Last week, I hit 300 sales in my Etsy shop(!), but it got me wondering, “am I focusing too much on number of sales?”
If you’re an Etsy seller, chances are there’s one number you notice again and again, and that’s the number of sales a shop has. Whether its your shop or someone else’s, its easy to get caught up in the obsession. We’ve all been to a shop that has more sales than ours, and wondered “why them and not me?” Or perhaps you’ve given yourself a goal like “reach 300 sales this year”.
Its easy to understand why. Number of sales is the only public statistic Etsy makes available about each stores’ sales figures. So its very easy to get into a comparison game with other sellers, and set number of sales as a benchmark itself.
But while these numbers are certainly interesting, they actually tell you very little about a business’s success. First off, average dollars per sale is important. Ask anyone who’s ever worked in retail. Its (usually) far less work to pack up one $100 sale than ten $10 sales. And its very difficult to compare your number of sales to another shops number of sales if you have grossly different selling points.
Even more important than ADS, what you should really be measuring is profit per sale. Having five hundred sales doesn’t help your business if you aren’t making a profit on each sale. While it may be more fun to make that $100 sale, if it costs you $99 to make the object, you aren’t making much profit. Meanwhile, you could be making $5 profit on each of those $10 items, making them more profitable in the end.
So, while it can be fun to watch your number of sales climb, resist the urge to use that number to compare yourself to other Etsy sellers. In the end, that number does very little to tell you about the financial health of a business, whether its yours or someone else’s.