Critiquing Your Etsy Shop

March 23, 2015 12:33 am Published by

As some of you may know, here at the Zenned Out Studio we offer classes on growing your own handmade business. And, because this is a subject we care so much about, we want to start bringing some of these gems to the blog!

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Doing a shop critique on your own or having others critique your shop is a great way to make sure you’re set up for success. It’s so easy to get tied up in all the little details of running a business that you can easily lose sight of the big picture. That first glance a potential customer sees of your shop is huge! Just like first impressions at a job interview, within the first few seconds a buyer sees your shop page, they need to have a clear idea of what you are selling and your overall style. Buyers may decide (within a matter of seconds) to stay or go based off a few cursory glances.

I have put together a little review of key areas within your Etsy shop that are vital to communicating a clear message and style for potential buyers. Shop critique checklist:


Shop Banner & Title

Is it eye catching, professional and the correct size? Does it match the items you sell and does it state the shop name clearly? Does the shop title give a clear representation of what your shop offers? Imagine when a person looks at your shop for the first time that they are physically walking into a store. What are the first things you notice about a store? If the sign for a store is unclear, poorly made, or confusing I probably wouldn’t even go in! This is why a shop banner is so important. It is usually the very first thing that a customer will notice about your shop.

Shop Announcements

Is the shop announcement (the informational text underneath your shop banner) written clearly and make sense? Is the information in the relevant for customers? If your shop announcement references a holiday that has already passed, it could confusing for customers or reflect that the shop is unorganized. Make sure all information is correct and up to date, also always check for typos and grammatical errors!


Shop Sections

Have you utilized your shop’s sections in a way that makes searching easy for potential customers? Are your items clearly organized? If I go into a store and items are not organized and in no clear order I may not stay. Make it easy for customers to see what you specialize in!

Your Avatar

Your avatar (or profile picture) could be a personal photo of yourself or another place to add your logo. Whatever you decide to choose, be sure it is a clear, tasteful photograph. Since your avatar is what shows up on your homepage when you favorite items, I recommend making it eye catching so it will stand out in other people’s feeds and become instantly recognizable to buyers on Etsy.


Featured Items

Do your featured items show a variety of your shops offerings? This is especially important if you offer a variety of items. I also recommend changing up your featured items periodically so that return customers are able to discover new items without having to dig deep into your shop.


Shop Items

Is the front page of your shop well curated? Do the items that you offer in your shop match and is there a theme that ties them all together? Shop curating is a great tool, and if you do it regularly it’s a very easy thing to maintain.



This may be an obvious statement but definitely not one to ignore or take lightly–your product photographs will be the most looked at items in your shop. They must be clear, clean and engaging. It is also important for your photography style to match what you’re selling. For example, Zenned Out sells a wide variety of products, so we have a variety of backdrops for our product photos. We do try to keep a theme with the backdrops that match our branding. For example, we personally wouldn’t use neon orange for a background color! If you have a beach theme for your shop, shooting an item with sand in the background makes sense, but clearly wouldn’t work for every shop. If you’re selling items that are all very similar it may make more sense to keep with one type of background. You can certainly stick to the all white magazine style background, it’s the safest bet if you’re unsure of which direction to go in! Take the time to learn how to take quality photographs, when selling online it is paramount!

About Page & Policies

I’m not going to go into details about what these should look like right here, but you should have them! When I see that a shop hasn’t taken the time to have an About Page or Policies, it’s a big red flag that maybe they’re not invested in their shop and products.

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Having all of these points in place are a great starting point for having your shop in tip-top shape! Ask friends and family to have a look at your shop and discuss their first impressions, a second set of eyes is always helpful!

And if you are a Phoenix local, come check out a workshop I am co-hosting with Kerry Burki of Handmade Success at the MADE Art Boutique. Join us for a conversation on Successful Selling on Etsy and take your handmade business to the next level!

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About Cassie

Cassie Uhl is the founder and owner of Zenned Out, a jewelry company that handcrafts jewelry with meaning and provides a community that inspires a mindful and spiritual lifestyle. Cassie grew up with a open minded, astrology obsessed grandmother and a father that would take her and her sister star gazing in the wee hours of the night. These experiences shaped Cassie and Zenned Out into what they are today by bringing spirituality and astrology into the forefront. Cassie hopes to give spiritual souls a place to feel at home on the Zenned Out blog and offers handcrafted jewelry with meaningful symbols, powerful gemstones, and mindful quotes to enable people to wear jewelry that aligns with their souls purpose.

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