Sell Custom Orders? Etsy's Got New Tools for You
By Ina Steiner
If you've been to a wedding in the last few years, chances are you've come across some Etsy sellers' handiwork. The site is a magnet for brides and grooms looking for wedding favors, cake toppers, and other items they can personalize.
Custom orders extend far beyond couples - it seems there's no end to the types of items that can be customized and personalized to suit Etsy shoppers, but those items usually take longer to prepare and ship and require far more communication with buyers than typical items.
Etsy has been working with over 5,000 sellers in a "prototype" team to work on creating ways for sellers to more prominently show shoppers they offer custom orders, and to help sellers manage the entire custom order process. This week it announced some changes to custom order requests.
Sellers can opt in to accept custom order requests in their shop settings. (Go to Your Shop> Options (under the Shop Settings heading) and enable the "Request custom order" option.)
Etsy explained in its announcement: "The improved custom order option will display that you accept custom orders on your shop and listing pages, and provide you with tools specific to managing custom buyer requests. A pronounced "Request custom order" link lets shoppers less familiar with Etsy know that you do custom work, and when they click on that link, a special custom order conversation begins."
Etsy also added a tools to move the custom order process along, including the following:
-A timeline of events to help you keep track of how each custom order is progressing, with a separate conversation folder just for custom requests.
-The ability to create a private listing just for you and the buyer.
-The ability to create a private listing from an existing listing.
One seller commenting about the new tools appreciated the private-listing functionality, writing, "Only last week I had a customer buy an order that was reserved for someone else, so this feature avoids that because when you make a custom order through this system it is private and not on show to anyone except the customer it is intended for."
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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