. $9.99). According to Ariyh, use round pricing when it’s a premium product, or when the purchase is feeling or pleasure-driven (like flowers, self-care). And use just-below pricing when the product is value-based or when you are running a sale.

The Appeal of Precise Pricing

Interestingly, prices that appear more irregular or precise can sometimes be perceived as fairer by customers. For example, a price of $24.76 might seem more meticulously determined than $25.00, potentially leading customers to believe the price is more legitimate or even that they’re getting a better deal.

Emphasising Savings in Discounts

When offering discounts, focus on presenting the larger number to make the deal seem more attractive. If a 10% discount saves the customer $20, say "Save $20" in your marketing materials rather than "10% off." This approach makes the savings feel more substantial and can be more effective in driving sales.

04 - Cognitive Ease

Cognitive ease is about making things simple and comfortable for your customers' minds. It works particularly well for products and buying processes that may be perceived as difficult for customers. When shoppers find them easy to understand, it helps them remove a barrier of purchase and they are more likely to buy.

Having obvious Etsy shop sections can help shoppers navigate your shop easier like this example from MarieThomasPaperie

How To Apply Cognitive Ease

A 'buying process' photo like this works particularly well for customisable products and digital products to help shoppers perceived the process as easier (example from PunoPrints)

If you sell customisable products, showcasing all the options in the listing photos can ease shoppers' mind of uncertainty (example from HundredHeartsJewelry)

05 - Reciprocity

Reciprocity suggests that when someone does something for you, you feel a natural urge to return the favour. This concept is deeply rooted in human behaviour and social psychology.

When you offer something small but valuable to your customers - maybe a small gift or a personalised thank you note - you not only improve your customer’s experience, you’re also doing a favour for your customers that compels them to reciprocate. It can result in coming back to your shop to buy again, leaving a positive review or even recommend your shop to their friends and family.

How To Leverage Reciprocity

Offering a free download for digital products is easier to do on your own website by using a email capture popup like this one you probably just saw

What’s Next

Now that you’ve learned about these 5 psychological principles, think about how you can apply them to your Etsy shop to drive more sales.

However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The full course - Psychological Principles For Etsy Sellers - From Strategy To Application - contains additional principles and applications to give you the full toolkit to boost conversion rate and optimise your Etsy shop. Click here to join GYC Etsy Academy 2.0.

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