Friday, September 10, 2010

Selling Personalized Products

Occasionally I come across an item on Etsy with my name on it, literally. It makes me think, "Wow! They made that just for me." Even the first letter of a persons name can have that effect. Personalization is such a powerful selling tool, that it appears as a trend in (correct me if I am wrong) every Etsy merchandising report. If you search Etsys Blog for the word "personalization," you get 4 pages of results. Does this have your attention yet?
Ronda asked a great question on my last blog post. What are the most popular monograms? I think the best resource is to be found here at There is a search by country for current popular names (if you make baby items) or in the US by decade of the most popular baby names. If you are selling on Etsy, I think you will find the majority of your buyers will have been born in the 1980's. For my sample photo that I showed on yesterdays blog post, I chose my monograms based on my own gut feeling for what is popular among my own customers. All five of my guesses are in the top 40 most popular names. (Insert back pat here) Looking at the actual list of most popular 1980's names, I think I would have done a little better to replace the C and the K with a J and an A. If you are making a pile of them to go in a boutique (as I suggested yesterday,) find out from the owner the average age of their shopper and go for the top names from that decade. I think the boutique owner will be pleasantly surprised at the impulse buying you can create at a register with some well-placed personalization.
The beauty of personalization on Etsy, is that you can create an inventory of your most popular item, add the initial or message after it is ordered, and still ship in a timely manner. It will be most helpful to shoppers if you show examples in your shop of what their item will look like with a message or an initial on it. That may take some investment on your part to make the sample items. Consider making them for gift giving yourself this year and photograph your gifts as samples. I hope these thoughts and the related items spark your creativity and help you offer personalization that brings more business to your shop in the coming months.
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