If you have an Etsy shop, you have probably noticed that Etsy has merged it’s Promoted Listings (in house Etsy search result advertising platform) with Google Ads.
In this post I’ll share my initial thoughts & reactions as an Etsy Shop Owner.
The main difference is this:
Earlier, you could choose whether you want to spend your advertising budget on just Promoted Listings, or on Promoted Listings and Google Ads, or on just Google Ads. You could also choose how much you were willing to spend per click (a maximum Cost Per Click).
Now, you have fewer controls on where or how your advertising budget is spent.
However, one hopes that despite this whittling of shop owner control, the overall Advertising Platform should work “smarter” and should bring us higher returns on every advertising dollar spent.
Whether that is really going to happen, is something we will have to wait and watch. It’s a good time to start tracking your results.
Here are my initial thoughts and observations:
1. I can’t choose where I want my advertising dollars should go
This is quite a big difference. Earlier, you could target just Etsy’s own search results, or Google Ads, or both.
For (the erstwhile) Promoted Listings to work and bring decent returns on investment, you had to have a strategy in place. You knew where your audience is generally searching when they are in a buying mood, and you would advertise at that venue.
For example, I only ever ran Promoted Listings on Etsy. I had never run Google Ads (not through Etsy, not otherwise). That had worked well for me for years.
It is a little strange to not have that freedom to decide any more.
BUT I want to be optimistic and hope that the folks over at Etsy have thought this through and have a smart algorithm to determine which traffic converts better for which shop, and spend that shop’s Ad budget accordingly.
2. You cannot set a maximum Cost Per Click (CPC) any more
Promoted Listings ran on a bid system between shop owners.
You could either let Etsy decide (entirely) how much your shop spends on each ad spot (for a click), OR you could let Etsy decide but within a maximum limit.
This max CPC was very important, because it meant you weren’t burning through your budget too quickly in the day.
It also let different shops determine how to use their Ad budget which is super important because different shops (even within the same industry) have different costs and expenses (and therefore profit margins!). A 50p CPC might make sense for some shops, but it might be ludicrous for another.
This is a big negative for me, because I used to watch my CPC with a hawk eye and would set it depending on the time of the year, trends, etc.
3. Fewer Analytics on the new platform
On on the old platform, shop owners had access to a lot of informative data on ad spends. For example, you could see which keywords were clicked on, which keywords have a high conversion rate and which didn’t. You could see which listing was clicked on, and which listing was ultimately purchased by the same customer.
Those data points above are a goldmine of information for a shop owner.
However, all that seems to be gone!
I am hoping that the folks at Etsy are working hard behind the scenes to make these available to us again on the new platform. For example, I’d love to see which Google search terms led to a click on my advertised Etsy listing.
It is still too early to see how the new platform will perform. I will say this much though, my ad revenue fell quite a bit in the first couple of weeks of the switch, but things seems to have stabilised a bit now. However, it has to be noted that the peak sale season has commenced and the “stabilisation” could be attributed to that.
Any way, I am hoping that we are given more information on the backend from Etsy. I am also waiting for Etsy Premium to launch. It’s possible that some of these data points might come back on Etsy Premium.
I want to wrap up by saying that I have had a positive experience selling on Etsy. I think Etsy is one of those platforms which does care about its shop owners, and they have rightly identified and stuck to their policy of ensuring that shop owners have the tools they need to grow, so that they can grow as a marketplace.
I hope they continue moving forward and give us back the valuable data points and Ad flexibility we had earlier, while also having the option to optimise Ad performance!
P.S.: In case you are planning on opening an Etsy Shop, you can use this link to set your shop up & receive 40 free listings to get started.